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What are Item Variations?
What are Item Variations?

An explanation of item variations and examples for both WISK Restaurant and WISK Bar

Nick Neale avatar
Written by Nick Neale
Updated over a week ago

Article Contents


Whether you are using WISK Restaurant or WISK Bar, you may have inventory items that:

  • Can be purchased from multiple distributors / suppliers

  • Come in different/multiple package sizes, case sizes, or product branding

Instead of having a separate inventory item for each, you can create variations (also known as purchase formats) from your existing items. To learn more about creating item variations, please see:

These variations appear under the existing/default item, and you can select which variation is the default. To learn more about default variations, please see:

The "Edit Item" window displays a toggle for Item Variations, and an arrow points to the default item checkbox

For each variation you can add details including the distributor, cost, weights, and barcodes.

Item variations can be ordered and received on invoices.

Note: Counting of item variations of a different unit of measurement during an inventory will be added in a future update.

When receiving an item variation, it is converted to the units of the default item variation to calculate the “Stock” count.

This also simplifies adding recipes under POS Items and Batches, because if you receive an item from a supplier in a different format, you just need to add the variation. No changes are required to the recipe.

Examples of Item Variations

How can you tell if something is an item variation?

The most important thing to remember is that item variations must be interchangeable.

In other words, item variations are fundamentally the same product, and can be used in all the same recipes and sold as the same menu items.

We’ve provided some examples below of what is and isn’t considered an item variation for both WISK Restaurant and WISK Bar. This isn't an exhaustive list, but should provide enough context to get started.

WISK Restaurant

Is an Item Variation

  • You may have russet potatoes that come in 10 lb, 25 lb and 50 lb bags. Each one of these would be an item variation and could have different suppliers. If you get your 50 lb bags from more than one supplier, you’d create a variation for each.

  • If you purchase Ground Sirloin by the pound or kilogram from multiple suppliers, you’d create an item variation for each supplier.

Isn’t an Item Variation

  • Different types of flour (all purpose, cake, bread) would all be separate inventory items but could have their own item variations for different packaging sizes.


Is an Item Variation

  • If you normally use a 1L bottle of Tito’s for all your vodka drinks, but your supplier doesn’t have it in stock and they send you a 750ml bottle of Tito’s, this would be a variation. It’s used in all the same menu items.

  • If you purchase cases of 355ml (12oz) bottled beer from multiple suppliers, you would create a variation for each supplier. The case sizes can be the same or different.

Isn’t an Item Variation

  • If you use a 1L bottle of Grey Goose for mixed drinks at the bar, and then sell 750ml Grey Goose exclusively as part of bottle service, you would want to keep those as separate inventory items

  • If you have a beer that comes in a 355ml (12oz) can, and in a 473ml (16oz) can, those aren’t item variations because they wouldn’t be sold as the same menu item

  • If you have a wine that has two different vintage years, it depends on how it is sold in your POS. If there is a separate menu item for each year, then they wouldn’t be item variations

  • If you have a vodka that comes in multiple flavors, these are separate products and shouldn't be item variations

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