Bar Inventory Made Easy In 5 Simple Steps.

To properly track, control, and overall manage your liquor, wine, and beer inventory, it takes a little time and 5 simple steps that any establishment can implement. If you follow the 5 steps for better inventory control below, we can almost guarantee you will not only put an end to most theft issues (that you may or may not even know you have going on), but add additional revenue to your business that up until this point has basically been walking out the front door in dishonest employee's pockets. These 5 easy steps are in addition to putting in place some type of inventory control system, so we will assume you are already using or plan on using inventory software to help you track and understand your product usage from one day to the next.


1) Do not allow bartenders to take your inventory

This process should be solely left to the management of your establishment and should therefore only be conducted by your management team. A bartender should never have access to your inventory management software.  An employee who is stealing from your business can use the opportunity of taking the inventory to alter and record false data so that it offsets prior thefts. This is accomplished by overstating the amount of inventory on hand at the end of your inventory cycle.  Let's repeat this... never allow your bartenders to count your inventory.

2) Bartenders should not order and/or receive inventory

Only specific management personnel should perform the task or responsibility of ordering, receiving and issuing of your establishment’s liquor inventory. There is no reason for a member of your bar staff to be involved with any of these tasks. As an added safety procedure if you do not 100% trust all management staff, you should not allow the same person to handle both the ordering and receiving.

3) Lock and secure your inventory

All liquor, beer, and wine inventory should be kept in a securely locked area.  It is best to keep these areas restricted to management only, but if that is not an option then a perpetual inventory and transfer log system should be made a mandatory practice.

4) Using a perpetual and transfer log system

Establishing a perpetual inventory system allows you to keep track of any changes that take place in your stock rooms. Your inventory will be able to be monitored against internal theft by comparing your on-hand inventory with the perpetual inventory.  Also using a transfer log, requires your staff to record every bottle taken from inventory allowing easy cross-referencing against your perpetual count.

5) Post-shift par reading should be required

Your bar station par logs should detail precisely how many bottles of each product in the inventory should be behind the bar at any point in time. Your bartenders should be required to take a par reading at the beginning and end of each shift.  The closing shift par must take into account the bottles emptied during the course of the shift. The par reading should conclusively reveal if all of the products in the liquor inventory are actually behind the bar in the par amounts determined by management.

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