Bars and nightclubs are bustling gathering places for people who want to kick back and enjoy. The majority of your bar or nightclub’s revenue comes from alcohol sales, so don’t let slow service or out-of-stock bottles derail a good (and profitable) time. Leverage your point of sale (POS) technology so beverages are delivered quickly, and popular drinks are flowing. However, not every POS system can get the job done — make sure you choose one of the best POS systems for bars, with the right features for a bustling night life operation.
1. Tableside Service Functionality
Some POS systems assume that bars and nightclubs are drinks only, but if your operation serves food, your POS system should integrate with tableside service and perhaps seating reservations. The best POS systems for bars allow servers to input food and beverage orders into a mobile device and transmit them to the bartender or kitchen so staff can begin to prepare them immediately. Heartland’s Dinerware solution is perfect for Windows and Android OS users who want to implement or upgrade to one of the best POS systems for bars.
2. Easy Customer Management
Customers are looking forward to a fun night out, so the expectations for friendly, convenient service are high. Keeping patrons happy will mean drinks will be flowing and sales will be higher. The best POS systems for bars should give people the convenience they expect, including split checks and transferring a tab from bar to a table without checking out when seating becomes available.
3. Easy Menu Management
The best POS systems for bars have the capability to set up variable pricing for promotional events like ladies’ nights or happy hour, where pricing depends on the day and time. Club or bar managers can preload drink and food specials into the system for the week, day or specific timeframe, so busy bartenders don’t need to calculate discounts or click extra screens to apply promotional pricing. When the happy hour pricing or special event ends, the system will automatically revert to the regular prices.
4. Credit Card Preauthorization
Preauthorization is an important practice for bars and nightclubs that want to reduce shrinkage. A pre-auth ensures there are adequate funds on the card presented, and temporarily holds them until the transaction is completed. A pre-authorization is an effective way to establish a tab, eliminate chargebacks and ensure that you will be paid.
5. Robust Inventory Management for Liquor
The best POS systems for bars feature advanced inventory management functions that help monitor inventory levels and reorder at the appropriate time. They also provide you with easy-to-read reports that allow you to monitor trends and use them as guidelines to make sure you’re ordering the proper items in the right quantities. Inventory management reporting will also provide insight into which alcoholic beverages are in demand, as well as high margin vs. low margin drinks.
If you are managing inventory accurately and efficiently, detailed reports give insight into inventory, clearly show profit vs. loss, and help you set pars. These reports can also help you identify incidents of internal theft, which can make up as much as 24% to 26% of gross sales. In addition, sales reports can help you determine your pour cost and weed out poor menu pricing. Leveraging reports can really pay off: For example, on $500,000 in beverage sales, every 1% reduction in pour costs is an extra $5,000 in your pocket.
Operate a Business Like None Other
Restaurant POS systems often claim to support operations at bars and nightclubs, but your business needs specific features and functions that all POS systems don’t offer. Don’t settle for a POS system that isn’t designed for your business. With the right point of sale features, your bar or nightclub operation will benefit with an improved bottom line and the ability to provide customer-pleasing service with streamlined processes that save time and money.