Don’t let slow service or out-of-stock bottles derail a good time in your bar or nightclub. Having a point of sale (POS) system that delivers food and beverages quickly and keeps your shelves stocked with favorites will keep patrons having fun and spending money with you. Here are eight must-have POS features for your establishment:
1. Mobile POS Hardware
With a mobile POS, your staff can prepare drinks and flip tables faster. Handheld tablets allow servers to take food and drink orders tableside and transmit them to the bartender or kitchen. They can also process payments and complete transactions without having to wade through a crowd and wait in line at a stationary POS. Customers can even tip, sign, and request digital, text, or email receipts on a handheld POS interface.
2. Credit & Debit Card Preauthorization
In a bar and nightclub, things move fast, and besides having to look out for fake IDs, you also have to look out for fake credit cards. Credit and debit card preauthorization is the safest way to establish a tab and ensure that you will be paid. It stores your customers’ card information in a secure manner, and verifies that a card is real to limit chargebacks.
3. Easy Menu Management
With promotions, happy hour and pitcher specials, your bar or nightclub menu and pricing changes daily, even hourly. With a cloud-based POS system, you can preload food and drink specials for the week, day or specific timeframe from your phone. As a result, busy bartenders and servers won’t forget to charge the happy hour price instead of the regular price. When happy hour pricing ends, the POS automatically reverts to the regular prices.
4. Move and Split the Check
Customers expect the convenience of splitting checks and transferring a tab from bar to a table. The modern POS system gives servers the ability to easily split and print checks for each person at the table to expedite payment. Additionally, it allows servers to look up open or closed tabs by name, order number, or credit card to simply manage and transfer tabs.
5. Suggested Tip Percentages
Tips are the livelihood of bartenders and servers. Your POS system should generate suggested tip percentages to help increase the amount of tips they get. By calculating tip percentages on a check or on a handheld POS device, customers don't have to do the math, and are more likely to tip.
6. Inventory Management
Liquor costs in the restaurant and bar industry are typically 18-20% of total liquor sales. A cloud-based POS can track the alcohol poured in every cocktail, report on the best-selling drink orders, and let you see your stock in real-time on your computer, phone or tablet. It can also help you identify waste, over-pouring and theft.
7. Real-Time Reporting
A cloud-based POS system allows you to see exactly how your business is performing from anywhere, with secure access to detailed sales, inventory and labor reports. You can even drill down into reports to see more in-depth information. For example, determining your pour cost, most popular drinks, times of the day, and sales by menu item or customer.
8. Employee Management and Permissions
A modern POS has time-tracking capabilities that let you set shifts and let employees clock their hours. You can also set user access permissions to allow or deny access parts of your POS system to employees. For example, you can prohibit bartenders and servers from providing voids without a manager’s approval, and receive alerts when transactions are discounted.