7 Metrics Your Bar Needs to Measure for Success in 2020

by JC Whipple

Nothing says success like a bar full of people with drinks in their hands. Unfortunately, even if your bar is fairly busy on a day-to-day basis, your bottom line might tell a different story. When it comes to running a bar or restaurant, especially a new one, staying afloat can be a daily fight and it requires keeping a strict eye on both spending and revenue. If your sales dip, by even a fraction, you could find your once-profitable business in the red.

If you want your bar to be successful, you need to determine an accurate measure for that success. Simply counting heads or tallying up your daily totals isn’t enough to measure the long-term performance of your business. It all comes down to the real numbers – tracking pours, monitoring sales, and making the most of the business you have.

It’s a fact: the modern bar owner who embraces technology has the greatest chance for success. With the right technology in place, you can easily track and react to key performance indicators (KPIs) while also making your operation more efficient. When it comes to running a business, knowledge is power and BeerBoard’s technology has your back.

Read on to learn how BeerBoard solutions can take your business to the next level and secure your success for the future.

What Key Performance Indicators Should You Be Tracking?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the metrics that allow you to quickly gauge your business’ current performance so you can compare it against past performance and make adjustments for the future. The term KPI refers to a number of different metrics, some of which are more important than others for bar owners like you. The thing to remember is that they are most valuable when you look at them regularly. Again, knowledge is power and up-to-date knowledge is the most powerful.

Here are some of the KPIs you may want to track:

  1. Inventory – Knowing what and how much inventory you have on hand is extremely important. You need to know what you have available and what you need to order.
  2. Usage – This is typically measured between two points in time. You can calculate total usage or usage of a certain product to see how well one performs in comparison to another. You should run these calculations at least once a month but probably want to do it more often (especially with draft beer).
  3. Service Level – Also known as safety stock level, the service level is a measure of the minimum inventory you need to avoid going out of stock. The service level for more popular products may be higher than the service level for more specialized products.
  4. Pour Cost – Also known as your gross margin, the pour cost is the cost of each sale. You might also think of it as the amount you actually pocket from each sale.
  5. Variance – Any business owner needs to account for missing inventory or money lost, typically due to loss or theft. As a bar owner, your major loss might be due to over-pours or unauthorized comps.
  6. Inventory Turnover – This is simply a measure of how fast you are selling or replacing inventory.
  7. Inventory Turn Days – Also known as the average days to sell metric, this measures the number of days a product sits in inventory before being sold.

These are some of the most important metrics to track as a bar owner, but you may find that there are others you want to include, depending on your business. Fortunately, BeerBoard technology allows you to customize your services so you can have all of the information you need right at your fingertips.

How Can BeerBoard Technology Help?

Any smart business knows that success is not a guarantee. There are, however, simple things you can do to improve your chances of success. With BeerBoard technology, you’ll have access to real-time metrics about your bar so you can make smart and timely decisions about inventory, pricing, and more.

Here are some of the top BeerBoard solutions to consider:

  • SmartBar – With up-to-the-minute technology, SmartBar enables you to track beer pours versus beer sold, helping you cut losses from excess pours and no rings. You can sync your taps and menus instantly from your phone, rotating them at any time. With the information you glean from SmartBar insights, you can make fact-based decisions to optimize your business. SmartBar results in higher cash flow, increasing sales by an average of $60 per keg and reducing unclaimed pours from 20% to well under 10%. Its pricing algorithm accommodates multiple pricing tiers, simplifies price changes and optimizes margins.
  • Automated Inventory – As a bar owner, you never want to tell a customer you’re out of their favorite beer. With BeerBoard’s automated inventory technology, you can avoid empty kegs and increase sales. Inventory ordering is generated based on actual usage and purchase orders are sent directly to your distributors via an EDI integration. You’ll never have to weigh a keg again!
  • BeerBoard Menu – Give your customers up-to-date information on your inventory by syncing your taps directly to your print menu and on your website. This technology also takes the work out of complying with current FDA nutritional rules.
  • BeerBoard TV – By displaying your taps on the big screen with BeerBoard TV you can increase sales by 10% and boost promotional sales as much as 90%. Using dynamic digital displays, you can highlight your menu and feature specials to retain customers and increase revenue.

Counting the cash in your register at the end of the day is not an accurate measure of your bar’s success.  You need to track your daily ins and outs, but the best metrics for success are a bit more complex than that. If you really want your bar to succeed in 2020, you need to start keeping better track of your inventory and sales so you can utilize that information to your business’ best advantage in the future.

Simple Tips for Success in 2020

Every business is unique, so there is no one-size-fits all equation for success. The key to succeeding as a business owner is to adapt to your customer base (e.g. determining what beers sell best) and the only way to do that is to keep close track of your inventory and sales. With BeerBoard technology, all of that information is available at your fingertips, updated instantly so you can make educated decisions to benefit your bar.

Here are some additional tips for success in 2020:

  • Use your BeerBoard insights to ensure that your most popular items are kept in stock – you might even order higher quantities of these items to get better pricing from the distributor.
  • Look at your beverage sales holistically – instead of setting drink prices based on a target cost, reduce costs where you can and know that it will all even out.
  • Increase sales for seasonal and promotional items by highlighting your specials using BeerBoard TV digital displays.
  • Teach your bar staff proper technique and use measured pourers, when possible to standardize costs and maintain quality control.
  • Keep your bar staff up to date with your KPIs – celebrate your successes and use BeerBoard insights to help your staff become more effective.
  • Create signature cocktails and rotating menu items to draw in new customers and to keep your regular customers coming back for more.

Bar success doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come free. As a business owner, the work you put in will be directly related to the benefit you get out and having the right technology on your side can make all the difference. See what BeerBoard technology can do for you and your business – contact us today to receive more information or to get started.