Conducting regular inventories on your liquor bottles is one of the easiest ways to manage your costs and your inventory levels. By conducting these inventories, you will be able to react to discrepancies faster than if you do not conduct an inventory in your nightclub. During these inventories, your specific brands and kinds of liquor need to be accounted for. For example, you should not inventory 20 bottles of tequila, but rather 5 bottles of brand A, 8 bottles of brand X super premium, etc. By having the specific bottles accounted for, you can determine more quickly what needs to be reordered to maintain inventory selling levels. It also helps determine if there is a theft issue going on.
What many clubs overlook are liquor bottle overages. It might seem like a great bonus having additional bottles that what you think you haven’t paid your suppliers for. The reality is that there is not a physical way to have an overage all on its own. Bottles do not grow themselves back in a stock room. The only way for an overage to occur is through some kind of error.
It is possible that when a supplier brought you a shipment that they miscounted the bottles to be delivered and you were in fact given an extra bottle. The likelihood of that happening, is actually very slim. Most suppliers do a specific item count, as well as a total piece count on their shipments. If one number was off, the vendor probably would have caught the mistake in their piece count and you were probably shorted another bottle of product.
This can happen as an honest error, or it can happen through a form of vendor fraud. By giving you more bottles of a lower priced item, they still charge you for more expensive bottles driving up your liquor costs and decreasing your actual sales margins. If it isn’t the vendor creating inventory issues, you should probably look at your employees as the root cause of your inventory overages.
There is a surprising amount of theft that actually creates an overage- instead of a shortage. We see it is cash theft where an employee is creating fraudulent returns. There is usually an overage of cash, and a seemingly unrelated shortage in inventory.
For bartenders and bottle service waitresses, an inventory overage could be a result of miss charging customers, for their own gain. A bartender can short their pours and still charge customers the same price. Then they have additional product left in a bottle. They can then either take the additional shot for themselves, their friends, or they can sell it and pocket the cash. If they are not able to use the shot before the end of their shift, it will cause an overage in your inventory.
A waitress can do a similar scheme. By selling (ringing in your pos) a higher priced bottle, but giving the client a lower priced bottle for their table, they have created an overage. This allows them to go back and give a higher priced bottle to someone (or themselves) later on. If their shift ends and they have not switched out the second bottle, you are left with an overage in your inventory.
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