If you want to streamline your bar operations, it’s important to use the right tools. In this article, we look at 9 of the best bar management software tools to help you build a better and more profitable bar.
These software applications have been designed to help you with the daily operations of running your business and automate repetitive tasks.
So instead of browsing for hours until you find the perfect fit, we’ve summarized the key information about the best options on the market in one place.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Advantages of using bar management software
Before reviewing the tools, it’s important that you understand the advantages of using bar management software.
There are a lot of responsibilities that go into running a successful bar, including inventory, employee management, and marketing. In addition, bar and restaurant trends are continually changing, with customers demanding new and innovative drinking and dining experiences.
Using software tools can help you manage all these trends and processes smartly so you can focus on giving your customers a great guest experience.
Here are a few examples of how bar management software tools can impact your business:
- Fewer errors – Software solutions can reduce human error.
- Improve employee communication – Using software scheduling that’s shared with employees ensures that no one forgets about shifts and timing changes.
- Build customer relationships – Customer relationship management can help you store information about your customers, including their buying behavior.
- Access data and reports – Your POS system can provide you with valuable information about sales, credit card transactions, and inventory.
- Manage accounting – Accounting software helps you keep track of your cash flow and manage your finances.
- Recipe management – Use software apps to keep track of popular cocktails and create customer’s requests.
An overview of the top bar management systems today
The following software tools are our pick for the best on the market and will let you smartly automate many of the processes involved with running your bar:
1. Lavu POS
Used by bars and nightclubs, the Lavu POS system is sophisticated with multiple features yet simple enough for even small bars to utilize. This point-of-sale solution runs on iPad devices, making it mobile and convenient for your servers to use, enhancing the customer experience by reducing wait times.
By using Lavu software, you’ll have more control over your entire bar operations, all the way from employee management to inventory. Here are the key features of Lavu:
- Place orders on a touch screen.
- Payment processing can be done tableside in front of customers.
- Produce electronic receipts.
- Analyze advanced reporting features for sales, labor, and inventory.
- Receive live information about sales.
- Use advanced features, such as support for eSignatures.
Pricing – Lavu has flexible pricing plans to meet the needs of all bars:
- Single terminal: $ 69 / month, billed annually.
- Multiple terminals: Lavu offers tiered pricing.
- Enterprise plans: Choose a larger plan for multi-locations.
Communication with your employees is vital to running a successful bar. BizImply is software that lets you automate your employee management and simplify daily operations. You’ll be able to contact staff when they’re running late, keep track of tasks completed, and stay on top of shift changes.
Other features of BizImply include:
- Have access to both management and employee apps.
- Create timecards and reduce the time it takes to prepare payroll.
- See who’s scheduled to work and who’s on a break.
- Obtain sales figures after each shift.
- Boost productivity by assigning tasks to the right employees.
- Streamline bar management with effective communication across your teams.
Pricing – Contact this vendor directly for pricing plans, including their free trial.
CRM, customer relationship management, lets you build up a database of customer information. This data can help you create target marketing strategies to keep your loyal customers and bring in new clientele. Toast is one software solution that can help you to better manage your customers through its POS system.
With Toast you’ll be able to:
- Know what your customers are ordering.
- How often customers are coming to your bar.
- How much customers are spending.
With this information you can identify favorite drinks and tailor your menu and drink specials to what customers want.
Pricing – Pricing plans for Toast software are available in multiple bundles:
- Software: Includes cloud-based reporting and menu management – $79 / month for each terminal
- Hardware: All hardware, including bar display screens, handhelds, and terminals – 0% financing.
- Bundle package: Includes installation, support starting at $499 with 0% financing available.
RSI provides accounting solutions for bars and restaurants on a cloud platform, with online support and training available. With this bar management software, you’ll be able to manage billing and invoicing, track expenses, and process payroll.
Other features of RSI include:
- Detailed financial reporting for cash flow.
- Performance metrics.
- Invoice scanning and digital upload.
- Accurate item pricing and purchasing to manage spending.
- Inventory turnover alerts.
Pricing – Contact this vendor directly for pricing.
