The Best POS System for Bars With Dynamic Tab Functionality

The best POS system for bars offers dynamic tab functionalities so staff can focus on mixing up the perfect drinks for thirsty guests. 

Optimizing Your Bar Point of Sale

The sure sign of a well-equipped server? When they send in a round of drinks for a large table without hesitation, because their POS device is so savvy. 

The best POS system for bars offers dynamic tab functionalities like the following, so staff can focus instead on mixing up the perfect cocktails for their thirsty guests. 

Dynamic Tab Functionalities For Placing Orders

The faster an order is inputted into a POS device, the less time it takes for that drink to get into a customer’s hands. These tab functionalities from the best POS system for bars speeds up service, delighting guests that surely can’t wait to come back:

Predictive Search Bar

Do you have a whiskey enthusiast straight out of Kentucky requesting the most obscure bourbon available? With a predictive search bar, servers and bartenders can find anything on the menu in milliseconds. Simply type the first few letters of what you’re looking for, and the most relevant menu items pop up instantly. The same goes for hunting down someone’s particular tab, too!

Transferable Tabs

Your bar space may have a lot of seating options, and guests love to explore, especially after an adult beverage or two. Transferable tabs make it easy for roaming guests to move locations without having to close their existing tab and reopen a new one. Say guests want to have Happy Hour drinks at the bar, and move to a more private table for dinner. Thanks to the best POS system for bars, they have the freedom to move, and all servers have to do is transfer their open tab to their new seats!

Hold & Send Ordered Items

Picture this: A server is taking a table’s order and the guests request their appetizers, entrees, and dessert choices all at once. The server knows everything ordered shouldn’t come out at once, so they input all items on the order screen, and then put the entrees and desserts on hold, while sending the apps straight to the kitchen. When the table is done eating their apps, the server can press send on the entrees. And when they’re done eating entrees, the server sends the desserts. This way, guests have a perfectly curated meal and can enjoy each course as intended. 

The value of holding orders also benefits servers: They don’t have to remember all of the table’s requests in their head. All orders are collected at once, but this technology allows them to wait to fire orders off to the kitchen!

Seat Numbers

The next handy functionality from the best POS system for bars is seat numbers. This ensures that every order on a tab corresponds to a seat number, making the delivery of orders more efficient. Gone are the days where servers auction off menu items: Who had the Old Fashioned? The espresso martini? Servers and runners alike know exactly who ordered each menu item according to their spot, so there’s no need to interrupt the table’s conversation. Plus, seat numbers make splitting checks at the end simple for staff, too. 


Modifiers are add-ons that personalize a dish, and they’re a dynamic tab function that makes it easy for servers to input, no matter how complicated. A modifier could be a steak’s temperature, a pizza’s toppings, or the type of vodka in a cocktail. Guests love the option to customize their choices, and the best POS system for bars makes it easy on the staff-facing interface to quickly add modifiers to any menu item. 

Contactless Ordering

Another savvy tab functionality for inputting orders? Tech that allows guests to start their own tabs and add menu items at their leisure!

QR code ordering lets guests scan a QR code, order food and drinks themselves, and close out, all from their own smartphones. Because the best POS system for bars syncs all guest and staff devices, QR codes offer the flexibility for servers to add to any guest’s tab, too. This makes for an ideal dining experience for guests, and expedited service for hustling staff members. 

Ordering via an online store is another way that guests can order food and beverages for to-go or pickup, or order merchandise to be delivered. This method of ordering diversifies revenue streams, so you’re making money from people that want your bar’s offerings, but would prefer not to leave the comfort of their home for the evening. 

Dynamic Tab Functionalities For Payment Flexibility

Making the checkout process a seamless experience is top priority for ensuring guest satisfaction, too. And nowadays, some people don’t even carry around physical wallets, relying instead on Apple Pay or another form of digital wallet. Theses tab functionalities empower guests with flexible options to pay how they please:

Card On File

If guests do plan to pay with a credit card, they prefer not to forfeit it to a jam-packed rolodex behind the bar. The best POS system for bars offers card on file technology, allowing staff to swipe cards and hand them right back, while still keeping the tab open. This saves staff time on tracking down everyone’s card at the end of the night, and it also makes checkout a breeze—all guests have to do is sign and (hopefully) tip!

Splitting Tabs

Large tables typically prefer to split tabs, and this can cause a time-intensive headache for busy servers. Luckily, with dynamic tab functionalities, splitting tabs is simple. By creating sub tabs based on seat numbers, servers simply select any sub tab and close it out. This functionality is great for splitting a tab by items.

