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Pub Stocktaking Will Get You Back In Control

Stocktaking is so critically important for pub owners. It allows you to know exactly how much you sell of Vodka a week? Beer, wines, spirits and so on. It tells you how much you are you wasting a week. What your gross profit is. It can tell you if you are losing stock. There is an abundance of information you can gather from doing a good stocktake. This information allows you to make great decisions about your business.

If you feel you don’t have a good handle on the key number of your business then a good stock taking routine can help you to take back control.

  • Count it – During a stocktake you must count everything in your pub, make sure you count each and every bottle and shot including the bottle of crème de menthe that’s been there since 2001 when you took over! The stocktake result must be processed on the day of the count enabling you to recheck any unexpected variances. Information that you need to have to hand to process your result: – your takings, purchases/delivery notes, sales information, any cheap sales, promotions, complimentary and wastage details. The pub stocktake report should give you an overall cash surplus or deficit on stock and your actual Gross Profit against a Potential Gross Profit.
  • Buy it/Sell it – During the pub stocktake, all your selling prices should be checked and cost prices updated ensuring that each products individual Gross Profits can be scrutinised by yourself. The stocktake should uncover where your buying habits are hurting your business; do you buy 1 product from 2 different suppliers, getting a high Gross Profit on one and very low on the other, hurting your own Gross Profit. The Gross Profit for each product can help you with Fridge layouts, so high GP items can be put at eye level and also on display, these are the products you want your team to be selling and recommending, ask yourself do you have enough hours in the day, to do this yourself? Do you trust one of your key personnel enough to do it for you?
  • Products – It’s all in the detail, your pub stocktake report should be giving you information on consumption of each individual product during your stocktake period (normally monthly or once per period) you can use this for ordering, par levels, promotions, staff incentives, delisting slow moving lines, keeping an eye on best before dates, getting creative with stock that’s not selling e.g. cocktails. Numerous Flavours; are you short of fridge space and stocking apple this, passionfruit that, which sells?!! Your stocktake report should show you, your most popular lines and enable you to streamline your fridges and reduce your stockholding, keeping more money in the Bank and less in the cellar. The stocktake should highlight where your tills have multiple buttons for certain products or where you have rogue pricing of products, at the time of the stocktake you should also be checking your voids, refunds and No sales on your till reports and highlight training needs or even possible dodgy activity.
  • Reporting – Your stocktake report should be giving you accurate information on your gains and or losses on each line for the period, you can then cross match these against Wastage and Complimentary drinks to see if there is anything you can’t explain, and unexplainable losses need to be your focus from now on: Where did it go? Who stole it? Was it delivered? Are my tills recording it properly? Your stocktake report should uncover areas where you thought good sales and profit were being made, but in fact because of losses which you weren’t aware of, profit is going down to drain or someone’s throat. These discoveries can be rectified simply by till reprogramming on occasions but can highlight bigger fish you need to fry, the need for team training in wine storage, pouring or even product knowledge, as the best wine is being served as house wine and is losing you money.
  • Plan for Profit – You need to be scrutinising your result, checking it’s accuracy and then putting together key recommendations for you and your team going forward, you need to communicate the results to you team, set goals, monitor key lines daily or weekly, investigate the variances and challenge your key personnel. Surpluses are as bad as deficits because your customers are being ripped off and may feel it, notice it and not return or your profit is going down the drain.

You need a whole day set aside for a pub stocktake, it needs to be a minimum of monthly so you can effectively investigate variances. Can you afford this time? You need to have no interruptions as you could lose track or in fact count something twice. As a manager, I can hear you thinking do I ever have a day like this? From 8am onwards you are wanted!!! The phone, a delivery, an enquiry, a customer, if this is your answer, then maybe investigate into having it done externally, the stocktaker can do everything and then highlight all that you need to know. Make it work for you.