Technology Brings Beverage Management Back to Basics
Turnover, lack of accountability and understaffing can all result in drastic inaccuracy in beverage management inventory and tracking. Human error and carelessness also play a role that contribute to miscounts and lost profitability. In 2000, Dave Grimm, partner and co-founder of AccuBar, pooled the tech expertise of him and his brothers with his father’s background as a bartending school owner in the Bay area, to combat these issues. “My father was acutely aware of the huge problems most hospitality operations had with their beverage inventory programs. It was basically accepted that you would lose incredible amounts of beverage to theft, and we wanted to give people a tool to fight back.”
AccuBar is a beverage management system that was created to bring modern inventory management techniques to the bar world. It connects the latest barcode-scanning handhelds to a powerful web-based database to make the process faster, more accurate and more efficient. AccuBar has successfully saved hospitality industry management millions of dollars since it hit the market and is a trusted source for nearly 1,800 users, including significant industry chains and distributors such as Aramark, Hilton, B.R. Guest Restaurants and small independent owners alike.
“Larger operations tell us the labor savings alone deliver great ROI, while others see dramatic reductions in their beverage cost and just a greater overall culture of accountability.” For example, Grimm recalls one wine operation who uncovered $90,000 worth of losses in one month. He also sees success with the system from the little guy as well. “One struggling bar owner was able to lower his beverage cost 40% to 25% almost instantly. For a small bar or restaurant, that would be the difference between profit and an out-of-business sign,” adds Grimm.
The ease of use of AccuBar allows a wide variety of skill levels to effectively use the system. “We have had new clients receive the system in the mail, scan their first inventory that day and email us that night to say how easy it was to implement.” Grimm points out that for some of the larger operations that are implementing a POS interface, recipe module, iWineLists or a tablet wine list add-on, there is a phased-in implementation that will probably take a few months. He adds that AccuBar schedules a training webinar for every new client. “Sometimes we have quite a bit of contact with them in the early stages. But at a base level, scanning a barcode and tapping on the level of the silhouette is something that anyone can figure out in a few minutes.”
AccuBar’s purpose is to automate and simplify the steps that every liquor-serving operation should already be doing. Although it is a digital system, AccuBar is really a back-to-basics tool. “The minimum standard in the industry should be regular inventories, checking receiving and empties, ordering based on par levels and staff accountability for any losses. AccuBar does all that, so the operations that already are doing those steps on pencil and paper will get it and will have an easy transition.” Grimm warns that for those who are not managing their inventory very thoroughly, any system will be a big change for them, but one worth making.
Looking ahead, Grimm says that now that the company has over a decade of successful product manufacturing under its belt, it wants to expand its services to include the newest version of the system, Version 5, which is a culmination of years’ worth of customer feedback and the most cutting edge technology.