An ISO-turned-POS dealer is bundling POS hardware, software, and merchant processing to win over clients in the bar vertical.

Every vertical has its unique challenges and needs. Without a clear understanding of what those needs are, you’ll not be able to align your sales pitch and product offering and will, most likely, have little success. Take, for instance, the niche market of bars and nightclubs. A great example of its unique needs can be seen in a recent installation done in the heart of Miami.

Therapy Miami, a 24-hour nightclub/bar, is one of the hottest clubs and is often packed with clubgoers. The owner was having challenges with the fact that bartenders and wait staff were using a combination of paper tabs, cash registers, and stand-alone payment terminals to handle transactions. This was problematic for a number of reasons. First, the manual paper-based ticket system was too slow for the volume of transactions at the club, where the bar would be packed five-deep with patrons wanting drinks. Additionally, hand-writing tickets opened the door for human error. Also, the owner discovered that bartenders were incorrectly charging different amounts. For instance, one shift would charge differently from the previous shift for the same drink. Finally, by having no computerized system, keeping track of inventory was a difficult process.

While attending a college football game, the club owner was introduced to Dave Burney, president of Nationwide Payment Systems (NPS), an ISO who, like many others from the payments industry, has added POS solutions to his line card. Burney says he met with the owner, who wanted four POS systems, and convinced him that, due to the size, layout, and number of bartenders, six terminals would be the way to go.

For the solution, Burney sold the nightclub six Benseron Bevo POS bar and nightclub bundles. Each bundle contains a Bevo POS Charisma all-in-one touch terminal, cash drawer, and receipt printer. In addition, Burney says the club bought a single kitchen printer to handle its modest number of food orders. The total cost of the six terminals was approximately $24,000, or $850 a month on a lease. Burney says the installation went smoothly. The biggest challenge was convincing the customer to redo the network cabling. “The existing cabling was done wrong and was causing issues,” he says. “Once I had someone come in and do the cabling correctly, everything was perfect.”

Burney, who specializes in bars and nightclubs, says the Benseron Bevo POS system has many features and Subscribe to Business Solutions magazinecapabilities well-suited for not just Therapy Miami, but his other customers. “Therapy gets packed, and drink orders happen often,” he says. “Transactions need to be quick to keep things moving. Benseron’s software has the ability to track an infinite number of bar tabs.” He goes on to say that, with a couple touches, bartenders can add drinks to a tab or cash someone out. Whether someone wants to pay with cash or credit card, transactions can be rung up with a few touches. Repeat orders can be handled with one touch.

Additionally, the software can adjust pricing based on time, so if the club wants to lower prices on certain drinks during a certain time, the prices adjust automatically with no necessary input from the bartenders. When the special is over, prices readjust. Also, Burney says the Bevo POS software does preauthorization of credit cards, which can save the nightclub a lot of money from people who use bad credit cards to skip out on the final bill.

Finally, Burney says the software has the ability not just to track inventory, but notify the owner if bottles hit a certain threshold. This allows the owner to reorder liquor with more accuracy.

Apart from these benefits, Burney says the nightclub owner has found value in the reporting of the software. With the paper-based setup the owner had no real insight into the operation. “With the POS system, the owner can now track voids, discounts, and identify discrepancies,” he says. “Additionally, the software can be used to compare how bartenders are doing.” Burney goes on to say that the club owner sets up contests to reward the bartender with the most sales in an evening.

As far as the future is concerned, Therapy is undergoing a remodel and expansion, so Burney expects to sell them more POS terminals in the near future. As an ISO-turned- POS dealer, he sees lots of opportunity for sales just like this one. “I used to refer away POS systems like this and would, at most, get a gift card or ‘thank you’ dinner from whomever I passed the business to,” he says. “Today, I can earn a nice commission on the initial sale of the POS equipment and then continue to earn payment residuals.” In addition to the commissions, Burney says that when POS is part of a sale, it gives him additional service touch points and builds loyalty in his customers. Therefore, the attrition rate on POS deals is low. “I haven’t had a single Bevo POS customer switch,” he concludes.

By Mike Monocello, editor-in-chief, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Mike On Twitter @monocello