Beta disclaimer: At this time, bar tabs are available in public beta for Lightspeed Payments customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. If you meet these criteria and want to help test this feature, contact your Sales Account Manager or Lightspeed Support.
Bar tabs allow you to start dine-in orders without seating a customer in the Restaurant POS app. When opening a bar tab, you can pre-authorize a customer’s credit or debit card to verify their bank account and hold a minimum amount of funds by inserting the card into an integrated payment terminal. Enable this feature in the Back Office to begin opening bar tabs at the POS.
Important: This feature is available to Lightspeed Payments customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia using the Adyen payment platform and an integrated payment terminal. To check if your account is supported, follow steps 1–3 in Enabling bar tabs.
Enabling bar tabs
In the Back Office, enable the bar tabs feature for the Adyen credit card payment method and set a minimum pre-authorization amount to begin using bar tabs at the POS.
Important: This feature is available to Lightspeed Payments customers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia using the Adyen payment platform and an integrated payment terminal. To check if your account is supported, follow steps 1–3 in this section.
- Log in to the Back Office with your Lightspeed Restaurant credentials.
- From the navigation menu, go to Configuration > Settings > Payment methods.
- Click Edit for the payment method with LSPAY_ADYEN_TERMINAL_API_LOCAL in the Code column.
Don't see LSPAY_ADYEN_TERMINAL_API_LOCAL? The bar tabs feature is only available to United States, United Kingdom, and Australia customers using Lightspeed Payments on the Adyen platform.
- Select Preauth from the Mode drop-down menu.
- