10 Useful Features a Bar POS Must Have to Help You Boost Sales
Bring in more business and boost sales by using a POS system that genuinely helps your bar grow into its full potential
Does Your POS Fit the Pace of Your Bar?
Bars can be fast-paced and extremely difficult to manage if you don’t have the right POS to help you smoothen operations and save time. Customers will expect drinks to be served in a timely manner and if you add food into the mix, the cooperation between front-of-house and back-of-house has to be seamless. Running your bar with several disjointed systems may actually isolate your servers, kitchen staff and bartenders. How, then, can your bar POS rectify this massive problem?
The best way to ensure that your POS connects your business is by utilizing a cloud-based bar POS. If your POS uses cloud tech, it can easily send relevant data automatically to other modules like a Kitchen Display System so that once an order is placed through the POS, your kitchen and bar staff can immediately begin working on orders. If you’re opting for a cloud POS, you should also make sure it has the following features, which are must-haves for your bar business.
1. Tab Management
When you have a table full of friends, each ordering different amounts of drinks and food, it’s important to be able to create individual tabs and to merge tabs, if needed. Tab management not only lets your bar staff provide better service, but also maintain organization for when it’s time to settle the bill.
2. Menu Management From Anywhere
As a bar, the concept of having multiple menus will be commonplace. You’ll need, at minimum, a menu with standard drink prices and one with happy hour prices. If you’re running special promotions, there could even be 3 or 4 menus that your bar has to cycle through on a given night. A great cloud-based bar POS will let you add new menu items and specify to which menu they belong remotely. Just hop onto your portal, make the changes from wherever is convenient, and it’ll all sync up with your POS devices. Simple and effective!
3. Repeatable Modifiers
Having modifiers in a bar POS is a basic necessity. No one likes their drink exactly the same way and it’s important to get those little details right – like less ice, extra lime, more vodka, you get the idea. But when it comes time for that table to reorder another round of drinks, you don’t want your staff wasting time inputting all those modifiers in again for every single customer. That’s why being able to repeat an order across multiple items (with applied modifiers included) is a real life-saver!
4. Mobile POS (mPOS) Pairing Support
Sometimes, it’s important for your bar staff to be able to move easily through the premises and take orders. This becomes especially important if your bar is smaller and/or packs in a lot of seating. That’s where an mPOScomes in clutch! Pair it with your POS and your bar staff can take orders on a simple mobile device instead of carrying an iPad or something larger. Not only does it make navigating the bar easier, but taking orders is also quick and your staff can engage far more with customers, providing them with a friendlier and fun experience.
You’ll want to keep track of what’s selling, what isn’t and where you’re wasting your money. If there’s a food or drink item that isn’t doing well, it may be worth scrapping those for new items, or pairing them with popular items if you have a lot of those ingredients in stock. Analytics give you the control to streamline your menu and serve your customers exactly what they want while protecting your bottom line.
6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A bar is a friendly place where people come to let go of their stress and enjoy the atmosphere. To some, a bar is like a home away from home. This is why making your regulars feel welcome and special is so important. Regulars are the lifeblood of any bar and having a great CRM system in place to reward their patronage will make them feel appreciated and incentivise them to come back (potentially with friends).
7. Inventory Tracking
Picture the scene, a happy couple walk into your bar, take a seat and place their orders. The bar staff returns and awkwardly informs them that something they ordered is no longer available and they’ll have to order something else. The mood of that couple is ruined and their night is already off to a bad start. Not only can a lack of inventory tracking lose you customers, but it can put your bar staff into some really unpleasant situations. Inventory tracking lets you always have the ingredients you need in-stock, so your customers can order their favorite drinks without being let down.
8. Table Management
While this feature can be useful on any day, it’ll likely shine when you’re packed on a Friday night and need to keep track of the status of all the tables in your bar. Be it what course a table is on, whether it’s empty, needs cleaning or is waiting on an order, your bar staff will always have a clear picture of what’s going on so that no customer is forgotten about and table turnover can be maximized.
9. Third-Party Integrations
What in the world are third-party integrations and why would I need them? Well, most bar POS systems, no matter how amazing they are, might be lacking that one specific feature you really need. By being able to integrate with third-party solutions, you can get that feature embedded directly into your POS, even if it’s provided by an external company. An easy example is pairing with an accounting software you like and a more specific example might be including a new feature like beer taps on every table that let customers pour their own beer and calculate the bill cost automatically based on the volume poured. Basically, third-party integrations can be as tame or wild as you like, but they bring cohesion to your bar.
10. Orders Delivered Directly to Each Kitchen Station
When member of your bar staff takes an order, be it at a table or behind the bar, they can enter it into the POS and the order can be automatically sent to the relevant kitchen station. For example, food dishes can be sent to the kitchen and drinks can be sent to the bar. If you have specific kitchen stations for starters and mains, you can also specify menu items to be sent to those relevant printers or Kitchen Display Systems directly. Super efficient and super smooth!
Does Your POS Raise the Bar?
With the right POS on-hand, your bar can benefit in so many key and important ways that help your staff and improve the customer experience. Not only does the right bar POS bring your entire bar together, instead of fracturing it into separate sections, it also helps you manage your inventory, customer relations, finances, tables, orders, tabs and so much more. If you feel your bar is struggling in terms of organization, staff performance or order speed, perhaps it’s time to look into implementing a clous-based POS system that has all the above features integrated directly into it.