How to Inventory Liquor in a Bar

How to Inventory Liquor in a Bar
Bar Inventory - August 30, 2022 Written By: Krista Dinsmore

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Maintaining a bar inventory is critical to ensuring you have a fully stocked bar to meet customer demand while reducing wasted product. It also provides insights and data so that you know exactly how your bar is performing and where to make improvements. 

There are several different methods you can use to inventory liquor at your bar, each with their own pros and cons. We take a look at some of the top ways in which you can perform inventory of liquor in your bar.


The first method you can use to inventory your liquor is tenthing. For this method, you will eyeball the bottle to estimate how much liquor is still in the bottle to the nearest tenth. 

This process is incredibly subjective, which means there’s a lot of room for error. Manually eyeballing each bottle can also be a very slow process, especially with a larger inventory of open bottles. Not to mention that opaque bottles are even more difficult to tenth since the only way to see where the alcohol is, is to look through the opening of the bottle. 

Electronic tenthing 

Modern technology allows businesses to upload images of their bottles into their inventory management systems. The counter would then place a line on the image, where the alcohol starts, and the inventory system will determine how much is remaining. 

This process is better than manual tenting but still leaves a lot of room for error. 


If you are weighing your bar inventory, you will need a set of electronic scales. If you use an bar inventory management system, these scales can often be integrated with the software to help automate the recording process. 

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To inventory the liquor, employees will place each bottle on the scale one at a time. The weight of the bottle will then be entered into your inventory management system. If you are weighing the product without software integration, you will have to manually enter the weights. 

This method provides the most accurate inventory count, is objective and takes much less time. 

Once you have your liquor quantities, you can then calculate inventory usage. To do this you need:

  • The inventory count at the beginning of a specified period
  • The ending inventory for the same period 
  • How much stock you received during the period 

Once you have this information, you can use the following calculation to determine usage: 

Inventory Usage = Opening Inventory + Purchases Received – Closing Inventory 

For more information on how to inventory your bar / restaurant liquor and the benefits of hospitality inventory software, contact our team 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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