Connecting with your customers on social media is critical to your business. TapHunter is a software suite that lets you quickly and effectively push your digital posts to social media. It also lets you print new and exciting menus and manage your inventory.
Using software to manage your online presence gives you the tools you need to attract more customers and grow your business.
The key features of TapHunter include:
- Manage and update your website and social media.
- Print your menu and update your digital menu.
- Connect with customers on popular social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
- Manage your inventory.
- Integrate with your POS system.
- Connect with both loyal and new customers.
Pricing – TapHunter has multiple pricing plans available. Contact TapHunter directly for their latest and up to date prices:
- Basic plan: Includes a business listing, social media tools, and location analysis.
- Basic plan plus additional features: The basic plan includes the ability to print menus, basic inventory, and promote special events.
- Premium plan: Includes all of the basic plan with features as well as a digital menu board.
- Platinum plan: Includes full inventory management.
Using the Mixology software app gives your bartenders just one more tool to serve customers the perfect drink. The app is searchable by recipe, providing ingredients and instructions to mix for each cocktail. It also lets bartenders mix drinks based on specific types of liquor.
At a glance, here’s how Mixology can help bartenders make the best drinks:
- Search for drink by ingredient.
- Easily find drink recipes by category.
- Read descriptions about glassware.
- Discover tools of the bartending trade.
- Understand bar terminology.
- Learn about bartending tricks and tips.
Pricing – Mixology is easy to download and available for iPhone or Android:
- iPhone and Android: Free with ads
- iPhone: $0.99, no ads
- Android: $1.49, no ads
7. Wine Ratings
If you’re serving wine in your bar, you’ll want to stay current with the newest and best wines on the market. The Wine Ratings app is a software tool that can help you manage your bar so you’re giving customers a diverse and refined list of wines to choose from.
Pricing – The app is free to download, making it a cost effective software tool that can boost your wine sales. For a subscription fee of $2.99 you’ll gain access to tasting notes, wine scores, and current release prices.
Improve your accuracy and efficiency when it comes to checking the IDs of your customers with this software app. Bar & Club stats lets you provide the best service to your customers while making sure that you’re observing age restrictions so you’re not serving anyone underage.
This ID scanning app takes away the inefficiency of having to physically check ID to determine if it’s authentic. The features of Bar & Club Stats include:
- Alerts for underage IDs.
- Alerts for expired IDs.
- Historical reports of prior ID scans.
- Keep track of guest count.
Pricing – Bar & Club Stats has several different pricing plans:
- ID Scanner App
- Unlimited scanning – $24.99 / month
- Unlimited scanning with the Data Collection App – $44.99 / month
- Unlimited scanning with the ID Scanner App – $24.99 / month
- Unlimited online scanning – $29.99 / month
- Scanner App with Attachment and iPod
- Rental – $159 / month
- Purchase – $869 plus $29 / month for data
Glimpse uses your video camera footage to analyze what drinks are moved across the bar, matching up this data with your sales records. This way, you can quickly spot and address issues like theft or non-compliance with your standard operating procedures.
Other features of Glimpse include:
- Valuable data, such as sales lost or at risk, pushed through to your inbox.
- Daily and monthly progress reports.
- Access to a web-portal.
- Alerts of newly published reports.
- Data on employee performance.
Pricing – Glimpse has three plans available:
- Starter plan: Includes 1 audit per month, notifications, support 24/7, and a personalized dashboard – $59 / month.
- Professional plan: All the features of the Starter plan plus hardware and installation, up to 8 audits each month, a weekly progress review, and a monthly analysis – $395 / month.
- Enterprise plan: Select this plan for multiple locations with unlimited user access, custom integration, best practice training sessions, and premium support – custom pricing.
Using the software tools listed here you can boost productivity and manage all of the data and information that’s involved with running a successful bar. Some of the key applications of bar management software include:
- Improve communication and manage your employees more effectively.
- Make fewer errors due to automation.
- Track costs and inventory automatically.
- Get more security and control at the point of sale with your customers.
As many of the tools above offer a free trial, you’ll be able to see if they make a difference without risking your cash. In the end, you might find that using a few of the right systems can give you an exponential return on both time and money as the benefits add up.