How to Set Long Term Goals with the Help of Your Bar POS System

2022 is here! Have you set your new year business goals? Check out these 8 long term goals you can set with the help of your bar POS system!

Optimizing Your Bar
Bottles of liquor behind a bar

Regardless of how long your bar has been around, it’s always a good idea to look to the future and have long term goals in mind to grow your business. Turns out your bar POS system can be a great tool to help you set and achieve those goals!

Here are 8 long term goals you can set with the help of your bar POS system: 

1. Build & Nurture Customer Relationships

You wouldn’t be where you are today without your biggest fans and supporters: your customers! So it’s worthwhile to set long term goals focussed around building your relationship with them. 

Beginning a loyalty program is a great way to build a devoted customer base, encourage repeat business, and increase the average tab size at your bar. Your bar POS system can support this effort by prompting guests at checkout to join the program, or you can direct them to a program-specific web page that allows them to sign up. 

Loyalty programs at bars typically incentivize members with the following perks:

  • Point program: The most common kind of loyalty program is when guests earn points by spending money. Once they’ve racked up enough points, they can redeem them for schwag or discounts on their bar tab. 
  • Mug club: For an annual membership fee, guests can “reserve” a drinking vessel at their favorite bar. Usually mug club members get discounts on their mug drinks on certain days of the week or holidays. When you’re looking long term, the revenue collected from those annual fees gives you the extra cash you need to buy supplies in bulk at the beginning of the year, or purchase supplies that will increase productivity for the rest of the year. 
  • Email promotions: With the help of your bar POS system, you can also email blast your members with discounts around the holidays, announcements of new products hitting your shelves, or special member-only events coming up. 

Merchandise is another avenue to build and nurture your customer relationships. Consider changing up your merchandise designs every so often, so you create buzz around fresh products and incentivize the purchase of a new t-shirt—even if someone already has two from your bar already!

DSSOLVR is a good example of a brewery brand making eccentric, one-of-a-kind merch that is flying off their shelves because of the unique designs. In the long term, the commitment to this funky aesthetic will establish their brand recognition and create a loyal customer base that’s always eager to see (and purchase!) the next design. 

A sticker pack available in DSSOLVR’s online store. Image courtesy of DSSOLVR.

2. Increase Sales 

Sure, owning and operating a bar is fun, but you need to eat and pay bills! You’re in this business because you love fostering community, but you’re also focused on running a profitable bar. So it makes sense that one of your long term goals would be surrounding financial goals.

Lean on your bar POS system and its robust reporting dashboard to track your sales data. There should be customized reports that showcase the statistics you care about and that filter based on the time periods you want to hone in on. Here are a couple reports that you may find useful in determining success:

  • Hourly sales by drink: This shows you sales by drink, by hour of the day. This helps you make informed menu decisions and keep drink costs down. 
  • Hourly total sales: This breaks down total orders by hour of the day. It helps you plan ahead by tracking trends over time to know what you’re selling and when. This can also help you optimize for staff efficiency and plan events to incentivize visits during slower periods. 
  • Weekly sales: This reports on total sales by day of the week. Understanding trends each day of the week helps you make proactive choices to help boost sales on slow days and keep your business relevant all week long. 

Keep reading for more on optimizing your menu and maximizing staff efficiency!

Another long term goal in this same vein is automating your other systems with your bar POS system. An example of this would be inventory management, which helps you plan future production and know when to bring products out of storage and into your bar space. As stock depletes, synced inventory management and POS systems reflect the depletions in real-time. By automating the flow of this inventory data between the two systems, you ensure accuracy and save back of house staff time. Financially, this data sync is also vital to making production, sales, and money decisions for your business. If those are informed decisions based on real data, you set your bar up for success in the long run!

Other systems your bar POS system should integrate with are business management and accounting softwares. 

3. Get in the E-commerce Market

Did you know that direct to consumer shipping of alcoholic beverages is a billion dollar business and still growing? In fact, by 2024, 7% of all alcohol sales are expected to come from e-commerce. Uber’s $1.1 billion acquisition of Drizly, the largest alcohol delivery platform in North America, is a sure sign that this is becoming hugely relevant. 

Knowing that, one of your long term goals should definitely be to get into the alcohol e-commerce business. Luckily, your bar POS system can help!

There are 3 fulfillment options available to you:

  • Curbside pickup: This option lets customers pick up their online orders at your storefront. This is the easiest place to start, and you and your team can practice packaging products, handling newfound online demand, and still have face-to-face time with your guests. 
  • Local deliveries: This is the kind of work that Drizly does. (Who you can consider working with, if you’re interested in employing a third party!) You can determine a particular radius you’re willing to deliver to, choose hours that delivery is available, and dedicate a staff member to delivering orders!
  • Ship nationally: This option is the largest lift, but it also casts the widest net of consumers! You’ll need to consider which third party to use, and beware of the legal compliances surrounding shipping alcohol. 

Your bar POS system can support you by hosting an online storefront where guests can shop, tracking fulfillments, and evaluating success through its reporting platform. 

4. Improve Staff Efficiency

Your bar POS system can glean a lot of insights about your peak hours and when your staff is the busiest. If you set a long term goal to improve staff efficiency, your staff will thank you and so will your bottom line. Ensuring this means maximized tips, improved the guest experience, and also means guests will likely order more because they’re having such a good time. 

