Why You Should Upgrade to a POS System for Your Bar

Posted on: 14 May 2018


If you're currently using a general point of sale solution that wasn't made with bars in mind, you could be missing out on revenue, losing customers, and hurting your business. Here are 3 reasons why you should upgrade to a bar-specific system tailored to your type of establishment.

You Can Set Happy Hour Menus

Since the concept of 'happy hour' and daily specials are unique to bars and restaurants, many general retail point of sale systems don't have a built-in feature to handle them. If you're not using a bar-specific system, you have to rely on your customers or your bartenders to manually keep track of happy hour times and special menus. Switching to a bar POS system will take care of happy hour menus automatically, charging customers accurately based on what time it is, what day it is, and what they've ordered.

You Can Key in Custom Drinks

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, everyone has their own specific tastes. In the bar industry, it's not uncommon for patrons to request custom drinks—from simple orders like a martini made with rum to complex cocktails that aren't on the menu. If you're using a non-industry specific POS system, custom drinks orders can be a source of frustration. In most cases, bartenders have to resort to entering a similar drink to the customer's request when ringing them up. While this may be the easy route, it can have an effect on your bottom line.

Alongside potential undercharging risks, it also makes inventory a nightmare; it's very hard to keep track of which liquors you're running out of when your system isn't recording them accurately. With a bar-specific POS system, on the other hand, it's easy to key in custom drink with a few presses of a touchscreen. Your bartenders will be able to charge customers accurately, and the system will automatically track which cocktail ingredients you're using so you can monitor outgoing costs and reorder beverages with ease.

You Can Improve Your Buyback System

Buybacks (offering repeat or high-spending customers a drink on the house) are one of a bar manager's best tools when done right. When done wrong, however, they can cause you to lose customers who don't feel they're appreciated often enough or lose money giving out too many free drinks. Unlike general systems, good bar POS systems have a customer loyalty feature built-in. They can record your patrons' names and order history, automatically notifying your bartenders when a customer has ordered a certain number of drinks or spent over a designated amount. Bartenders can then offer those customers a buyback, showing them they're valued without being overly generous.

To learn more about your options, contact local services that provide point of sale solutions.