barman hand at beer tap pouring draught lager beer serving in a restaurant or pub.

It’s crazy to think that just a few years ago, restaurants and bars were still using rulers and scales to keep track of how much product is going out each night. And for some, this is a great plan – hey, if it ain’t broke, right?

But if your bar has a POS system, then your liquor inventory management is just a few clicks away. So, put down that scale and start exploring your POS system capabilities beyond the cash register – you might just save a lot of time and more gray hairs!

Inventory

Gone are the days of shaking tapped kegs and trying to eyeball those ornate liqueur bottles. Instead, you can use your restaurant POS to set a baseline for your current beer, wine, and liquor inventory, then establish how much goes into each type of drink.

At the end of the night, you’ll have a precise consumption amount based on the bar POS report of sales, specialty orders and the like. Your staff won’t have to wearily determine complex figures at the end of a long shift – the POS is there with restaurant analytics, so they don’t have to be.

busy bar

Ordering

Of course, just knowing how much product you have left isn’t enough. Your bar POS has initiative! Once reports are run, the POS system compares these totals against your initial baseline to give a real-time account of how much inventory you have left for each item.

No more running to the cooler to find empty crates where bourbon should be – the POS system will warn you of this well ahead of time, to ensure you’re prepped for the next service. Soon, the data you accrue night overnight, and week over week will help you make predictive orders, so your bar quickly becomes known as “the one that has everything we like.”

In fact, the POS system will also automate your ordering, so if you know you’re going to move 150 gin martinis every Friday night (based on past trends) your establishment will be fully stocked with all the olives and vermouth necessary to make for a fully stocked, enjoyable happy hour for all.

restaurant inventory spreadsheet template

Food cost is one of the largest expenses for the restaurant, and one of the most overlooked areas for improvement and control.

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Yes, even beer consumption can be tracked. You might not know how much beer should come from a fresh keg, but your bar POS does.

No more paperwork

Some bars ignore inventory reports because they’re difficult. Most bars despise creating inventory reports because they’re difficult. You get the point – reporting is the worst.

If you have a POS system and aren’t using it to track inventory, you’re wasting time.

It’s also necessary to run your bar like a true business. And your bar POS software is prepared to shoulder the heavy load from this point forward. Your restaurant and bar POS system can track every drop that goes out, gather sales history from previous months and years, gauge employee performance, and more.

And yes, it can keep an eye on customer purchasing trends. Remember when “Sex and the City” debuted, and a million bars were caught running low on the needed ingredients for a perfect “Carrie Cosmopolitan?” If they had a proper POS system all those years ago, they would have noticed the boost in vodka and cranberry juice consumption, keeping customers from turning into a grumpy Miranda.

Okay, we’re going to be bold here: If you have a POS system and aren’t using it to track inventory, you’re wasting time. Running a bar operation isn’t easy, so letting your POS handle the grunt work of inventory and reporting is a smart way to let your staff focus on the more important things, like creating an outstanding experience for customers.

See How Upserve POS Can Assist in Your Inventory Management!

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Brad Bortone is a writer, editor and content marketer, published in areas ranging from content strategy to music reviews, and seemingly everywhere in between. Brad's love of the food industry began during his tenure with Johnson & Wales University's web team, writing countless pieces about - and enjoying countless lunches from - the school's esteemed culinary program.