Bar POS: 4 Things to Help You Be Successful

bar pos

Owning and managing a bar is not all fun and games, but takes a lot of time and hard work. With drink specials, pricing, food menus, and of course, money to worry about, it leaves little time to consider how you will manage the point of sale system of your bar. For bars and restaurants in particular, the point of sale and cash management is extremely important. In a fast-paced environment with a high cash flow, you will want a point of sale that is easy to use for employees and will help you connect with your customers. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a POS for your bar or restaurant.

Easy-to-Use Software

Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants tend to be very hectic and fast-paced working environments for bartenders and servers. This means you will want a point-of-sale system that is easy to navigate for both management and employees. Being a bartender in a busy bar often means having to take multiple drink orders at one time and remembering the separate tabs for each. A point of sale system that allows your employees to easily manage tabs, split items, and enter happy hour and other other drink specials will cut down on the amount of time spent entering orders, and will increase the time spent preparing drinks and communicating with customers.

You will also want a system that allows employees to print customer tabs and receipts, or send food orders directly to a kitchen printer.

Cash Management

When managing a bar, you will typically have a higher amount of cash coming in compared to your standard restaurant. For this, you will want to ensure that your point of sale system has the capabilities to handle large amounts of cash. You may also want to consider a proximity-based solution for your cash drawer to ensure that your cash drawer is always safe while bartenders are restocking liquor or grabbing food orders from the kitchen.

Ambiance

In a bar, ambiance is extremely important! People decide to go out to a bar to relax after a long day of work, or to have fun with a group of friends. You want to make sure that your bar makes guests feel welcome and comfortable no matter their reason for being there. With that, be sure to consider the look and feel of your point of sale. When sitting at the bar, customers will see your bartender running tabs, printing receipts, and interacting with the point of sale. Invest in a POS that will display a smooth transaction between the employees and the POS system, and one that jibes with the ambiance of your bar. If you’re the type of bar to have wooden stool seats and dart boards lining the walls, then a standard cash drawer and printer with a tablet should do the job. If your bar radiates a more modern and trendy look, you may want to go for a sleek, all-in-one POS system, such as the Star mPOP™.

Customer Engagement

As a bartender, engaging with customers is important for two reasons: you get better tips, and customers end up spending more money on drinks. When customers feel comfortable talking to and engaging with their bartender, they are more likely to stay longer and purchase more drinks while they cat. But what about after the customer leaves? It’s just as important to engage with customers after their visit as it is to during their visit in order to ensure they continue coming back. There are a number of customer engagement options offered by POS providers with just one being digital receipts.

Offering a digital receipt option to your customer customers can easily allow you to track how often a customer frequents your bar and their go-to drink order. This then allows you to offer your customer coupons or inform them of promotions using those digital receipts. Star’s AllReceipts™ digital receipt solution offers engagement tools, such as Engage NOW and Flip, providing customers with coupons and discounts using the back of the digital receipts, or can direct them straight to your website. AllReceipts™ also offers device management options and data facilitation tools to make sure you get to most out of your digital receipt solution.

In your bar, a POS can be so much more than just a place to manage cash and input orders, but it can help you grow your business!

A Beginner’s Guide to POS Software and Systems

POS Buyer's Guide

Investing in a point of sale (POS) system is one of the best things you can do for your business, but with so many options on the market, how do you determine which POS hardware and software best suit your business needs and your budget?

This guide can help you get on the right path to finding the perfect POS system for your business.

Step 1: Define Business Needs

No one wants to waste time and money on a POS solution that lacks needed capabilities, or has unnecessary features that increase the price. To avoid purchasing a system that isn’t right for your business, you need to identify the specific challenges that you will need your new POS system to address.

Start by asking yourself:

  • Is business suffering because customers must often wait in long lines at the POS?
  • Do shoppers frequently leave your establishment empty-handed because you don’t have the merchandise they want?
  • Are you spending too much time managing employees or trying to find out why your sales volume often doesn’t jibe with your inventory levels?
  • Do you want to attract new customers?

Once you have clearly identified your business needs, research which POS functions address them. The list of functions you need your new system to provide will help narrow the field of choices when you shop for a new POS system.

Step 2: Set a Budget 

Decide how much your business can afford to spend on a POS system. By most accounts, the average industry investment in POS systems total 2 to 3 percent of retailers’ annual volume, and 1 to 1.5 percent of restaurant operators’ annual volume. Consider ongoing costs, such as software maintenance/updates, hardware maintenance, and technical support.

