Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

7 Must-Have Bar POS and Nightclub POS Features

November 21, 2019

Bar POS and nightclub POS features are both tremendously important in ensuring the profitability of these types of outlets; not only by providing management with excellent up-to-the-minute data but also by permitting front of house staff to devote the maximum amount of time to providing excellent customer service.

Numerous systems are now available offering a wide variety of functions, but we’ve set out here the features which you can’t afford to do without.

Nightclub POS, Bar POS – the Essential Features  

1. Ease of Use and Customization

Nothing is more frustrating for a customer or bartender on a busy night than to have to figure out how to enter a particular drink into the restaurant POS system. Make sure the system you choose makes it easy to enter even the most exotic and unusual cocktails and drink combos and that it can be readily set up to cope with promotions and Happy Hours etc.

2. Split Checks Function

Groups of customers moving between bar and table and wanting several checks can be a nightmare for even the most experienced staff to keep track of. But, today’s restaurant POS systems have made splitting checks simple, and such is the customer demand for this service that you really need to make sure you can offer it.

3. Credit/Debit Card Pre-Authorization

Today’s bar and nightclub customers are understandably increasingly reluctant to leave their cards behind the bar while their tab is open, as used to be common practice.

Fortunately, with modern POS systems, they don’t have to.

It’s now a simple matter for the bartender to swipe the card a single time at the outset to verify the card and determine that it is adequately funded. The customer has the reassurance of retaining physical possession of their card and the tokenization offered by the POS means that no unencrypted confidential information is stored.

The club or bar, meanwhile, can be confident that the final tab will be paid, whether the customer remains or not, and the bartender gains valuable time to spend serving rather than waiting for the authorization of repeated small payments.

4. Menu Management  

Bar and club drink menus typically require frequent amendment due to stock issues, seasonal variations, and particular promotions.

Making these changes manually can be a major time suck, but POS systems make the process quick and easy. Management or authorized staff can change individual items in real time, either on the premises or remotely, and also amend pricing on the fly.

5. Tip Management

A crowded noisy bar is not the ideal environment for mental arithmetic, but a good bar POS system will make the calculation of tips simple. Suggested percentages and dollar amounts will appear at the touch of a button and studies suggest that customers are far more likely to tip appropriately when prompted in this way.

6. Mobile-Enabled Ordering

Nobody likes to be crushed in the queue at a busy bar, nor is it a very efficient way of getting customers served.

The answer is a POS system using WiFi-enabled, handheld tablets, which allow waiting staff to take orders anywhere in the room and communicate them instantly to the bar. And the same waiting staff can also, of course, handle the management of checks and taking payments, freeing up bar staff to serve.

7. Building Customer Relationships

The best bar and nightclub POS systems now offer detailed management reports featuring every imaginable data point.

But some of the most important are those which deal with customers’ order history and spending habits. A careful analysis of these will help plan your inventory, purchasing, staffing and promotions and to build a contact list of key “VIP” customers with whom you will want to reach out regarding any special events.

In conclusion, while much of the success of any bar or nightclub depends on the creation of a unique and attractive ambiance, and no POS system can do this for you, selecting the right one can make the task much easier for your front of house staff.

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