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5 Tips for Bar Managers to Manage Inventory

5 Tips for Bar Managers to Manage Inventory


Hey everyone this is Kyle from Backbar. Today we’re going to be talking about 5 tips to help new bar managers manage their inventory. If you are a new manager behind the bar then you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed
by all of your new responsibilities, whether that’s coming up with new cocktails for a new
menu, or trying to motivate bartenders, handling scheduling, there’s a lot to learn and you
have to learn it on the fly. So these tips are gonna make things a little bit easier for you and help you get focused on what’s most important behind the bar. (Background music playing) So one of the
most important new responsibilities you’ll have is managing your inventory. Inventory is key behind the bar, you can’t let it control you, you have to control it. That means you
can’t buy any new mezcal just because it was distilled in an abandoned Pizza Hut or anything that a sales rep brings in and lets you taste. That’s because over stock is going to kill
your profits and drive your liquor costs up. So the best way to control your inventory
behind the bar is to really know what you have in stock. And in order to do this, you’re
going to have to keep a consistent inventory schedule. The most common strategy for this is an opening and closing inventory method. So at the end of this month on the last day of the month, you’ll take a full inventory of all of your bar products. And then the following month on the last day you’ll take another inventory. And that way you can
see how much you’ve used of a product, in between those 2 time periods. If you want,
you can also regimen it more, and take inventory on a 4 week schedule, so each inventory session
will have an equal amount of days in between it. So whether you take it monthly or 4 weeks you need to keep consistent so you understand how much product you use in between that time
period. For smaller bars, you might also take inventory weekly. If you’re not doing that
because you’re a larger bar, and it’s just too much work to handle a weekly inventory, you should definitely do a spot or abbreviated inventory, where you’re taking a look at your
inventory counts in order to place orders with your distributors each week. (Background music) So the second
tip for managing your inventory is to cost your drinks. This means knowing what each
item behind your bar costs you when you pour it. So whether it’s an ingredient in a cocktail, whether it’s a draft beer or a can of beer, or even a glass pour of wine, you have to
know what it costs you to pour that so you can properly price the item on your menu. What you’re going to be able to do here is track your liquor costs. Because the higher
your liquor costs are, the lower your profits are going to be, and the harder it is for
your bar to be successful. So knowing what your costs are will help you properly price
your menu items, it’ll keep things affordable for your guests, and it will help you track
where your bar is performing well and where it’s not performing so well. This way you can,
you know, get rid of items that don’t really turn a profit for you, or make sure your cocktails
aren’t becoming too expensive with too many wild ingredients. Costing your drinks is going
to help you to understand the health of your bar. (Background music) The third tip for managing inventory
behind the bar, is all about measurements. What’s really important for bartenders to
do is to jigger your pours, because behind the bar, waste is a silent killer. And waste
could come in all sorts of forms like spillage, broken bottles, uh, just a drink that a customer
might return cause they didn’t like it. But one of the most common forms of waste is overpouring. So this is when a bartender, maybe even unknowingly, pours too much liquor in
a drink pours too much of another ingredient in a drink and your costs are skyrocketing
on those drinks, and the profits from the sale aren’t covering that. So one of the most important
things to do to cut down on waste is for each bartender to measure the amount of liquid
they’re putting in a drink and the most handy thing is a jigger to do so. (Background music) So the fourth tip
for controlling inventory behind the bar is to track usage rates. This is one of the most
important things you can do, because when you take inventory, its more than just getting
a head count for the number of bottles you have in your liquor room or behind the bar. You wanna understand how quickly you go through a product, and usage rates are the best way
to do that. In order to track usage rates, you’re going to have to keep a consistent
inventory schedule which is where performing opening and closing inventory really comes
in helpful. Because you need those two time periods to understand how much liquor you’re
going through in between those two points. So the data that you get from that is going
to make you a better bar manager, and also make your bar more likely to be successful. To find out the usage rate you’ll have to use a formula that also includes tracking
the purchases you’ve made between your opening and closing inventories. So here’s the formula
for usage rate: it’s opening inventory + purchases received and subtract closing inventory in order to get your usage rate. (Background music) So the fifth tip for helping control inventory behind the bar is to set par levels. A par level is essentially the amount of an item you need on hand at
any given point to meet demand. So in order to set par levels, you’ll need to know what
your usage rates are. The key to managing inventory is having knowledge of your inventory, so make sure you stay in control by keeping a consistent inventory schedule, using data
like par levels, usage rates to help you make better decisions, and to make sure your liquor
room never gets out of control.


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