Growing nightclubs and bars with complex product needs require managers with above-average skills in the areas of organization, communication and judgement. When a busy venue has multiple bookings, and each booking has special needs that must be met, a liquor manager who is tuned into the requirements of the business is absolutely vital. Keeping track of a busy venue’s liquor inventory requirements can be extremely challenging.
Here are some tips on staying on top of things.
Keep All Notes in One Place
Effective managers understand the need to keep their notes in one place so they don’t need to go looking for the information they need to place a large liquor order. This is important because information vital for liquor orders often comes in brief conversations in highly distracting environments (like during an after-work happy hour rush). Smartphone calendars tend to work best because the phone is always on the manager, and the calendar feature enables managers to track time-sensitive information relative to deadlines.
When a manager gets into the habit of not committing to anything verbally until they can schedule it into their calendar, it prevents forgetfulness and ensures that the liquor order will go smoothly.
A great liquor manager has their attention fully focused on the order when they are placing it. It is not ideal for liquor managers to be placing large orders while constantly being interrupted. Small errors in judgement, like ordering the wrong product or the wrong quantity of a product, can result in large, costly mistakes that later must be corrected. There are also mistakes that a liquor manager will find when reviewing the subtotal of their order before submitting it. To find these errors, a liquor manager must be concentrating on what they are doing.
Managers who struggle with focus often struggle with large liquor orders.
Look Beyond the Pars
Great liquor managers know there is a grey area between a bar’s theoretical par and what is realistically required for effective operations. This is important to note, as most bar managers will set their pars based on weekly usage, which is not always the best way to determine what to order. For instance, bars that have multiple bar stations within the venue require higher inventory par levels simply to keep each station fully stocked. These requirements may far exceed what the weekly usage level suggests is the theoretical par for the business.
There are also intangible situations, like factoring in the time kegs require to settle down from being delivered and cool down to the proper temperature (approximately 48 hours). Lastly, there are times when a bar must order more than normal, due to seasonality or special events happening in the local market. Effective liquor managers understand these factors, and take them into consideration when placing large orders.