Best POS System for a bar that doesn't look TOO crappy?
May 24, 2011 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Best POS System for a bar that doesn't look TOO crappy?

Opening a bar in Brooklyn and would like some advice on choosing a decent POS (Point-of-Sale) system. The majority of bars in my area seem to simply use antique/vintage cash registers, which look nice but certainly don't provide the sort of inventory monitoring/general control that I would like.

My bar's aesthetic is pretty standard Brooklyn - vintage fixtures, reclaimed wood, etc. and I just don't want to sully the vibe with a super bright eye-sore of a POS.

Any recommendations? Clever ways to hide the monitor? Is it possible to somehow combine a digital system with an antique register cash drawer?

Thanks in advance!
posted by staveitoff to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Square is testing their POS system with iPads.

Could maybe install it in an old register/wooden casing.
posted by mattdini at 9:25 AM on May 24, 2011

If OP is looking for inventory monitoring and controls I'm not sure that Square will help him out there, but I have to believe you'd be able to install a flat panel in a old style cash register. The down side is that in order to make it disappear you'd have to put it on the bar and not on the back counter. And that takes up precious space on the bar.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:29 AM on May 24, 2011

LightSpeed POS is another Mac-based product that's more mature than Square. They also have a mobile option for use on iPad/iPod/iPhone devices.
posted by odinsdream at 9:31 AM on May 24, 2011

As someone who has waited tables around the country I've always enjoyed the Aloha suite. As far as disguising it I'd just put feelers out in the local community or start looking for something vintage on craigslist or freecycle that you can pretty-dirty up as needed.

Hackers unite! I guess instructables might be a good place to start as well.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:32 AM on May 24, 2011

I've been to lots of bars that had the POS system in something (anything from generic box to keep spills away to fairly elaborate encasements) on the bar. It does take up some space, but it very anecdotally seems like bill accuracy is better if the bartender isn't constantly turning around/running away to enter orders. Plus, then folks can't see the screen and you can decorate however you like.

You WANT a good POS system for inventory and accounting purposes, you really do. I don't think it's worth sacrificing simply for aesthetics if you can at all help/disguise it.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:33 AM on May 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

An Austin candy shop with a steampunk/vintage vibe, Big Top Candy, is using a deconstructed LCD monitor with their POS, decorated and attached to a brass banker's lamp stand. Perhaps something along these lines, maybe classed up a bit, would suit?
posted by bug138 at 10:02 AM on May 24, 2011

Just don't go with Radiant/Aloha. They are the devil incarnate.
posted by Raichle at 10:26 AM on May 24, 2011

Square is neat, but has no place in an established business.
posted by schmod at 10:26 AM on May 24, 2011

I think you could pretty easily disguise one of these in something that would match the aesthetic of the bar. Get a local woodworker to build a casing for it from some of that reclaimed wood?
posted by jbickers at 10:37 AM on May 24, 2011

Square is neat, but has no place in an established business.

Why is that?
posted by jsavimbi at 11:08 AM on May 24, 2011

I've managed a number of POS systems - Squirrel, Matre D, Micros, and Versitouch. And I fucking love Versitouch. Runs on DOS, looks old as hell, but damn it is so programmable. I've never had an easier time building and managing a speed bar than with Versitouch. Also, being that it runs on freaking DOS, you can get a second hand touchscreen and deconstruct it and rebuild the case to fit your bar. I always felt it was easier to build a custom case for a 300$ used computer than a 1300$ new one.

That being said, I think they're a smaller Portland based company, and I have no idea if they have sales and support on the east coast.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 5:54 PM on May 24, 2011

Dinerware. After using it for the last few years I refuse to use any other system. Seriously, I've turned down good jobs because I didn't want to deal with Micros.
posted by Jawn at 10:37 AM on May 25, 2011

Wow - thanks, everyone! Very helpful!
posted by staveitoff at 8:00 AM on May 26, 2011

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