Running a Bar: 7 Key Features You Need to Become The Best Bar POS System in 2024

In the bustling world of hospitality, the backbone of a bar’s success lies in its operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. At the forefront of this achievement is the POS software, a pivotal technology that has transformed how bars operate. A state-of-the-art restaurant POS System, specifically tailored for bars and restaurants, streamlines transactions, inventory management, and customer service, ensuring that business owners can focus on what they do best—serving their patrons.

1. Bar & Liquor Inventory Management: The Heartbeat of Bar POS System

How much food and/or liquors do you have on hand? What are your profit margins? Having this knowledge at your fingertips is critical. That’s why inventory management is one of the most important features of a good bar POS system.

Most quality POS systems feature built-in real-time inventory control software. Lavu POS even facilitates third-party integration with some powerful inventory management platforms. These programs and APIs enable you to track your beer and liquor inventory, units, suppliers, and prices on your device. So, you always know what to reorder and when. You don’t need to spend hours updating a spreadsheet manually. Just make sure you check the system for all necessary inventory management features you need.  

Incorporating a POS terminal within your bar’s point of sale system elevates the efficiency and accuracy of managing your inventory, directly influencing your ability to grow your business. With an advanced POS terminal, transactions are not only processed faster but inventory levels are automatically adjusted with each sale, ensuring you never miss a beat in tracking your stock levels. This seamless integration between sales and inventory management means you can instantly identify which liquors or food items are your best sellers, helping you make informed decisions about what to stock up on.

Related: Customization is King: Using POS Systems with Open APIs

2. POS Hardware For Payment Preauthorization 

Preauthorization of payments allows bartenders to swipe a customer’s credit or debit card and securely save these details as their bar tab. Then, the bartender can verify whether the card is real and has enough funds to pay the bill. This is very important because fraud through fake credit cards has become common these days. 

By choosing a bar POS software that uses payment processing that allows preauthorization of credit and debit cards, you can prevent fake or stolen cards as well as unpaid checks due to insufficient funds. In addition, it helps bartenders speed up their services and have customers spend less time while checking out.

3. Order Customization: Lavu vs. Lightspeed Restaurant POS Systems

Not all bars offer the same drinks. Maybe, you’ve come up with some unique concoctions for your menu that no one else in town serves, so you need a bar POS fully customized to your unique business needs. 

It should allow you to customize various drink combinations your guests demand. In addition, your bar POS system should be able to handle any volume of orders without any delays.

Integrating a Lavu kitchen display system (KDS) with your bar point of sale (POS) enhances the functionality and efficiency of POS features, especially when it comes to managing orders and streamlining operations. This modern approach to order handling not only reduces the risk of errors but also ensures that food and drink orders are prepared promptly, improving overall customer satisfaction. A KDS communicates directly with the POS hardware, displaying orders instantly in the kitchen or bar area, allowing for a smoother workflow and quicker service.

Moreover, advanced POS features, such as payment preauthorization, become part of a larger ecosystem designed to optimize the customer experience from the moment they place an order to the moment they pay. The synergy between a kitchen display system and preauthorization capabilities means that while the front of the house is efficiently managing customer tabs and preventing potential fraud, the back of the house is equally equipped to deliver quality service promptly. This comprehensive integration highlights the importance of selecting a bar POS system that supports these advanced features, ensuring that every aspect of the bar’s operation contributes to a seamless, efficient, and secure customer experience.

Lavu offers more customization offers and is built specifically for bars and restaurants. By offering a 99.99% uptime guarantee, Lavu is the clear choice for the best bar POS system compared with other options like Lightspeed, Toast, or Clover. By prioritizing these technological enhancements, bar owners can significantly improve operational efficiency, reduce wait times, and ultimately, grow their business in a competitive market.

4. Easy Menu Management Integration With a Cloud-Based Point of Sale Built For Bars

Happy hours! Relaxing Saturday! Fun Drinks! You may need to change your menu now and then. So, look for a bar POS system that can keep up with your happy hour menu and seasonal brew changes, plus inventory changes from day to day or week to week.

You can invest in a Lavu cloud-based POS system that makes it easy to update your menu in real time from anywhere. You can make all changes with the tap of a button while communicating all this to every server or bartender working in your bar.

Watch the demonstration of a POS system carefully. If it takes more than five minutes to update the menu and/or needs a reboot, stay away from it. Modern POS systems have simple and intuitive interfaces that make it easy and quick to make adjustments. Remember that when it’s time to change the daily special price, you don’t have time to wait to make simple updates.

