For any retail business to thrive, having the best point of sale system is imperative for multiple reasons, including profit, functionality, and even aesthetics. This is no different for bar and restaurant owners. First, a POS system for bars and restaurants should always work with minimal trouble in order to process payments in a timely fashion, so customers are not burdened when it’s time to pay. After all, if a customer has issues paying their bill and has to use cash they might not have, that could lead to a bad review, even if the actual service was exceptional up until the payment issue. Likewise, the system should be fully customizable, with dynamic features that make cashing out customers as easy as handing them a menu. 

Two coffee bar employees posing in front of their POS system in their coffee shop.

Second, the functionality of a POS system should always be user-friendly for the establishment’s staff; that means easy to operate with very little troubleshooting required and backed up by an efficient and friendly tech support staff, when needed.

Third, POS systems should be versatile. Where should the checkout be? Where do the credit card machines go? Should they be countertop devices, handheld devices, or a flexible combination of both? It all depends on the type of restaurant or bar, its clientele, and the merchant’s business model.

Point of sale systems for restaurants and bars.

If you’ve ever talked with an aspiring bartender, they’re going to tell you all about the training that comes with the job. It’s not something one learns overnight. The possible list of different drink combinations somebody can order is long to say the least, however acquiring the skills necessary to ring up those drinks on a POS system is a whole other beast.

A bar or restaurant needs a system that is easy to use for any and all trained staff, equipped with the capabilities to handle high-volume hours, while also being simple enough to customize every possible drink combination, or in the case of a restaurant, every possible customizable food order. Ringing up rum with tonic and lime juice instead of coke shouldn’t tie up the paying customer or bartender.

Speaking of tying up the bartender or waiter, if you’ve dined out often, you must have wanted to split the bill at least once, be it at a bar or restaurant, and odds are, you’ve run into at least one cashier who had trouble splitting the check. That could either be chalked up to inexperience, or it might simply just be a case of a waitstaff working with a difficult system. Always look for a system that makes splitting a check easy.

Pre-authorization of credit and debit cards in a POS system for bar and restaurants is also a must. This process allows bartenders to swipe a customer’s credit card to verify funds. In a fast-paced environment where a business wants to avoid bounced payments, this is a vitally important feature.

Types of POS systems for bars and restaurants.

Traditionally there are two distinct types of POS systems for bars, at least when looking at hardware: countertop or handheld. What are the differences between both models? Let’s start with handheld.

When staff spend more time with customers, customer satisfaction increases and so does the establishment’s reputation. Basically, an attentive staff means a well-served customer. So what’s the secret? Mobile POS systems that use handheld credit card readers eliminate the need for more traditional countertop devices that to a younger, hipper crowd may seem antiquated. With handheld POS tablets, staff members can easily take orders, process payments, and complete transactions on the go while never taking their attention away from guests. These mobile solutions tend to be equipped with all of the features a more classic countertop device has, including tipping, signing, and receipts e-mailed to the customers if they so desire. All without a staff member having to run back through crowds of people to a countertop POS system.

Of course while countertop devices may seem obsolete, most establishments do in fact still use them, especially fine-dining restaurants where rushing is not pivotal to the guests’ enjoyment. It all depends on the particular bar’s or restaurant’s business model and needs. Some restaurateurs simply just find countertop devices easier to keep track of. It all just depends on the business’ needs and the owner’s vision.

Last but not least, don’t forget security. In this day and age, credit card fraud is common, even among the largest businesses; surely, you’ve seen the scandals on the news. While larger business can eventually recover from a security breach, they can be catastrophic for a restaurant or bar that doesn’t have a billion-dollar infrastructure as a safety net to fall back on. When choosing where to acquire your POS system, security awareness should always be part of the discussion with your merchant services provider.

Top POS systems for bars and restaurants.

Now that we’ve covered how to identify what types of POS systems there are, and where they would fit, it’s time to pick a merchant services provider.  

Here at North American Bancard, we offer a wide array of equipment options. But why should you come to us for your POS system needs?  Established in 1992, with hundreds of thousands of merchants and more than $45 billion transactions processed annually, our technology has been getting the job done for well over 25 years.

Our equipment includes both handheld and countertop devices to fit your business’ needs.

The VX520 for example, is a sturdy and reliable countertop device if you want to go the more traditional route for your restaurant. It handles encryption, decryption, and processes transactions quickly.

Want to go wireless? The Payanywhere Smart Terminal and Bluetooth Credit Card Readers are both handheld and possess a powerful processor to complete transactions in a timely manner. They are perfect for merchants on the go, delivery services, stadium vendors, and tableside payments for that fluid business model, be it bar or restaurant. These are some of the fastest portable handheld device on the market today, and have enough bandwidth to download colorful graphics, images, and videos right into the POS display.

In conclusion.

To sum up, aside from great software, technology, and security, a business is always looking for the best value possible and business owners should look for the most competitive prices on the best merchant services. If you need help identifying the right solution for you, our team of experts at North American Bancard is only one click away.

Contact NAB today and see how easy it is to get the merchant services you deserve.

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