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Glassware Inventory Guide

Glassware is an essential component to everyday food service. The pieces you choose to serve your beverages in emphasize the image you’ve worked so hard to perfect. But how much glassware inventory do you need to keep your business running and what style works best to meet your needs?

Types of Service and Calculating Inventory

It can be tricky to figure out how many glasses to buy for your business. The volume of glassware needed varies depending on the style of your establishment. Food service businesses fall into three categories:

    1. Casual dining
    2. Formal dining
    3. Bar service

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Each chart below breaks down popular glassware styles and gives an estimate of how many glasses to buy for a restaurant based on its type of service. You can figure out how many glasses to purchase using this simple formula:

The number of glasses needed = ( number of chairs ) x ( the ordering factor* )

*Ordering Factor: A number determined by consumer behavior trends in each environment. For example, guests are more likely to order a second glass of wine in a casual restaurant than in a formal one, where a glass sells at a higher price.

Expert Tip

To order an accurate amount, remember to adjust the reference numbers below using your exact seating capacity.

What to Consider When Selecting Inventory

When estimating the amount you need it's good to keep the following points in mind: 

  • The speed and capacity of your commercial dishwasher (how many racks per hour it can clean)
  • Wait time between washing a glass and letting it sit before using again (direct use after washing can lead to thermal shock and breaking)
  • The volume of your business and your restaurant's capacity

Taking these factors into account ensures you order enough of each glass type to prevent a shortage while serving guests.

Inventory Calculator

Casual Dining Glassware

Casual Dining Glassware

At this type of establishment, prices are lower and the environment is informal. Customers typically order a few fountain drinks, water, or a few beers if available, and eat a one-course meal.

  • Enter the number of seats in your restaurant:
Formal Dining Glassware

Formal Dining Glassware

In this type of restaurant, dining is at a higher expense and it may involve multiple courses. Guests will be served traditional offerings like water or iced tea, but also typically enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a serving of beer.

  • Enter the number of seats in your restaurant:
Bar Service Glassware

Bar Service Glassware

Apart from the classic drinks like iced tea, water, or fountain drinks, guests will typically come and order a few alcoholic beverages. Glassware will move quickly, and some drink types have higher ordering factors in this setting.

  • Enter the number of seats in your restaurant:

Glassware for Special Occasions

Sometimes glassware goes beyond just serving a beverage –it’s a way to convey a style or theme of your restaurant. Whether it’s a rustic feel or an upscale vintage look, there are all kinds of glasses that can help you create a unique experience for customers.

Typically you’ll require less of these glasses since they’re used for specialty drinks or occasional novelty orders. However, below are some popular styles of glassware that offer a distinctive presentation to tantalize customers:

Shop Novelty Glassware

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