A guy walks into a bar. There’s a crowd of people bidding for the bartender’s attention and it takes him fifteen minutes just to order a drink. When his drink arrives, it turns out the bartender got his order wrong. But he’s a fun-loving guy, and he tries to have a good time anyway.
At the end of the night, he wants to close out his tab. Because he was served by multiple, overwhelmed bartenders, they get his tab wrong. His credit card is incorrectly charged, and after the staff sort out a refund, he decides to head home.
“Not much of a happy hour,” he thinks. The next time he and his friends go out, they head somewhere else.
Efficient Service Brings Customers Back for a Second Round.
Don’t lose customers because of an inefficient point of sale (POS) system. In order to deliver excellent service, you need a POS system that helps you get organized. The right system can help you manage rush hours by correctly recording orders, flexibly dispatching tickets, accurately tracking tabs and supporting cash transactions. And if you’re not using a POS system or are using the wrong one, you may be making your employees’ jobs harder.
There are so many benefits a good POS system offers and so many ways one could optimize your business. But before you make an investment, let’s take a look at what functionalities a robust POS system should have so you can make an informed purchase decision.
What Functionalities Does a POS System for a Bar Need?
It can be hard to know what functionality a POS system for a bar needs when you’re busy running a business. Technology is always changing and you don’t want to buy a POS system that’s missing important new features or one that offers fewer capabilities than the solution your competitors use.
Make sure you get one that has all the features you need and make sure you understand how to use all of the features your POS systems offers. This way, you can get the most value out of your investment possible.
Increase order efficiency during high-traffic hours
When facing a rush of customers make sure your staff is well-supported. A modern, easy to use POS system can help you efficiently record customers’ orders, dispatch tickets to several printers or stations, and track cash payments.
It can enable you to quickly void an item, change an order, and automatically apply gratuities or other service fees. When you’re facing thirsty customers, all of these features avoid time-wasting mistakes and help the line move faster.
Reduce cash leakage
Because many customers pay in cash, bars are highly susceptible to leakage. At the end of the night, it’s easy for collected cash to not match the amounts listed on receipts. Your business needs a POS system that’s flexible enough to track cash transactions, keep records and enable auditing. You can use a POS that tightly controls cash drawers and records who accessed the drawer, and when. All of this functionality makes it far easier for business managers to ensure cash does not go missing.
As an added benefit, if your POS integrates with staff management apps it helps track timesheet data and accurately calculate payroll. Plus, with your POS you should be able to set user permissions to make sure that the new bartender you just hired isn’t comping drinks, handling voids, or accessing the cash drawer without a manager’s help.
Dispatch tickets efficiently
The right POS system should give you the ability to control where tickets are printed. Does the ticket go directly to the bar or kitchen, or does it stop somewhere else first, which wastes time? If your bar also serves food, can you ensure that those tickets go to the right place and only drink tickets print at the bar?
With flexibility, you can send a digital ticket to as many recipients as needed, and update or cancel that ticket at a moment’s notice. That allows staff to get orders right and adapt to changes quickly.
Keep track of customers’ tabs
Many bars physically hold onto a customer’s card in order to run their tab, which is an outdated method. Holding onto a card is a liability, especially with ever-changing PCI security standards. A customer may forget to take their card or sign their receipt. If a bar accidentally charges a card multiple times, it’s inefficient for both parties and you risk a customer requesting a chargeback from their bank.
Make sure the POS system you choose enables you to run tabs efficiently by authorizing a card once and keeping it open throughout the evening as the customer continues to add to their order. In the end, when it’s time to pay, your bartender can close it out with just a few taps.
Keeping track of your drink inventory is critical as food and beverage costs are your biggest cost center after labor. You need an inventory management system that enables you to keep track of the amount of product sold so you know when it’s time to reorder. For example, you could customize your POS system to track certain numbers of ounces, or pours, per keg. The POS system will tell you how many drinks have actually been served versus the number of drinks left in kegs or bottles.
A good POS system also has in-depth reporting features [Link to Sales Reporting and Analytics when live], offering business intelligence, such as the breakdown of top-selling drinks. All of this data and inventory control helps you control margins, which in the business of running a bar, can be thin.
Optimize tip management
Finally, make sure you choose a POS system that can help you optimize tip management. Accurate tip reporting helps you, bartenders and servers all comply with regulations. Setting suggested tip amounts helps ensure your staff members are rewarded for their hard work.
And POS systems make tipping easier for customers too, who can save time by not singing for small amounts and can make tip adjustments with just a few taps. As an added benefit, if you opt for a tablet-based POS system, chances are you’ll see a boost in your overall tips since one-touch tipping is easier and gives customers more control. This makes settling tips faster, more accurate and more rewarding for everyone involved.
Gain Business Insight and Delight Customers with a Robust POS System.
Your bar is a welcoming place where people can relax, let loose and enjoy the company of friends. But while your drinks may be exquisite, you must still get drink orders right. And while your staff may be friendly, they need tools to help them correctly take orders, calculate tips and tabs, collect payments and balance cash drawers. Make sure you acquire a POS system that has all the functionality you need to tackle your business challenges.
The right POS system not only helps you manage your business, but is easy to use, and offers rich analytics and deep insights. Once you start using a robust POS system, you’ll see how it offers your small business as much insight into your operations as large bar and restaurant chains enjoy. And as your business goals become accomplishments, your customers will become regulars.
Staying profitable and competitive in the bar and restaurant industry isn’t an easy task, and talech is here to help. We can help you resolve many of the pain points that make bar management difficult for you, your staff and your customers, every day. Reach out to us today or sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS and retail payment software partner.