Bar POS System
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between bar software and a bar point of sale system?
A bar POS system is usually the complete computer hardware system bundled with the bar point of sale software. A bar point of sale system should come with a touchscreen computer, cash drawer, receipt printer, and then the software installed. You have to be careful when looking at bundled systems because there are so companies that package together hardware that is priced extremely low and hide in the fine print that it is only touchscreen monitor without the computer built-in. This requires you to also purchase a computer box where wires have to run to the monitor. You think you are getting a good deal on the bar POS system, but it ends up costing more in the long run and doesn't give you the best setup in your establishment.
Do I really need a complete bar POS system or just the software?
Software has to be run on a computer or some type of handheld device. A standard bar point of sale system will come with the software already installed so once you receive the system all that needs to be done is software setup. To get the functionality and usefulness of the program, having a complete bar POS system with a cash drawer and printer really is required. Plus usually purchasing a complete system that has been bundled with all of the components you need will have a price discount in there to help with the investment cost, so this aspect of buying a full bar point of sale system can save you money in the overall cost.
Do I have to purchase the bar software and hardware together?
You can purchase bar software on it's own without buying a complete bar POS system, however you will need a computer to run the software. If a company sells both software and hardware, then they might sell them separately as well as a bundled package. If you like a companies program but not the hardware, then it is usually easy to purchase the program from them and get your point of sale hardware from somewhere else. In this type of situation you need to make sure you know the exact specifications needed on the computer to handle the load of the software. Some companies do not sell their software separate from hardware, in this case if that is the program you want then you would have to purchase the complete bar point of sale system from them.
What should I look for in a bar POS system?
First you want to find the right point of sale software, before concerning yourself with a complete bar POS system that includes all of the hardware. Once you have made your choice on software, then you want to look at the brand of hardware, the specifications, and also the hardware warranty. A good warranty with at least a three year coverage period should be included with the total cost of the bar point of sale system. Some companies offer extended warranty periods for up to 5 years for an additional charge but this addition to cost usually isn't worth it. Most hardware failures, happen within the first year and that would be covered under warranty, so if a bar system lasts three years without incident then it will usually last more. We say usually, because with any electronic component there can always be failures at anytime. Also another point to consider is at the three year mark, your system technology will already be pretty outdated and it might make more sense to upgrade at that time instead of holding on to a bar POS system hardware for more years.
Bar POS Software
Frequently Asked Questions
How can bar point of sale software help my establishment?
Whether you are a small local tavern or large bar, getting equipped with POS software that will help manage your employees, sales, and inventory can benefit your establishment greatly. Bar POS software allows you to easily keep track of your employees work hours by them logging in and out of the system, which makes it easy to export work hours from the bar point of sale software into your accounting system to cut payroll. Just this benefit alone might save you a great expense of having to pay a third party payroll company, and then add on the additional features of sales and inventory management, usually makes the investment cost of bar POS software worth it for most establishments.
What features should good bar POS software offer?
There are many different options available for bar point of sale software, so you need to take the time to research those options and select a program that has the features your tavern or bar need to function at the highest level of efficiency. Bar software can have different features than restaurant software, so if you are looking at a program that is geared towards restaurants you need to know if the features can be scaled down to fit the needs of your bar. You also do not want to get bar POS software that is too stripped down of features, in the case of future expansion you want whatever software you choose to be able to grow with your business.
How can I really know which bar software is right for my business?
When researching bar point of sale software for your establishment it is very important to thoroughly demo any program you are thinking about purchasing. Demoing software and using it in real world application is the only way to really know for sure if that program is going to handle the needs of your business. If you are interested in a bar POS software company and they do not offer a fully functional demo so you can try it before purchase, then we do not recommend purchasing. This protects you on two fronts, one not wasting time setting up software that ends up not having the features you need and also keeps you from losing that investment and having to purchase another bar software program. The majority of programs are all sales are final because of the open box nature of delivery, so make sure the bar software meets your needs before purchase.
There are so many different types and prices, how do I decide?
The pricing and features on bar POS software can vary widely. The cost you invest will come down to which program ultimately fits the needs of your establishment. There is bar point of sale software that costs thousands all the way down to free bar pos software. The main differences between the two and all of ones in-between is features and the support team that backs it. Sure, you may find free bar point of sale software or one that is really low cost, but will there be someone there for you when you need support or help along the way. No matter how much the bar software you like costs, always make sure that you will have a support system standing behind the product after purchase.
What if I purchase bar POS software and end up not liking it?
Typically any type of bar software you purchase will not be refundable if you end up not liking the program. The reason for this is because once software is delivered to you it is not a product that can be returned, so most bar POS software companies do not offer refunds after purchase. This is why it is very important to try any bar software program and demo it thoroughly before purchasing. Bar point of sale software that isn't purchased to own, but rather payed for with monthly payments might be able to be cancelled without the loss of upfront money being spent. Although some monthly payment software options might have long-term contracts with cancellation fees and also these type of software options may not give you total control over the software like one-time purchase options. This goes back to deciding what fits the needs of your business the best and not purchasing until you know the program will work exactly how you want.