This might not be what you expect to hear from a beverage inventory company, but there is no denying this truth: Everyone hates doing inventory. No one wants to put in the work counting a big wine cellar, or tracking receiving, or digging around in a frigid keg room if they can talk their employers out of it.
Your staff will verify this truism in many ways.
- They will tell you it’s not necessary, even though it truly is. Effective bar inventory control helps with ordering, it helps make sure your shelves are properly stocked, and it creates a system of accountability that is essential for managing a beverage operation.
- They will tell you theoretical/perpetual inventory is good enough. Wrong again. Many operations rely heavily on perpetual inventory, simply subtracting sales figures and adding receiving to maintain a running total. But doing so is putting a lot of faith in what your staff chooses to ring up. Perpetual inventory is a great tool, but it is only a complimentary piece of a thorough inventory process. You still must do a regular physical count of inventory, and then compare that actual count against the “ideal” theoretical count that your perpetual shows you.
- They might be hiding something. We can’t count how many times we have seen bar employees strongly resist doing inventories; if the owner insists anyway, the process almost always uncovers serious losses. One of the resorts using AccuBar found $90,000 in losses in the first month; we have helped countless others cut losses to the tune of thousands of dollars a month. Inventory management is essential for cost controls and loss prevention; if your staff is resisting, maybe they know something you don’t.
- They will undercut or sabotage your inventory system. You invest in some technology to help them with inventory, then ask them to try it out. They come back saying it doesn’t work, send it back. They are this close to convincing you that a system you bought to hold them accountable is not needed, and that you should just go back to the good old days of not doing inventory.
Other food and beverage management systems have picked up on all of this, and have shifted their message and approach away from requiring physical inventory. It’s not necessary with our system, they say. But they are only telling you want you want to hear, in an effort to attract your business. And in doing so, they are steering you away from the one proven method for uncovering losses, doing more precise ordering, and generating key metrics that are essential to beverage management. (For more on why physical inventory is important, click here.)
We at AccuBar believe strongly that putting your company’s future in the hands of a system that bypasses time-tested inventory steps, or entrusting your profits to employees who fight your attempts at accountability, are risks that need not be taken. So when you encounter any of the above in your operation, and it’s a virtual certainty that you will, approach it with a huge amount of skepticism.