As we head into a new year, we rounded up the top 22 trends to look out for in bars and their POS systems in 2022. Thanks to our friends at Ekos for the neat title idea!
Popular Beverage Predictions
Luckily bar POS systems support dynamic digital menus, because your consumers are demanding some new beverage options in 2022! Your bar POS system can test the waters of your consumer demand by offering new options like these, and assessing later on if they’re driving significant enough revenue to keep serving them. Diversifying menu items also means you open up your consumer base to reach more people!
1. Rosè All Day Year
The wine industry’s pink stepsister is causing some disruption. 2021 was a strong year for rosè sales and it’s only expected to keep climbing in 2022. It’s Instagram-friendly appearance and easy-to-guzzle taste are responsible for its rise in consumer demand, but even rosè-inspired ciders and beers will see a bump in sales this year.
2. Mocktails & Other Alcohol-Free Options
Health-consciousness has entered the bar scene and there are no plans to slow down. Since 2019, non-alcoholic options have been climbing in popularity as nondrinkers still want to join in on the toasts when they’re out with friends. But, new to 2022, mocktails are improving: taste is improving, they better mimic the actual boozy choices, and over-sweetened soda alternatives are a thing of the past.
3. Vegan Beverages
In a similar vein, vegan bars have become a favorable option among health-seekers in certain areas of the country. Those in Charleston are digging the okra-slime thickened drinks at Neon Tiger, and the Overthrow Hospitality group has proven that vegan options draw large crowds in New York City. Would you like cashew cheese with those fries?
4. Adaptogens Hit The Mainstream
You guessed it—another health-conscious option will pop up in bars this year: beverages with adaptogens. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body resist stressors of all kinds—physical, chemical, or biological. They’re good for both your brain and your immune system, which people became much more aware of these past couple of years. Journalist Amy Glynn told Paste Magazine that “It’s impossible to guarantee they will make you smarter, faster, calmer, or thinner, but they’re definitely poised to make you less hungover.” Turns out adaptogen beverages can be an alternative OR an addition to alcohol in your bar.
5. Tequila, Tequila, Tequila
Trends lists are consistently predicting tequila to be the #1 liquor choice of 2022. In addition to its rise in popularity, bars are seeing tequila drinkers become more adventurous in their selections. This means more bar guests are ordering pulpy or mineral-laden styles, and even mezcal, which has historically been a challenge to sell with its smoky flavor.
The Revamped Dine-In Experience
It’s been a long couple of COVID years and bar patrons will be returning to their favorite watering holes with a vengeance—i.e. really high expectations.
6. Mobile Bar POS Systems Are A Must
Frankly, a stationary terminal for checkout is archaic in the 2022 bar scene. Not only does it limit staff to one location, it makes checking out a longer process than it needs to be if bartenders are all waiting to use the same device. Mobile bar POS systems literally mobilize your staff, allowing them to service guests anywhere in your bar. Plus, mobile smartphones and tablets are intuitive and easy to use—a must in the 21st century!
7. Diversity In Payment Methods
Another point for mobile bar POS systems! These types of bar POS systems accept a wider range of payment methods for guests than standard POS systems do. Paying guests can use credit/debit cards, contactless payments (RFID cards), and digital wallets (like Google Pay). This diversity will only continue to grow in importance, as cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream. More than 300 million people own cryptocurrencies, so that may be the next payment option added to bar POS systems’ capabilities.
8. QR Code Menus, Ordering, & Payments
Who knew in 2010 that we’d eventually be using QR codes on a daily basis? Well we sure are, especially in bars and restaurants, and these bar POS system-supported barcodes are certainly sticking around for 2022 and beyond. When implemented with a bar POS system, QR codes have been proven to increase tab and tip size, improve the guest experience, AND increase staff efficiency.
9. Over-The-Top In-Person Experiences
Guests in 2022 are looking for unique, branded experiences when they go to bars, because it’s a rarer outing than it was a couple years ago! The concept of extravagant decor, tempoed music curated based on what guests are enjoying, and other experiential expectations are in the queue for guests this year. Your bar POS system can support these kinds of experiences with a comprehensive reservation system or an online gallery of photos to entice newcomers.
10. Reserving Seats At The Bar
Speaking of reservations—if people are leaving their houses, they want a guaranteed seat. Because of this, 2022 will see an increase in consumer demand for reservation systems at bars, restaurants, breweries, etc. Get ahead of the game and implement a reservation system with your trusty bar POS system.
11. Ever-Evolving Outdoor Dining Options
The increase in outdoor dining options, and the rising investment behind it, has become an expectation for guests that prefer the outdoor ventilation. It’s not enough to (not-so-simply) convert a parking lot into an outdoor space for your guests. Guests are now accustomed to having available heaters when it’s cold, and fans and misters in the dead of summer. Some bars now offer Instagram-worthy venues to imbibe: Personal greenhouses, igloos, domes, and tents are just a few.
