Liquor cost: Timed events on your bar’s POS. These days the solid majority of bars and restaurants have electronic POS systems. The exceptions are a few bars which are still holding off and these aren’t typically places that are either very profitable or well run. The benefits in terms of operational efficiencies and useful information they produce mean that they’ve become an indispensable part of the hospitality industry. I’ve mentioned the importance of programming your bar’s POS system effectively but there’s another element in addition to having individual buttons for all the drinks (and sizes of drinks) you serve: Timed events. Using timed events means programming your POS so that specific changes, such as happy hour pricing, are automatically applied. Making timed events work correctly is one of the more challenging tasks which begs the question of why you should bother. The answer is simple: It will make your bar more profitable.
Let’s take a step back and consider the context here. Your bartenders get paid in tips. When they do favors for customers, customers are happy and they tend to tip more (even British customers like me might stretch to say a 15% tip!). You want your bartenders to make your customers happy but given their incentive structure, not confirming the trust you place in them is naïve. Giving happy hour pricing outside of happy hour is just one of the many fudges the average bartender has available to them. Bartender logic states that as we offer the price sometimes, there’s no real harm in being a little more generous with the time window. “Being a little more generous” is important in bars but it’s important that the owner or manager decides just how generous, since they have a vested interest in overall profitability not tip profitability. At Bar-i we strongly advocate having a generous comping policy for your bartenders but comps should be rung into the POS system so you can keep track of them.
If you’re not yet convinced, I have an experiment I suggest you perform: Run a product mix report from your POS for hours outside of happy hour and see how many times your happy hour buttons have been pressed. If the answer is zero you’re in good shape. If the answer is not, you probably see the sense in what I’m saying. I also have one final suggestion around timed events on your bar’s POS. When you program your timed events build in a little wiggle room by extending the times 15 minutes either side of your advertized happy hour. This way you won’t appear stingy and your bartenders will be able to ‘sneak in one more round’ which is sure to please your customers.
How to program your bar's POS system
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