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Take & Track Wine Inventory: Manually vs. Wine Inventory App

December 20, 2019
BinWise Staff

Have you ever popped open a bottle that you’d been saving for years, only to wish you had opened it sooner? Or wished you’d given your vintage bottle more time after you already opened it? A reliable wine inventory system paired with a bar point of sale system can make those problems disappear.

As a bar owner or manager, you will have to make important decisions like that from time to time. One of the best ways to avoid reducing the value of your bottles is to learn to manage wine inventory regularly and accurately.

Taking Your Wine Inventory

At its most basic, taking wine inventory is the process of counting everything you have, twice! Start with the front bar then slowly make your way to the back bar, cellar, and stock room. And any other place you store your wine. The first step is to write down all your products on a spreadsheet in the order that they are organized at your bar. Then begin counting every full bottle as a single unit. For opened and used wine bottles, inspect how much liquid is left inside by dividing the bottle into ten parts. Then rounding up to the nearest tenth. For example, if your bottle is halfway full, round it up to either 0.5 or 50% full. This process is called 'tenthing,' and is also used for beer keg inventory.

During this process, keep an eye out for spillage and breakage and take note of them. Then you can avoid having mixed up with how much has been poured. Once you have finished with the front bar, repeat the process for the other areas you use to store and serve wine. Your back bar, wine cellar, stock room, etc.

Make sure to keep track of bottles that you receive from your distributors in between inventory periods. Those will be necessary when you need to calculate inventory usage later. When you have to take a second inventory, whether in a week, two weeks, or a month, simply repeat the steps above. We recommend doing inventory every week for the most accurate numbers. Keep in mind that consistency is key in taking wine inventory. If you take your inventory from front to back, left to right, then repeat this same order when you take your next inventory.

Tracking Your Bar Inventory

Using a Restaurant Wine Inventory Spreadsheet

Many bars and restaurants track their inventory with a spreadsheet, which can be created using either Excel or Google Sheets. In the spreadsheet, include fields like Product Name and Category, Variety, Wine Maturity, Purchase Price, Amount, Number of Bottles, and other important information.

We even have a free bar inventory spreadsheet that you can use for wine, beer, and liquor. Simply download it then customize it to fit your bar’s unique needs and operation.  

Using a Wine Inventory App

However, taking inventory with spreadsheets can be tedious, especially when you have a large selection on offer. It's also more error-prone than using a wine inventory app.

Any mistakes made during the manual counting and recording process can result in serious financial consequences. That's why you should automate the process with bar inventory software like BinWise Pro. With a wine inventory app management system in place, you can easily:

  • Create a database of wine bottles that you own
  • Create a wine list or digital wine list for your guests that can be updated and modified quickly
  • Know exactly where bottles are stored
  • Know the many brands and flavors of wine you have in stock
  • Record which distributor you ordered your wine bottles from, when, and for how much
  • Know which bottles have been used, sold, and which ones need to be restocked
  • Know how long each bottle has been sitting on the shelves, and know which bottles are fast fast
  • Keep tasting notes and other important information
  • Calculate your pour cost, calculate variance, set par levels, and other important numbers quickly

Wine Management Made Easy

Staying on top of your wine inventory system is one of the most important bar manager duties. Not only is taking inventory necessary for monitoring sales patterns, it also helps informing buying decisions. You will know exactly what to order when you keep accurate records of what your bar has in stock and what you sold.

Contact us to learn more about BinWise Pro—an all-in-one bar inventory system. It can help automate and speed up the inventory process, while eliminating counting errors. It can also help you save time in managing your wine program and create your wine list. Not to mention help you calculate inventory usage, pour cost, and other important financial numbers within a few seconds. All to help you boost your profit margins.