Inventory sucks. No argument there. And a good inventory system will definitely make it easier so you can run your business more efficiently and profitable, but the problem is that bar and liquor inventory software is sprouting up all over the place, overrunning our industry like a legion of ants converging on a sticky counter top. So where do you begin trying to find the right bar and liquor inventory software for your bar and restaurant?
Since Bar Patrol was founded in 2011, we have seen a couple dozen or so inventory apps/systems emerge during that time and scramble to tell the bar industry how amazing they are, even though the people behind the curtain aren’t necessarily “bar industry legit”. Turns out many of them are just a bunch of Silicon Valley tech geeks jumping on the good idea wagon.
And so how do you choose one that’s right for you? As an owner or manager, implementing new procedures for you and your staff is overwhelming enough, let alone having an array of systems to choose from.
As a result, many of you will eventually throw your hands up in disgust and simply stay with the routine you know and are comfortable with: the old clipboard and tally mark routine. But that’s not good for your business. Or for you.
In the end, you must find a bar liquor and inventory system that is the best fit for you, because all these companies are claiming that their system is the best thing since the Snuggy, which is a total lie because the Snuggy is flat-out awesome.
When it comes down to it, there’s a lot to consider:
Are you a small bar or are you a mega-huge nightclub with 11 satellite bars.
Do you want you something more complex with lots of hardware, including laptops and scanners? Or do you want the ease of a mobile device and app?
Do you need exhaustive analytics that can tell you how many oz. Sally poured 9 seconds ago and the weather report for the next 3 days? Or do you just want to count your inventory faster so you can do your ordering and figure your pour cost percentage? Or somewhere in between?
That’s what I had to figure out when I first founded Bar Patrol and had to determine what type of software I was going to create for me and my clients. And after trying several other systems and software out, and after taking literally thousands of inventories for my business, I still wasn’t sure what owners and managers wanted. And that’s because I thought they wanted and needed their inventory system to have as many features as possible.
As a result, when I first started designing the skeleton of the Bar Patrol App for my developers to create, I told them I wanted it to produce every report you could imagine and integrate with every piece of software that the restaurant industry had to offer and bake me a lasagna while it was at it.
But the more features I added, the more complicated it got and the more difficult it was to train the owners and managers on how to use it (not to mention the cost I was incurring to my developers to have all these features added). Eventually the owners and managers just got frustrated and wouldn’t use it.
So I eventually stopped what I was doing and I got smart. I went out and spoke with more than two dozen owners and managers face-to-face about what they would want in an inventory system, and the same answer kept coming back. 1) They wanted inventory to be faster, 2) They wanted it to be easy to use, and 3) They didn’t want to spend a lot of money to get it. That’s it.
Message received. And so I went back to the drawing board and came up with the new vision: Fast, simple and affordable.
After all, I realized, we’re bar managers. We’re smart enough, but we’re not accountants or micro-biologists. We have employees to lead and guests to take care of. We don’t have time to figure a bunch of shit out. We just want the systems we use to work and make our lives easier and help us do our jobs better. Is that so much to ask?
When the new app and software was finally finished, I took it back to my clients to try out and I had them use it for a month. At the end of the month, the feedback was very positive. Some of them actually HUGGED me, which is good unless you’re like Rainman and you start screaming at the top of your lungs whenever someone touches you.
Since then, the vision has remained intact. Fast. Simple. Affordable. And that’s the way it should be, considering the mile-long list you have to attend to on a daily basis.
This is not the article to list all of the benefits and features of our app and online system, so if you’d like to learn more, visit Barpatrol.net and see if we’re a good fit for you. After all, that’s the most important factor in any area of life, isn’t it? Your relationships, your clothes, the car you drive, the services you subscribe to…they all have to be a good fit for you.
We all have different tastes and needs, and what works for one person/company does not work for another. So find what works for you, and then take the action to implement it into your business so you can be more successful. And sane. That’s all we can ask for.
Best of luck.
Cheers, until next time,
Dave, The RB