Liquor Store Compliance Solutions: 4 Ways Your POS System Can Help

Just when you think you have liquor compliance handled, another law or regulation pops up.

It’s a familiar story for liquor store owners. You’re trying to manage compliance, but it’s hard to stay on top of — and if you’re tracking compliance manually, it’s even harder. Perhaps you’re up to your eyeballs in spreadsheets, tracking daily inventory, sales reports, and ID-checking logs.

Thankfully, there’s an easier way. 

You can turn to a liquor store point of sale (POS) system to make compliance a breeze. This article breaks down why and how to turn your point of sale into a liquor store compliance solution.

The Need for Liquor Store Compliance Solutions

It might be tedious, but staying on top of changing laws and regulations is part and parcel of running a liquor store. You know that even small mistakes can lead to huge fines — or worse — if you’re not compliant.

There are complex regulations around responsible alcohol sales, inventory management, and reporting. Are you still using manual methods to manage compliance? If so, you’re missing out on tools that can make your life easier.

A POS system tailored specifically for liquor stores is almost an extra employee! From age verification to real-time inventory tracking and reporting, modern POS systems can provide robust liquor store compliance solutions.

Let’s see how.

POS Features That Help Liquor Store Compliance

At its core, a POS system is the hardware and software you use to process customer transactions in your liquor store. It includes registers, tablets, card readers, scanners, and anything else your cashiers use.

However, a good POS does much more than just track sales. Liquor store POS systems also provide robust inventory management, reporting, customer management, and compliance features.

#1: Responsible Sales and Inventory Management

You are responsible for staying on top of regulations. These can vary from state to state. In New York, for example, there are tight regulations, such as:

  • A minor cannot be employed to sell or dispense alcoholic beverages.
  • You can only sell alcoholic beverages to someone who is at least 21 years old and not intoxicated.
  • Any customer must have a valid ID. Driver’s licenses, ID cards, and passports are acceptable; college and employee ID cards cannot (though they can be used to verify the identity of the customer).
  • You must display your license in a conspicuous place, enclosed in a glass frame.

A liquor store POS system helps you sell responsibly with integrated age verification features. Cashiers can scan IDs to automatically verify the customer is of legal drinking age. You can also set restrictions and program pop-up alerts that prevent sales outside of approved hours.

Related Read: Choosing an ID Scanner for Liquor Stores: 4 Top Options

For inventory management, your POS system can track every bottle and case in real time. As cashiers ring up sales, stock levels automatically adjust. You'll know when you're running low on popular items or have excess stock to promote.

You can also get detailed reports on inventory, which is helpful come audit or inspection time. When someone asks for a report, you can pull up sales and inventory at the push of a button.

#2: Sales Tax Automation

Another time-consuming process for liquor store owners is sales tax reporting. Depending on your state and city, there can be multiple alcohol taxes to manage. And tax rates might change from year to year.

Modern POS systems have tax rates programmed in for automatic calculation on every sale. Some POS systems also integrate with financial software and accounting programs like Quickbooks. Your sales tax numbers will flow into your bookkeeping and tax preparation with no copying or importing required.

#3: Staff Management and Training

Your employees are on the frontline managing compliance. If they’re not trained or managed properly, they can make mistakes, or, worse, bend the rules for friends and family. 

Use your POS system to set employee restrictions. For example, you can restrict staff function based on their position and experience level. New cashiers only have basic functions available, while managers can access inventory controls and reporting. You can protect compliance data and reduce risk.

You can also log all employee actions for accountability. Track who processes transactions, adjusts inventory levels, and accesses reports. If any compliance issues arise, you can quickly audit the logs to see what happened.

Last, make sure to train your employees on local compliance regulations, responsible sales practices, proper ID verification, and more.

#4: Secure Handling of Data

With so much customer sales data and inventory information moving through your POS system, security is critical. From customer names and IDs to payment and other sensitive data, you need to handle it all carefully.

Top liquor systems employ data encryption and network security protections to keep your information safe. This prevents hackers from accessing and misusing sensitive data.

You should make sure your POS provider follows Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standards. This makes sure they handle payments safely and comply with industry standards. You don't want to be liable if they are storing card data improperly.

Choosing the Right Liquor POS System

You can see how an industry-specific POS system can help make compliance easy — but how do you pick the right POS system for your liquor store? Here are some features to look out for:

  • Robust age verification and ID scanning
  • Employees restrictions and role-based access
  • Data security provisions
  • Integrations with surveillance cameras and ID scanners

Aside from compliance features, the best POS solution for liquor stores helps manage your store efficiently. Look for a solution that:

  • Automates inventory management. You want to be able to add detailed product and pricing information, including case break details, and manage purchase orders and vendors. Low stock alerts and generated suggested orders are desirable, too.
  • Includes built-in customer loyalty and rewards. You want to reward your most loyal customers. Your POS software should collect phone numbers and enroll customers into your loyalty program.
  • Offers dual pricing. Your point of sale needs to be able to handle dual prices. Customers pay less if they pay cash. Credit card processing fees can be passed on to customers if they use a credit card.

Don’t forget support! Work with a provider that gives you a detailed demo, helps you set up, and provides 24/7 support.

Related Read: 5 Must-Have Liquor Store Point of Sale System Features

Your POS System Is the Best Liquor Store Compliance Solution

Staying compliant with liquor regulations is a constant challenge. There are various moving parts with inventory, sales reporting, age verification, and more to keep track of.

With a purpose-built liquor store POS system, you can take some of the pressure off and focus on serving your customers. With instant age verification, real-time inventory tracking, automatic sales tax calculations, and robust employee management capabilities, you can hand compliance tasks over to your POS.

Bottle POS is built for liquor stores — it’s all we do. Don’t let regulatory requirements become a burden on your business. See for yourself by requesting a guided demo today!