Whether you operate one nightclub or several, and whether you’re a novice or an experienced owner, the right nightclub point of sale system is essential to the success of your business. To make the right purchasing decision, however, you need a clear idea of what to look for in a nightclub point of sale system. Essential, “must-have” features include:
1. Comprehensive inventory controls. Nightclubs are prone to losing money due to liquor inventory shrinkage that occurs when bartenders dispense free drinks or when they charge the incorrect amount for a cocktail. Over-pouring and employee theft, too, contribute to liquor inventory shrinkage problems.
To reverse the tide, look for a nightclub point of sale system that allows you to monitor liquor levels (e.g., through bottle-scanning) or the flow of draft beer pours (to eliminate waste and ensure a maximum keg pour). A nightclub point of sale solution with these type of measurement capabilities — or similar ones — can associate alcohol quantities dispensed with alcohol quantities sold, keeping over-pouring and even shrink in check. You should also be able to produce liquor inventory reports that yield access to real-time inventory information and allow you to quickly spot negative trends.
Additionally, ensure that your nightclub point of sale solution can automatically generate purchase orders for wine, beer, and spirits — as well as for the ingredients in any food items your business may serve — only when SKU quantities have been depleted to preset levels you define. This controls inventory expenditures, prevents potentially costly order overages, and ensures that you have the appropriate inventory on hand, in the right quantities, when it is needed. It all makes for a better bottom line and happier customers.
2. Age verification. Without an age verification component to your nightclub point of sale system, you risk inadvertently serving alcoholic beverages to guests who are under the legal alcohol consumption age. The consequences for doing so may include citations, fines, or loss of liquor license, any or all of which have the potential to negatively impact or even put an end to your business. Choose a nightclub point of sale solution that prompts your employees to verify each customer’s age.
3. Capabilities that speed up service. Patrons frequent nightclubs to dance, see featured entertainers, and enjoy each other’s company — not to sit around and wait for their food and drinks or waste time waiting to paying their tabs. Consequently, your nightclub point of sale system should incorporate tools for quick and efficient order placement and delivery, as well as convenient payment processing. Bartenders should be able to manage every customer’s tab from a single screen, while servers should be able to effortlessly take and deliver orders for repeat rounds.
The ability to handle shared and pre-authorized tabs, as well as to process payments using any type of tender (e.g., credit, debit, cash, etc.) is equally desirable. Remember, fast service not only bolsters customer satisfaction; it encourages patrons to order more rounds and to return to your nightclub again and again.
4. Marketing capabilities. Every nightclub owner wants to engage customers and keep them coming back, and this necessitates exercising marketing “muscle.” So, choose a nightclub point of sale system that permits patrons to opt in to receive email communications about special events, headliner entertainment appearances, and promotions. You should even be able to segment mailing lists to jibe with customers’ interests, based on their ordering patterns and information they’ve shared with you. For example, you might use information from your nightclub point of sale system to create a targeted list of patrons who favor a particular band that’s appearing and to let these individuals know when the band will next be at your establishment.
Every nightclub has the potential to be a lucrative venture. With a nightclub point of sale system, that can help you control inventory, comply with regulations, provide quicker service, and support your marketing efforts, such potential is more likely to be reached.