It pays to be precise when you buy alcohol by the bottle. To ensure you pay only for the alcohol attendees actually drink, establish a consistent inventory system before the event, based on the following guidelines:
1. Count bottles in (write down numbers, and have the bartender sign it).
2. Give the bartender the following instructions:
Don’t discard empty wine bottles.
Don’t use empties as water bottles.
Don’t give out wine or liquor by the bottle.
Use jiggers or posi-pours (bottle-toppers that control serving size).
3. Conduct inventory out in the same room as the reception.
4. Check under the bar and on tables for extra empties.
5. Count all empty bottles.
6. For partials, estimate the amount consumed to the nearest tenth.
7. Record everything on an inventory sheet and have the bartender initial it.