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Sarah Ward

How to Choose The Best Bar Inventory Software & App

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Beverage inventory app, best bar inventory software

Taking bar inventory is never fun. You spend hours each month methodically counting. Every. Single. Bottle. Then manually updating a Google sheets inventory template.

It doesn't have to be that way. Bar inventory apps are available to help. You can take control of your inventory management, including your draft beer inventory system, and make smarter decisions to boost your bar profitability. It can even help offset the cost to open a bar.

We'll run you through the basics of bar inventory apps, why you need one, and how to choose the best bar inventory software for your business.

Bar & Liquor Inventory App

A bar inventory app lets you control and manage your bar's inventory on your phone, tablet, or computer. These apps take a lot of the hard work out of inventory taking and variance calculating. They help automate and elevate your business.

Most bar inventory apps share many of the same features. These include the ability to access your inventory count on multiple devices, calculate usage, view historical data and trends, and automatic invoicing and ordering from wholesalers.

Best Bar Inventory App Android

The best bar inventory app for Android devices is BinScan, our free-to-use mobile app that all BinWise customers have access to. It has integrated pairing with the Socket Scan S740 handheld barcode scanner. The free version lets you scan 10 bottles a minute and is a great choice for small- to medium-sized bars and restaurants.  Our more robust version lets you scan more than 150 bottles per minute. This offers large bars, restaurants, wineries, and even private cellars the ability to track their large wine inventories with ease.

Best Liquor Inventory App iPhone

If you’re using Apple products instead, BinScan is still the go-to app for tracking liquor inventory. It’s the best app regardless of your inventory size and saves you hours of manual inventory counting each week. If you have less than 500 bottles to count, you can use the BinScan app with your smartphone camera to scan barcodes. If you have more than 500 bottles, you can pair the BinScan app with a handheld barcode scanner to scan up to 3 items per second. Either way, you can access this data through the app anytime, anywhere.

5 Reasons You Need a Liquor Inventory App

Using a liquor inventory app brings your business into the 21st century and lets you make smarter decisions.

Here are five reasons to invest in restaurant technology and purchase a liquor inventory app.

Save time. Manually taking inventory requires setting aside hours to go through your bottles. You'll even have to do it twice a month to get an accurate count and understand usage. A bar inventory app will update as you use up inventory and sell drinks. You don't have to spend hours manually updating a bar inventory spreadsheet.

Cut costs. Taking inventory manually involves paying employees to waste time counting products. You won't have to spend that money since the app does the counting for you.

Limit errors. People make mistakes. Computers only make mistakes when people do. We're sure you can see the benefit of using an app here. No more miscounts or forgotten products, whether wholesale products or merchandise inventory. Accuracy is key when taking inventory, and bar inventory apps are a great way to ensure your numbers are correct.

Get pricing insight. Inventory and sales data give you the information you need to determine optimal prices and determine your best-selling products. The historical data and trends stored in a bar inventory app puts that right at your fingertips whenever you want. Use this data for some drink menu engineering and watch your profits soar.

See inventory in real-time. Manually taking inventory leaves you in the dark for a few weeks to a month. If you aren't actively counting, you don't really know your actual inventory levels. Bar inventory apps do. If they're integrated into the bar pos system, you will have an accurate count 24/7 based on perpetual inventory. Imagine the quick decision-making you can have with that information.

Free bar inventory management ebook, best bar inventory software

Bar Inventory Software

Bar inventory software is a tool you can use to track liquor inventory and get real time insights into usage, shrinkage, reorder points, and more. However, not all inventory software is right for bars and not every option offers the tools you’ll need for your unique situation.

How to Choose the Best Bar Inventory Software

There are many bar inventory apps on the market and it can be overwhelming trying to find the right one for your business. Most apps are fairly similar, but here are some tips on finding the one for you.

