Bar Managers: Here’s Why An Alcohol Inventory App Is Key For Success

by WISK

Switching to an alcohol inventory app from alternative methods isn't just a good business move, but it's also absolutely critical to the success of your bar. After all, we don't have to tell you about the nightly crowds or continually evolving competition you have to face from day to day. But, what we can tell you is that a good liquor inventory software will give you an advantage over other bars in your city. Evidently, it does this by providing organized inventory records, intelligent business insights, and opportunities to optimize both operations and sales. Without a doubt, while other bars are losing profits by using pen & paper, calculators and excel sheets to do inventory, you'll be ahead of the game. In this article, we’ll break down why software will help you finally do inventory effectively and why that's so important. In addition, we’ll look at the best practices to better manage your bar or restaurant in general.

What is bar inventory management?

To begin with, every time you use pen and paper or software to record what items you have on hand, whether its liquor, beer, wine, or garnishes, you’re taking inventory. Beyond simply counting bottles, the process also involves complicated bar inventory formulas which waste valuable time. That’s where bar inventory management software becomes a key player. In essence, it simplifies inventory by doing most of the work for you. To explain, it first calculates how much liquor stock you use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. From there, the software helps you determine optimal drink prices, place new orders, identify where waste occurs, and more. Also, many modern software systems also come with integrations, such as digital scales to measure the exact weight of various bottles. What's more, some even connect to your existing POS system to streamline your inventory and sales data. Additionally, bar manager apps offer a series of tools to not only make your bar operate more efficiently, but to also increase profits and provide a better experience for your customers. Meanwhile, as a bar operator, you know that accurate inventory counts is necessary for the success of your business. Software cuts down the time it takes to conduct inventory while providing critical insights into the state of your pub.

The Benefits of Using an Alcohol Inventory App

Firstly, there is no shortage of benefits when it comes to using software to manage most operations. But, there are reasons why having an alcohol inventory app is particularly useful, including:

1) Convenience

For the most part, everyone can appreciate convenience but no one more so than a bar manager counting inventory at 4am. On the whole, software has the benefit of automating processes and operating on multiple devices. Also, most of them can integrate with other tools to make inventory almost completely automatic.

2) Creating better seasonal promotions

In order to attract more customers, be sure to use restaurant inventory software to create irresistible deals on rosé, weekend rooftop parties, and local beer specials. In this situation, predictive analytics and easy-to-read sales data will help you generate promotions that bring in more foot traffic.

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3) Anticipating busy days

Furthermore, you can be prepared for the next time your team wins the Stanley Cup or a popular band plays at the theater down the street with software. In this case, software helps you quickly analyze your sales data to make easy purchase orders and prepare for high volume days.

4) Spending less time in your back room

Lastly, whether your city or neigborhood is vibrant or not, there will always be tons of competition. With this in mind, your time is best spent getting to know your customers, building relationships with the other restaurants in your area, and capitalizing on changing trends. In reality, you can't get through all of this unless you have enough time to spend in the front room.

Why is it so important to have bar inventory software?

Generally, keeping track of bar inventory is critical because it provides you with the knowledge you need to grow your business effectively. With this in mind, how does having an alcohol inventory app make your establishment in the city more effective? As an example, a long-standing bar in your city has served patrons for decades, with a loyal customer base. Their no-nonsense classic cocktails and domestic beer buckets never fail to please thirsty customers all nights of the week. However, in recent months, the bar manager notices that while business appears busy as usual, sales are steadily declining. With a basic inventory process, this manager will know how to calculate inventory usage to ensure he or she isn't experiencing employee theft or unnecessary waste. With smart, analytics-driven software, they’ll also be able to pinpoint exactly why sales are decreasing. With this data, they can figure out how to address the issue before it gets out of control.

