Right-Sizing Your Beer Inventory: Finding the Sweet Spot for Bar Profitability

Bars and restaurants with draught beer programs are only as profitable as the inventory they maintain. And to be sure, beer kegs need to be maintained, rotated, and managed in ways that eliminate the potential for wasted profits.

The reality is beer profits are a matter of simple math. The more foam poured down the drain at the tap handle, the more money wasted. The same goes for the keg room. The more an operation disposes of an unused or forgotten keg, the more profit potential that operation loses.

So, let's talk about some ways to prevent this from happening.

The Importance of Keg Beer

According to a recent market analysis by Grand View Research, many factors are driving the fast growth of the keg market, such as the increasing popularity of craft beer, the rise in the number of breweries, and the growing demand for draft beer in restaurants, bars, and stadiums. Factors such as the expansion of global beer consumption, preferences for draft beer over packaged beer, and high attendance at festivals and outdoor events contribute to the demand for more robust keg programs.

Keeping Beer Healthy

Understanding how to preserve your bar’s beer selection and reputation includes knowing a bit of the science behind what causes beer to spoil.

Ultimately, there aren't any definitive rules that dictate how long a keg of beer will remain fresh. It depends on the style of beer, where the beer is stored, certainly, at what temperature it's stored, and when the beer was initially put in the keg. According to Keg Works, pasteurized beer will last around three or four months, while unpasteurized beer will last between six and eight weeks. This countdown clock begins when the beer is kegged, though, not when it's tapped.

The goal, then, is to ensure that beers are served during their peak periods of quality. This is what attracts customers and leads to beer sales rather than dumping out old kegs that got lost in the back of the walk-in.

The Delicate Art of Beer Inventory Management Designed for Profits

Whether operating an Irish pub or a Texas steakhouse, knowing when to bring out the crisp lagers for summer vibes or cozy up with malty stouts in the colder months is vital. Even the most seasoned food and beverage managers can't predict if customers will suddenly develop a craving for a hazy IPA or a smooth stout, regardless of the time of year. 

Beer keg shelving should be configured to allow specific placement of all products be it in kegs, cases, or individual bottles based on a customer's wants and needs. Dead storage areas decrease the storage capacity and don’t allow the operator to take advantage of a vendor's buying programs. Best practices within a walk-in beer cooler maximize storage space and create a safer work environment, and this makes for happier employees.

Draft Beer Analysis (DBA) allows bar managers and restaurant owners to use data from their casino, hotel, brewery, or stadium to calculate the precise amount of draft beer to order, down to the brand. 

Gone are the days of over-ordering the wrong stouts, pilsners, and sour beers. Through years of industry experience, Cooler Concepts found that one-third of taps will be fast movers while the remaining two-thirds drag behind. Using our innovative Beer Math Calculator lets you know how many of your most popular draft brands to order. 

Find out how your kegs add up by using Beer Math:

Cooler Concepts Beer Math Call To Action

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