Remote Consumption of Your Products
It’s obvious less people are coming into your bar these days following the onset COVID regulations and suggestions. But that doesn’t necessarily mean your sales need to suffer, it just means you have to get more creative with how you sell.
12. The E-Commerce Giant Grows
It’s no secret that alcohol e-commerce is a billion dollar business and growing. After all, Uber just acquired Drizly for $1.1 billion and it’s been predicted that 7% of all alcohol sales will come from e-commerce by 2024. It’s imperative that your bar POS system has the technology to support an online storefront so you can meet consumer demand where it is—online!
13. Direct To Consumer Shipping
If your bar is selling alcohol online, you’ll also need to set up a system of getting it to them with the help of your bar POS system. By offering products for pick up, delivery, or shipping, you are growing your customer base and thus fattening that bottom line! COVID has strengthened the consumer need for optimal convenience, and that means getting a six pack delivered to your doorstep.
14. Subscription Boxes
Another innovative way bars will see consumers enjoy their goods in the coming year is via subscription boxes. Craft beer boxes have already seen their own boom, but in 2022 you can expect to see small businesses create their own version of monthly boxes for loyalty members. Emailing subscription users and curating boxes can be easy with the right bar POS system. That recurring revenue sure doesn’t stink, and it’s a great way to remind your fans why they should come back in-person when they’re ready.
15. Cocktail-Making Classes
Whether virtual or in-person, hosting classes will be a popular way to differentiate revenue streams and get the good times rolling with eager patrons once again. COVID opened the DIY floodgates, and if people are willing to make their own sourdough starter, you can bet they want to learn how to make a cocktail from your expert bartenders. Use your bar POS system to link to class sign ups at the bottom of receipts or email your rewards members about it!
Increased Focus on Relationships
After a couple years of yearning to hug family and friends again, we could all use some extra love. 2022 will see businesses focusing on that human connection.
16. Smaller, Tight-Knit Staff
“The Great Resignation” is what’s been coined as the overwhelming amount of attrition in labor we’ve seen across the US recently, especially in the hospitality industry. And unfortunately, with declined enrollment in hospitality schools, new able workers aren’t expected anytime soon. This will reflect in staff sizes in 2022, where smaller teams will have to find more efficient ways to service guests, presumably by leaning on their bar POS system.
17. Retaining Versus Recruiting
The labor shortage is also causing more business owners to focus on retaining their existing staff instead of recruiting new members. This means encouraging team members to stay by increasing pay, offering flexible hours, and providing benefits. Again, establishments will have to heavily rely on their robust bar POS systems to support less team members, but it’s refreshing news that existing staff members will receive enhanced working conditions in 2022.
Recently, the racist system by which our society has been running was finally brought to the forefront of the conversation. Because of this, companies are committing themselves to change by beginning programs, raising money, and recognizing privilege. There will continue to be a big push in DEI efforts in the coming year, and your bar POS system can support your own business by joining in with features like donation at checkout.
19. Bigger & Better Loyalty Programs
Since in-person interactions are so infrequent, hospitality businesses are leaning into enhancing and growing their loyalty programs. With reports that 75% of consumers prefer to purchase from businesses with rewards programs in place, it’s a no brainer to implement one in your bar. Bar POS systems with loyalty programs allow you to email members, incentivize them with deals and promotions, and let you stay top of mind with your fanbase.
Reacting To Supply Chain Issues
Lumber isn’t the only thing in short supply. Bar owners and their team members are getting creative in reaction to the supply chain issues.
20. Make Your Own ______
Bar owners are struggling to find a myriad of inventory staples: green Chartreuse, amaretto, aquavit, and Suze just to name a few. But, the hospitality industry is as resilient as ever, and instead of cutting menu items, they’re making these ingredients themselves. Luckily bar POS systems make editing menus easy—who knows what’s being served tomorrow!
21. Umbrella-less Piña Coladas
These missing ingredients are joined by straws and fruits in the list of things that are hard to find these days. Peaches and grapefruit are a couple of the fruits that bars are struggling to get their hands on, so they’re having to get crafty with drink adornments. Cutting longer straws in half and running to the local supermarket instead of getting fruit from wholesalers are the remedies for now.
22. Sourcing Local
Bartenders and owners are even adapting with the present lack of liquor options available. For example, Williams & Graham switched their well vodka from Wodka to locally made Woody Creek’s Roaring Fork vodka. Other bars are following suit by reassessing the liquors they use and seeing where they can instead support local and receive the bottles in a convenient, timely way.
These 22 trends all highlight just how flexible, creative, and resilient hospitality workers are. With this roadmap to the future of bars and their POS systems, hopefully 2022 surprises us less!
If you’re looking for a bar POS system that’s just as flexible as you are, check out Arryved POS. Our team will bend over backwards for your growing business, because we only succeed when you do. Request a free, custom demo with an Arryved specialist today!