7 Tips for Successfully Managing Your Bar Inventory

1) Stay consistent

If you take inventory every week, always take it every week. Even though, skipping an inventory session every once and a while may not seem like a big deal, but it’s an easy way to make avoidable mistakes. Therefore, the best thing to do is to get into an inventory routine that works for both you and your team.

2) Be accurate

Undoubtedly, accuracy is crucial to managing a successful bar. From knowing exactly how much inventory you have to accurately tracking the hours your employees work, it’s important to be precise. Moreover, having an app with POS integration will help you take more accurate inventory so you know exactly what your bar’s largest asset is worth.

3) Evaluate drink and menu prices

Whether you’ve been in business for one year or one decade, customer preferences and the industry change constantly. At this point, take our bar from the example earlier. When properly calculating liquor inventory, they should make a habit of reviewing their menu and drink prices to ensure they're holding up against consumer trends and local competitors. Overall, having a strong and functional alcohol inventory app, can help you compete against other establishments.

4) Keep backup inventory

While dead stock can be a drain on your resources, that isn’t to say that additional reserves of popular bottles is a bad idea. In fact, having a few extra kegs of your most popular draft beer can be a lifesaver when you experience a busier than expected Sunday and start to run out. Like everything, backup inventory is best in moderation. Nevertheless, it is certainly an effective technique in any smart bar manager’s back pocket.

5) Differentiate yourself

It's important to realize, whether your bar has existed for hundreds of years or just a few days, being innovative as key. To stand out, create new drinks, allow your bartenders to experiment, and keep track of your customer’s preferences to find new opportunities to wow them. For instance, deals, promotions, and exceptionally good service can also go a long way in setting your bar apart from others.

6) Analyze data and trends regularly

With highly sophisticated inventory software, you’ll always have valuable sales data right at your fingertips. Hence, you should use the data to make smarter decisions about ordering, deals, and promotions that will ultimately increase your bottom line.

3 Goals to Have for your Beverage Inventory System

Before we move forward, let’s revisit the struggling bar example above and identify what inventory goals they might have to improve their business. Below are widely applicable goals, whether your bar is struggling, thriving, or somewhere in between.

1) Identifying waste & dead stock

In the long run, waste, spillage, over pouring, theft, or too many free drinks, can make a huge impact on your bottom line. That said, the first goal of inventory is simply providing a catalogue of what stock you have on hand so you can easily compare it to sales data and find where waste occurs. Another drain on your resources is dead stock, and product that sits unused in your bar or back room. For this reason, using the inventory you already have on hand more effectively, is a quick and easy way to increase profits. Software will help guide through what and what not to order more of. As a result, you can avoid dead stock for good.

2) Lowering alcohol costs

Lastly, maybe the bar in the example has always ordered the same type of bourbon for their Old Fashioned, as it's their most popular drink. If that whiskey brand increases their prices, the bar might end up paying a premium without realizing it. As a solution, inventory management software helps bar managers choose the most cost-effective alcohol brands. Equally important, it also automates purchase orders to decrease the frequency of rush orders and other costly practices.

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3) Streamlining operations

Ask yourself, is your bar open too many nights per week? Or not enough? Are you ordering too much gin and not enough draft beer? Are your customers dying for you to start stocking a specific cult favorite? Is it time to train your employees on pouring best practices or reevaluate your drink prices? Above all, an app can tell you all of this and more. Once you identify areas of opportunity, you can fully cut down on the amount of time spent on conducting inventory.

How WISK can Help you Take Control of your Inventory

All things considered, if you’re operating a bar and are looking for the best alcohol inventory app, you came to the right place. WISK is a multi-purpose software with tools to help you conduct inventory and make decisions to improve your bar’s profitability. With beverage analytics, recipe costing, and easy ordering, WISK is the bar assistant you can rely on to improve your day to day operations. To summarize, with WISK, you can finally set yourself apart from the competition while saving yourself time and frustration. Sound too good to be true? It’s really not. Visit https://wisk.ai/bar-restaurant-inventory-software/ for more information. Or, sign up below.