Inventory Control For Your Bar or Nightclub

Inventory control in the bar and night club business in the most imperative skills to learn and adhere to. Bartender theft, along with other theft by staff in bars and night clubs can ruin you!

Is taking inventory a pain in the ass? Yes! Does it take time out of your day? You betcha! Is it worth it? That was a stupid question, right!!!

Inventory control is the only true way of determining profitability.

I know many bar and night club owners, wing it! Believe it or not! Performing a weekly inventory enables you NOT to run out of things. Then you don’t look like an idiot in front of you customers. But that’s just the insignificant part.

By controlling your inventory, you keep theft to almost nothing, insure you don’t run out of things, and insure the supposed profits you made this week, are actually profits.

Inventory control is tedious and time consuming, especially where food products are concerned. Providing food opens up a whole new realm in night time entertainment. Why? Because just to sell the simplest thing, takes many items. Times that by the number of items you sell, and now you got a boat load of items to take inventory on.

For example, let’s take something like a hamburger. Not a big deal, right? So let’s take a look at that. Off hand, here is what you need to sell a hamburger.

The hamburger itself, buns, napkins, plates, salt, pepper, A-1 sauce, worchestshire sauce, american cheese, swiss cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone cheese, misc spices, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, ketchup, bacon, onions, mushrooms, and pickles.

All this for one hamburger to sell!

See what I mean. So let’s start at the beginning, OK.
Inventory control for your bar or night club starts with a “par”. The par number is the amount of one item that you would like to keep on hand, that will last you for one week, even if you get real busy.

For example,let’s say that you usually use about a case of bar(bottom shelf) vodka a week. But that is an average week. What if you get a little busier then normal?

So there is twelve bottles in a case. Take into consideration that you may get a little busier then normal sometimes, so let’s put your par for this item at sixteen bottles.

At the end of the week, you start to take your inventory, go into your storage room, and see that there are eight bottles left. Remember, your par is sixteen bottles. So you need to order eight bottles in order to bring this item to par. Understand?

Here is the part you are not going to like. You have to do that with every single item in your place. Yes, down to the light bulbs!

Does this take time? YOU BETCHA!
This takes time as you can see. This is whymany people ignore it, and YOU SHOULD NEVER IGNORE IT!

Also, the inventory control should be done by the manager. Why you ask. Well not that a manager can’t steal, because he can. But, the manager should be responsible for this. These are costs that a manager is liable for.

And, without getting into
figuring costs as a part of inventory control

right now, a manager will generally know how much of certain items he goes through in a week. While he is doing inventory, and lets’ say all sixteen of those bottles of vodka are gone, on an average week, he or she is going to know someone is stealing right away.

Although that shouldn’t be able to happen either, but that is for another subject. For now, we are just talking about inventory control.

Now there are exceptions to creating a par depending on the item. For instance, what we did with the vodka earlier is not a problem because it’s a non-perishable. That means that the vodka will not go bad, or spoil. So, you can keep as much on hand as you want.

But if you are setting up a par for items that are perishable, that will spoil, you have to watch very closely you don’t keep too much on hand because if you don’t sell it in the allotted spoilage time, you will have to throw it away! And that’s like throwing MONEY away. Shutter the thought!!!

Dry goods, like straws, napkins, light bulbs, and such are not going to spoil, or go bad. Therefore, if have have a little more then you need, big deal.

Frozen items will last some time in the freezer without compromising the integrity of the product. Basically, getting freezer burnt.

I hope I have made this easy to understand and I hope you can grasp the importance of inventory control.

One last thing. The par you set for an item is not set in stone. It can be changed. If you find that a beer that was selling twenty five cases a week has dwindled down to selling five cases a week, you just lower you par. In this business, you have to keep on your toes, every minute!
Inventory control is part of management, so you need to know this to operate correctly.

Best Wishes,
Ned

Filed Under: Bar / Nightclub ManagementBar ManagementFood and DrinksNightclub Management

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  1. [...] I wrote a lot about inventory control/understanding inventory, evidently I didn’t break down enough for a beginner. I could have swore I did, but leafing [...]

  2. SONY says:

    pls advice few recommended pos system tat can be used for bar, with inventory control.

    thanks
    Sony

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