If you’re in the hospitality business, you know that running a bar is no walk in the park. Every day you simultaneously focus on making one-of-a-kind drinks, moving at lightning speed, wowing your guests, empowering your staff, making smart data-driven decisions…and the list goes on. It’s exhausting!
What started with big dreams, innovation, and entrepreneurship now needs smart technology that helps keep everything thriving. When you empower your whole team with the right tools, you’ll find that you’ve created an environment where everyone will succeed. That systematic success breeds higher tabs, better tips, and a profitable business.
Your dream bar POS system should be:
- Intuitive and mobile, freeing your staff from performing time-consuming tasks.
- Reliable for FOH (front-of-house) and BOH (back-of-house) to communicate efficiently with real-time venue and kitchen management.
- Data-driven, giving you insights to effectively increase your bottom line.
- Integrated with accounting softwares to streamline financial decisions.
- Guest-centric and enable you to build brand loyalty by engaging your loyal fans.
- Affordable with no hidden fees!
The Best Bar POS Systems Drive Efficiency by Empowering Staff
Here’s five ways that the right bar POS system can impact your bottom line by enhancing the day-to-day for every member of your team—while also engaging your customers:
1. Empower Bartenders and Staff Through Mobility
Servers and bartenders quickly got on board with mobile technology during the 2020 pandemic to launch takeout and curbside programs, fast. Now they’ve discovered that the best bar POS system—cloud-based and released from traditional terminals—frees them from performing time-consuming administrative tasks and allows them to focus solely on guests. With POS technology literally in their pocket, servers and bartenders have reclaimed their ability to be gracious hosts by engaging with guests from anywhere.
The best bar POS system should be simplifying tasks: intuitive touch-based splitting and merging of checks, venue management to keep different areas of your bar organized, seamless offline mode handling when your Wifi goes wonky, and card-on-file technology to eliminate responsibility for forgotten tabs. With these tasks out of their hair, your staff can fulfill their potential and shine, resulting in higher tabs, bigger tips, and guests that can’t wait to come back.
2. Create FOH and BOH Efficiencies Through Real-Time Venue and Kitchen Management
The best POS systems recognize that boutique bars aren’t just about world-class beverages—they’re also about creative cuisine, and that requires next-level FOH and kitchen operations. For the FOH, we’re talking on-the-fly venue management, tab splitting, modifiers, and more at your fingertips. The best bar POS systems also allow bars with multiple spaces to easily customize the offerings each section—including changes by the time of day or day of the week.
For the BOH, centralized inventory and orders in one system guarantee that your food and drinks never get oversold again: They disappear from the menu in real-time, saving the guest from ordering something out of stock, and the server from the embarrassment of telling them! A kitchen display system means you can be rid of paper tickets, too, increasing accuracy and efficiency.
When venue and order management in the FOH seamlessly connects with the item count and inventory management in the BOH, it’s a win-win for the entire “house”! That’s communication goals courtesy of the best bar POS systems.
3. Drive Decisions With Data and Increase the Bottom Line
The back office keeps the ship afloat, so your bar POS system should always provide real-time data insights to increase profit margins with proactive decisions on staffing, menus, events, and overall business operations. Track and analyze right down to ounces poured, hourly sales by product, total hourly and weekly sales, tab tags, comps, and even employee performance by product category.
The best bar POS systems give you access to review data and make those critical business decisions on the fly. The results are efficiencies in time and inventory management, and that means higher profits.
4. Streamline Financial Decisions with Integrations
The best bar POS systems streamline business operations—sometimes with a little help from their friends—through automated processes by integrating other software. This mitigates manual errors that can throw off your books and waste time. No one has time for that!
Look for integrations with go-to small business accounting softwares such as QuickBooks and Xero, or daily sales accounting systems, like Shogo, which links to other accounting platforms. These partnerships give the finance team the power to improve profit margins through informed decisions on, for example, what should stay on the menu and what needs to go. They also allow number-crunchers to break down taxes into different categories, watch discounts with comp reporting, schedule reports, and more, in order to get a clear picture of revenue, costs, loss, and efficiency.
5. Build Brand Loyalty by Engaging Enthusiastic Customers
Guests also embraced mobile hospitality technology during the 2020 pandemic, not only to support their favorite bars, but also to stay connected to the food and drink that they love—especially what felt (and, tasted!) like the “old normal.” The best POS systems built on that loyalty and community, so guests could continue to create their ideal boutique experience—one that’s seamless from that first QR scan to closing the tab.
A great bar POS system empowers the guest, and enhances the guest experience, no matter where they roam in your venue, with digital menus that update in real-time, mobile ordering and check out, and more. Best of all, it means quality time with bartenders and servers informing and educating—and that means bigger tabs and tips. As Secret Hopper stated in an early 2020 (before the pandemic) study, “The more your staff can build a connection with a guest over the course of their experience, the more that guest will be willing to spend.”
Guests also joined loyalty programs to be part of the inner circle and to earn swag and other spiffs! This trend has continued as bars cultivate a growing community of loyal fans. Their engagement affords you precious word-of-mouth advertising (their Instagram game is strong!) resulting in repeat business and new business. A loyalty program that’s integrated with your bar POS system means guest insights are available in real-time so you can up engagement, tabs, and tips with customized “touches” to build your brand. Whether your goal is to bring guests in during slow times, pre-sell new items, or capture a new audience, your results and bottom line will pop when you create loyalty.
Make Your Bar POS System Your MVP (Most Valuable Partner)
The best bar POS systems save you time, money, and headaches across the board by creating efficiencies in every way imaginable. It makes sense, then, to choose one that was created for the industry by industry insiders who walked the walk and know what it’s like to work in, manage, own, and operate a bar.
Armed with an industry-born bar POS system means your unique concerns have already been considered and included.
The ideal bar POS system shouldn’t nickel-and-dime you for every software update or support call. In fact, it should provide immediate support at no additional charge. It also shouldn’t require a contract or other burdensome monthly fees. That means real people answer your emails and calls within minutes. You should get help from industry veterans with deep knowledge of the bar POS system and your business. It’s one additional thing that you don’t have to worry about, whether that’s coaching you through a network outage and your offline system, customizing reports, setting up your loyalty program, advising on QR code menus, ordering, and payment, or supporting any other aspect of its POS system. Think of it as not just your POS system but also as an extension of the bar itself!
Thirsty for more? Here’s seven more features that empower your servers and bartenders, FOH and BOH, decision-makers, finance and customers:
- Expert support that’s fast and free.
- No-cost new features as they roll out.
- Real-time inventory to streamline operations.
- Online ordering that’s integrated with on-premise ordering for a consolidated system.
- Card-on-file to minimize processing fees.
- Contactless ordering and payments that satisfy your guests.
- Extensive real-time reporting for immediate insights into your bar’s operations.
Want to dig into a case study? Check out the data behind Ska Street Brewstillery’s success. They found better time management with remote data access, less order errors through modifications, and a valuable focus on guest experience that was easily attributed to their bar POS system.
Ready to make your bar POS your MVP? Schedule a demo with a bar POS system that was created for the beverage industry.