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Kali Mireva

Beverage Damage Control & Loss Prevention in Country Clubs

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Those running country clubs know the struggle of figuring out all the details. From planning the year-round and seasonal menu, as well as the wine lists to creating signature cocktails, stocking specialty coffee, and everything in between - it requires hard work. 

Organizing inventory is challenging even if you run just a bar or a restaurant, but in country clubs, it’s all taken to another level. Damage control and loss prevention get harder and harder the more inventory you have to handle. 

We know that very well. That’s why we want to help any business owner or country club manager struggling to keep things running smoothly or looking to improve their processes to avoid possible issues. 

First, let’s talk about how to keep country club drinks in great condition and how to do damage control. Then, we will let you in on ways to streamline the inventory process and keep everything in check time-consuming and tedious manual counting. 

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Beverage Loss Prevention in Country Clubs

Country club members enjoy golf, swimming, nice social events or just relaxing in a beautiful, peaceful environment. And what goes really well with all of these things? Nice, refreshing summer drinks or anything from the latest adult beverage trends! These could even be delicious and fancy non-alcoholic drinks.

Creating a great beverage program for your country club should be a high priority. But the work doesn’t finish with the creation of the program. You then have to maintain inventory, organize all the bottles, make sure all beverages are in appropriate temperature-controlled storage, etc. 

Key Takeaway: A business can lose money by not properly managing its inventory. Common issues are having too much inventory that can’t be used up, expired inventory, and theft.

Store Beverages the Right Way

To keep all the beverages from your inventory in top condition, you must know what type of beverage storage to use. This is crucial part of damage control.

  • Wine should be stored in a wine cellar or wine fridge, laying on the side (if the bottle is closed with a cork). Wine storage is crucial for the proper aging of wine, even for your private label bottles. The temperature should be right as well. Anywhere between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit will cool the wine but not make it cold, which is perfect for long-term storage. 
  • Whiskey should be stored at 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottles should be placed upright and they should be stored away from light to keep its qualities. 
  • Beer should be stored in a cool, dry space that’s not in direct sunlight. The optimal temperature for storage is between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Vodka, gin, rum, and tequila should also be stored in a cooler environment - at 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. They are all great base spirits for any country club's signature drinks. Once the bottle is down to ⅓ full, in order to limit oxidation and preserve flavor, you should use it up as fast as possible.

Use Alcohol Before It Expires

Expiration dates are always written on the bottles of the different types of alcohol. When doing inventory, it’s important to check these dates to make sure that you use up alcohol before it expires (see also: alcohol expiration). See if the bottles are stored the right way, which can prevent issues, but it's an easy damage control method to follow.

It’s a good practice to add a special offer or create a new cocktail with alcohol that needs to be used up in the near future. To create something really special that would make sense for your country club, it’s best to work with an experienced mixologist

Another good practice you should implement is not overordering. If you keep good track of how much and what people drink in your country club, you will be able to plan more realistically the quantities you need to order, which will limit the times you need to think about damage control and loss prevention. When you don’t overorder, you will be able to use up all bottles before they expire. It will also be a lot easier to manage inventory when you don’t have more than what’s needed or expected to be consumed over a certain period of time.

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How To Minimize Stock Losses in Your Country Club

The loss of inventory (beverage or other kind) will affect any business in the hospitality industry. Inventory shrinkage leads to a loss of profit, which is a serious issue. 

If you notice discrepancies between the actual inventory and the inventory on record, you need to do something about damage control and loss prevention. What can lead to this issue? The most common reasons are: 

  • Misplaced stock
  • Customer or employee theft
  • Shipping errors
  • Inefficient recordkeeping
  • Order fill errors

Although losses caused by errors in the entry are inaccurate losses, stock losses due to theft are true losses that you have suffered. To prevent the latter from happening, you should follow a few damage control and loss prevention steps. Let’s see what they are!

Train Your Employees

A percentage of inventory losses are due to theft. So one of the first things you need to do for loss prevention and damage control is to train your employees. They need to be aware that theft can happen and if they notice something suspicious, they should react. 

The good thing about being in a country club is that people usually know each other, and they would not want to do any harm and damage the relationships they’ve built. However, there’s still a possibility you may encounter theft issues. 

Invest in an Inventory Management Program

Just like in many other industries, technology is improving fast and can be extremely helpful. A great way to keep everything in check is to implement the use of beverage inventory software

If you use software, such as BinWise Pro, you will be able to track everything going in and out without the hassle of manual counting. You can take advantage of digital ordering, take inventory faster and easier, and even do all the invoicing.

The inventory management program can work with 50 different POS systems, which will streamline the process even more. You will have access to detailed reports and analyses that will aid you in building an even more successful wine list and beverage menu. 

When you are not using a manual way to track inventory, you decrease significantly the chances of any human errors. You also won’t have to invest that much time into tracking the inventory. Losses will be caught much easier when the inventory is tracked using inventory management software. Damage control is so much easier this way!

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Frequently Asked Questions about Beverage Damage Control & Loss Prevention

Since this is a big topic, you probably still have some questions related to beverage damage control and loss prevention. Here are some more answers for you!

Why Is Calculating Inventory Shrinkage Important?

Inventory is money you store on your business’ property. That’s why it’s important to keep proper statistics and make sure you are not losing money.

Damage control is one way to keep your inventory in check but also, you need to make sure there are no other reasons that may lead to losses (such as theft). When you are closely and consistently monitoring your inventory, you will be able to identify issues way faster and find better solutions. 

How to Minimize Damaged and/or Expired Inventory?

Make sure your inventory is stored at the right temperature, in the right amount of light, that the shelves are not too heavily loaded with stuff, and that expiration dates are checked regularly. By doing all of these things, you can save a lot of inventory from going bad.

Sometimes, something as little as too much light can damage stored away alcohol before it is even opened. That’s why if you are a country club or restaurant owner, you have to make sure all beverages are stored in the recommended way. 

What to Do with Expired Alcohol?

Do not use bottles of expired alcohol in your business. Once you realize that some of the beverages you serve are no longer good for consumption, make sure you discard them.

Since you are serving alcohol to larger groups in your country club, you have to make sure that everything that comes out of your inventory storage is good to consume. Do regular inventory checkups and remove anything that’s not good to use. If you notice an expiration date coming up, make sure the bottle is used up before that, so you don’t lose the money you spent to buy the alcohol. 

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