How To Develop A Robust Beverage Program With Your POS System for Bar & Restaurant

The perfect beverage can turn a good meal into a great meal, which is why it’s critical to offer a robust beverage program with delicious grub. Here’s how to run a successful beverage program, and the POS tools to help.

Optimizing Your Bar & Restaurant

There’s a reason a cookie always tastes better alongside a glass of cold milk. The perfect beverage can turn a good meal into a great meal, which is why it’s critical in the hospitality industry to offer a robust beverage program in conjunction with delicious grub. 

Below are 3 attributes of a successful beverage program, and the tools your POS system for bars and restaurants offer that can help:

Why A Robust Beverage Program Is Key To Business Growth

Let’s state the obvious of offering drinks in your establishment: It drives up tab sizes. In fact, the restaurant industry typically sees alcohol sales make up 25%+ of their annual revenue. This is partially because markups on alcoholic offerings are so extreme, and customers are accustomed to paying up to 4x the wholesale price. Plus, charming a guest into another round is a much easier sell for servers than it is to convince a party to get another plate of food. 

Now, apart from monetary gains, a unique beverage program gives your business the chance to stand out from those around you. Bars and restaurants that tout a self-pour beer wall system or offer a rotating menu of booze from all over the world are ear-perkers for newcomers and seasoned regulars alike. Your beverage program is an extension of your brand, and it’s an opportunity to dazzle guests with an exceptionally unique experience. 

Here are a few things to consider when developing your beverage program plan:

  • Hours of operation: Is your business a brunch spot that’s only open until 2pm? Skip the wine list and focus on an epic Bloody Mary bar instead. 
  • Consumer preferences: Do guests come to you for a family-friendly spot? Are they adventurous with what they’re willing to try? (More on identifying guest preferences with the help of your POS system for bars and restaurants to come!)
  • Food pairing: What beverages would pair well with your existing menu items? 

This may start to sound daunting, but remember that a beverage program is a lower lift effort compared to running a full kitchen. Booze has a longer shelf life than food, which means there’s less waste involved. Plus, assembling a drink is quicker than assembling a plate, so labor costs are lower, too. And when you realize all the profit-making potential adding drinks to your menu poses, all the hard work will be worth it!

Of course, there’s also technology to support you: POS systems for bars and restaurants

Attributes Of A Successful Beverage Program—Including How POS Systems For Bars & Restaurants Can Help

The right POS system can do so much more than facilitate order taking and process payments. Here are some necessary features of great beverage programs, and the POS system tools that can support them:

Expedited Drink Service

From the time a guest places a drink order, you want to quench that thirst fast. These tools from POS systems for bars and restaurants ensure an efficient ordering process, so glasses meet lips in record time. 

Mobile, cloud-based POS system devices make staff more efficient.

Servers chained to a stationary POS terminal puts them at a disadvantage to promptly service your guests. Instead, with mobile, cloud-based POS devices, they can assist customers from anywhere in your bar and restaurant! The portability makes it so staff doesn’t have to run back and forth to retrieve receipts or credit cards, because it can all happen tableside. This extra time next to guests is a great opportunity to enhance the guest experience, too. 

The cloud-based technology in mobile POS systems is important for streamlined communication between servers and bar staff. Once an order is placed on a server’s device, the bar staff’s devices are instantly updated. Bartenders can start assembling drinks immediately, so guests never have to wait long for their delicious beverages. 

Contactless ordering puts ordering power in guests’ hands. 

An even quicker way to get orders to a bartender? When guests order themselves using their own smartphones! The best POS systems for bars and restaurants offer a variety of contactless ordering and payment options:

  • QR code ordering: We all know the song and dance that became so popular during the pandemic: Guests scan a code, enter their credit card information, and start their own tabs! This ease of ordering has proven to increase tab and tip sizes, too.
  • Mobile app: Regulars rejoice for ordering via mobile app. The app saves their card information, so all guests have to do is open the app, order, and close out when they’re ready. 
  • Online store: The future is digital, even in the bar and restaurant industry. Maximize revenue potential by offering all of your goods—food, drinks, and merch—for sale online. The best POS system will set you up with a customizable, free-to-host storefront

These contactless ordering methods are real crowd pleasers for convenient ordering and speedy drink delivery.

