Bar Management, Culture

2-Minute Tuesdays: Taking Your First Bar Inventory

By Trevor Bernatchez

Trevor Bernatchez

May 14, 2019

Taking inventory can be a real struggle, especially if it’s something that is new to you.

In our most recent edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays, Sr. Manager of Customer Education Trevor Bernatchez, breaks down how to take your first bar inventory to make it more approachable and repeatable.

Read on to learn more, or watch the whole video (~2 mins) above.

Taking inventory can be a real struggle, especially if it’s something that is new to you. Good news is that we’re gonna try and make this as easy as possible by breaking it down into just a few steps.

#1: Get Organized

First, you’ve gotta get organized. Your first inventory count will be a lot easier if you take the time to get organized before you start. At the core of taking inventory counts, all you really need is to have all of your product organized in a way that makes it easily visible and a way to record the counts of your products.

The first real step is to build out your inventory spreadsheet on either your computer, or by hand. Include columns for Product Name and every storage area you have like your walk-in, back-bar, or any other place you stock product. Next, make sure you pull all bottles forward on the bar for better visibility and make a note of any hidden nooks or crannies behind the bar that you stash backup product during service.

#2: Start Counting

Now that you’re prepped and ready, it’s time to start counting. We recommend counting partial bottles of wine or liquor by using the ‘tenthing’ method. Inspect each bottle visually while letting it rest on a flat surface. Make a note of how much liquid is left inside, separating it visually into tenths of a bottle. For example, round a bottle that is ⅓ of the way full to 0.3, or 30% full. That is the number you want to enter on your spreadsheet. Now move onto the next bottle on the list and do the same thing as you work your way down your shelves.

#3: Add Up Your Totals

Alright, so now that you and your team have counted all the bar products in your establishment, it’s time for you to add up the totals for each item across all your storage areas. This will help you calculate how much total product you are using down the line, and help you place more informed orders to restock the bar.

Something that’s important to remember is that the first inventory you take at your bar probably isn’t going to be that fun. There is a learning curve here and you are definitely going to take your lumps along the way. The important thing is to not get discouraged and give up.

If you put in the time to start taking regular inventory counts for your bar program, it really will start paying off for you either in your career or for your business if you’re the owner.


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