If you’re like most savvy bar owners, you’re always looking for ways to maintain tight control over – as well as to expand – your business. Hardware and software can play a major role on both fronts. This includes the following four technologies, all of which should be integrated with your bar POS system:
Age verification solution – With underage drinking becoming an ever more pervasive problem, authorities are conducting an increasing number of undercover stings aimed at assessing establishments’ compliance with state and federal liquor laws. Penalties for serving alcoholic beverages to underage customers may result in citations, fines, or loss of liquor license—potentially crippling your business.
An age verification solution facilitates compliance with liquor laws and minimizes or eliminates the chance of inadvertently allowing minors to purchase and consume liquor. To determine whether a patron is of legal liquor consumption age, employees swipe or scan the bar code on the individual’s driver’s license. Alternatively, identifying information can be manually entered into the age verification component of the bar POS system to approve the sale of alcoholic beverages to customers over 21.
Digital video recorders (DVRs) and security cameras – From customers who leave without paying a tab or make false claims (e.g., a “slip-and-fall”) to unscrupulous employees and vandals, a bar’s bottom line can take a lot of hits. The use of digital video recorders throughout your bar’s premises allows you to record events occurring inside and outside your bar, as well as to monitor them remotely in real time.
When DVR technology is integrated with the bar POS, surveillance cameras record servers serving drinks and food to patrons, with the actual text of each order entered into the POS system appearing on the recording as well. Operators can investigate suspicious-seeming transactions by rewinding the recorded footage on the DVR to the time the order was taken, then viewing the images and corresponding text.
Liquor inventory control solution – In addition to helping you track the sale of alcohol sold in cans and bottles, integrating a liquor inventory control solution with your bar POS system enables you to keep tabs on ingredients for mixed drinks. Recipes for the latter are maintained in the database. Employees can record which specific brand and what quantity of liquor was used to prepare each drink, yielding bottle-level insight into inventory.
Moreover, with inventory-tracking capabilities, bar owners gain extra control because they can identify which employees are over-pouring or giving away free drinks by reviewing reports and individual server bar POS system log-ins. Many liquor inventory-tracking solutions also permit operators to set minimum liquor inventory levels that automatically generate re-orders as needed.
Mobile POS devices for tableside ordering – Equipping servers with such mobile POS devices as smartphones or tablets improves order-taking efficiency and order transmission accuracy. Rather than being re-keyed into a bar POS terminal, orders accepted at the table using these devices are transmitted directly to the bar and/or kitchen, in turn allowing customers to receive their food and beverages faster and decreasing the likelihood of preparation errors.
Some bar and restaurant operators have also deployed mobile POS systems that patrons themselves can use to peruse menus and place orders. As is the case with traditional tableside bar POS systems, the devices speed up the transmission of orders to the bar area or kitchen while bolstering accuracies.
For bar owners, as well as for proprietors and operators of all types of hospitality and retail establishments, certain technologies are nice to have, but do not fall into the “must-have” category. However, others—including age verification solutions, digital video recorders/security cameras, liquor inventory control solutions and mobile POS devices – are essential components of every bar POS system.