A reliable bar POS system makes running your business easier by helping manage your sales, staff, and inventory. But, most importantly, it can help you deliver a seamless customer experience, which is key in the hospitality industry.

If you’re shopping for a new bar POS system, here are seven must-have features to look for.

1. Bar & Liquor Inventory Management

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. Some of them also facilitate 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.  

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

2. 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 frauds through fake credit cards have become common these days. 

By choosing a bar POS system 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 

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.

4. Easy Menu Management

Happy hours! Relaxing Saturday! Fun Drinks! You may need to change your menu every 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 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 need 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 for making simple updates.

5. Cloud Technology

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.

6. Detailed Sales & Customer Reporting

A bar POS system with a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system helps collect visitors’ contact and order details. You can use this information to drive more sales by sending notifications about promotions and offers. You can figure out your biggest customers and invite them to make reservations during special events.

A great cloud-based bar POS system also provides insights into your business performance in real-time, 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 of time, and more valuable information that can contribute to your bottom line.

Related: Using POS Analytics to Guide Business Decisions

7. Order Management

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 floor to the kitchen. 

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

Find the Best Bar POS System for Your Business  

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.