Although you may have heard the expression “a penny saved is an ounce earned”, it does not accurately reflect how much we gain from cutting costs without sacrificing quality. Controlling overhead lets, you invest in training and bar upgrades to improve your business’s performance and increase your revenue.
Although careful menu planning and minimizing waste are great ways of preventing loss, savings should begin at the purchasing stage. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for bulk and package deals or thinking strategically about how to cross-utilize liquor behind the bar. There are many ways to save money on liquor and supplies. According to industry experts, here’s how.
Initiate an inventory system
You should have a system to track your orders, deliveries, and usage before purchasing. This is a long-term, ongoing project that will allow you to account for human error and theft, loss and breakage. Please make sure everyone in your team tracks inventory and manages it the same way. If someone is not following up, they can be held responsible.
You’re familiar with an inventory. It’s tedious work. But think about it: An efficient inventory management system can cut costs and provide valuable data for menu planning or drink creation. What were your top-selling drinks? Which product was the most successful? How can you make sure that your successes are repeated?
You can make strategic buying decisions by managing your inventory by identifying high-volume purchases or recurring orders and buying bulk.
Reno Christou, the owner of NYC’s Elea and Kyma, says that buying in bulk can help you save a lot of money if you have the storage space and the money to lay it out. This is especially true for high-volume categories such as vodka and tequila. It is crucial to maintain a precise inventory count when bulk buying. There is no point in having money sitting on shelves. Incorrect inventory could result in over-ordering.
You can ask your distributor or vendor about storage options for your order, even if you don’t have enough space. Salvatore Tafuri is the bar director at The Times Square Edition in NYC. “The size and amount of the business will determine how much savings you can make,” he says. Consider the “bill on hold” policy. This allows spirits to be bought at a favorable price and remain at the distributor. Storage fees can also be minimized, which further drives savings.
Do not ignore the bottom shelf
Many under-appreciated and cost-effective gems can be found on the bottom shelf. Mellow Corn whiskey, or any random fruit syrup you may have lying around, are just a few examples. These ingredients can add depth and complexity to cocktails with multiple ingredients.
Splitting bases in shaken drinks might be a good idea. It could be beneficial for your cocktails.
Be kind to your distributors
Treat your distributors well to get the best bulk and volume deals. This will increase your business and create goodwill that can lead to you being the first to learn about smart deals and new products.
My Raymond, the owner of Reserve 101 Houston, says that it’s all about building a relationship. I see working with brands as a long-term partnership. I want to keep my businesses around for the long term. I don’t want deals that break down bridges but mutually advantageous deals for both sides.
Raymond said that he meets vendors once a calendar year to discuss their priorities and share his own. He says that sometimes this means tastings, and we make volume deals at other times. Volume deals focus on our cocktail menu, and the brands listed to ensure each drink is a hit.
Cross-Utilize Anywhere You Can
“What are you looking for on your menu? And how many uses can it be used?” Cross-utilizing allows you to purchase bulk items to get the best prices and brand support,” Darnell Holguin, a partner in NYC’s Las’ Lap.
You can make drinks with leftover products, but this requires extra training and menu editing. This might not be worth it. Think strategically right from the beginning. The gin cocktail you launched for summer can also use your good gin. Is the single-malt Scotch that you use for your Old Fashioned also suitable for the smoky Scotch you serve with Penicillin? Your bar staples can be used anywhere else while encouraging creativity.
Your staff will be more familiar with the inventory if they are taught how important it is. Bars that encourage bartenders to contribute recipes will find this helpful. They’ll think strategically about cross-utilization and filling in any gaps.