Best Bar POS Systems for Big Outdoor Spaces
If your outdoor offerings go far beyond a simple patio, you need a bar POS system with these 5 features that set you and your team up for success.
We’ve always enjoyed a perfectly chilled drink among friends on an outdoor patio, but pandemic precautions made having an outdoor area a seeming necessity for bars nationwide. Nowadays, people are more willing than ever to bundle up and sit outside, even in the middle of winter!
But if your outdoor offerings go far beyond a simple patio, you need a bar POS system with particular functionalities that set you and your team up for success.
Below we outline 5 features of the best bar POS systems for large outdoor spaces.
There are several pros of having a modern, mobile POS instead of a traditional POS system, especially with a significant outdoor space to utilize.
The primary reason that a mobile POS makes the best bar POS system is because staff can move around easily with their devices in tow. On traditional POS systems, there is one stationary terminal that staff members must return to whenever they need to enter an order or complete a transaction. Mobile POS systems consist of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, that staff can easily put in their back pocket or apron. This not only saves hardworking staff some steps and valuable time, it also lets guests have more facetime with servers since they don’t have to frequently disappear to a stationary terminal.
Besides being simply easier to transport, mobile POS also makes for better service, especially with a large outdoor space. If your bar has every picnic table, adirondack chair, and fire pit full, your servers will be bouncing from guest to guest to service everyone efficiently, and they won’t have the time or energy to run back to the bar or kitchen to deliver orders.
The best bar POS systems offer mobile devices because the information syncs across all devices in-house. That means a server can enter an order for the Corn Hole Champion, and the bartender receives it instantly on their own device. Meanwhile, that same server is now consoling the loser and taking their order of consolation fries, and a runner is bringing the Champ’s drink out as soon as it’s ready without the server ever missing a beat or having to communicate with inside staff.
This system of synced devices make for more efficient staff, and therefore a better service experience for guests.
Another necessity of the best bar POS systems is the ability to transact without an internet connection. Whether a storm rolls in, robbing your bar of an internet connection, or you’re holding a tent at a local farmers market sans WiFi, you need functionality that allows for continued transactions.
With the best bar POS systems, offline mode is a godsend for one and done transactions. Guests can easily order a drink, close out, and be on their merry way, all without having to connect to WiFi. Once power is restored, the data collected while offline will then sync across devices. No loss of data for your back end staff, and no headaches for the front of house.
Having an offline mode feature with their bar POS system was key for Michael Calhoun, Owner of Red River Brewing and Distilling in Red River, New Mexico. “Being in this part of the country, we have sporadic network coverage and being able to operate in offline mode has made those outages a complete non-event.”
QR Code Ordering
Another tool that makes the best bar POS systems so helpful for outdoor spaces is QR code menus, ordering, and payments. By now, you’ve met our matrix barcode friends, as they’ve taken over tables and countertops in bars nationwide since the pandemic.
If mobile, synced devices weren’t enough to decrease ordering friction, QR codes knock it out of the park. By placing QR codes on picnic tables and other surfaces outside, thirsty guests can start their own tabs and add to them anytime they want!
But this isn’t a Sonic drive-up. Roaming staff members can still add to guest tabs themselves, regardless of who opened it. These are great opportunities for staff to upsell or invite customers to your bar’s upcoming Trivia Night.
Not only do QR codes make it flexible for how guests order, but it also makes it flexible where they order. Big outdoor bar spaces are a playground for adults, especially after a libation or three. While guests may sit at a table for their first hour, they may get a hankering for a game of horse shoe, or need to warm up by the fire pit. But closing a tab just to move 10 yards away would be silly, which is why QR code tabs travel with guests. All guests have to do is scan the QR code nearest to them, perhaps on the fire pit bench itself, and their tab is now associated with their new location. The next round will find those meandering guests easily!
Increase Bottom Lines
The ease at which guests can order means that they order more! Supported by the best bar POS systems, QR code ordering has been proven to increase tip size as well. We’ll let the data speak for itself…
- 24% higher tabs when guests open tabs and order on their own devices
- 24% higher tips when guests open tabs and order on their own devices
Technology that has data proving it prompts a bigger bottom line should be considered for any bar hoping to grow revenue.
