Robust POS systems for small breweries juggle a lot of responsibilities between assisting your staff with ordering and payments. But the best ones also keep the guest experience in mind, because the companies behind them know how important customer satisfaction is to a growing brewing business.
The following 7 features of POS systems for small breweries inspire happier guests AND bigger tab sizes!
1. Give Guests Ordering Autonomy
The first way POS systems for small breweries support exceptional customer experiences is by making ordering as easy as possible by offering a variety of ways to do it. Empowering guests to take control of their tab not only allows them to have a better time, it’s also proven to boost tab and tip size too.
Mobile POS devices meet guests where they are in the brewery
With a portable POS device right in your service team’s back pocket, they’re able to assist guests anywhere along the bar, tableside, or on their way to the bathroom! Staff members who are readily available to help make guests feel special and taken care of.
QR code ordering and payments lets guests add to tabs or checkout at the drop of a hat
Giving guests the option to contactless ordering and payment right from their own smartphones is another feature favorite from POS systems for small breweries. With a digitally savvy customer base that likely frequents their Amazon Prime account, guests are comfortable with and accustomed to making purchases on their phones.
Plus, it’s a family friendly tool! When kids need another juice box or just a nap, QR codes make it easy for parents to get an order in the queue or quickly checkout and leave.
Online stores capture off premise sales, boosting profitability
Speaking of savvy online shoppers, hosting an online storefront is key to engaging guests and inspiring purchases when they have a craving for your goods but want to stay home. The best POS systems for small breweries make hosting an online store free, easy, and customizable to your unique brand. Delight guests by allowing them to order and enjoy your brews and merchandise off premise!
2. Allow For Flexible Payments
Giving guests flexibility in how they pay their tab can better their taproom experience. Accepting a wide range of payment types reduces lines and wait times, and gives busy parents an easy out when their kid starts crying and they have to jet ASAP.
The savviest POS system for small breweries offers 3 options in flexible payments:
- Mobile app: Guests can download an app, input their credit card information, and then order and close out right from the app. This is great for seasoned regulars, since they likely know exactly what they want to order and may want to quickly get in, enjoy, and get out.
- Contactless payment: Everything from Apple Pay to QR codes are widely used contactless options that diversify payments for guests.
- Card on file: Keep tabs open without requiring the hold of a physical card. Guests love not forfeiting a card, and with an open tab, they’re encouraged to order more! Any tabs left open are automatically closed at the end of the night—and you can set up auto-gratuity, too!
What do ordering autonomy and payment flexibility have in common? They put the power right in guests’ hands, allowing them to dictate their own taproom experience.
3. Get Crafty With Service Models
Now to give yourself some creative power! In the past, business owners have chosen service models based on their establishment’s layout, the building size, what they’re serving, etc. But these days, because of the persisting labor shortage in the industry, we must choose service models based on staff availability.
Counter service may be the typical go-to in breweries, because it’s easy to staff—only beertenders are needed—and therefore inexpensive. However, especially with the busy summer projected, counter service can actually overwhelm staff and result in long lines of unhappy guests.
Table service is more formal, and it’s expensive to pay all of the necessary staff needed to execute it. But, it’s a real crowd pleaser, as it allows for more staff-guest engagement opportunities.
The best of both worlds from POS systems for small breweries? Floating service! While the term itself isn’t yet widely adopted, this hybrid service model is being used by breweries all over the country as a way to maintain engaged guests without exhausting the staff on hand.
Surprise! Floating service is all about flexibility, too. Staff essentially “float” through the taproom—taking orders, closing tabs, suggesting the next round, etc. Guests have the option to either order with a floating staff member, or via the QR code on their table. By giving guests even more options, you provide exceptional service with any amount of staff you have.
4. Give Guests A Reason To Return
You know what you’re brewing is delicious and your staff are working their tails off to dazzle every thirsty person that walks through the door. But how can you really ensure that guests will return? Give them a specific reason to!
