Why should you consider a computerized bar POS (point-of-sale) system for your bar?
Let’s face it, we are in the computer age, and we need to bring our bars into the computer age as well. There are simply a number of advantages to having a computerized bar POS system rather than just an old-fashioned Bar Cash Register.
Let’s take these into consideration:
The Advantages of a Computerized POS System
In the bar business—especially if you have a dive bar or a hole-in-wall Tiki bar—we have a Romantic liking of old-fashioned bar cash registers and other aspects of the traditional bar. After all, many of us got into this business to avoid sitting in front of computers.
The computer age has caught up to us, however, and we can no longer afford to avoid it any more. Everything from Nightclub Lighting Software to your Nightclub Website is now run on software. Especially if you have a larger bar or nightclub, you should really consider getting a bar or nightclub POS system. Here are some of the advantages of this kind of system:
- Customized to your Bar or Nightclub: These days the POS software can be easily customized to not only the industry to which it is sold but to your specific business. Most suppliers allow you to change the specifics of your POS system so that your touchscreen will display what you need it to rather than everything a restaurant might need. As you well know, the needs of sportsbar with 5 kinds of beer are different than those of a full service hotel bar that serves everything from a Bloody Mary to a Third Rail.
- Simplified Ring-Up: The Point-of-Sale touch monitors are a significant improvement over most any kind of cash register. They are, first of all, easily programmable so that you can store a large number of drink prices without any difficulty. They are also intuitive and user-friendly so that you will not have to do large amounts of training to get your employees up to speed on how to bill customers.
- Inventory Integration: A good POS system will allow you to track inventory much more easily than regular systems because they will monitor not only what types of drinks are sold, but which specific ingredients were used. So, for example, if Smirnoff is used rather than Absolut to make a specific drink, the POS inventory software will pick this up and you will be able to monitor the rate at which your inventory is being used.
- Helps Standardize Service and Reduces Waste: Because the inventory software can monitor inventory so easily, you will be able to identity waste and standardize service. The software makes it easier to identify over pouring and other forms of waste, by matching inventory reports to actual inventory on hand.
- Reduces Theft: A computerized Point-of-Sale also reduces theft because it allows you to monitor who was on the system when, and to track what transactions were conducted. Most systems require individual users to log in with specific codes so that you can will always know which server performed which actions.
- Remote Ordering: If you have a large multi-level nightclub and you provide table service, your POS system can increase efficiency by allowing your servers to take orders remotely and relay them electronically back to the bartender so that drinks are ready by the time your server reaches the bar. Customer wait time is reduced, increasing impulse sales and keeping servers from waiting around for orders to be fulfilled.
- Easy Billing and Tabs: A good nightclub POS will also allow you to pre-approve credit cards when customers enter so that there are no unpleasant surprises at the end of the night. In this way you can run a tab for a customer and still be assured of payment at the end of the night should the customer slip off without remembering to pay.
- Rewards Customer Loyalty: One of the most lucrative aspects of POS software is its memory capability. Like a great attentive server the POS system is capable of remembering individual customers when they give their names. This means that a returning customer can be rewarded for their loyalty even when the server who is attending to them does not recognize them. Thus a customer can be given a free drink when they reach a certain threshold or the server can ask whether the customer would like his or her “usual” and know what that is from the system. This kind of personalized service increases the chances of return visits and customer satisfaction.
- Financial Accounting: A modern POS system can also integrate with your Quickbooks or other accounting systems so that it is easy for you to monitor sales and profits and make adjustments to pricing in close to real time. You no long have to crack the cash register to figure out how you did at the end of the night. Now you can just run a report and get the numbers.
- Taxes: Because you are integrated with accounting software, this also makes tax time a lot easier. The POS system keeps track of sales and inventory throughout the year and connects with your other accounting systems, so there is no longer a need to dread tax time. Well, at least not dread getting your data together.
Put simply, given the relative affordability of a bar POS, it no longer makes sense to avoid entering the 21st Century.
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