If you've ever seen tables of guests fidgeting when their bill comes along or when their bar tab is closed out, you're not alone. Between determining who ordered a mixed drink over a beer and who ordered that extra tray of nachos to go with their seasonal beer flight, it can be tricky to navigate how much each person should pay. Luckily, with new payment processing tech, the back and forth over the tab is becoming a thing of the past.

Here's how a bar point-of-sale (POS) system can transform payment processes for bars and nightclubs, especially when leveraging bar tabs with pre-authorization capabilities.

New tech solving old bar tab challenges

Anyone who's tried to take orders from a group of five people or more knows that it can be difficult to manage. You have several different people ordering different drinks, all over the ambient noise of the bar and any music you may be playing at the time.

Then, all the people at the table will want to pay separately.

This is a fair enough request, but it can be difficult to process all the separate orders and payments while other patrons are trying to get your attention. Luckily, QR code ordering can help manage bar tabs by helping the people at the table order individually. By scanning a QR code on their table, people can grab a link to a menu and then order and pay right from their smartphones. Each individual at a table is responsible for their own orders, making the bar tab easier to manage.

Perhaps more crucially, this process can help in sending orders to your back-of-house quickly and efficiently.

How bar tab tech solutions can be used

With this technology, your bar, team members, and guests all benefit in a few different ways. These solutions can do the following:

1. Track orders more efficiently

Whether a group is ordering at their table from a handheld payment terminal or they're ordering at the bar, digital POS technology allows businesses to group orders by table. So, instead of combing through a bunch of orders and sorting them out, you can just isolate the table and look at all the orders then and there.

This saves time and energy that you could use to serve your other customers—and as a busy bar manager, you need every single second you can get. You can also use handheld payment terminals to take the transaction to your customer, rather than them coming to you.

2. Make the order process easier

Handheld payment terminals allow your servers to take orders and process payments right from the table, negating the need for customers to crowd around the bar, waiting to order.

This has two main benefits:

  1. The appearance of an uncrowded bar encourages guests to walk up to the bar and order something. They think they'll get their drink more quickly in this situation.
  2. Your guests can stay at their table, making them more comfortable. This increases the likelihood of them ordering more.

It also means those behind the bar can focus on their work and get drinks out more quickly, rather than constantly scanning the bar to see who needs to be served.

3. Get data in real time

With bar tab payment processing technology, you can see what's been selling and what hasn't in real time. Savvy bar managers can even adjust their digital menus on the fly and add in promotional items to help boost sales. Over time, you can even use analytics to predict what will move on any given day of the week and order stock accordingly.

What's exciting about all this is that bar and nightclub owners can now provide their guests with a best-in-class experience.

Whether it's providing more options to manage the bar tab, empowering customers to take control of their ordering experience, or simply getting better data to make decisions on, bar owners now have even more options at their fingertips.

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