The remaining articles discuss managing the business
side of the bar, which begins with providing the beverages
to be sold to customers. No matter how much experience
a bar owner has, it is sometimes difficult to keep
up with trends and how they affect beverage orders.
Rarely is a liquor or wine order ‘‘standard’’ from week to week and
month to month, yet a steady supply of product must be maintained
and tracked to ensure that what is being purchased actually produces
sales. Managing the storeroom is a third priority. This includes both
physical care to maintain the quality of the products and theft prevention
to maintain quantity.
This article examines purchasing policies and decisions; the routines
of purchasing, receiving, and issuing; the inventory records and
procedures commonly used; and the use of inventory figures to measure
bar cost and purchasing efficiency.
* Decide what, when, where, and how much liquor, beer, and wine to
* Decide what to look for when selecting suppliers and examining
their prices and discounts.
* Establish par stock for each bar and minimum and maximum storeroom
* Know the functions and relationships of purchase orders, invoices,
and credit memos.
* Set up routines for ordering and receiving.
* Store each type of beverage properly, efficiently, and safely.
* Establish inventory procedures and conduct physical inventories.
* Determine inventory value, bar cost, and inventory-turnover rate.
You may wonder how such a straightforward subject as buying liquor
and supplying it to the bar could take up so many pages. Part
of the answer is that alcoholic beverages are an investment in
income-producing stock and there are many facets to making the
best investment for the least money. Another part of the answer is
that the purchasing and record-keeping processes are critical to other
aspects of the business. Still another part is that alcohol has an irresistible attraction
for many people so if you don’t keep track of it, it will ‘‘evaporate,’’ so to speak.
The goal of beverage purchasing is to provide a steady supply of ingredients for
the drinks you sell at costs that will maximize profits. The purchasing function
moves in a continuous cycle with several distinct phases:
* Planning and ordering. Selecting what you need at the most advantageous
* Receiving. Taking delivery of exactly what you have ordered—brands, sizes, and
quantities—at the specified prices and in good condition.
* Storing. Keeping your beverage supplies in a place that is secure against theft
and deterioration until needed.
* Issuing. Transferring your beverages from storeroom to bar, where they will be
used to make drinks for your customers.