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Running a bar? Your EPOS system choice will have a huge impact on your efficiency and order speed. With so many options available, choosing the right one can be tricky. Whether you need a basic system or a comprehensive one that handles inventory, tracks tips, and integrates with other apps, here are the key factors and features to consider when selecting an EPOS system for your bar.

How to choose the best bar EPOS system

When choosing the best EPOS system for your bar, start by considering the features you need and your budget. Avoid paying for unnecessary features or choosing a system that can’t scale with your business. To make a smart choice, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it meet your bar’s needs? Look for an EPOS system specifically designed for bars, not just a generic retail system.
  • Will it grow with you? Choose a system that can grow with your business, allowing for future expansion.
  • Is it within your budget? There are EPOS systems at various price points. Pick one that fits your budget without straining your cash flow.
  • Is it compatible with your other apps? You might want the EPOS system to integrate with your accounting software and other business tools for a comprehensive view of your operations.
  • Is it flexible? Find an EPOS system with strong customer support and flexibility.

Features needed in a bar EPOS system

The size and type of bar will influence which EPOS system features you need, but here are some essential features beneficial for any bar:

  • Easy menu creation
  • Order taking (and sending to the kitchen, if needed)
  • Bill splitting options
  • Payment processing
  • Employee management
  • Food and alcohol inventory tracking
  • Data reporting
  • Discount and offer creation

Let’s look at some of these in more detail!

Menu creation and customisation

In a bar, the menu can change daily. Drink specials, happy hour deals, and seasonal inventory changes mean you’ll be needing to update your system fairly often.

With a cloud based back office in an EPOS system like Gardiff, it’s easy to add and remove drinks, as well as change prices and create special offers, even from the comfort of your home. You can access the back end of your system from any internet connected device, so you can update your menu when you need, as often as you need.

The system also needs to allow for customisation of orders – it should be easy for your bartenders to add a dash of lime, or choose a mixer quickly when they need to.

Order taking

If you want to stop queues forming at the bar, you could create your own app to let customers order and pay from their seats. Orders go straight to your kitchen or bar and you can add upsell options, to improve ROI. The app will help to reduce waiting times, and boost customer loyalty while seamlessly integrating with your EPOS bar till system.

Bill splitting

Customers will often want to split the bill, so look for an EPOS system that will make this quick and painless. Similarly, make sure the system can easily move a tab to different tables if needed.

Reporting and analytics

One of the biggest challenges for bars is getting customers in the door and keeping them coming back. The right bar EPOS software can help.

With Gardiff, you can get an end-to-end view of your bar operations; managing staff, controlling stock, and reporting on profits from one central location. With real-time cloud reporting, accessible on any device via our back-office management software, you can export reports in multiple formats.

You can drill down into reports to see detailed info, like an employee’s productivity or the sales of a specific menu item. If you own multiple businesses or plan to expand, this feature is invaluable for managing and understanding how each operation contributes to your bottom line.

Mobile EPOS systems

When staff spend more time with guests, your bar’s efficiency and reputation improve. Equipping your bar and table service with handheld devices allows staff to provide the best possible service.

With handheld EPOS systems, employees can quickly take orders, process payments, and complete transactions while interacting with guests. This lets you serve more guests in less time, with staff focusing on guest interaction instead of navigating through crowds to reach a central terminal.

Employee Management

Many EPOS systems let owners customise user access permissions to control what information employees can see and what actions they can take. Look for a system that lets you create configurations based on job roles – for example, only allow your managers to void transactions and comp drinks.

At Gardiff, our back office also lets you track employee performance and will keep a record of staff hours and attendance, making payroll a breeze.

Inventory Tracking

Real-time inventory software lets you track food inventory, suppliers, units, and prices on your computer, phone, or tablet. This helps you know what to reorder and when, without spending hours on spreadsheets.

Tracking inventory in a bar helps spot issues like over-pouring or giving away too many free drinks. You’ll want to be able to measure stock based on sales, remaining inventory, and waste, as well as analyse historical trends to avoid under or overstocking items.

Bar EPOS Hardware

For a bar EPOS system, you’ll need to purchase or rent hardware. A typical countertop EPOS setup includes a monitor, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer. You’ll also need a credit card terminal or card reader.

Depending on your needs and budget, consider adding peripherals like order preparation screens, customer displays and digital signage. Bars with kitchens will need extra hardware, such as a kitchen printer or display system for food orders.

Gardiff EPOS for bars and pubs

Our pub and bar till system has everything you need to run your business smoothly and efficiently. Regardless of whether you manage a small operation, gastro pub or a pub group, we have the tools you need.

We provide EPOS systems and tills across to UK for bars big and small, with packages starting from £20 a week. Get in touch with our friendly sales team to learn more and book a demo!