Easy Menu Management
Say your bar runs out of brandy. Announcing it inside, or even outside for that matter, won’t do much to communicate with everyone in your space. And there’s nothing worse than disappointing a guest with a sangria craving.
With QR code menus, nixing a menu item is simple. The digital menu is updated instantly across all staff and guest devices, so everyone knows what’s available at all times.
Digital QR code menus can also be set up as timed menus by the best bar POS systems. This is super helpful for Happy Hour, where pricing can change as soon as the clock strikes 2PM.
If you’re interested in learning more about QR code technology and easy steps for implementation, check out The Ultimate Guide to QR Codes for Bars.
Seamless Inventory Management
With the multitude of ordering device options available, you may be curious about how all depleting inventory will get tracked accurately. Well, the best bar POS systems offer robust inventory management tools that sync inventory counts in real-time across all devices. And this isn’t just for your indoor space and your large outdoor area—inventory will sync from online orders, too!
This mitigates the risk of someone ordering an item that’s out of stock, and it also makes it easier to accurately forecast inventory for the coming months.
But just how does this technology work? The best bar POS systems integrate with inventory management tools, such as Yellow Dog or Ekos. Integrations like these ensure data flows into all systems seamlessly, making this set-it-and-forget-it solution a no brainer!
Trust us, your back of house staff will thank you.
Speaking of getting on your BOH’s good side, all of these tools of the best bar POS systems make up one big data pie of mouthwatering insights. Mobile POS systems are inherently cloud-based, so all the synced information is also saved in the cloud. This means with the best bar POS system, you can access all reporting in one comprehensive dashboard from anywhere in the world. Because everything syncs in real-time, you can trust that the numbers are accurate up until that very second you look!
Insights like the following allow for proactive decision making when it comes to your bar’s outdoor area:
- Hourly sales by product: This report shows the exact time an item was ordered and sent to the bar or kitchen. If you notice that your bar staff is getting overwhelmed every Saturday around 5PM, you may look at reports and see there’s a huge uptick of orders during the 5:00 hour. Perhaps you curate a timed menu from 5-7PM that only offers canned cocktails and beers, so your staff can keep the orders flowing efficiently, despite an increased number of them.
- Hourly total sales: This report shows total orders by hour of the day. If you notice a slow period every Sunday around lunchtime, you can start to plan events like a bocce ball tournament in order to get more guests in. You can also use a report like this to determine staffing needs for any given day or time period.
Get even more granular in data like this, or more broad! All reports in the best bar POS systems are customizable, so you can glean the data you care about most.
Did a bocce ball tournament have your ears perked? With a large outdoor space, you should take advantage of all that extra area for events and other activities. The best bar POS systems offer a multitude of tools that make event planning a cinch. Here are some examples:
- Venue tracking: Of course, when you’re managing distinctly separate areas of your bar, it’s a good idea to track them as separate venues. This keeps staff organized and also makes it easy to determine the performance of each area separately. Perhaps in the summer, you’re overstaffing the indoor area, when you could really be using those team members outside instead!
- Event deposits: Your outdoor space is likely a tantalizing option for party throwers. Regardless of what kind of event your bar hosts, easily being able to set up and track event deposits is a necessity. You can make sure you have the staff and inventory needed to host, and also keep guests assured that they have the outdoor area to themselves.
- Will call reporting: This is a great tool if you’re hosting a ticketed event. Will call reporting lets you look into paid-for attendees, manage any remaining tickets, and easily look back at performance reports from any particular event.
So blow up some balloons and get party planning—thirsty people are on their way!
Arryved POS is committed to your unique business’s growth, making it the best bar POS system out there. We’ve built the thoughtful tools listed above because of intentional conversations with bar owners themselves, and we’re committed to continue listening to ensure Arryved evolves with your changing needs. Get a free, personalized demo today!