How To Choose The Best POS Systems For Bars
Selling and serving alcohol adds a layer of scrutiny to your small business's point of sale needs. Learn what to look for when deciding between POS systems for your bar or brewery.
The best POS systems for small businesses have many features that can help you run your bar, decrease employee turnover, and improve your customer’s experiences. But as a bar owner, your point of sale needs are different than other small businesses, so what features should you look for, and are there any point-of-sale systems made specifically for you?
When deciding between POS systems for your business, it’s important to know what options are available for your specific business niche.
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What Are The Best POS Systems For Bars?
While all the top POS systems are great, there are POS systems you should consider that offer more specific and essential features for bars, nightclubs, breweries, and other businesses that sell alcohol.
The best POS systems for bars are more industry-specific and well-loved by different kinds of businesses, from lowkey breweries to crowded nightclubs.
How To Decide On The Best Point Of Sale Systems For Bars
Here are three starting points for your research into the best POS systems for bars:
Research The Cost
Most things in the journey of business ownership come down to the cost. POS systems are no exceptions.
With monthly subscriptions, payment processing fees, and other add-on services, POS systems have the potential to quickly add up to large monthly expenses that might not even be meeting your needs. You’ll want to find a point of sale system that has all the features you need without spending a ridiculous amount per month on extras.
The biggest mistake anyone can make when choosing a POS system is to rush into choosing a vendor because of promised bells and whistles, only to find that the same system exists elsewhere for significantly less money.
Make sure you know how much a POS system should cost before you make any commitments.
- Recommended: 7 Best Free POS Systems For Small Business In 2024
Research The Features
You’re going to need a POS that offers essential features like flexible menu scheduling and suspended tickets. A POS system with fast ordering and employee management will also help to make sure your bar stays busy but not understaffed.
There are even some POS systems that will help you monitor your employees’ pours by linking pour spouts to your POS for a more accurate reading. But most owners find an inventory report at the end of each night sufficient enough to determine if their bartenders are being heavy-handed. Look for either of these options in the POS systems you are researching.
Here are seven essential POS features that you need to look for in a bar POS system:
- Flexible menu scheduling
- Age verification
- 24/7 customer support
- Inventory management
- Employee management
- Open tabs/suspended tickets
- Reporting features
Along with these essentials, you should make sure the POS you choose can support the growth of your business, is compatible with any other business software you currently use, and is flexible/has great support features.
Research The Customer Reviews
A website (or sales rep) can be convincing, but the best way to get a good perspective on a POS system is to hear from other business owners who use it in a real-world setting.
In a perfect world, you would be able to ask other owners in your industry what POS system they use. If, however, you’re just getting started and not having luck in that regard, we would recommend checking out review aggregate sites like Software Advice, G2, the BBB, and Trustpilot to name a few.
Specifically, pay attention to unincentivized, recent, and lengthy (not always 5-star!) reviews to get an honest look at the user experience.
The Bottom Line On Choosing POS Systems For Bars
If you run a popular nightclub, you need a POS that is going to be able to handle multiple registers taking orders for both food and drink at the same time throughout the night. If you run a smaller more lowkey brewery or neighborhood bar, you’ll probably be able to get away with one register and maybe a mobile ordering device like an iPad.
Consider all of the factors above when researching for your new bar POS system. Happy hunting!