It’s no secret that successful bar and restaurant owners spend more time on the floor than in the cellar or walk-in. But managing inventory is a key driver of success for hospitality businesses. While it can be a pain, operators have to spend some time making sure they have the right stock to keep dishes and drinks flowing out to diners and drinkers.

Whether they run a booming wine bodega or a cutting-edge Asian fusion café, there are quick and easy ways for owners to take inventory, giving them more time with their VIPs – their customers.

Prepare a par for your stock

Based on your menu, find a base amount, also known as a par, for your inventory. The par should take into account customer demand for drinks and dishes that use particular ingredients. When your stock runs below your set par, it’s time to order more inventory. Having a par means bartenders and servers have the right amount of stock on hand and don’t have to run to the back for ingredients in the middle of a shift. It also cuts down on opportunities for theft and cutting corners on inventory tracking. Click here to learn more about determining par for your stock on Craftable’s blog.

Decide how to count your inventory

Whether you use an app or a scale or just try to eyeball your stock, it’s important to make sure your entire staff is counting the same way. Orderly recommends selecting a specific team to do inventory. Having multiple people involved in the process reduces the possibility that your inventory will be counted incorrectly or inconsistently. It also places importance on the task and communicates to your staff that accurate inventory is critical for your success. Additionally, a consistent measuring system ensures you have enough ingredients on hand at any given time, and cuts down on the risk of ingredients being stolen off your shelves.

Take inventory by storage location

Bars and restaurants may have multiple locations where they store inventory, depending on where specific stock is needed. Don’t try to count each individual ingredient across your bar or restaurant at once. Instead, organize how you count inventory by the number of storage locations you have. Counting by location helps complete inventory faster and reduces the risk of miscounting and other errors.

Keep track of daily sales

Looking at your daily numbers doesn’t have to be a long or drawn-out process – even a five-minute review can help you keep track of popular dishes and drinks. Looking at sales each day instead of weekly or monthly gives you a better idea of what is and isn’t selling, Toast reported. You can then make faster changes to inventory planning and purchasing, and meet demand for top-selling plates or beverages that require particular ingredients. Technology can make tracking your daily sales a much faster process.

86 pens and paper

In today’s hospitality industry, dozens of technology platforms have taken the place of pens and paper. Manually recording your inventory can leave you prone to errors and can make stock management a daily, if not hourly, chore. Consider ditching pens and paper and investing in a point-of-sale system that can provide daily stock reports. Craftable (hospitality management software) also integrates into more than 60 POS systems and can provide a real-time look at your inventory and sales. When it’s time to order more stock, Craftable offers a one-stop shop for all your vendors.

No matter what type of hospitality business you own, Craftable’s tools can help you better manage your inventory. Sign up for a free trial and stock up for success.