When customers arrive at a bar to unwind, that’s no time for a POS system to relax. Everyone and everything in this environment is expected to move fast. The only exception to this need for speed is the patrons. In order for a bar to stand out from their competition, they must consistently provide quality service that goes above and beyond.
Proprietors need a POS bar system that comes ready for quick and accurate order entry, with the ability to handle a variety of tasks unique to this type of establishment, such as split tabs, open tabs, age verification, and liquor control. Bar management software needs to be able to help owners and operators increase their profits while at the same time, help them to better understand their business and customer base. The right POS system software can help make or break an establishment.
Here are five leading software features to seek out in a bar POS system:
1. Quick Order Entry and Customer Check Out
When a bar operation gets busy, the bar POS system needs to keep up with a high volume of orders. Look for the ability to open and preauthorize bar tabs quickly without holding the patrons’ payment cards as well as hot buttons for popular items and other often repeated orders. For example, enter a request for “another round’ with one step, and close it with quick payment keys. With a pre-authorization feature, proprietors can set a dollar amount to be held on individual customers’ cards, speeding up the transaction prior to settlement of the bill.
2. Split Tabs and Multiple Tabs Per Table
Keep your customers happy with flexibility in payment options. For example, there may be tabs for single patrons, groups of people, or those who will pay the entire tab. Each group may present different payment methods, such as credit, debit, or cash. Some may have food, while others will not. The bar POS system needs to keep track of all this activity with speed and precision. It needs to divide evenly, manually, be split based on payment type, or be set up by different amounts or items. Customers, especially millennials, want options. They want to have the ability to split the check and have the payment process move along quickly.
3. Age Verification to Mitigate Risk
Age verification has been a fact of life in the bar business for a long time, but you can never be too careful. Age verification systems that require driver’s licenses and IDs are getting more sophisticated in their ability to help protect your business from fines and potential lawsuits from fake IDs. Your bar POS system should be able to link to age verification software. For example, ID scanners can read driver’s licenses with magnetic stripes as well as those with 1D or 2D barcodes to verify the patron’s age.
4. Kitchen Display System to Send Food Orders From POS Back to Kitchen
The bar POS system should be able to communicate with your establishment’s Kitchen Display System (KDS) for productivity and efficiency, which means fast and accurate service. A customizable KDS helps establish a workable procedure for behind-the-scenes food preparation. The benefit of not having to send food back and receiving food in a timely manner makes for happy customers.
5. Liquor Control Feature Security
Security is a special concern in the liquor business; a superior bar POS system will integrate with your CCTV security system cameras, overlaying item ordering information on the CCTV system. The CCTV system is triggered when an employee enters a void, comp, or discount. Once entered, the camera will record a message telling which button was entered. You can assign security codes to restrict access to specific aspects of the POS system, such as liquor control to reduce or eliminate over-pouring.
It will take time to find the right bar POS system that meets the unique needs of each individual business. With so much going on in a bar on any given night, it is extremely easy for things to slip through the cracks or get pushed aside. A POS system that helps with streamlining operations and allows staff to give the best possible service to every guest will not only improve the reputation but it will increase profits and keep customers coming back. At the end of the day, the right POS software will improve a bar’s bottom line and will also establish the business as one of the best places to drink and/ or eat.