Card on file saves everybody time. 

The last thing a patron with a hankering for a quick, refreshing drink wants to do is hand over their credit card to a jam-packed rolodex. In fact, it’s really the last thing any guest prefers to do! Fishing out cards at the end of the night is time-intensive for staff, and it’s a risky business liability if a card were to go missing. 

That’s why smart POS systems for bars and restaurants offer a card on file feature—a functionality that allows staff to keep tabs open without holding a physical credit card. Any unclosed tabs are settled at close, and no guest nor staff member is unnecessarily inconvenienced!

Customizable Orders Made Easy

Guests wanting their beverages a particular way shouldn’t slow down service. The following tools from POS systems for bars and restaurants delight guests by making personalization a cinch. 

An intuitive POS interface makes order inputs simple.

Your bartenders are happy to make any drink to a guest’s liking, but clunky tech can make it a pain for servers to input on their mobile POS devices. The right POS system makes modifying any order a simple few clicks by providing an intuitive, flexible interface. The same interface is easy to read for bartenders, too! Now a guest can enjoy their virgin piña colada with extra pineapple, no problem. 

Flight tools let guests try everything without causing a service fuss. 

Whether you have an impressive tap list of beers, ciders, or spirits, you likely have guests that want a little sip of everything. With the wrong POS system, entering flight orders can be a timely task for staff and often limited in customization. 

However, the right POS system for bars and restaurants offer flight tools that make the ordering process efficient with dynamic tab functionalities. Plus, guests aren’t limited to a certain amount of flight options. They can choose between 2-8 choices, so the flight is truly personalized to their desired sample list.

Digital menus keep offerings evolving and guests curious.

A large part of satisfying guest customization desires is offering an ever-evolving menu. Digital menus from POS systems for bars and restaurants let you easily change up your menu. Plus, with cloud-based technology, your updates are immediately reflected across all staff and guest devices, and you don’t have to worry about printing and redistributing new paper menus. 

A dynamic menu allows bartenders to be creative, too. They can focus on seasonal cocktails or throw up a new concoction on a whim, without having to worry about inconveniencing other staff members with menu updates. Keeping guests on their toes with your menu offerings like this makes for a fun experience, and increases the likelihood that curiosity will bring them back again!

Incentivize Repeat Business

Speaking of bringing guests back, your beverage program should focus from the beginning on how you can utilize it to encourage repeat business. This requires data and tempting rewards from your POS system for bars and restaurants! 

Robust reporting informs what you’re doing right, and what you can improve.

Accurate, robust data is at the heart of every successful food and beverage business. After all, it quantifies what you’re doing right and informs where there are opportunities to improve. 

Because the best POS systems for bars and restaurants are cloud-based, the reporting dashboard updates in real time as sales are made. This lets you get a real pulse on performance at any given time, which makes you a more nimble business owner. 

Making informed business decisions is key to growing. Here are some questions that good reporting answers:

  • What are my top selling items by quantity, sales dollars, and during certain time frames?
  • When am I busiest and slowest?
  • Where can I view payroll and tip information by employee?

When you make choices based purely on data and guest preferences, you’re bound to incentivize return visits. 

Loyalty programs reward big spenders and encourage community. 

Offering a rewards program is good for business in 3 primary ways:

  1. Drive traffic: When you reward people for spending money with your business, you give them reason to come in again. 
  2. Incentivize returns: A loyalty program such as a Mug Club is a great way to set your bar and restaurant apart from others in the area. If a guest can get their specialty mug filled with the same amount of liquid as the bar down the street for a discounted price at your establishment, they will choose your place 10 times out of 10. 
  3. Create community: Sure, your staff does their best to recognize regulars to make them feel extra special. But what if your guests make each other feel at home, too?! A loyalty program creates community within your establishment, which naturally connects program members to your brand. 

Satisfying guests is good for every kind of business, but especially for bars and restaurants that are ramping up their beverage programs! Ready to wash down this information with a cold one? Be sure to check out Arryved, the most trusted POS system for bars and restaurants. Our food and beverage industry expertise make us the perfect partner for scaling your business and implementing a robust beverage program. Get a free, custom demo of the Arryved system today!

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