Running a Bar For Dummies
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What bar owner wants to sweat over paperwork in the bar's back office when your business is happening out front? And more importantly, wouldn't you like to be able to get work done anywhere in the world with an Internet connection? The solution: Become digital-savvy.

Here are some top picks for staying on top of your bar business on the go:

  • Mint is an award-winning (and free!) money management software that allows you to track multiple bank accounts, credit accounts, debts, and loans in a single program. You can check to see that your credit card deposits made it into your account and that payments to your beer distributor have made it out.

  • Barkeep is an app that allows you to track your inventory using just about any Apple device. (Android isn't yet supported.) The camera on your iPhone acts as a barcode scanner. Simply scan your bottles and enter the amounts to take inventory in minutes rather than hours.

    If you want to get really fancy, Barkeep sells a digital Bluetooth scale, so you can scan and then weigh the bottles for an even more accurate result.

  • TequilaMatchmaker is a fun tool that helps you (or your staff) match your patrons with their perfect tequila.

  • Rockbot business music allows you to play and manage licensed music for business on either iOS or Android. Basic service starts at $39.95 a month. If you prepay for a year, you get their player for free.

  • Scanner Pro is an award-winning app from Readdle that turns your iPhone or iPad into a scanner. Take pics with your phone, and then turn them into .pdf files instantly. Scan receipts and invoices and send them to your accountant. Scan menus you like and send them to your graphics designer. So many uses for bar owners!

  • Dropbox is an easy way for your bar to create its own cloud. Set up the service and then your bar managers, kitchen manager, and other owners can all share ideas, photos, and documents in a single place online.

    Suppose you're on vacation and love the drink garnish on your poolside cocktail. Take a pic and upload it to your Dropbox folder for garnishes. Then, it's saved for later and organized so you can find it when you need it.

  • Evernote is an app that connects you to a suite of tools that helps you take notes and make lists as you go about your daily life and keeps them organized in a single app.

    You can virtually clip articles on hot craft cocktails, take notes on updating your beer list, and make an agenda for your Saturday morning staff meeting in one place that syncs easily with your smartphone, computer, and just about any other device.

  • HootSuite lets you manage a good chunk of your social media plan directly on your mobile device with this single, free app.

    You can write a single post and send it out to multiple sites (including Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter) at one time. Plus, you can schedule posts to send at a later time, get details on who's clicking on your links, and more. The free version is perfect for an independent bar, allowing you to manage five profiles.

  • Flipboard is an app that allows you to create your own virtual magazine based on content you like to read.

    Flipboard combines articles, Twitter feeds, and other digital content that you choose into a graphical digital magazine format that you can flip through and read at your leisure. Create a custom magazine all about cocktails, or create one that consolidates all your favorite trend-watching websites into a digital magazine.

  • Numbers is a spreadsheet program from Apple that allows you to read and create powerful spreadsheets on your mobile device. You can create break-even spreadsheets, look at sales figures from the weekend, or check out where your labor dollars are being spent directly on your mobile device.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Ray Foley, a former Marine with more than 30 years of bartending and restaurant experience, is the founder and publisher of BARTENDER magazine. Heather Dismore is a veteran of both the restaurant and publishing industries. Her published works include Running a Restaurant For Dummies.

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