Using a bar inventory spreadsheet or liquor inventory sheet can lessen the pain of what is typically the least favorite part of restaurateurs' and bar managers' jobs: liquor inventory management.
Counting bottles and estimating usage are necessary parts of taking bar inventory if you want to run a successful and profitable beverage program, but there are ways you can make the process easier, faster, and less overwhelming.
Like using a bar inventory spreadsheet or bar inventory templates, and of course, using a bar pos system.
Before you head down to your cellar or pop behind your bar with a clipboard and pencil in hand, you need to make sure you understand some basic inventory terms and concepts to help ensure your final inventory report is error-free.
Bar Inventory Spreadsheet Terms to Know
As you know, the best way to take an accurate inventory count is to do so over a certain period of time. Because you’re creating an inventory period, you will have a starting, received, and ending inventory.
- Starting inventory: your count on the first day of your inventory period
- Received inventory: the number of products that are delivered during your inventory period
- Ending inventory: the amount of product left over at the end of an inventory period
Should You Use an Bar Inventory Template?
Depending on the size of your beverage program, counting inventory can take a lot of time. For some restaurants and bars, it can even take an entire day or more. Knowing this, why wouldn’t you want to find ways to save time taking inventory?
If you’re a busy beverage or bar manager, inventory spreadsheet templates are a good option when you want to get the inventory process over with quickly. What's more, they're convenient, cost-effective, and easy to use.
All you have to do is download it, fill in all of your program’s information, then get to counting! Having a record of your inventory can help you easily determine cost percentages and generating historical inventory reports.
If you want to become a great bar manager, we've got advice for that too!
Anatomy Of A Bar Inventory Spreadsheet
In order to keep the inventory counting process running smoothly, you need to make sure your spreadsheet is organized and that information is entered consistently throughout the document. This will make it easier to read and compare data in the future.
Before you begin using a bar inventory spreadsheet, make sure the document consists of the following columns:
- Product category
- Product name
- Format (liquor bottle sizes, beer keg sizes, etc.)
- Starting inventory, received inventory, ending inventory
- Inventory usage
Our downloadable Excel liquor inventory spreadsheet also includes columns for:
- Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
These final two columns are only in the Excel version because Excel helps calculate your bar's variance. If you're not calculating variance, you don't need the final two columns.
To make counting inventory easier, do not worry about organizing your rows by alcohol category until you are done entering your data and you are ready to create reports. Instead, the first row of your spreadsheet should be the first item you are counting. The second row will be the second item you are counting, and so on.
Free Bar Inventory Spreadsheet Template
Preparing to take inventory shouldn’t be a long and complicated process. In fact, to help make the process more efficient, we have created a free, easy-to-use and customizable beverage inventory spreadsheet for restaurants and bars.
Click the image below to download your free bar inventory spreadsheet and start counting your inventory now!
You can also use this Excel bar inventory spreadsheet if you'd prefer to fill the spreadsheet out on a computer. Just download it and open it in Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
Insider Tips For Mastering Inventory
Becoming an expert at managing bar inventory is not something that will happen overnight. What works well for craft cocktail speakeasy may not necessarily be the most efficient option taking wine inventory at a Michelin Star restaurant, or taking beer inventory at a local sports bar. It takes time to develop a process that works best for you and your bar staff. With that said, here are some tried-and-true methods that will help you master the art of inventory.
5 Best Ways To Count Inventory
- Choose an inventory period and be consistent: Pick an inventory period, either weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and stick to it. Remember to always take your inventory at the same time, preferably when your restaurant or bar is closed, and count your bottles in the same order from left to right.
- Stay organized. Use the same spreadsheet template each time you do inventory, and keep both digital and hard copies of reports.
- Train your staff. Teach your employees how to count inventory using your spreadsheet, and make sure they are familiar with the Rule of 10ths, and can identify shrink (spillage, breakage, theft via overpours, or comps). For even more effectiveness, put all this information in your bar staff training manual.
- Create a transfer log. Know exactly where your products are by tracking when a bottle is moved from your cellar or storage room to the bar.
- Use a digital beverage inventory management solution. A bar inventory software like BinWise Pro can make counting bottles and running a profitable bar program way easier.
When it comes to developing an inventory action plan, you will have some trial and error while figuring out what works best for your restaurant or bar. Before settling into a routine, take time to think about what has worked well for you in the past, and what processes can be improved. Doing so can help you identify your program’s weak points, and better optimize the process going forward.