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Thread: Taproom POS Systems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
    Posts
    46

    Taproom POS Systems

    We are currently looking at a couple different POS systems for our taproom. Looking at a number of different tablet based systems. What is everyone using in their taprooms? Any complaints/comments on how they're working are helpful.

    Cheers,
    Dustin Baker

    Owner/Brewer
    Roadmap Brewing Co.
    San Antonio, TX

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    minnesota
    Posts
    40
    We were using Square which was pretty solid for basic taproom transactions - with one exception - it could not do preauth Card transactions.

    We moved to Lavu because we have a restaurant and wanted some more "restaurant" types of features (inventory, time clock, tracking by server). Getting a little better deal on card fees via Vantiv (3rd party processor for Lavu), but the base cost is more for Lavu. Square does charge per employee which means it's about a wash on cost. Lavu has a lot of features, but it's extremely buggy and most features are not as robust as needed.

    Square has better reports. Lavu has no trending, year over year stuff. That being said, if Lavu would harden the product and improve it's quality, it has a ton of features that are quite nice. The cost is cheaper than most others too. It has recipe inventory tracking which we are hoping makes it all worth it, as well as the pre-auth stuff.
    Last edited by frenchc; 04-18-2018 at 02:39 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Smithers, BC
    Posts
    20
    We use Square as well for our taproom. Agree with above it lacks the restaurant type features but easy to use and the reporting is key for us.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Hopkins, MN, USA
    Posts
    18

    Touchbistro Is Nice For Certain Breweries

    Quote Originally Posted by DBakes15 View Post
    We are currently looking at a couple different POS systems for our taproom. Looking at a number of different tablet based systems. What is everyone using in their taprooms? Any complaints/comments on how they're working are helpful.

    Cheers,
    We provide table service, which is a little different than most breweries. For us we needed something that runs like a restaurant. We use Touchbistro with Square as our CC processor. It's pretty great. The servers ring the beers in at the table. It prints to the bar. Someone can grab it and run it to the table before the server has even left the table sometimes. Before Touchbistro, we were running Leaf, who went out of business. Touchbistro is a million times better than Leaf ever was. Touchbistro definitely requires a little more upfront cost, but for our business model, it has paid for itself many times over. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,303
    Ditto on TouchBistro. We have been using it for years now. I cannot say enough positive things about this POS system. It is intuitive, easy to make changes on the fly, real-time cloud reporting, customizable menus and discounts/promos. TouchBistro has really made both the front of the house and the back more organized and efficient.

    Prost!
    Dave
    Glacier Brewing Company
    406-883-2595
    glacierbrewing@bresnan.net

    "who said what now?"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    17

    SaaS POS?

    This topic seems to pop up every few months, and I'm surprised that every time subscription-based POS software gets so much attention. For us to use TouchBistro, we'd be looking at $250 a month? Even the cheaper options all seem to fall into the $50/mo. range for a single system. By way of comparison, we paid $500 for PointOS once. The reporting leaves a little to be desired but since the data is all stored locally, we can extract any information we want with a little bit of SQL knowledge. It handles all the restaurant functions, tabs, pre-auths, etc. And with Vantiv handling the processing, the CC fees are as good as anything else we've looked at.

    I guess my question, what is the advantage of paying $600+ per year for a POS solution?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Hopkins, MN, USA
    Posts
    18

    Worth Every Penny

    Quote Originally Posted by fstmatt View Post
    This topic seems to pop up every few months, and I'm surprised that every time subscription-based POS software gets so much attention. For us to use TouchBistro, we'd be looking at $250 a month? Even the cheaper options all seem to fall into the $50/mo. range for a single system. By way of comparison, we paid $500 for PointOS once. The reporting leaves a little to be desired but since the data is all stored locally, we can extract any information we want with a little bit of SQL knowledge. It handles all the restaurant functions, tabs, pre-auths, etc. And with Vantiv handling the processing, the CC fees are as good as anything else we've looked at.

    I guess my question, what is the advantage of paying $600+ per year for a POS solution?
    You get what you pay for. You have to spend money to make money. All those cool old sayings...

    We pay way more than $600 per year, and it's worth every penny. For us it's all about ease & pouring as many beers as possible - we change our beers regularly, often in the middle of a shift. We need to be able to change flights on the fly (customer chooses their beers on the flights). We also have tables setup in the tablet, so once someone sits down, we setup a tab at their table and it stays with them. The server orders at the table and it sends directly to the printer, who can get the beer poured while the server is at the table. It's about speed of getting beers out. If you can't get the beers rung in you're losing money. If you have a line waiting for beers, you're losing money. Getting beers into people's hands (and bellys) is what it's all about. When we upgraded from our old, cheaper option, we saw a huge increase in sales and reduction in mispours. Closing tabs at the table, so you're not wasting time running back and forth. If you just have people behind the bar taking an order, pouring it, and closing it out right away it probably isn't worth it. But if you want to increase your speed, volume, and efficiency, while running tabs it's worth every penny. On a busy Friday or Saturday the system pays for itself probably 2-3 times over for the month. The person pouring doesn't shut the taps off for hours at a time usually.

    Also, we used Vantiv in the past and I have to say watch your fees. We do a pretty huge amount of CC processing and what we were quoted sounded pretty decent, but when we added in all the bogus fees, we were paying between 3.2%-3.6% which is outrageous in my book. We switched to Square who gave us a flat rate and haven't had a problem in 7 months now (and we saved wayyyy more than our POS costs us every month). Spend more on POS and less on CC processing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    17
    Quote Originally Posted by LTD Brewing View Post
    You get what you pay for. You have to spend money to make money. All those cool old sayings...

    We pay way more than $600 per year, and it's worth every penny. For us it's all about ease & pouring as many beers as possible - we change our beers regularly, often in the middle of a shift. We need to be able to change flights on the fly (customer chooses their beers on the flights). We also have tables setup in the tablet, so once someone sits down, we setup a tab at their table and it stays with them. The server orders at the table and it sends directly to the printer, who can get the beer poured while the server is at the table..
    Yes I agree you get what you pay for. But you haven't described a feature that our system couldn't do.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    9

    Aloha

    We use Aloha for our taproom. We started off with Touchbistro, but had to upgraded to Aloha 9 days after opening. The transaction time took way too long for the taproom volume we were experiencing. We've been very pleased with Aloha. From a management perspective, updating the menu, running special happy hours, tracking inventory and running payroll have been a breeze.

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