The greatest appeal of a small bar is the intimacy and effortlessness of the atmosphere. It’s a casual place free from the noise or crowds or queues or shouted conversations that make a night out at a bigger place more of an event. As an owner or manager, you’re charged with creating and maintaining that atmosphere, and you don’t want the realities of business to interfere with the mood.
A point of sale system for a small bar can help keep things smooth and relaxed. The right solution will make payments effortless, keep the customer-staff interaction discrete and social, and give you an all-in-one point of access to your business tools that fits seamlessly into your atmosphere and doesn’t keep you locked away in a distant back room during service.
With the right digital point of sale system, you can make your business life as comfortable and relaxed as a night out at your own bar. All this potential can be defined in 7 must-have features that you should look for when considering a point of sale system for your small bar. They are:
- All-in-one Accessibility
- Flexible Payment Options
- Integrated Business Tools
- Data Science Advantages
- Staff Management Features
- Complete Customer Service Flexibility
- Subscription Savings
These must-haves start with the power and ease of having all your business tools available at the tap of a touchscreen.
What Should a Point of Sale system for a Small Bar do?
The point of sale (POS) system has become the hub of small business in the digital age. Where once you had to have different hardware and software solutions to manage your books, manage your inventory, manage your staff, and manage the register during service, now it’s all packed within one digital package. Just as your smartphone packs all manner of social and professional solutions into a single pocket-sized device, so does a POS system bring together all your business tools.
This is possible thanks to an evolution of hardware and software. On the hardware side, small businesses are using iPads to replace their registers. Managers are linking these impressive and yet intuitive touch-screen multimedia displays with cash drawers, mobile payment devices, and traditional and barcode printers to turn any corner of their floor space into a multipurpose customer service hub.
On the software side, everything is stored online and accessible from any of the internet-connected devices that already dominate your life. Not only can you access your accounting and staff management tools from the same platform, but you can link such tools and get a comprehensive analysis of the way your bar operates.
Here are the 7 must-have features to look for:
1. All-in-One Accessibility
Your bar will thrive on the atmosphere you create. Having a digital POS solution will help you be more present during service to stoke that atmosphere. That’s because the all-in-one nature of most POS hubs amounts to less lost time moving between business tools and chores. Your staff rosters are just a click away from your purchase orders—and you can automate those—which in turn are just a tap away from your live inventory.
Moreover, all these tools are available when, where, and how you prefer. You can use your phone, your laptop, your home computer, or the POS register by the bar to discreetly keep the business side of matters churning while your focus remains on the all-important ambiance.
2. Flexible Payment Options
The most obvious application for any digital point of sale system for a small bar is payment options. No one wants to encroach on the relaxed vibe of your bar with a cumbersome transaction. Your POS solution should cater to the ever-growing number of mobile, tap-n-go, and phone-based payment options currently available. Furthermore, you should be able to painlessly set up a tab for the night or open a customer account for the long haul, all while discreetly dealing with staff tips, discounts for the regulars, and any deal or promotion you may have, from celebratory shots to birthday champagne.
3. Integrated Business Tools
The above payment options only work if the tools you use during service are integrated with the tools you use in preparation. A digital POS solution can bring all your various accounting, ordering, and service information together to give you a real-time understanding of how each aspect of your bar contributes to the overall flow of assets. You don’t have to part with any of your trusted favorites either, as most of the leading POS hubs now include third-party integration for services such as QuickBooks or Salesforce, or Microsoft products.
4. Data Science Advantages
A small bar is a lean machine. Striving for the intimacy and personal atmosphere that earns a unique reputation leaves little room for wasting resources on inventory, primarily when it comes to beverages. You need to prepare for any customer preference, but you can’t leave money-wasting items gathering dust on the top shelf. A digital POS system can help you optimize the spend on every bottle, coaster, and bag of nuts by analyzing the exact contribution each makes to your bottom line.
Everything that gets ordered in and everything that ultimately gets thrown out can be accounted for in a POS solution because it all gets fed through the same system. Your purchase orders, your marketing efforts, or the performance of your staff balanced against the resources of retaining them can all be balanced using data science to tell you exactly where your revenue comes from.
This automated reporting can tell you all sorts of valuable information about your own bar, from the most popular orders for any given timeframe to the impact of loyalty programs or theme nights. You can then use this data to make practical decisions that will make and save you money.
5. Staff Management Features
The staff are critical to the success of any bar. They’re the connection between your customers and your service, and they provide much of the personality of the place. You can incorporate the trust and teamwork of your employees into your POS system by giving them control over a lot of the issues that determine their working lives. As most digital solutions are available via the web, you can give your staff their own logins and let them organize their own rosters, their timesheets, their own tips, and even their own training.
You can also do them a big favor by converting your ordering and payment systems to touch-friendly digital methods that make it easier to take, modify, and deliver on customer orders.
6. Complete Customer Service Flexibility
That last point depends on your ability to create a system that serves your business intuition, rather one you have to strictly serve. A POS solution should give you the flexibility and insight to run your bar your way. You should be free to indulge your regulars while still balancing your books, to make unique loyalty programs that are based on business performance, and to modify any aspect of service while maintaining professional standards. A digital POS system can provide the balance of information and tools that actually deliver on all those potentials.
7. Subscription Savings
The digital revolution has changed the cost of running a bar. You don’t have to buy the internet-based business tools you use to manage your business anymore, nor do you have to pay for their storage or hire an IT expert to maintain them. Most POS solutions now come delivered over the internet at monthly or annual subscription prices that dramatically reduce the initial overheads and risk of establishing a new system.
Competition among POS providers is now driven by customer service and no-lock-in contracts, so you’re free to pursue a customized digital solution without the fear of it compromising your ability to run your bar.
In fact, it’s never been easier to manage your own bar your own way, and to leave the business side of your customer’s evening tucked discreetly away online.
When you partner with talech for your hospitality technology needs, we devote our time to identify your business challenges. We use this information to work with you in applying a point of sale system for your small bar that will keep you on track. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.