Does A Bar Inventory Spreadsheet Work?

Does A Bar Inventory Spreadsheet Work?
Bar Inventory - June 03, 2022 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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Whether you’ve been researching bar inventory management systems for a while now, or are just starting out, the first option you’ll likely gravitate towards is a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are an inexpensive and seemingly easy-to-use tool for managing your bar and restaurant inventory. But do they really work?

Are spreadsheets the right tool for managing your bar inventory?

If you’re just starting off, you may be able to get away with using a spreadsheet to keep track of your inventory, but you will soon realize that spreadsheets leave a lot to be desired.

First and foremost, spreadsheets rely on manual calculations unless you are familiar with creating formulas. If you are familiar with formulas, there’s still a risk that your formulas will accidentally be altered or removed. This is especially true if you let multiple staff members use the spreadsheet during routine inventory counts.

If you hope to go beyond basic quantity counts to determine important KPIs - like PAR levels, inventory usage and many more - you will have to research and add even more formulas. This leads to more opportunities for error.

In addition, spreadsheets don’t integrate with other systems. This means that you can’t benefit from automation. As a result, you’ll have to spend more time transferring over data and reconciling systems.

More importantly, spreadsheets weren’t designed for bar inventory. That means that you’re missing out on features that can help simplify processes and improve decision-making to increase profitability. This includes real-time data, inventory reporting and integrations with other software solutions like your point-of-sale POS system. 

So, what is the right solution for bar inventory management?

When choosing an inventory management solution for your bar or restaurant, an easy way to record data, automate processes and receive insightful metrics is to use a bar inventory app or bar inventory software

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Here’s how your business will benefit from moving away from the use of a bar inventory spreadsheet, to the use of technology instead:

  1. Bar inventory management software and apps have formulas preprogrammed into the system. This means they can’t be accidentally modified, which guarantees correct and consistent calculations every time.
  2. Even if you are a spreadsheet pro, setting them up takes time. A bar inventory app is much easier to implement, meaning you can focus your time on other tasks - like finding ways to increase profitability.
  3. Inventory management apps integrate with other systems. This includes accounting software, point of sale systems, barcoding and more. That means that these systems can communicate with your inventory system in real-time, ensuring your data is up to date.
  4. Because you can integrate bar inventory apps with your other systems, it will reduce errors. This is because less information is being manually entered.
  5. You will be able to make better business decisions, as inventory apps provide more visibility and reporting.
  6. You will be able to easily review variance, which is the difference between the cost of goods sold and the cost of goods used. This gives you insight into how much product you are paying for, how much of that product you are using and what your profit from that product is.
  7. Inventory management systems make it far easier to train your staff by providing greater insight into your inventory so that bar managers can more easily identify and communicate improvements with employees.

If you are ready to transition from spreadsheets or seek your first inventory solution, opt for a bar inventory tool that will help you improve your business’ operations and bottom line.  Contact us today!.

Contact your Local Inventory Consultant Today


A Complete Buyer's Guide to Food & Beverage Inventory Management Systems

With around 25 to 35 percent of a restaurant’s operating budget dedicated to purchasing food (that’s not even taking into account beverage inventory costs for the bar), proper inventory management can significantly improve expected revenue.

To maximize profits you need to improve visibility and control over your restaurant or bar’s inventory. 

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