Keeping track of Bar & Restaurant stock is easier said that than done. Frequent deliveries, lots of storage areas, transfers to/from the kitchen and other venues and inevitable shrinkage (e.g. breakage and comps) makes for many moving parts!

It’s important that you have processes in place to track all of this and take stock on a regular basis. Stock Control Workflow

Here, at Barsumo, we have thought about all this in great detail and recommend the following simple yet effective workflow.

  1. Count stock at start of period
  2. Place orders via email and keep a live record of what was ordered
  3. Track orders and mark those that have been ‘Delivered’
  4. Check deliveries on arrival and note adjustments on the paper invoice
  5. Store invoices in a safe place!
  6. “Check-in orders” i.e. match orders to their corresponding invoice and mark orders as ‘Checked’
  7. Count stock at end of period
  8. Perform month-end checks & balances. See below.
  9. Repeat :)

Whilst this might sound like a lot, there are tools available to help streamline each step. The important thing is to establish a basic system that works and then improve it overtime. If you can manage this, keeping track of stock will be like clockwork and will save you many hours (and dollars!)

Checks & Balances

The checks & balances you perform will depend on how rigorous you want to be. At a minimum, we suggest you do the following:

  • Calculate usage per product = opening count + purchases - closing count
  • Calculate total COGS = sum of (usage * value)
  • Calculate stocktake value = sum of (counts * value)
  • Reconcile individual invoices with supplier invoice statements

Note that to calculate the true value of COGS and stocktake value, you will need to keep track of price changes and utilise a standard accounting valuation method such as first in first out (FIFO). It’s best to discuss this with your accounting team early on.


Having a basic system to keep track of stock is imperative to running a successful Bar or Restaurant. In this post, we proposed a simple yet effective workflow that we believe is the best approach to keeping track of stock.

If you are just starting out, remember to:

  • Start simple and enhance over time
  • Make use of apps and cloud based tools
  • Know what you need to measure at month-end
  • Know what valuation method to use to calculate COGS and stocktake value