Step 3: Shop for Software

As you consider your options, you will find that not every software solution is compatible with all POS hardware. Selecting your software first will prevent you from being limited in functionality.

There are different types of software you can choose from:

  • Native. Native POS software is installed on your POS hardware. It is easier to customize then cloud-based software.
  • Cloud-based software (Software-as-as-Service, or SaaS). In a SaaS model, software is delivered via the cloud, and you pay for it on a monthly subscription basis. Also, cloud-based software can be accessed from anywhere there is an Internet connection, giving you enhanced visibility into, and control over your operation. Customizing this type of software may be difficult.
  • Hybrid software. This software can be run online in the cloud or offline.

Step 4: Find Compatible Hardware

The POS software you choose will dictate the POS hardware that you can use. In many cases, however, there will still be a number of options to choose from. Some of the choices you must make are related to how your employees will use the system. For example:

  • What is the preferred input method? Some operators favor keyboards or a scanner interface for POS data input, while others prefer a touchscreen interface that facilitates faster data input and easier training for new employees.
  • Will you use mobile POS? POS functionality on a tablet or other mobile device can give you line-busting, in aisle assist, and pay-at-the-table capabilities that can greatly enhance customer experiences. Your options include adding mobile POS to a traditional, stationary system, or using mobile POS alone.
  • Which peripherals are needed? You need to consider printers, cash drawers, PIN pads, payment card readers, and barcode scanners, and select the model that best suits your needs.
  • Will you accept all forms of payment? Make sure your new system gives your customers the ability to pay by their preferred method. Now that the U.S. is migrating toward EMV payments, all new POS systems should have the ability to accept chip card payments. Failure to do so can result in bearing liability for fraudulent payment card changes. Also consider trends that indicate emerging payment types. Mobile wallet use, for example, is gaining ground. To accept payments of this type, you’ll need POS solutions that include near field communications (NFC) technology.
  • Which terminal design do you prefer? A traditional POS terminal design may work well for your business. If space at the checkout counter is limited, however, you may want to consider a more ergonomic solution with a smaller footprint, such as an all-in-one configuration that incorporates basic peripherals (e.g., printers, cash drawers, credit card readers, PIN pads, and customer displays) or a tablet POS system. You will also find options that are aesthetically pleasing and don’t detract from a store’s dècor or restaurant’s ambiance.

For more information on choosing a POS system, download our POS Software and Systems Buyer’s Guide eBook.

Dry Cleaning POS Software Checklist: 10 Things Not to Compromise On

dry cleaning blog

Your dry cleaning business must operate efficiently and profitably to succeed in this highly competitive market. So it stands to reason that when you are considering new point of sale (POS) software for your business, that you would settle for nothing less than the solution that allows you to operate most efficiently and maximize profits.

There are many POS software options available, but you need to narrow the field of choices to those that have the features best suited for operating a dry cleaning business.

This checklist of POS software for dry cleaners can help. It lists 10 features essential to your operations, and finding software with these features can bring you one step closer to the right solutions for your business.

  1. Intuitive Interfaces and Functionality. POS software with an easy to use interface will also benefit your business by making the task of training new employees easier and quicker.
  2. Labor Management. The POS system can help managers monitor attendance and control overtime.
  3. Peripheral Support. Make sure the POS solution you invest in today can accommodate your business’ changing needs, and can scale or be upgraded to accommodate new technology.
  4. Customer Engagement. The customer relationship management (CRM) module of your POS software solution provides you with an updated database of customer contacts, delivery information, and even how much starch individual customers like in their shirts.
  5. Delivery. Your POS software should also support mobile POS and a mobile printer to equip your drivers with tools for delivery confirmation, to print invoices and receipts, and to accept payments.
  6. Labeling and Tags. You’ll want to ensure that your receipt printer can handle wash tag printing that will be durable after the customer takes it home.
  7. Payment Processing. Your POS system should provide your customers with the convenience of accepting any of their preferred payment methods.
  8. Inventory Management. Whether you use a numbering or a barcode system, your POS software solution should include an inventory management tool that helps you track items from drop off to pickup or delivery.
  9. Assisted Assembly. If your dry cleaning business has automatic assembly systems or if you are considering it for the future, make sure your POS system can integrate with them so your business can take full advantage of this time-saving technology.
  10. Reporting. Your POS solution should provide reports in a format that allows you to keep a close watch on operations and on your bottom line.

In a highly competitive dry cleaning market, decisions that can impact your efficiency and profitability are too important to take lightly. Practice due diligence to ensure your new POS software solution will provide the right features, and ultimately, the right outcomes for your business.

