I run a Whisky Shop & Bar. We have 1 brick and mortar shop/bar and sell:
We're moving to Shopify (from Talech) for our online back-end and I therefore need a POS system (that will give me a fully functioning restaurant/bar set up with tabs, tables, loyalty options etc) that will fully integrate with Shopify for stock etc. as we don't want to sell whisky bottles online that have just been sold out the shop. Being able to depreciate stock levels for multiple SKUs from selling one bundled product (cocktails and pre-packaged flights in this case) would be great.
Soooooo ...I've not read any good reviews of Shopify POS as a system for bars or restaurants (in fact, only bad!). I've heard talk that there might be bolt-ons for shopify POS, but I'm going to hazard a guess that rather we need a bespoke POS front end that is created to integrate with Shopify).
Please does anyone have any experience with the above? I'm waiting to talk to Clover, for example...
Many Thanks all,
Your suspicions are correct. I have helped a few bars/ restaurants/ cafes in my days and it can be really hard to get Shopify POS to play nicely with some of the workflows that are normal in food/ drink service.
There are some situations where it can be "worth" it to go with Shopify POS as well - if you are using Shopify Plus for online sales the POS Pro subscription is free making it a great deal and balancing some of the costs of the apps needed to run the operation.
I will also be honest I am not sure there is a perfect system out there to account for the inventory for drinks to bottles i.e 12 drinks that use x,y,z shots = a,b,c volumes taken from the stock. What I have recommend to merchants in the past is to split your inventory in a way so you manually take bottle stock for the drinks stock and keep a record of those sales - one workaround is to create a customer in Shopify called Bar Stock and then "sell" that customer a full bottle at 100% off to be able to account for stock moving from main stock to being used at the bar level.
That is the tip of the iceberg - the harder ones are workaround for Tabs, Tables, Reservations, drink/ food modifiers. Not that it cant be done but I would also say there is POS platforms much better suited to food service. I have seen folks use Square and then an app like SKU IQ (here) to link some of the details in the back end to make operations a bit smoother.
Let me know if you have any questions and I am happy to share some more advice on using Shopify in ways it wasn't explicitly designed for.
One solution I have used for this in the past doing a full Shopify setup for both the POS and the Online store is to create a customer for Mr.Bar and then sell bottles at a %100 discount to that customer to keep track of bottles moving from customer inventory to the bar inventory. The reason I like this is then you can account for the dollar value in inventory by looking up the Mr. Bar customer. You can also gate the discounting feature to managers on the POS Pro so you can sleep a little easier knowing this operation is only being completed by staff of a certain level.
Where I have found the POS to be lacking for a service business is Shopify doesn't like an open table type of invoice its much more set up to take money and close an order rather than keep an order open and continue adding to it. I do kind of like this middle solution of using the Shopify POS to take inventory from Shopify/ bottle sales for customers and then use a POS system more suited to your industry for the actual table/ bar service side of things.
Let me know if you have any questions as you explore the options here!
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