How to do liquor inventory

Written by george lawrence
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How to do liquor inventory
Take liquor inventory by accurately counting your total alcohol stock. (liquor image by Renee Woodward from

Proper liquor control is essential to a bar or restaurant’s financial well-being. According to, if your bar or restaurant has unopened bottles on your shelf, they “represent money that could be better invested” elsewhere. Furthermore, loose liquor control (where employees can offer drinks for free or sneak drinks for themselves) can cost the business money. Maximise your profits by reducing your overall liquor costs; you can accomplish this by taking proper liquor inventory.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bar control inventory software or blank spreadsheets

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  1. 1

    Purchase a liquor control inventory system or use blank spreadsheets to take inventory by hand. Commercial products total your count and keep accurate records but cost money (typically more than £65).

  2. 2

    Organise your inventory sheet by type of liquor (gin, whiskey, beer, etc.) and by brand. Tally one count for each full bottle of liquor you have on your spreadsheet.

  3. 3

    Reserve space in your spreadsheet and record approximate amounts remaining in your liquor bottles. For example, assume you have three and a half bottles of Bombay Gin. In one column, you would record three full bottles of Bombay Gin. In the next column, write that you have one half of a bottle in use.

  4. 4

    Add totals and recount each bottle in your bar to check your work.

  5. 5

    Recount and conduct inventory weekly. Check your totals against your point of sale data (how many sales you have made of each product in the week). Check the amount remaining in each liquor bottle or the amount of beer and wine bottles of each brand in your stock. Order only enough product so that when you run out of one type of liquor, you are receiving an order for exactly what you need to get by.

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