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One of the challenges of managing a business that sells alcoholic beverages is stocking your bar. What drinks should you keep on stock, and in what quantity? As part of their Startup Kit, a series of posts focused on helping startups, recently featured some great advice on stocking your bar — whether it’s a local pub or glittery nightclub — taken from Liane Cassavoy’s Start Your Own Bar and Club book.

Getting Started

Before we get practical, you should know that using a cloud-based inventory control app will make your bar stocking and management a less time-consuming task. Using such a cloud inventory application as DataQlick will help you not only manage your orders with greater ease, but also automate them. Once your app is ready, you can follow Liane Cassavoy’s excellent advice and start choosing your beverages.

  1. Choose multiple qualities of wine
  2. Choose multiple qualities of liquor
  3. ‘Well’ liquor is the first and lowest quality of liquor, so called because it’s usually kept in the bartender’s well
  4. ‘Call’ brand liquor is a step up in quality, bearing a well-known label and being more expensive
  5. Premium liquors are the most pricey and the less ordered; they look great on the shelf behind the bar, where customers can easily spot them



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Quantity Management

As Liane Cassavoy highlights, choosing the right quantities of beverages is never easy. You don’t want to lose money on overstock, just as you don’t want to see your waiters excusing themselves for not being able to satisfy a customer’s order. A cloud-based inventory control app can make it easier for you to order the right quantities through its sales forecasting capabilities. Furthermore, it can help you monitor the sales performance of each beverage in stock with graphs and charts.

When it comes to liquor, a safe approach in general is to invest in 1-liter bottles, which are easy to handle and can be bought by the dozen in a case. Brands that don’t sell that much but for which the demand is strong enough to justify their purchase may be bought in mixed cases — the higher cost per bottle that a mixed case entails is justified by the storage space you save. Whether or not you’re using an automatic dispensing system should also be considered, as you can buy larger bottles for it at a better price.

Order Frequency

The interval at which you restock your bar depends of course on your clientèle and sales, but once a week is a safe approach. Exceptions can be made for precious wines and liquors, which you can buy on a monthly basis, or even less frequently.

Finally, you want to figure out your par, or the backup bottles you need for each beverage you sell. This is easier to do with the data tracking, sales forecasting, and analytics that a cloud-based inventory control app features. Whether you’ve just opened your bar or have been running it for some time now, an inventory control app like DataQlick can make your life easier. Try now free.