What are the best bar point of sale systems?
Whether you have a single location or a wide chain of restaurants with dedicated bar areas, a bar point of sale system can greatly reduce the complexity related to serving customers and inventory management.
One tip to keep in mind when you’re shopping around: whichever POS system you select, make sure it’s one that will be easy for staff to learn and use on a daily basis. And one of the key ways to ensure you’re achieving that goal is to go with one that’s customizable, enabling you and your staff to create quick-buttons and specialized menus to cut down on the time is takes to process each order. In addition, it’s also a good idea to find a system that has total system redundancy (TSR), enabling you to continue on with business even if your server goes down.
Comparing three top bar point of sale systems
Among the more popular POS systems on the market, a few provide specialized functionalities that are geared toward the high ticket volume often found in bars. These include:
- Aloha - Aloha bar point of sale systems are also restaurant-friendly. Aloha has received high marks in user reviews across the web -- people cite it as user-friendly, customizable, secure for back of house operations and good for inventory reporting. In addition, it is also one of the few systems to offer total system redundancy, enabling bar staff to continue serving customers with the same level of speed and efficiency in the event of a server failure. The one catch to the system is there seems to be a short learning curve associated with its back of house functionalities. But they seem to more than make up for it with the security of the system.
- Q-Systems – This bar point of sale solution is designed for locations with high turnover, featuring the ability to submit a drink order from anywhere through a handheld device – a functionality that reportedly reduces serving times by up to 40 percent. In addition, Q-Systems includes a barcode system that further reduces time by preventing the server from having to manually enter the drink while also ensure the accuracy of the order. Also geared toward management and reporting, bar totals can easily be monitored in real time, analyzing staff performance, hourly sales and individual product activity totals, with the results tabulated and represented in graphical analysis for easy identification and comparison.
MICROS – Another bar point of sale solution that provides critical functionalities in the event of an upstream failure, MICROS, is designed to accommodate heavy volume with key features that include property management and credit card interfaces, extensive reporting and a paperless kitchen display system that cuts down on waste, mess and lost orders. Due to its commercial-grade design, the MICROS POS solution can be integrated into chains with thousands of stations spread throughout numerous properties while integrating the management of all locations into a centralized application. Due to the range available, MICROS POS software packages can reportedly cost between $1,500 to $75,000 for 1 to 40 users in a small scale operation and $250,000 to $1.5 million for 30 to 1,000 users for larger chains. It’s important to note: the implementation costs often run 2 to 4 times that of the software.