  • Don't go for the cheapest option. We know it can be tough choosing to spend money when margins are tight, but you really do get what you pay for. Pay attention to what the app offers and what you need. You don't want to go with a cheap option only to find it doesn't do what you need and have to invest in a better plan later.
  • Go for one with integrated ordering. All the apps on the market will give you insight into inventory levels, but not all offer ordering. Integrated ordering will make it so you can see you have low stock and immediately order more. This cuts out the extra time and effort of reaching out to suppliers and lets you spend your time making more money.
  • Look for the plan that matches your business. Many apps offer tiered plans from basic to pro. If your business has three employees, you probably don't need to go for the pro plan. Look at what you need and what you can afford, and find the plan that fits.
  • If you use a POS, try to find one that works with it. Tracking inventory with an app is made even more valuable when it's tied into your POS. This will ensure you always have access to the most accurate inventory numbers and help you make the right decisions on the fly.

Best Bar Inventory Software

Hands down, the best bar inventory software is BinWise Pro. It’s an all-in-one bar and restaurant beverage inventory management system that saves hours taking inventory, ensures accurate counts and grows profits. It will help you eliminate manual entry and paperwork, save up to 85% of your time spent doing inventory, and say goodbye to counting errors. It was designed and built by hospitality professionals like you to help you run a more profitable beverage program.

How Bar Inventory Software Makes Your Business More Profitable

Bar inventory software does more than just automate your inventory tracking, it provides you the tools you need to make more money.

Are you charging the right amount for wine by the glass or have appropriate wine bottle pricing? Do you know how to price beer? What are your best performing menu items? How much inventory shrinkage do you have in the bar?

If you don't know the answer to these questions, you're probably missing out on some money. Bar inventory software gives you insight into these questions and more. Once you know the answers, you can react appropriately to cut costs and maximize profits.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bar Inventory Software

Some other questions you may have about bar inventory software, and finding the best bar inventory software include:

Which Provider Offers the Best Bar Inventory Software?

BinWise leads the industry when it comes to the best bar inventory software providers. We're one of many alternatives to Partender and Craftable, with a number of unique features. Just take our user-friendly app, for instance, Taking bar inventory and keeping up with stock levels has never been easier than it is for our clients!

Do All Bars Need to Leverage Bar Inventory Software?

Yes, if bar owners want to optimize labor and efficiency, they should invest in inventory software. Not only will doing so ensure that stock levels are accurate at all times, but it will save your staff significant amount of time. Say goodbye to work overload!

How Do You Run a Bar Inventory?

Essentially, a bar inventory entails counting everything you've got on hand, and keeping track as you make sales and purchase new inventory. Of course, it can get more complicated than that, as items fluctuate, some alcohol is given away (birthday drinks and more), and counting can open you up to errors. A software service like BinWise makes the whole process easier, you'll just count, and let the BinWise product functions carry the weight.

How Much Inventory Should a Bar Carry?

At any given moment, a bar should have enough inventory to cover the potential customers of any given day. The exact number your bar inventory should reach will depend on seats available, what you're selling, and how many days you go between restocking each item.

How Often Should a Bar Do Inventory?

Traditionally, most bars and restaurants do inventory once a month, with some work done accounting for variances each week and day. This can lead to a lot of work when that monthly time rolls around, especially if you keep extra product in warehousing and if you don't have a good inventory organization system set in place. With a software service like BinWise, you can practice inventory every day, or even just weekly, with the ease of using a barcode scanner app for inventory to count your products. A small amount of inventory work each day or week will save you time, money, and frustration in the long and short run.

Beverage inventory app

Modernize Your Inventory Taking

Now that you understand bar inventory apps, you can determine if you should invest in one for your business. We certainly think it's worth the cost. That's why BinWise has its own app to help automate your inventory. It provides the information you need to take your business to the next level. Don't leave money on the table when you don't have to. You'll also cut costs, so you can focus on finding how to increase restaurant sales. You should also create a comprehensive bar supplies list while you're at it.

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