Are drinks professionals gambling with one of their biggest assets?

The Institute of Licensed Trade Stock AuditorsILTSA, the qualifying body for stocktakers, found that up to 70%  of the drinks professionals they spoke to at Imbibe 2016 didn’t have a stocktaker or they “did the stock themselves”*.

The feedback also found that surprisingly many businesses undertook no stocktaking at all, with a number expressing the belief that doing the stocktake themselves saved them money.

Brett Websdale, Chairman of ILTSA, comments:

“Unfortunately these statistics highlight the disappointing fact that many businesses in the licensed trade do not understand the importance of professional expertise to protect one of its most important assets… its stock.”

No substitute for independent expertise

First and foremost, stocktakers provide an accurate and independent view of your food and beverage stock…. identifying shortages, thefts & wastage and enabling action to be swiftly taken to minimise your loss.

This isn’t simply a case of counting your stock but analysing, interpreting and reporting the results of the whole stock process from goods inward to sales & invoicing.

A professional stocktake will provide you with up-to-date, real-time, information on the state and profitability of your business.

Independent & impartial

Spotting issues and trends takes focus, expertise from years of auditing and someone independent from your businesses day-to-day activities.

Although stock can be tracked in-house, an impartial view ensures owners get a true picture of what is happening in their business and benefits from insights on industry stock management good practice.

Does in-house really save you money?

An often stated reasons for doing stocktaking in-house is that it saves money. Although the actual auditor fees may be saved the simple fact is that in most cases the value of the audit is also lost.

As staff will still need to carry out the auditing there is still an inherent cost even with in-house. However, without the skills, expertise and time to interpret the results, the actionable results staff can produce becomes reduced.

What’s more, the failure to identify shortages, thefts & wastage quickly, if at all, is costing your business far more than the audit costs.

Brett Websdale, Chairman of ILTSA, continues:

“All of our members will be able to give you great examples of how they have saved their clients far more than their fees… because it happens all the time!”

ILTSA recommends qualified stocktakers

The Institute of Licensed Trade Stock Auditors recommends that all businesses in the food and beverage trade should use the services of a professional and qualified independent stocktaker.

ILTSA is the qualifying body of the licensed trade stock auditors and provides a directory of exam qualified stocktakers across the UK»

Read more about using a stocktaker:


Our findings

Imbibe 2016 was attended by over 12,000 drinks professionals including buyers, owners F&B managers, proprietors and general managers. The ILTSA feedback was based on the people who visited the ILTSA stand at the Imbibe Live 2016 held at London Olympia in July.