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Retail Insights & Analytics

The Importance Of On-Premise POS Data Insights For Alcohol

On-premise point of sale data insights helps suppliers make better decisions. Find out how you can improve your alcohol business.


As a supplier, especially in the beverage alcohol industry, point of sale (POS) data analysis provides important insights for decision-making. Find out how you can leverage POS data insights to improve your on-premise alcohol sales.   

What is On-Premise POS Data?

There are two key sets of retail POS data in the food and beverage industry. The first is “off-premise”, which covers traditional retail, grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores, and big-box and mass merchandise locations. The second POS data set is for “on-premise” locations, which in the food and beverage industry means bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. 

On-premise POS data has represented a “data outage” in the food and beverage industry for a number of reasons. Solving this outage can create many new opportunities for brands, distributors, and bar and restaurant operators to review performance and take targeted action to improve sales.   

Smart decisions in the alcohol industry rely on knowing the three w’s: who, where, and what. This information is especially pertinent for suppliers. What products are actually selling across the bar to guests? Are you getting the on-premise price points you expect? What's your performance by class of trade or type of account? How does that look by DMA or by city?

In today’s technology-driven, data-rich world, knowing the three w’s should be easy. In the case of on-premise POS data and insights, however, there are several main obstacles that must be overcome. 

  • How do you acquire the data for hundreds of thousands of on-prem locations? 
  • How do you cleanse and structure the data? 
  • What about product and location master data? 
  • How do you generate and leverage insights that are actionable, accessible, and easy to use for all types of business users and analysts? 

There are partners and solutions to track sales of products and brands (both yours and your competitors) in bars and restaurants across the US. Fortunately, technology has advanced sufficiently to collect, cleanse, structure, and analyze on-premise sales data with no effort on your end. 

Assuming these solutions are in place, on-premise POS data analysis can provide crucial insights that - especially beverage alcohol brands and distributors - can use to compete more effectively and increase sales. 

What Insights Can I Gain From On-Premise POS Data?

On-premise point of sale data is captured systematically by POS systems. 

POS systems enable restaurant operators to run their businesses and provide useful data that sheds light on consumer habits and preferences, locations and types of restaurants. This allows you to gain visibility into pricing for all of your products at the point of consumption and allows you to find out where your products are selling well, or not as well as they should.  

POS systems capture transaction logs, also known as “t-logs”, which contain granular data on each and every menu item ordered on every ticket for every visit to each restaurant location. Other operational data captured includes pricing, serving formats, location data, staffing, tender type, and sometimes customer loyalty data. The data is important, but it just fuels what really matters - actionable business insights

As a supplier, you might find the following types of data insights useful: 

Sales & Transaction Data Insights

Don’t just sell your product and move on. Gain the data and insights you need to track and understand on-premise sales for your products at any given point in time –daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. You can also prepare sales reports per brand and analyze sales performance and trends relative to competitors and the overall category.  This way, you always know what’s selling and where, and if your brands are capturing your fair share of their segments in the market. 

Category, Brand and Product Insights

Knowing how your product is performing against the competition helps you understand how your brands are competing relative to other brands and the overall category.  Product insights can help you prioritize and create more targeted sales stories. And the best part –you won’t go to your customers blind –you’ll be aware of what sells and to whom so that you can craft a sales story for your brands’ that address opportunities and needs of each customer.

Location and Class of Trade Insights 

Capturing and gaining insights into sales patterns and spending habits at bar and restaurant locations by type of account and class of trade is also important. See trends and your latest performance by geography and segment: National, Regional and Independent, and by Class of Trade: Bar, Casual Dining, Fine Dining, by region, state, market and city.

Pricing Insights

You know what bars and restaurants pay for your product, and what kind of incentives and support you’re providing to increase volume. Insights from POS data can fill in the rest of the picture –what prices are bars and restaurants charging their guests for your products? Are your premium brands getting premium pricing and positioned at the right level with consumers in the market? 

Assortment Insights 

When structured properly, on-premise POS data can provide a wealth of actionable product assortment insights. For the first time, both distributors and brands can now leverage systematic assortment insights for their on-prem channels in the same way that they have done for decades in their off-prem accounts.  Detailed, fact-based assortment recommendations can help bars and restaurant operators close gaps in their drinks menu and find opportunities to grow their sales and margins. 

What Are The Benefits Of On-Premise POS Data Insights? 

Getting insights from the alcohol industry’s on-premise POS data helps suppliers optimize sales and make better decisions to compete more effectively. Access data and gain insights you never had before –for all of your on-premise locations –and realize the following benefits. 

  • Find out what bars and restaurants are charging for your products and see what’s selling well, and what’s not 
  • Create more targeted sales stories, close gaps in your product range, and find opportunities to increase sales and margins
  • See spending habits and product trends by geography, segment, and class of trade to measure your performance
  • Gain insights into your premium brands to ensure they’re positioned at the right level in the market
  • Leverage systematic assortment insights for your on-prem channels in the same way you’ve done for your off-prem accounts

The best part? You can gain all of these benefits for your brand and your competitors with iControl. Find out how below. 

How iControl Supports On-Premise POS Data Insights for Alcohol 

With iControl, you can enjoy access to on-premise POS data insights for the alcohol industry. And you no longer have to hunt down industry insights to help your decision-making process. With 31,000 bars and restaurants, we create a massive database, giving you access to daily and weekly reports. 

Gain access to actionable insights with visibility into your category, brand and competitor performance for more targeted sales stories.  With on-premise insights, you can improve your market knowledge and understand your brand, compare by class of trade, and rate your competitiveness all while optimizing your beverage alcohol business. 

Are you ready to leverage POS data insights to improve your business? Reach out today for a free demo.  

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One Secure Solution to Manage All Payment Programs. Effortlessly.

See how iControl can help you improve margins through operational efficiency and insights.