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As bar owners and managers, you know that having the right point of sale system for your restaurant or bar makes all the difference. A good POS system can help you keep your customers and employees happy with speedy, accurate service. While legacy POS systems are clunky and expensive to maintain, new cloud-based systems are flexible and easy to customize. 

In the cloud-based POS space, systems are designed for every type of restaurant and bar. From white-tablecloth eateries to peanut shells on the floor dives, a cloud-based POS system is ideal.  

When it comes to bar POS systems, some features set them apart from your typical restaurant setup. Restaurant POS systems rely on table-side ordering directly communicating from the server to the kitchen and bar. In a food-focused model, things move slower, and the diner’s experience is the most important thing.  

The best POS for your bar allows you to run open tabs, split checks, and track your inventory. Beyond that, they can adjust pricing throughout the day, store recipes for your staff, and let you know who’s pouring heavy. 

Each bar software system is designed to support your business, and there are plenty of them out there. Choosing the right one, though, is a piece of cake! 

Today, we’re exploring the bar-specific features that make CAKE Restaurant POS the clear choice for your watering hole. We’ll walk you through the bells and whistles and show you why CAKE is the best bar POS system on the market. 

We’ll cover: 

Let’s get started! 

Main considerations for a bar POS 

When choosing the best bar POS system for your business, there are several factors you’ll want to consider.  

POS features specific to your bar business 

Many POS systems cater specifically to restaurant owners and only tack on bar-specific features. The best bar POS systems are specifically designed to meet the needs of your unique setup. You should look for:

  • The ability to run tabs and transfer between employees and different terminals.  
  • Track inventory so you’re not over-ordering or stuck without key ingredients before Margarita Monday.  
  • Take a variety of payment types and suggest tip amounts while your patrons are closing out. 
  • Provide offline functionality if you lose connectivity. 

Cost of bar POS hardware and software 

Your POS system is essential to your business, but it’s far from the only cost you incur. You’ve probably set aside a budgeted amount to implement a new bar POS, affecting your choice.  Bar POS systems can cost anywhere from $49 to $200 per month.  

Your servers might have tablets taking orders tableside or your customers use kiosks to take orders at the bar. The hardware must be durable and reliable. Some systems have tablets and kiosks wrapped into the cost, while others don’t. Whatever your budget, you’ll have to find one that won’t break the bank.   

Scalable as you grow 

A small bar may function with just a few POS terminals. Even during peak times, skilled bartenders can fulfill orders quickly without slowing down service to enter them into a POS.  

As your business grows, you may have to add more terminals or even change to a tablet-based cocktail service. Expanding your bar POS system shouldn’t be a headache.  

Compatible with other systems 

Other systems you have in place for accounting, scheduling, and other business functions should seamlessly integrate into your POS system. Integration allows you to see a complete view of your business at a glance.  

Customer support for users 

When you’re closing the bar at 2:30 am and encountering issues, you don’t want to deal with a chatbot or answering service. You should be able to reach an expert anytime you need them.  

Key features for a bar POS 

Bar POS systems and restaurant systems have some overlap between features. Although they have some crossover, you shouldn’t compromise on these specific service features.  

Service features 

Age verification 

Alcohol-based businesses must abide by a slew of federal and state laws. In the United States, selling alcohol to those under 21 years of age is illegal and can result in hefty fines. Under the right circumstances, you could lose your liquor license, which could cause you to lose your business.  

Bar POS systems may include triggers that prompt your staff to ask for a patron’s ID when they add age-restricted items. At that point, your staff can manually enter details or scan IDs before adding those items. 

Credit card pre-authorization tool 

When your customers want to leave a tab open with your bartenders, they don’t want to leave a card at the bar. Aside from security concerns, it’s easy for your patrons to forget them at the end of the night.  

Pre-authorization tools built into your bar POS system make it easy to swipe and return cards. Your bartenders can enter payment information and hand it right back! 

Online ordering 

QR codes on the table linked to online menus make it easy for your customers to place orders on their own. During peak service, they don’t have to wait to get their orders in the queue. 

Table-side ordering 

Cocktail service and table-side ordering is easy when implementing a tablet-based bar POS. When your server enters the order into their tablet, it goes directly to the bar for fulfillment. 

Fast user interface 

The best bar POS systems make it quick and easy for your servers to bounce between screens to enter orders. Having all menus accessible from one screen simplifies navigating, entering orders, and taking payments on the fly. 

Tab transfer and selection between systems 

One of the best times to upsell your patrons is when they step into the bar while waiting for a seat in your restaurant area. Your bar POS system should make transferring tabs from the bar to a table or other service area easy. 

Flexible pricing options 

If you offer special pricing for happy hour or during special events, your bar system should be capable of managing the switch. Take responsibility for shifting prices off your staff and set it up beforehand.  

Management features 

Your bar POS system should make your bartenders’, servers’, and any kitchen staff’s lives easier. However, you can expect more from the industry-leading systems in today’s market. Beyond the service area, they provide convenient features that help you run a more efficient business. 

Accounting and tip-out 

Ideally, you want a system that records transactions and integrates with your existing accounting software. Your managers should be able to close out and calculate tips at the end of the night quickly and easily. 

Reporting and analytics 

The best bar point-of-sale systems allow you to pull real-time reports about your business. They should give you access to what customers are ordering, popular items, and help you manage your employee and labor costs. And, because they’re cloud-based, you can pull these statistics remotely from anywhere.  

