Frequently Asked Questions

Pub stocktaking and pub stocktaker

The only silly question is the question left un-asked.

If you can't find the answer to your question here, please just get in touch, we're always happy to help out.

What is stocktaking?


For any hospitality business, stocktaking is vital.

Essentially, a stocktaker will count the stock you have onsite, then return after a set period of time and recount. Then, factoring in sales, deliveries and wastage records, they will produce a stocktaking report.

This report will illustrate your G.P.% (gross profit margins), yields, value of stock, suppliers breakdown and much more.

Crucially your stock report will highlight stock deficits in products, showing where your business is losing stock and therefore, potential profit. You will also get action plans to help improve your next result.




What is the Purpose of a stocktake?


Stocktaking allows you to keep an accurate track of the physical stock you have, what's been sold, and what hasn't.

It's all about comparing the physical stock consumed to what your tills suggest has been sold, then finding any discrepancies.

Essentially it is an important tool for running a business as it allows you to manage stock and in doing so, to manage your profitability.




What does a stocktaker do?


Essentially, a stocktaker will count the stock you have onsite, then return after a set period of time and recount. Then, factoring in sales, deliveries and wastage records, they will produce a stocktaking report. This report will illustrate your G.P.% (gross profit margins), yields, value of stock, and much more.

Crucially your stock report will highlight stock deficits in products, showing where your business is losing stock and therefore, potential profit. You will also get action plans to help improve your next result.




Do I need a stocktaker?


It is vital that you have a solid understanding of the movement of your stock. Your profits can be severely impeded by unknown stock deficits.

A business owner can do regular stocktakes themselves, however a properly trained stocktaker will inevitably do a better job. They have the experience in counting large amounts of stock using specialist software and tools. They also are experienced in interpreting result and can therefore identify not only what products have a deficit, but why this could be and how the issue could be addressed.

It is best to use a professional on a regular basis and to supplement this with inhouse line checks (checking specific stock items of concern between stocktaker visits).

We do not advise relying solely on managers or staff member with stocktaking as one of the purposes of stocktaking is to highlight stock loss through poor practice.

The best of both worlds is to have them involved with stocktaking and then when our independent auditor arrives, they can compare their results with any internal results.




How often should a stocktake be completed?


Stocktaking enables you to identify weaknesses in stock control processes. Regular stocktakes throughout the year will help identify and reduce the amount of shrinkage commonly associated with the food and beverage industry due to the sale of a desirable product. Often, frequency will depend on the volume of trade you have. The more you sell, the greater the risk. It also depends on the losses seen from previous reports and your desire to increase profitability by reduced losses and controlling your stock.

Stocktakes ideally will be completed monthly, and at the very least, quarterly.

The longer the interval between stocktakes, the less able you are to identify issues and react to them. For example, a quarterly stocktake can only tell you what happened in the last three months. It is therefore difficult to pin down when the issue actually occurred during that time, and how to prevent the issue occurring over the next 3 months.




How long does it take to complete a stocktake?


This really depends on what you require to be counted e.g. food and drink, the volume of stock you have on site to be counted, and the amount of purchases you make during a stock period.

Remember, liquor stock is processed by item, therefore each purchase you make needs to be input into the computer by individual item by individual delivery note/invoice. The information you are able to provide and in preparation for a stocktake is also crucial to the time required to complete a stocktake.

Depending on the factors here, our stocktakers will generally be on site for proportions of half day. Should your business require more substantial stocktaking, then this will require a full day, or should you run a very busy establishment, more than one stocktaker may be required to conduct a full stocktake on the day.

A good rule of thumb is your turnover. We have found that a business taking under £7000 gross per week tends to only require a half day visit, and over that income, a full day visit is more appropriate.




How much does a stocktake cost?


With Roslyns you get the very best of service at a straight up fee.

A half day is charged at £150+VAT and a full day at £250+VAT

You may qualify for discounts if you operate multiple sites, please get in touch directly if you think this applies to you.

Fees can also be paid monthly, our fees calculator is here

Our policy is that with the accuracy and detail of our reporting alongside proactive action plans, the savings we help you make should be considerably more than the cost of us coming to see you in the first place.




What information does a stocktaker need from me?


