Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants are quick-paced with many customers ordering drinks and food as soon as they get to the counter. For these businesses, a bar POS (point-of-sale) system is critical to efficiency, as it performs functions that align with their industry-specific priorities.
The latest bar POS solution generally offers essential features that allow establishments to manage bar tabs, monitor register balances, and preauthorize credit cards. These systems can help owners keep up with their daily operations and improve their overall management.
6 Important Features of a Bar POS System
There is a variety of POS solutions available on the market. However, bars need platforms that are designed for their unique needs in order to provide great customer service.
The best POS systems for bars and restaurants provide features, such as-
1. Adjustable Menu Control
Bars tend to change their menu items and prices throughout the day, as well as for holidays or special events. A bar POS system with flexible menu control will enable managers to easily adjust their catalogs to reflect new information, such as happy hour prices and seasonal specialties.
With this feature, bars can program their new pricing to change automatically, ensuring that customers are charged accurately.
2. 24/7 Customer Support
Depending on location, bars and nightclubs are typically open for service in the afternoon to early mornings. Due to their unique hours of operation, these businesses need a POS system that provides all-day customer support in case they run into network issues late at night.
To further minimize delays in transaction and payment processing, bars should look into cloud POS software that has offline features. This will allow the POS to continue working even without an Internet connection.
3. Inventory Management
Bars can optimize their productivity by using a POS system that is integrated with inventory management software. This feature helps bars to track and monitor supplies and ingredients in real-time.
With these tools, managers can identify popular drinks and access reports related to inventory. They can also streamline purchase orders and stay compliant with current regulations pertaining to their industry.
4. Employee Management
POS systems that offer employee management solutions can help make tracking time and scheduling shifts easier. It also allows bar owners to review reports on employee performance, such as who is bringing in the highest amount of sales and who is clocking in late to their shift.
5. Customer Tab Capabilities
The best bar POS platforms help employees easily create and track customer tabs. These systems can pre-authorize a customer's credit card once they open a tab. This will allow employees to quickly verify that the account is valid and there are adequate funds available for orders.
The system should also have features that can streamline the process of splitting checks with multiple people and merging tickets between servers.
6. Generated Reports
A POS system with reporting features will provide bar owners with data about sales, customer turnout, rush hours, and popular menu items. These cloud-based reports can be accessed at any time, allowing for quick and informed decisions to be made regarding inventory, menus, and employees.
3 Things Bars Need to Consider when Choosing a POS System
Before choosing a POS platform, bar owners need to consider 3 factors to ensure that they are choosing the right system for their business model.
1. Necessary Features
While bar POS systems offer many different features, owners need to consider what capabilities are most necessary for their bar. For example, if a bar's floor plan includes a dining area, a POS system that offers table customization can help servers manage multiple tables and seamlessly split and combine checks.
By choosing a POS that offers the exact features a bar needs, owners will be able to avoid extra expenses for unnecessary functionalities. For instance, a local bar with a single location would not need multi-store management.
Before purchasing a POS system, it is important to consider what type of hardware will be used, as this will impact productivity.
Hardware generally includes electronic devices for payment processing, self-service kiosks, and kitchen displays. Depending on the business and its floor plans, a bar may need wireless credit card readers and multiple tablets to run the POS software at different stations.
By planning out the necessary equipment, bar owners can choose a POS service that fulfills all of their hardware needs.
When considering the best pricing, management should estimate the total cost of software and hardware. Card processing fees and service contracts are also important to include in the estimations. This will enable executive teams to compare their budgets and choose the most profitable POS platform.
However, businesses should not base their decisions on pricing alone. Although a provider may be more inexpensive, it may also lack certain functions that a bar needs. In this case, bar owners may have to spend more on add-on features and software.
Bars have unique setups and provide distinctive service that is different from most retailers and merchants. With a modern POS system specifically dedicated to restaurants and bars, management can optimize performance and profitability.