Taking Stock. Every Drop.
Bar Inventory Revolutionized.

Benefits: Why You Need TavernTrak

Inventory Matters. Even for Bars.

Imagine that you owned a high-dollar electronics store and in this store, you had a cashier who took it upon herself to give away one TV for every three she sold. If you found out the cashier was doing this, she probably wouldn't be on your payroll very long, right? You'd care, right?

What's the difference between that electronics store cashier and a bartender who - by over-pouring every drink by 33% - is effectively giving away one drink for every three sold?

What mechanism do you have in place to detect that a bartender is over-pouring drinks, drinking behind the bar, or giving away drinks to friends, family and "conquests" - that entire bottles of expensive liquor are being smuggled out of your bar?

You can't stop this kind of "shrinkage" if you can't detect that it's happening in the first place. TavernTrak allows you to detect and stop bartender over-pouring.

The Benefits of Inventory Management

Any liquor inventory system is going to require an investment in terms of money, effort and time. What makes that investment so critical - so necessary - is this:

Ultimately, the financial success (and survival) of every bar depends upon ensuring that all possible profit is realized from every drink poured and sold.

And therefore, to the savvy, profit-focused bar owner, the rationale behind making the investment in inventory management is really pretty simple and pretty clear.

These are some of the reasons why it just makes sense for every bar to have a liquor inventory system. To find out why you should choose TavernTrak to manage your beverage inventory, click here.

You're Losing Money if You're Not Tracking Your Inventory

It's a harsh thing to hear that you're losing money, but if you're not tracking your inventory with TavernTrak - you're losing money from your alcohol walking out the door unpaid for.  Invest 15 minutes a day to manage your inventory and know where it's going. Because 15 minutes is all it takes to inventory the average station with TavernTrak. Our scan and weigh system accurately accounts for your inventory in less than six seconds per bottle.

You use a POS system to track the cash your bartenders collect through the course of their shift, right? You count their drawers daily to ensure that the cash that's supposed to be there is there, right? Why would you treat your "liquid cash" any less importantly?

The Value of 15 Minutes

What's 15 minutes worth to you and your bar? Is 15 minutes more valuable than the thousands of dollars you could add to your bar's bottom line every month? Preventing your liquor from being given away or otherwise "going missing" is the easiest way to cut your costs and boost your revenue.

Forget about clipboards, elaborate spreadsheets, counting empties, estimating the quantity of product inside a bottle by tapping inch-high diagrams of bottles drawn on PDA screens, magical tapes held up against partially-full bottles, and cumbersome bottle-attached sensors.

With TavernTrak, your total time investment in taking stock of the average station is 15 minutes. 15 minutes vs. thousands of dollars lost. It's not a hard decision.

Bartender Accountability

The only way to ensure that your bartenders are selling what they are pouring is through a conscientiously-applied, reliably-accurate inventory management system. Holding your bartenders responsible for the liquor they are pouring is only reasonable if the system you're using is capable of determining what they are pouring with a high degree of accuracy.

Pouring What is Sold - Selling What is Poured

At the center of any competent liquor inventory system is the comparison of what is sold by your bartenders to what is poured by your bartenders. We're not talking about gouging your customers - not talking about nickel and diming them. What we're talking about is giving them what they're paying for - no more, no less.

Customers love it when a bartender sneaks an extra half-shot (or more!) of liquor into their drinks. Bartenders love it when a customer rewards that "generosity" by throwing an extra buck or two into the tip jar. But those extra half-shots add up!  And they reduce - by 35-45% - the amount of profit in every bottle of liquor sold from behind each of the stations of your bar.

And it may be obvious, but it bears stating: This form of bartender "generosity" is really coming out of your pocket. Let's face it, it's always easy to be "generous" with someone else's buck, right? The product that your bartenders are "generously" giving away isn't theirs to give away. And the extra tips resulting from this "generosity" - the free or "extra strong" drinks being poured - are being generated at the expense of your bar's profits.

In a bar unmonitored by an inventory system such as TavernTrak, the difference between what is poured vs. what is sold may be staggering. Don't take our word for it - use our Profit Lost Calculator to see for yourself how bartender over-pouring affects your bar's profitability because only then can you get an idea of how much of that lost profit can be recovered with TavernTrak and put to your bottom line.

