Your customers rely on your bar as a place of refuge. It is a place to escape the daily stresses of life, to meet with friends and coworkers, or to introduce themselves to a potential special someone. Playing part-time therapist, part-time best friend, and part-time drink creator, bartenders play a variety of roles in your bar. The service they provide must be exactly what the customer needs at that moment, building on or diffusing a mood that can swing the other way at any moment. A POS software solution can help.
Given all of the roles bartenders must play in your bar, and the limitless requests and demands of the customer, why equip them with an inadequate POS solution? Entertainment and customer service are jobs 1 and 1A, so why wouldn’t you give your bartenders a tool that not only handles much of the dirty work, but can lend them a hand during busy nights?
Keeping service maximized while removing the manual processes that lead to mistakes or service slowdowns should be the goal of any bar-based POS platform. The ability to allow bartenders to create drinks that are not on the menu, accurately manage tabs and inventory behind the bar are just a small example of what a proactive POS system can bring to the table. The right combination of technology and automation results in higher profits, happier customers, and increased staff motivation.
Knowing What You Must Have Starts with Understanding Your Bar
Bars are perhaps the most customer-centered genre in the food and beverage industry. That means that any decision you make must keep the customer at the forefront of your thought process. When drawing up the framework for a new or upgraded POS solution, you must first consider your customers. While a vast majority of the items you implement may not be customer-facing, the changes in process, payment handling, customized ordering, or tabs, can all factor into the decisions you must make.
Supporting Bar Creativity Through Fully Customizable Menus
Bartenders are often referred to as chemists or mad scientists. Due the very nature of their craft, bartenders often times create drinks out of thin air, based on discussions with the customers sitting in front of them. This can quickly make programmed drink menus obsolete when it comes to accurately charging for any specialized drinks served to your clientele.
A bar POS solution must allow for the on-the-fly, ingredient-based pricing to be effective. The list of ingredients must be able to be imported into the POS bar system you select, with pricing based on a per-unit or amount basis. The ingredients and drinks on the menu must be easy to find. This prevents delays to other patrons due to the bartender having to hunt and peck their way through a long ingredient list.
An intelligent POS platform will allow you to save ingredient combinations that become an instant, spur of the moment hit as a new drink in your system. The POS system will store the ingredients list, proportions, and price for ease of recall for the next requesting customer. An additional perk that a bar-based POS solution can give you is to store menu preferences for frequent customers, allowing your bartenders to greet a frequent guest as an old friend by presenting them with their drink of choice before it can be ordered.
Securing Your Bar and the Customer
Bars are a high-risk business when it comes to meeting legal and regulatory guidelines. Add to the mix the various forms of payment accepted, and how easily it is for a hurried bartender or inebriated customer lose track, and you have quite the mess that must be addressed. Performing ID checks to ensure customers are of age is a great place where a modern, bar-based POS solution can be of service. A capable bar POS solution will allow you to scan or enter the information of questionable forms of identification so you serve your customers risk free, or deny service to those who fail to present suitable identification.
A common area in the bar industry that leads to incurring monetary losses on the customer is managing tabs. This frequent occurrence in bars and pubs is often handled manually by a variety of methods, such as setting the card on top of the receipts for each purchase. The manual processes around managing tabs can be sunk by a spill, a customer forgetting about the tab, or the house misplacing the card.
A modern bar-POS solution can provide you with easy tab management that only requires the customer to present a card once. In some cases, secure payments can be made via a mobile app, allowing you to expand your accepted forms of payment into the world of eWallets. Not only does this broaden the reach and reputation of your bar’s brand, it gives your customers a sense of safety knowing that they will not be making an embarrassing call to their credit card company explaining how they lost their card.
Effective Inventory Management Minus the Babysitter
How many bartenders would love to have real-time inventory reporting at their fingertips during the peak of the Saturday night rush? Being in the know about how much wine is under the bar and how much is in the storeroom can make a large impact on your bar operations throughout the course of the night. This gives you and your staff the flexibility to adjust orders as the delivery cycle dictates and can give you enough of a heads up to start driving certain products in order to preserve the stock of others.
For example, you notice that the case of Shiraz, which typically lasts a week, is almost gone thanks to a large party the night before. Looking at your wine inventory, you notice that you still have the three cases of Merlot that was delivered a few weeks ago. Not wanting to run out of Shiraz, your bartender quickly announces specials that can’t be refused by any wine drinker at midnight on a Saturday night: half off of any glass of Merlot until close. Just like that, you are starting to get the Merlot flowing again while being assured of maintaining some Shiraz in stock until the next delivery arrives.
Automated alerts and monitoring are key when it comes to leaning on a POS system to help burden the inventory management load. A capable POS software solution will give near-real-time alerting to potential inventory issues or trends, allowing you to quickly adapt. You gain the tools needed to gain a tighter grip around inventory controls while developing versatility and high responsiveness when it comes to ordering to your customer’s evolving drink tastes.
Seeking Guidance Around the Best Bar POS Software Solution
Determining which of the many bar POS options on the market are best for you can be confusing if you don’t know what to look for. At a minimum, you want increased accuracy in ordering, inventory, and in closing tabs. For some, the promise of tableside drink ordering and payment may be the bells and whistles they are seeking. Knowing yourself and, most importantly, your customer is a must if you are to be successful in your POS efforts. Engaging with an experienced bar-based POS solution provider is the next step you need to take.
When you reach out to talech, you gain more than a POS solution provider. We take the time to learn your business inside and out so that the solution we recommend and implement for you represents exactly where you are and where you want to be down the road. You will feel confident in your efficiency gains, and will enjoy your increased profit margins. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and find out how we can revolutionize your business.
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