You can take what your bar POS system reports as the slowest time periods as a sign to staff down during those hours. We all realize the impact the labor shortage has had on the hospitality industry, and if you can efficiently serve guests on Monday nights with only two staff members, you should. 

Another way you can improve staff efficiency is to implement QR code menus, ordering, and payments. These matrix barcodes allow guests to view the menu, open their own tab, and even close out, all from their own mobile device. Keep in mind that this is a tool meant to expedite how quickly drinks hit a table, and not meant to replace human interactions between staff and guests. 

Here’s a real world example: Red Bear Brewing found that the average tab was 16% higher and average tip was 12% higher when they started using QR code ordering with the help of their bar POS system!

Bartender makes a cocktail before checking guest out on bar POS system

5. Differentiate Revenue Streams

An incredible new aspect of modern bar POS systems is that they’re mobile! This means there is no longer a single stationary checkout terminal, and your staff is able to move about your space with smartphones and tablets as POS devices. Not only does this make your staff more efficient and available for thirsty guests, it also opens the door for you to differentiate your revenue streams by taking business outside of your establishment!

A long term goal of yours should be to begin selling at venues. Farmers markets, outdoor concerts, and other off-site events are easy to navigate with a mobile POS system. All you need is a staff member, drinks, and a POS device! By holding tents at events like these, you’re getting your brand out there in front of a broader audience that may not have heard of you otherwise. Plus, you’re making money in more places!

Another way to differentiate your revenue streams is to lean into merchandising. As mentioned earlier, fresh merchandise is a way to build and nurture your customer relationships, but this long term goal is also a way to make money outside of your main revenue source of selling drinks. Your bar POS system can support this effort by hosting an online storefront and keeping track of inventory management. 

6. Optimize Your Menu

Menu optimization must be a long term goal, because you can’t optimize until you have all of the data to inform your decisions! This is all about identifying your menu’s top sellers, rearranging based on your insights, and perhaps making more iterations of what your drink lovers can’t get enough of. 

The sales dashboard from your bar POS system is the first place to look when trying to find what is selling the best on your menu. Although you may have a hunch from being on the floor about what those items are, you should really rely on the numbers. 

Maybe you assume cocktails should be at the top of your menu, but the data is telling you that the time required to make them is causing delays for your staff and service. Draft beer may be what you identify as an item to put higher on your menu instead. Fortunately, with a digital menu supported by your bar POS system, it’s easy to rearrange your menu and iterate as necessary. 

Besides top sellers, you should also keep in mind the high-profit beverages. If adding a decorative orange rind is making your Old Fashioned an Instagram celebrity, it may be worthwhile to start adding photos to your menu to incentivize purchasing those higher-profit items. 

Once your bar POS system has helped you identify what your customers order the most, you can start testing and adding menu items that are similar to those popular ones. Maybe bar snacks will be next!

7. Throw an Anniversary Party

If your bar is just getting on its feet, a big anniversary event is a great long term goal to set. With your sights set on maximizing attendance, perfecting your service and drink specialties, and throwing an event that’s sure to get your neighborhood talking, your bar POS system is there to help every step of the way. 

The first step would be to use dynamic tab functionalities on your POS devices during service hours. If a volleyball team visits your bar after their Tuesday match, use tab tags to tag all of their tabs with a volleyball naming convention. Do the same during Trivia Night, tagging every tab with trivia participants. 

The idea is to host a series of smaller events like these, and then you can eventually look back on reports to see which group generated the most revenue for you by filtering based on tab tags. Maybe your Trivia-goers are Harry Potter experts, but their tabs are much smaller than any of the recreational sports teams you hosted earlier in the year. You’ve now identified the type of audience that would generate the most revenue for you down the road at a larger event!

Next would be to find how your big event could make an impact on your community, since we all know the hospitality industry is about building community. Perhaps your bar POS system offers something like a donation feature that prompts guests to donate to a good cause at checkout. Utilizing something like this is not only a low effort way to make a meaningful impact on your surrounding community, but people also tend to flock to events that benefit causes they care about. 

Finally, once you’ve gathered the information and tools you need to reach this long term goal, take to social media to spread the word! Make sure to communicate the kind of event you’re throwing (and now know that people love!) and that partial proceeds will be benefiting a good cause. Throwing a big anniversary party that creates buzz about your bar AND donating proceeds to nonprofit organizations? That’s called a win, win, all thanks to your bar POS system. 

Guest closing their tab on bar POS system

8. Create a Signature Drink

One fun long term goal your bar should consider prioritizing is creating a signature drink—if you don’t have one already! If your mind is racing wondering where to even start, here is how your bar POS system can help:

  • Encourage all of your bartenders to come up with their own signature drink. Each drink can be added to a time-curated menu based on when the correlating bartender’s shift is. Hello, dynamic menu capabilities!
  • After a certain amount of time has passed, you can look to your bar POS system to give you an employee performance evaluation on how many of their own signature drinks they sold. Now you can determine the most popular signature drink!
  • Add the newfound signature drink to your digital menu and perhaps your online storefront, too!

Creating a unique drink that is specific to your bar is a good way to get staff involved in a friendly competition, and establish your bar as a neighborhood favorite. Who knows—maybe in 10 years your bar will be known for starting a nationwide favorite!

If you’re on the hunt for a bar POS system that supports your business every step of the way towards achieving your long term goals, look no further. Arryved POS has built a POS system that facilitates business growth by combining savvy technology with a team of industry experts. Request a free, personalized demo today!