Preparation from the licensee/manager is crucial to successfully complete a stocktake on the day.

Information required is

  • A copy of all delivery notes and invoices from your regular suppliers.
  • Any petty cash receipts you have made during the stock period.
  • Your weekly revenue information showing the daily sales breakdown you declare for the business.
  • Any stock ‘given away’ or basically used but not expected to receive income from.
  • A wastage record for the stock period, ideally summarised, and totalled at sale value.
  • Any transfers you may have made either internally between departments, or with other outlets.
  • A till sales report broken down by department and by item.

It is also ideal if you or a member of your team is available to assist the stocktaker during the count stage. This is not essential, but good practise so we can find all stashes of stock there may be around the building.

It is particularly helpful to have a member of kitchen staff assist with any food count. This allows them to help identify food such as pre-made batches, and also at the same time rotate stock and check their own levels.




When do I get my report?


You can expect your report on the day of your stocktaker visiting, alongside a discussion on the result and the action plans.

Please do make sure that all required information is available. Incomplete information will result in an incomplete/inaccurate stock report.




Do you provide valuations?


Yes, we do. If you’re transferring ownership of your business and selling stock or going in to take on a business and require an independent valuation on your behalf, just let us know.




How do you stocktake food?


Food being made up of many ingredients means that food stocktaking is often done a little differently from drinks.

For example, a gin and tonic has used a measure of gin and a bottle of tonic … simple. Whereas a lasagne is made up of, … well, lots of things!

So, unless you have a breakdown of exact ingredients on every dish, what your stocktaker does is calculates the cost of each stock item from invoices, and counts each individually, every sausage, every stock cube, everything. They then know the value of your food stock and can compare how much you bought, how much you had last count and the value of sales.

This then gives you an accurate G.P. % result to effectively manage your food business.




How do you stocktake open bottles/containers?


Counting of partially opened wines and spirits is judged in tenths of a bottle. A professional stocktaker will have an experienced eye for this and it is amazing to see 2 similarly experienced stocktakers will judge an amount to the same number. The margin for error is quite slim, so for example a 70ml spirit bottle counted at 6/10 compared to at 7/10 will have a maximum difference of just 70ml

Traditional cask beer can be measured by a measuring rod commonly called a ‘Dip Stick’. This reads the number of gallons remaining in the cask. Kegged products can be measured by a specific weighing device. This will measure the volume of a container by weight using a kind of spring system.

All Roslyns stocktakers carry a full range of tools to help accurate counting.

They even carry spirit testing kits to make sure no one is watering down your spirit stock.




How much should I charge for a product?


The price you should charge is the price that allows you to make a profit. Many businesses will focus solely on competitors’ pricing, or on feedback from regular customers. If you sell for too low a price, you may be busy, but you’ll not make any money. Speak to your stocktaker, they are experts and can advise on pricing.

You can also access our easy to use GP tool here




What GP% should I aim for?


The margins you need to achieve will be different for every business. You should have completed a detailed business plan before taking on the business, so take a look at this as a guide.

If you haven’t done this, we would strongly recommend it.

You can speak with us at Roslyns about getting a financial projection drawn up that includes a wet and dry margin breakdown for only £150+VAT. Find out more here




What does yield mean?


Basically, yield is the calculation of what you expect to obtain out of a bottle/keg etc, compared with the amount sold. This is calculated as a percentage. As an example, if you have a 70cl bottle of Vodka, selling at 25ml, you would expect to achieve 28 measures out of that bottle, that is a 100% yield.

If you only sell 26 measure out of a fully consumed bottle, you will achieve a 92.86% yield.

When it comes to draught beer for example, if you have 88 pints in a barrel and sell all 88, that is 100% yield. However, you will inevitably waste some through spillage and line cleaning, meaning perhaps only selling 80, this is a 91% yield.

But a draught beer may well have a 5% head, so a pint is actually a little under. This will then raise your 91% yield to a 96%

Yield information is very important to understanding your profitability. Your stocktaker is an expert and can talk it through with you.




How do I account for my own drinks?


Anything you consume can’t be sold, so it is essentially wasted, therefore a record of this requires to be kept alongside records of anything else not sold.

The more accurate your records of unsold stock, the more accurate your stock report will be.