When you’re in the process of deciding to open a bar, choosing the right bar point-of-sale system is as crucial as selecting the location or curating the menu. A cloud-based POS system not only offers the flexibility and efficiency needed for dynamic menu management but also plays a pivotal role in the smooth operation of your establishment. Before making a commitment, look for providers that offer a free trial. This invaluable opportunity allows you to test the system’s capabilities in real time, ensuring it meets your specific needs and can handle the fast-paced environment of your bar.

5. Third-Party Cloud Technology For Effective Bar Management in 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, you need a solution that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. In addition, it should scale as your business grows and enhance customer experience. If you’re after such a solution, look for a bar POS system powered by cloud technology. It’s a futuristic restaurant tech that customers also love.

Benefits of a cloud-based POS system:

  • You can retrieve your data from any device connected to the system. 
  • Hourly employees can check and update their schedules as necessary.
  • Managers get real-time updates about inventory.
  • Improve your customer experience by offering multiple payment options and automatically sending invoices.

Incorporating modern technology like iPad and handheld POS devices into your bar’s operations takes the advantages of a cloud-based POS system to new heights. These devices enable servers and bartenders to take orders and process payments directly from the customer’s table, significantly reducing wait times and improving order accuracy. The mobility provided by iPads and handheld POS systems means that your staff can perform more efficiently, offering personalized service that can adapt to the busy dynamics of your bar.

6. Detailed Sales & Customer Reporting Every Bar Needs

A great cloud-based bar POS system also provides insights into your business performance instantly, from anywhere. You can securely access detailed inventory, sales, and labor reports across various business sections or locations. You can even find out about things like employees’ productivity, total sales during a specific period, and more valuable information that can contribute to your bottom line.

Related: Using POS Analytics to Guide Business Decisions

7. Order Management Based on Proper Restaurant And Bar Management Software

Being an owner, manager, or waiter, you need to manage the flow of information from tables to the kitchen. This has to be accurate and timely. The best POS system for bars lets you customize and manage these messaging sequences from the floor to the kitchen. 

A great bar POS system exemplifies how technology can transform the traditional challenges of order management into streamlined processes. With a system designed specifically for the unique needs of bars and restaurants, these platforms allow for seamless communication between front-of-house staff and the kitchen. Customization options enable users to tailor the system to their establishment’s specific workflow, ensuring that orders are not only accurately taken but also efficiently delivered to the kitchen for preparation.

For businesses looking to explore the capabilities of these systems without a significant initial investment, options with a free plan are available. These plans often provide a taste of the basic functionalities, allowing establishments to assess the system’s impact on their operations before committing to a paid subscription. Choosing a great bar POS system with a free plan option allows bars and restaurants to experience firsthand how a well-designed system can enhance their order management process, improve service delivery, and ultimately, elevate the customer dining experience.

Related: How Much Do POS Systems Cost? 14 Factors to Consider

Find the Best Bar POS System for Your Bar or Nightclub  

There is a long list of features you might need in a POS system. Just make sure you determine (or even write down) all features you must have before you start looking for a bar POS system that will provide what your business needs. 

For more information about what to look for when shopping for a point-of-sale system, download our free Beginner’s Guide to POS Systems.

Get all of your questions about POS systems answered, and then schedule a free demo to see Lavu’s #1 Rated Restaurant POS System in action. See how Lavu offers all of these features and more in our POS system uniquely designed with bars in mind. 

Choosing the right POS system for your bar or nightclub is akin to orchestrating a successful bar rescue operation. It’s about identifying a solution that not only meets your current needs but also anticipates future demands. As you embark on the journey to choose a bar POS system, it’s crucial to focus on a solution that simplifies the order and pay process, enhances customer experience, and streamlines your operations. A POS solution that integrates seamlessly with your bar’s workflow can transform the way you manage your business, making every transaction smooth and every customer interaction memorable.

When considering how to choose the right POS for your establishment, prioritize features that facilitate efficiency and accuracy. Look for a system that allows your staff to easily take orders, process payments at the table, and offer flexible payment options. The best POS systems for bars also include comprehensive analytics and reporting features, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to grow your business.

So, holding the spirit of “bar rescue,” a great POS system should offer robust support and training resources. Whether it’s through a free demo, detailed guides, or customer support, the right POS provider will ensure you have all the tools necessary to make the most of your investment. Remember, the goal is to find a POS solution that fits like a glove—enhancing your operations, delighting your customers, and contributing to your establishment’s success.