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Replenishing the bar: strategies and tips for choosing vendors

The choice of products, needless to say, constitutes one of the fundamental obligatory steps for everyone who runs a bar. So many aspects of business and customer satisfaction depend on this choice.
Let us first understand what the 3 main product categories are:
1. Line products: the products essential for the performance of customer service;
2. Fashion products: the products required for the fashion of the moment, often subject to a short use cycle;
3. Niche products: all those high-end products that meet the demands of connoisseurs.
Before you buy, ask yourself these questions!

Before purchasing products for your venue, it is critically important to ask yourself functional and practical questions, so that the investment is functional and the material does not end up in the shed or worse yet in the dustbin.
Here is the questionnaire to ask ourselves:
  • What is the Drink List I chose for my venue?
  • What is the available space for product display in the bar?
  • How much space do I have for my warehouse? (essential to know if working with “order minimums”)
  • What target clientele do we want to capture?
  • What is the format of the venue?
  • Do I want to aim for quality products or do I aim for price competition?
NB: careful selection of products will be an indication of the quality served and the quality perceived by the customer!
Create your overview
Having found an answer to all the very important questions preceding the choice, we move on to the actual decision. Here is a handy list of steps to follow when it comes to the point of choosing which products to use in the bar:
1. create a check list of all the products available in the market that may be of interest to our venue;
2. construct a grid indicating, in the various columns, the type of product (bitter, fruit juice, soda product, rum…), the name of the product, and the Italian distributor or importer;
3. at this point, having an eye on the big picture of what the market has to offer, it is possible to decide what is actually essential in creating a product line based on the Drink list we need to make.
Product choice, however, is not the only crucial issue. It is also extremely important to understand which suppliers to rely on!
Choose the right partner

What, then, are the evaluation criteria to consider when choosing vendors for the bar?
Let’s look at them together:
  • Purchase prices (at equal quality, buy at the cheapest price);
  • Minimum quantities required for purchase (assessing our optimal stock level and considering it fixed capital);
  • variety and quality of products offered;
  • delivery time;
  • type of payments;
In the process, one supplier can always be replaced with another if there is a decline in the quality of the products supplied or delays and irregularities on the delivery time
Procurement is the starting point for our service and therefore must be perfectly coordinated in all its parts, so the choice of products for the bar is not a step to be taken lightly!