Likewise, you can quickly split a tab evenly with the best POS system for bars. Say 2 guests want to split an entire tab down the middle, or if they want to pay for their own drinks, but split the appetizer they shared. Servers can just select the entire tab, or the menu items being split, and click 1 button: Split. Intuitive interface technology like this makes payment easy for servers and guests alike. 

Gift Cards

A gift card is a perfect gift for any guest that can’t get enough of your bar and your team, and it’s also a guarantee for future business! Some POS make gift card payments a pain, but the best POS system for bars makes it just as self-explanatory as any payment method. A simple Gift Card button listed as a payment option lets servers click, swipe the gift card, and apply part or all of the card’s balance to a tab. If more payment is required that wasn’t on the gift card, the server is prompted to process another payment. 

Now, if someone uses a gift card to cover the first $25, and pays the rest on their credit card, servers often get undertipped, because guests are only tipping on a partial payment. BUT, the best POS system for bars ensures that tip percentages reflect an entire tab’s subtotal and total, versus the partial payment’s subtotal and total. That way, servers get the full tip they’ve earned!

Contactless Payments

We touched on contactless ordering via QR codes and online stores, but here’s a feature from the best POS system for bars that allows for no device or card swapping during the payment process: a customer-facing mobile app. With a downloadable app, your seasoned regulars can order and close out right from their own phones, and their credit card information is already saved. Paying via a mobile app is great for the weeknight regular that comes in for a single beer after work, for example.

Dynamic Tab Functionalities For Streamlining Operations

Smart tab functionalities are important to a bar’s success even when you’re not directly interacting with guests. The following features keep bar operations organized and efficient:

Digital Menus

We all know that editing digital menus is much more efficient than having to edit and reprint paper menus. (It’s more eco-friendly, too!) But the savviness of digital menus doesn’t stop at them being easy to change and promote certain menu items with images and iconographies—the best POS system for bars also allows for timed menus

Timed menus streamline operations by automatically updating menu items and pricing based on the settings you choose. This is a great tool for Happy Hour, so there is no confusion on pricing or what’s offered during those hours every day. 

Tab Tags

Helpful for communication between staff members and grouping gaggles of guests together are tab tags. A tab tag is an identifier that tabs are searchable by on the best POS system for bars. (Shout-out to the predictive search bar once again!)

For example, if there’s a guest that should no longer be served any more booze, a server can add a tag to their tab that says Don’t serve. The tag isn’t visible to guests, but it’s an indicator to every other staff member working that H2O is the only thing that guest is getting in a glass for the rest of the night. 

Here’s another example: A kickball team comes in every Thursday for drinks after their game. Servers can tag each tab opened with Kickball, which makes it easy to narrow down the Open Tabs list when you’re checking guests out. It’s also great for reporting purposes later on—if that team brought in a significant amount of revenue in the past two months of coming in every week, perhaps it’s worthwhile to invite other recreational sports teams in the area to your bar!

Tipping Methods

Your staff members have mastered all of these dynamic tab functionalities in addition to serving up an exceptional guest experience, and they deserve the tips to prove it! The best POS system for bars offer intuitive tipping methods, such as:

  • Auto-gratuity on unclosed tabs: With features like card on file, there’s bound to be a tab or two left open at the end of the night. Make sure staff get the tips they earned by setting up an auto-gratuity or a pre-calculated tip percentage for all unclosed tabs. 
  • Tip pooling tools: Choose how you want to tip out your employees from a variety of tipping methods. Tip points use a weighted scale to accurately allocate tips across the different job functions in your business. On the other hand, tips by item type allocates tips to each item ordered, which is helpful for tip outs between service, bar, and kitchen staff. 

Trust us, your staff will appreciate these POS system features!

Cloud-Based Tabs

A key tab feature to ensuring smooth operations among staff members is cloud-based technology. This means all staff POS devices, as well as tabs customers have started on their own devices, are synced to the same information cloud. So when a server enters an order on their device, the kitchen staff and bartenders’ devices automatically reflect the new order that’s been placed. This synced connection means data in your reporting dashboard and inventory management systems update automatically across devices, too, but that’s for another day or another blog!

Offline Mode

The last lifesaving tab functionality from the best POS system for bars is offline mode! When disaster a thunderstorm strikes and you lose internet connection, you risk having to close the place down if you can’t continue transacting. Offline mode lets you continue running business as usual sans WiFi, and then you can sync all tabs again once your connection returns. No loss of sales, and no awkward conversations between staff and thirsty guests. 

All of these dynamic tab functionalities come from the very best POS system for bars around: Arryved POS. Besides an intuitive, fully-integrated system, the Arryved team offers industry expertise and a genuine desire to help business thrive. Request and free, custom demo today to see it all in action! 

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