Running a bar can be a difficult but lucrative business. Every night, you have clientele quickly coming and going while buying drinks and food from different bartenders or waiters. Keeping track of all their purchases, maintaining open tabs, and tracking specials and promotions, all while making a profit, can be overwhelming. In addition, over pouring of drinks can be difficult to track, yet it has a significant impact on your bottom line.
Fortunately, you aren’t alone! Technological advances, particularly in credit card and Point of Sale (POS) technology has made it far easier to track the many customers, tabs, and specials in your bar.
Before choosing a POS system, there are a number of factors to consider, including:
- Cost and difficulty of installation – The cost and amount of effort needed to install a POS system should not be underestimated. The best new systems will be easy to install and make use of mobile technology such as smartphones and tablets.
- Security features – The last thing you need is for your customer’s credit card transactions to be hacked. The tarnish on your reputation can be irreversible if rumors of credit card fraud surround your establishment. Make sure the POS software and hardware you use has the absolute latest in security technology.
- Customizability – Every bar is run differently. From the ways in which specials are advertised and offered, to who actually inputs sales data into the POS system. Whatever POS software you choose to use, make sure it is flexible enough to be an aid to the running of your business, not a hindrance.
Benefits of POS Systems for Bars
Once you’ve chosen the absolute best POS option for your bar, you will begin to see significant benefits both in the efficiency of your bar staff and significantly decreased waste. Some of the specific ways that a POS system can benefit your bar include:
- Quick and easy bar tabs – Most new POS systems make it far easier to run a tab than it used to be. The POS system will have a list of all the names that currently have open tabs, which you can quickly and easily select to add drinks or food items on to. Your bar staff will spend less time fumbling for credit cards and more time selling drinks!
- Automated specials and discounts – You’ll never again have to worry about customers complaining about not getting their happy hour discounts! POS technology can be programmed to automatically change the price of drinks during happy hour, or for whatever promotions you choose to use. You can even create automatic discounts for large orders. One added benefit is that your employees won’t be able to “extend” happy hour without your permission!
- Inventory tracking prevents over pouring – On the back-end, POS systems are great for preventing inventory loss. Each piece of inventory can be individually linked to a specific bartender or waiter, so you know exactly who is over pouring. It is then easy to speak with the specific employee instead of having a meeting in which you accuse everyone. You save money, and your employees will be happier. Everyone wins!