Download our full eBook: Dry Cleaning POS Software Checklist: 10 Things Now to Compromise On.

Finding the Right mPOS for Your Food Truck

Food truck

 

It’s food truck season, folks! The warmer seasons are the best time to grab an outdoor bite from your local food truck or food stand. We see them popping up more and more as the weather gets warmer, and people flooding them to snag some quick and tasty street food. This often times results in crowded trucks with long lines, making business very hectic for cooks and cashiers. Luckily, Star Micronics has the perfect mobile point of sale technology for these businesses, making their job all the more easy, while also keeping customers happy and satisfied with their service.

When thinking about finding the right mPOS system for your seasonal food truck or food stand, there are a few key considerations. Are you looking to solve the issue of line busting? Are you trying to create a more efficient workflow for your employees? Do you want to save space in your compact location by switching to a more mobile printer peripheral?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Star has the solution for you!

Kitchen Printers

If you’ve ever ordered from a busy food truck in the middle of the summer, you can see that it can be a hot and hectic environment for cooks. The “old-school” process of writing down orders and passing them off the cook becomes inefficient when handwriting is hard to read, the cooks are very busy, or when the order gets lost or damaged in the transition between order-taker and cook. Using a POS system to input orders and send them to an impact kitchen printer makes for an easier workflow because the order is being taken and entered into the POS in real-time. The order can then be sent directly to the impact printer, eliminating miscommunication between the “front of truck” and “back of truck” staff. Impact printers are also often times noisy, making it easier for the cook to know when a new order is coming through, and the paper remains durable in hot environments.

Receipt Printers

Just because your customer is ordering food on-the-go, doesn’t mean they don’t need their receipt. A thermal POS printer is necessary for food trucks for the obvious – to provide a proof of transaction, but the key for food trucks is to keep the printer mobile. A Bluetooth thermal desktop printer or a portable printer is the best solution for food trucks. When working in such a small location, things can get tight. With a Bluetooth enabled thermal printer, you can move your printer daily throughout the truck to wherever space allows. Portable printers are also a viable option for receipt printing because it not only allows you to move throughout the truck, but to move outside of the truck for a line-busting POS solution.

Multi-Function Printers

Again, when trying to navigate a food truck on a busy summer afternoon, space can be limited. For those who are looking to really save counter-space, a multi-function peripheral might be the best option for you. Star Micronics’ latest mPOP™, all-in-one mobile point of purchase combines a cash drawer with a two-inch receipt printer, and a 1D barcode scanner to create the perfect mPOS solution for small spaces. Using Bluetooth connection, the mPOP can also be repositioned in the food truck or food stand in order to maximize counter space, and can be operated on-the-go using a tablet or mobile device.

To find the right mPOS solution for your food truck, visit www.starmicronics.com.

Finding your mPOS

Buzzwords such as “showrooming” and “webrooming” have been keywords associated with the mPOS trends in retail and hospitality. As the adoption of mobile devices rise, customers are embracing the BYOD culture and bringing their personal mobile devices into their favorite retail stores when they shop. Rather than fighting the customers, retailers are now embracing mPOS and creating a more mobile friendly environment for their patrons. Many merchants have upgraded their infrastructure to provide free WiFi to encourage their customers to shop with their mobile devices. Many retailers and hospitality providers are also jumping in on the action by leveraging technology to close the service gap. “Clienteling” is now the buzzword that trumps “showrooming” and “webrooming.”

The best definition of clienteling was summarized by RedPrairie as:

clienteling

As a result of clienteling, many retailers and hospitality providers are turning to mPOS technologies to better engage their customers in-store. By engaging customers on the same platforms and devices, the salesperson can provide individualized shopping experiences for each customer based on their preferences.

When choosing an mPOS solution, both software and hardware considerations must be taken to ensure the solution fits the store’s business objectives and its physical infrastructure. While mPOS software can be implemented on an application level, choosing matching mPOS hardware can present a challenge. For instance, the mPOS hardware in question must be coordinated with the IT infrastructure of the store. The mPOS hardware must also be compatible with the platform and mobile devices used by staff and even the customers. To further complicate things, the mPOS hardware must not only be integrated with the mPOS software but it must be physically integrated into the layout of the brick and mortar store.

Help is on the way! At Star Micronics, we understand your concerns. To help simplify the process of successful mPOS integration, we have come up with a free white paper for download on our website to help retailers and hospitality providers choose the best receipt printers for their mPOS solution.