Vendor Pricing Management

You have little control over what your vendors charge you for each product you sell at your bar, which means your "Cost of Goods Sold" is largely driven by forces out of your control. But you do have control as to how you manage the ever-increasing costs of the products you feature at your bar.

When your Vendors raise their prices, you could - as some bar owners reflexively do - pass those costs along to your customers in the form of higher drink prices. This in turn may drive those customers away - right into the welcoming arms of your competition.

The alternative is that when faced with a price increase, you could resolve - and take tangible steps - to manage your inventory in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. This in turn gives you a distinct competitive edge - not only in realizing the greatest possible return on your inventory costs, but also to allow you to be the arms that welcome the customers driven away by your competition's more expensive (and let's be honest here, less fun!) bars.

Increased Profitability... Increased Capital

For many bars, alcohol sales represent 100% of the revenue stream - the only profit realized by the bar is the profit generated from these sales. Doesn't it make sense to maximize the profit realized on this revenue?

A pattern emerges when examining what makes a "successful" bar or restaurant - what makes them able to not only survive, but thrive in both good times and bad: Inventory is efficiently managed such that each day's sales generate the maximum amount of profit possible.

To manage your liquor, beer and wine inventory is to take proactive steps towards ensuring your bar, nightclub or restaurant has the capital required to update the sound and lighting system, install new flat-screen TVs, renovate and modernize, and even expand to a new location if that's your goal.

Regardless how you fund expansion and/or improvements to your bar - be it with saved profits ("retained earnings") or through the use of outside financing - your ability to generate a profit from your sales is going to play an important part:

  • Obviously, in the case of saved profits, the more profit you can generate from your operations means your planned improvements will require less of your saved profits and increase the rate that those funds can be replenished.

  • In the case of outside financing, the ability to borrow money at attractive interest rates means that the full cost (principal plus interest) of the planned improvements is minimized. And the best way to obtain a good interest rate from a lender is to demonstrate that your sales ("gross revenues") generate a healthy profit ("net income").

  • If you're interested in franchising your concept, then the amount you can demand for each franchise is directly affected by the profitability of the corporate stores.

In short, every improvement you make to your bar will be funded on the shoulders of the profits generated by sales of your beverage inventory.

Maintaining Staff Integrity

It's worth saying up front here: Most of your bartenders don't over-pour because they're dishonest; they over-pour because they don't know they're over-pouring!

Nobody likes to think of their staff as being dishonest and/or out to cheat them. When you're there watching your bartenders pour drinks for your customers, they appear to do a great job at accurately pouring those drinks. Your bartenders never pour more accurately than when they're being watched! Of course, is that really the way you envision every hour of every day your bar is open: keeping a cautious, watchful eye on your bartenders? Surely there's better uses of your time!

Sadly, employee dishonesty (theft) is a "crime of opportunity" that accounts for some amount of loss for every business enterprise - and bars, nightclubs and restaurants are no different (except that there may very well be more opportunity for it to occur). Employee dishonesty might be subtle and minor - knowingly pouring extra-strong drinks to get a bigger tip, giving away drinks to friends, pouring drinks for themselves, etc. - or it may be something more menacing such as "selling" drinks to customers that never get rung up on the register or sneaking whole bottles of liquor out of your bar at the end of the night.

What mechanism does your bar have in place to detect and prevent this?

Only a conscientiously-applied liquor inventory system such as TavernTrak can detect this type of "shrinkage". And a staff well-informed of the presence of an inventory management and tracking system is much less likely to start (or continue) down the road of employee theft.

Investment Preservation & Growth

Maybe you bought your bar from a previous owner. Or, maybe your nightclub grew out of a smaller bar that you started years ago. Regardless of the nature of your history with your particular establishment, you no doubt possess the universal desire that it increase in value over time. Should you ever decide to sell (can you say "retire early?") - having a "valuable" business is going to obviously maximize the amount of money you walk away with.

One of the primary areas of the financial statements that the prospective buyers of your bar will examine closely - a key measure of what makes it "valuable" - is its profitability. An investor is unlikely to pay top dollar for a business which turns only a meager profit.

Managing your inventory leads to increased profitability of your bar - increased profitability leads to increased value - and increased value leads to "retire earlier".