Beta Member

Square for Restaurants Keg/Draft Management Best Practices

Hello, I'm using SfR for my taphouse with 32 frequently rotating taps. Here's my current method of managing/tracking beer:


How I Do It Today:

- Each tap/beer is listed as an item in Square, i.e., "02. Ciderboys Peach County"

- Each of those items has 4 variations, i.e., "5oz" "8oz" "16oz" "64oz Growler"

- I have a "Drafts" menu-grid in Square, and all of those items are listed on a single page in a 4x8 grid by tap number/name.

- I use Evergreen for managing my digital board for customers, and it's integrated with Square. So, when I add a new beer to the board or the on-deck list, I have the option to also load that item and its variations and prices into Square.

- After I move an item from "on-deck" to "current" in Evergreen, I go into the Square menu, and remove the previous item, and add the newly tapped keg.

- For reporting, I export sales data "Summary" in CSV, import it into Excel, then perform magic (and cumbersome) transformations in order to guestimate how many ounces of each keg I've sold, and COGS/profit, etc.


Current challenges:

- Changing a keg means updating my Evergreen digital menu (via mobile app or browser), then updating my Square menu (via browser only). This makes it klunky for a bartender to update the taplist and menu in the middle of service since it requires using a full browser (rather than iPad available at the bar), therefore I'm doing it myself. I would love to see this integration improved such that I can manage the Square menu from Evergreen as well. I haven't figured out a way to enable my staff to do this without my intervention.


- Inventory Reporting is challenging, since I'm selling "x units of 16oz" and "x units of 5oz," which means I have to use spreadsheet formulas to calculate actual ounces sold in order to track inventory and rate of sales/keg. This is time consuming, and quite honestly should be reviewed at least every other day in order to know what kegs are going next.


- It's almost impossible to track inventory on a per-keg basis if I have two of the same kegs in a sales period, because there's no way to link item-sales data to a single keg from which it was dispensed. In other words, I want to know that I sold a pint of "Ciderboys Peach County" cider on Monday from keg 1, and a pint of that same cider from keg 2 on Tuesday.


- Tracking waste and tasters is exceptionally challenging as it's 1oz at a time, and it takes far too long for a bartender to register a taster in the POS for inventory tracking, so it just isn't done, which means the amount sold never matches the total amount available in a keg and it can be off by 20%.


Wish List Items:

- I wish we had a way to swipe a card and keep a ticket open for a customer. It's ridiculous that this very standard feature isn't supported yet in SfR.


- I wish I had a way to track beer inventory at a keg-level. For example, I would like to add a keg to inventory with 1984 ounces, and when a single pint is sold, it would remove 16oz from that inventory.


- I wish there was a field in the item for tracking the cost of that item. I would use this for reporting only, so that when I export sales data, it would include the cost of items -- this would make COGS so much easier.  For example, if a chicken sandwich COGS was $2.50, that information would be included in my sales data, so that I could easily look at the total cost for all 254 sandwiches sold, without having to manually merge sales data with cost data from another spreadsheet.  Combine this with keg-level inventory tracking, and I'd be able to have the cost of that keg, the total ounces available, and see my per-ounce cost vs. net-sales per-ounce.


Open Discussion:

I was really hoping to hear from others who are utilizing SfR to manage a tap list, and to learn how I can improve my system and processes. While things are generally okay right now, we still have lots of room for improvement, and I'd really like to learn how others have configured Square to solve some of my challenges. I'm still very new at this (we've been open for 8 weeks), and I have no prior experience in the restaurant industry.


Also, I've evaluated several other digital boards and inventory tracking systems, and haven't really found anything that meets all my needs for a reasonable cost (Digital Pour, SteadyServ, Untappd, BevSpot, etc.).  I'd love hearing suggestions for systems that others have found.





Message 1 of 10



This is an incredibly insightful and detailed post, and I know our Community will greatly benefit from all the insight you've shared, as well as requests you've raised here.


Hoping others will jump in, and I'm definitely flagging your requests to our Product Team for visibility.


Looking forward to the continued discussion!

Beta Community Manager, Square
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Message 2 of 10

Check out KegSafe!  An actual level device for keg beer.  Now you can know to the ounce how much is in each and every keg!  NOT A SCALE!  NOT A FLOW METER!  A non-intrusive ultrasonic gauge that tracks the level INSIDE the keg.

Mark McCoy 409-351-1577

Message 3 of 10

This is amazing!! Thank you for sharing KegSafe! We did this years ago with a Wii Fit board and I've been trying to get someone to build it for me on a larger scale than one keg!



Message 4 of 10
Beta Member

Hey @casadyc glad I stumbled on your post.

We are switching our bar/brewery to square for retail, that's the plan anyway!

Just wondering if any of your point or gripes have changed since you posted this. It would be nice if square integrated with more

digital boards. Let me know! Cheers.

Message 5 of 10
Beta Member

Hi Dirky - in a word, no. There really hasn’t been any improvements made with regards to my wish list items. You still can’t store a card on an open tab. There’s no cost field per item. There’s no “central inventory” item method. There’s no linking the menu to Evergreen. Tracking waste/tasters is basically a procedural thing, which we have not been consistent with. 

But, we’re living with it. And I am actively evaluating other POS systems because the lack of features in Square for Restaurants.


I’d be happy to chat with you on my experiences and some things to consider with Square if you want!




Message 6 of 10

Looking for a way to track inventory of cans which are sold in 4-packs and singles.  Seems this feature should be basic/simple to complete.  After reading through many threads it looks that square wants you (me/us) to upgrade to square for restaurants or buy something from their 3rd party developers or both.  With their high fee structure it just does not make $ sense to have an additional monthly expense on top of the current fee system.

Message 7 of 10

We have some items (kegs) that require a refundable deposit. I've created the Deposit as a separate item that has to be added to the order.


When the customer brings the keg back, is there a way for staff to process a simple negative Deposit instead of trying to find the original receipt? It could be anywhere up to 6 weeks from the original sale to when the keg gets returned.


On our old POS we were able to mark any item as a return and it inverted the price.


We use POS for Restaurants.


Thanks in advance. 

Message 8 of 10

Hi @Stonehooker Thanks for reaching out and welcome to the Seller Community!! I've merged your post to an existing thread where @midtownyacht found KegSafe as a solution that worked for them. Hopefully this helps get you on the right track, but definitely let me know if you have any other questions. 

Community Moderator, Square
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Message 9 of 10

Hi there, KegShare is not really a service that our young brewery is able to jump into yet. In our old POS we were able to mark an item as a return and process the CC transaction. I guess Square cannot do same?

Message 10 of 10