Loyalty program 

Loyalty programs make your regular customers feel appreciated and valued, and your bar POS system can help. Tracking and redeeming loyalty points should be a snap. 

Email marketing 

Reaching out to your customer base about special events and opportunities is easier with an integrated email marketing system. As you gather customer data through transactions, you should be able to pull those lists and connect. 

Inventory management 

Inventory management is an essential function in most bar POS systems today. Some connect with smart pour spouts and beer tap sensors to track overpours, saving you money. Beyond that, inventory management systems simplify putting your weekly orders together. You’ll have an accurate view of what you have in stock, what’s popular, and what you can cut back on. 

CAKE POS features perfect for your bar 

At Mad Mobile, we’ve used our decades of service industry experience to build the best bar POS system on the market. Our expertise is in helping your bar or brewery staff focus on the customer experience and leave the hard part to us.  

CAKE’s bar and brewery POS is an industry leader built around our cloud-based features that give you the tools to grow your business. Here are some of the highlights! 

Splash-proof hardware 

At CAKE, we understand the demanding environment of bars and breweries. Spills and splashes are inevitable, and traditional POS hardware can easily succumb to these hazards. That’s why we’ve engineered CAKE’s POS hardware to be splash-proof, ensuring durability and reliability even in the busiest and most chaotic settings. 

Our splash-proof hardware is designed to withstand the rigors of the bar environment, providing peace of mind to bar owners and staff. Whether it’s accidental spills from a rowdy crowd or the occasional splash from cleaning routines, CAKE’s POS hardware can handle it without skipping a beat.  

With our splash-proof hardware, you can focus on delivering exceptional service to your customers without worrying about equipment failures or downtime.   

Seamless keg management 

If you own a bar, you know how important it is to keep your top-selling beers in stock. For bars and breweries, most beer is transported in and stored in kegs. They arrive full and, once empty, either go straight back to the brewer to refill or languish around your back bar waiting for pickup. 

CAKE’s seamless inventory management system makes it simple for you and your vendor to know when you need a top-up. It’s a win-win for bars and brewers since kegs often get lost in the shuffle, leading to higher production costs. 

Customizable drink menus 

Our system makes it simple to customize your menu through the bar POS system. Because CAKE is cloud-based, you can make changes from anywhere! You can have special menus for events, times of day, or on-the-fly specials when your team wins.   

Easily store custom drink menus for your staff and keep your best sellers at the top of your menu with CAKE’s customization tools. 

Quick order modifiers for drink customization 

Customers like to get creative, and with CAKE’s tablet-based bar POS system, it’s easy to keep all your modifiers in one place. Keep your inventive customers happy and streamline your service without sacrificing speed!   

Event management 

Hosting special gatherings at your bar or brewery is essential for fostering community connections. However, managing reservations for these events can often be cumbersome and time-consuming.  

With CAKE’s reservation management app, you can streamline the process seamlessly. Say goodbye to juggling multiple systems and embrace the simplicity of managing reservations from one integrated platform. 

Empower your staff with familiar tools they already know, allowing them to effortlessly handle reservations without the need for additional training. From booking tables for special events to coordinating seating arrangements, CAKE’s reservation management app simplifies the entire process, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for both your team and your customers. 

Floor plan customization 

Whether you’re a bar service-only establishment or have table-side ordering, customization is essential. Our system simplifies shifting around your floor plan with drag-and-drop ease. Keep track of seating and adjust for peak flow or special events as needed. 

Implementing your bar POS System 

Choosing the best bar POS system is only the first step in the process of revamping your service area. Implementing the system correctly the first time is arguably just as important as it will ensure no interruption in service and increase staff buy-in. 

Installation and setup 

The installation process for your bar or brewery is as unique as your establishment. You’ll decide on the hardware needed and which features of the CAKE system you need before you begin installation. Our implementation team can help you design the perfect system for your bar. 

When you’re ready to implement, remove your legacy system and install your network and POS stations for service. If you’re using tablets, tableside QR codes, or other hardware, they’ll need to be connected to the network before you use them. 

Check out our installation guide for detailed instructions on installing and setting up your new POS system. 

Staff onboarding and training 

Since one of your goals in choosing a new bar POS system is to make your staff more effective; they need to be on board with the new system. Give them some time before you make the switch to get used to the new system and learn how it works. Informal training could involve a dummy system they can explore or a series of videos showing its features. 

When the time comes, train a few staff to be content experts about the new system. During training, they can serve as the go-to person on their shift to help answer any questions.  

It’s important for your staff to feel like they’re part of the process, so give them time to onboard to the new system. Make sure they know that this is a learning process and that you expect them to ask questions and make mistakes. 

Maximizing the use of your POS system 

Once your new bar POS is in place and your staff is onboarded, it’s time to start getting the most out of your new POS system. A robust reporting suite gives you access to real-time data to dial in your bar’s operations. 

Since you chose CAKE, you can access 24/7 support and a full library of online learning materials. Get your staff involved, too! They’ll run into issues related to customer service during their shifts, so encourage them to help troubleshoot. 

Tablets can help streamline your customer’s experience with tableside-service or tablet-based line-busting strategies.  

In the end, you’ll have a host of data that can drive profitability in your business. 


Choosing the best bar POS systems is easy with CAKE. Completely customizable for your business needs, we’re the perfect partner to help your business grow. Bars have different needs from restaurants, and there’s no reason to settle.

Learn more about our bar pos system and schedule a demo today!

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