Loyalty programs supported by POS systems for small breweries drive traffic and engage guests by offering exclusive discounts, merchandise, events, and rewards. Mug Clubs are popular in many breweries, and thoughtful loyalty programs thrive in craft communities because of how dedicated guests are to the beers they love.
It may sound daunting to start from scratch, but remember these tips:
- Start simple: An effective program must be easy to understand so there is no hesitation from guests in participating.
- Think end goal: Is your goal simply spreading brand awareness? Is it to experiment with special releases and get feedback from trusted customers? Keep your end goal in mind every step of the way.
- Be creative: Free beer is great, but it won’t garner a loyal group of die hard fans for your brewery. Have fun with your program, make it unique to your brand, and always keep guest satisfaction top of mind.
The good news? You will reap rewards from the loyalty work you sow! Beer brands like Hi-Wire Brewing have 7 locations across state lines, and they continue to grow because of the dedicated fan base they’ve curated thanks to robust loyalty programs.
5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Apart from a killer BOGO deal, you can stay top of mind for guests by staying on top of their email inbox and their newsfeed. Sometimes brewery owners are so busy doing the work to create engaging guest experiences that they forget to shout it from the rooftops!
Email may sound old school, but it’s still an extremely effective way to communicate with your fanbase. The best POS system for small breweries makes it easy to email all loyalty program members, so you can quickly incentivize them to come in for exclusive merchandise or discounts.
Social media is another essential communication avenue for small breweries. People often look at their newsfeeds when deciding what their weekend plans are, so there’s definitely an opportunity to drive traffic by announcing new tap lines, upcoming events, or even link to your online store to capture off premise orders!
Plus, social media gives you a unique opportunity to involve guests. Create polls on Instagram stories or Facebook statuses to hear what your guests want to be drinking or the kind of event they’d like to attend. It may seem too easy to be worthwhile, but guests love feeling like they have a voice in their favorite brand’s decisions, and it’s a great way to get them in the door to see what you’ve landed on!
6. Optimize Your Events Calendar
You know events get guests in the door, but sometimes it’s unclear if any given event is actually profitable. For example, a Paint ‘n Sip Night can bring gaggles of local artists to your brewery, but their hands are mostly occupied with paint brushes instead of pint glasses. A fun event does not equal a worthwhile one, and you’re in the business of bottom lines.
Lean on a POS system for small breweries and their reporting tools. Not only can robust brewery data inform you of which events brought in the most revenue, it can also help you decide when to have events (Hourly Total Sales report) and who to staff for those events (Employee Performance report). Plan events during your typical slow periods to drive traffic, and staff your top sellers to maximize tab sizes!
Raíces Brewing Company is a great example of a data-minded brewery with a large programming initiative. As a self-proclaimed “community center, cultural center, and resource center,” Raíces must be smart about their event calendars to ensure their programming is worthwhile from a business perspective. Owners keep a close eye on sales trends and strategically schedule events to compensate for slow periods.
7. Data Is Key
If you thought reporting would only play a role with determining an enticing event calendar, you’re mistaken! Accurate, real-time data plays a key part in every single guest engagement tip mentioned here. Your POS’s centralized reporting dashboard should give insights on everything from products and employees to events and loyalty program effectiveness. After all, if you can’t determine what’s working well for guests and your bottom line, you’ll never be able to pinpoint what isn’t working well.
And lastly, let the robots do the work for you. You may be a seasoned Excel spreadsheet wrestler, but manual data entry allows for errors. The best POS systems for small breweries automate all of your data in real time, so you can check in on performance in one place at any point in time. This allows for nimble decision making, which is key in an industry as fast paced as beer.
Check out the webinar How To Satisfy Guests & Your Bottom Line for a deeper dive into these 7 tips and more real-world examples from brewing professionals!
A key theme here? Flexibility! Your POS system for small breweries should be just as flexible as you are, offering transparent pricing and a free suite of features that allows for full experimentation. Arryved POS is the most trusted brewery POS out there—request a demo to find out why!