How Bartenders Keep Track Of Tabs: The 5 Best POS System Features Your Bar Needs

Tab Tags, Seat Numbers, Colors, and more! These are just some of the POS tools that will help make your bartenders’ life easier.

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When bartenders are hustling to get drinks out fast on a busy Friday night, they depend on technology to keep track of tabs. Here are the 5 best POS system features your bar needs to keep tabs organized and drinks flowin’.

First, What’s The Value Of Tracking Tabs?

Tracking tabs is about more than just keeping your bar organized—it supports your business’s two most important parties: staff and guests. 

Organized Tabs Help Staff Succeed

With all of the potential distractions bartenders and servers face—music, TVs, and conversation, to name a few—the last thing staff need to worry about is finding the right tab to add the next round to. The following 5 bar POS system features make their jobs easier

Plus, for flexible service models where both mobile POS devices and contactless ordering are at play, standardized tab organization ensures all staff can assist all guests at any time. 

Keeping Track of Tabs Keeps Guests Happy

Using these POS tab tools makes for better guest experiences, too. With staff easily adding orders or closing out tabs, guests get faster service. Plus, they can trust that it’s accurate—nothing is on their tab that shouldn’t be.

Table & Seat Numbers Identify Who Exactly Ordered What

Creating a floor plan for each area of your business is an extremely helpful way to map out both seating and standing arrangements. Table numbers are a quick way for staff to label a tab and then ensure accurate and timely delivery of everything ordered. 

Get even more granular with seat numbers. This tool tracks the seat each order came from, even if it’s all on the same tab. This is extremely helpful when delivering food and drinks to the table—you don’t have to interrupt to ask who ordered what. Plus, if the party asks you to split the tab at the end of their meal, you can easily do it by seat number with the best POS systems. 

Tab Tags Work As An Internal Communication Tool

Coming specifically from Arryved POS, tab tags are exactly what they sound like: tags that staff add to tabs to communicate among each other about a guest or group of guests. Here are some examples of tags and when your bar may use them:

  • SOFTBALL: A softball team comes in every Thursday to either celebrate a win or drown their sorrows in tater tots. Tagging every tab that belongs to the team makes it easy if, say, the captain decided to pick up everyone’s tab after the championship game. A good POS, like Arryved, lets staff quickly merge all tabs with the same tag, so checking out a team of 15 is a breeze. The same type of beneficial naming convention goes for birthday parties, a work Happy Hour group, or those participating in Trivia for the night. 
  • CHECK ID: If your bar is using QR code menus and ordering, you don’t want to bypass checking guests’ IDs. A tag like this is the perfect reminder for servers delivering drinks to make sure the person who ordered is old enough to imbibe. 
  • CUT OFF: No one wants to be the bad guy and tell someone they’ve had enough for the night. But, if a staff member notices a guest drank too much, they can tag their tab to let every other staff member know it’s time for a water-only diet for that particular guest. No whispers or pointing necessary!
  • TOGO: Certain tags can also print on prep tickets, which makes the most sense for to-go orders. That way, back of house staff know to leave the sauce on the side and to plate everything in recyclable containers instead of on real plates. 

Not only do these tags streamline service operations for your team, they’re really helpful in quantifying success when you’re looking back at reports. Filter by SOFTBALL tags, for example, and you’ll see how much revenue hosting that team brought in for you during their season. Perhaps it’s worthwhile to start marketing to other sports teams in the future for the sake of your bottom line!

Tab Search Makes For Fast Filtering

Tab Search is a tool typically used in your POS reporting dashboard. For Arryved, it’s located in your cloud-based Portal, and you can search for tabs by:

  1. Day or range of days
  2. Employee who “owns” the tab
  3. Area of the businessbar the tab was closed in (bar, patio, etc.)
  4. Table number
  5. Minimum or maximum tab totals
  6. Check number
  7. Last 4 digits of the charged card
  8. Tab name

Now, what can you do once you’ve located the tab you were looking for?

  • Email receipt: Say your guest needs to expense the Happy Hour outing to their employer but threw the receipt away. Now you can quickly email it to them!
  • Update the area where the tab was closed: If you worked with a pop-up bar all weekend but, for reporting purposes, you need all tabs to show as closed from the main bar, you can update that information here. 
  • Refund tabs: No matter the goof, you can easily find a tab and refund it if need be. 

Color-Coded Tabs Mark Statuses

The best POS interface color codes tabs during service so your staff can quickly glance at their devices and know exactly what each tab’s status is. 

For example, here’s a screenshot from Arryved Service:

Easy-to-read identifiers like this help staff running a flexible service model know where every guest stands. If one server closes George Fitz out, all the other staff members know from his tab’s color that he settled up and they don’t need to bother him about the bill. 

Psssst! If you’re curious, read more about Offline Mode here

A Tab Management Tool Lets You Edit Tabs In Bulk

Arryved Portal tools strike again in helpful tab tracking! The Tab Management Tool can be used for one-off tasks such as closing, comp-ing, or voiding a tab. But it’s likely most helpful when you need to edit a group of tabs in bulk. 

Digital card on file is a real crowd pleaser when it comes to staff productivity and guest engagement. But it often results in many tabs being left open at the end of the night. (Who can blame ‘em? Swipe a card, order as many rounds as you please, and leave with your card safely in your wallet!)

Closing each individual tab can be time consuming for staff. But the Tab Management Tool comes to the rescue: Use it to bulk close a list of tabs and even add a standard blanket gratuity to each. Now your guests had a fun, carefree time and your staff are still compensated with the tips they deserve

Running Your Business Is Easier With Arryved POS

In addition to these tab tracking tools, Arryved offers many other features that streamline service for staff and improve guest experiences. See it all in action in a free, custom demo from an Arryved Growth Specialist!

“I don’t think The Rayback could function anywhere nearly as effectively or efficiently, or provide the quality of service to the volume of people that we’re serving on a daily basis without Arryved. I think it’s the only way to be honest.” 
-Melissa Timm, General Manager of The Rayback

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