You will need a Stocktaker who specialises in licensed premises for your changeover to do the Stock at Valuation (SAV). It is better to make contact with one well ahead of your takeover date.
Stress to the vendors that you want as little stock as possible and no opened packages of foodstuffs.
The bigger the Stock at Valuation (the existing stock of saleable goods left on the premises) the more it costs you, since the goods (alcohol, food, dry goods and disposable goods, napkins, kitchen roll etc) are valued at wholesale price and the Stocktaker normally puts a percentage on for his time, so it effectively costs you more for the SAV than it would to buy it normally.
Ensure that all out of date stock or any with suspect labels are excluded. This can happen with barrels of beer; it is possible to take the date label off a new barrel and put it on an old barrel which has gone past it’s sell by date and would not be acceptable to a sharp eyed Stocktaker.
If the SAV is minimal then the vendor may well suggest that you use the same stocktaker and halve the costs. Ensure that he thinks that you will use his services in the future to ensure a fair deal. If you should find out of date bottles at the back of the bar shelves, don’t use him again. All soft drinks and bottled beer are date coded, it may take a few minutes to work it out but it is worth checking.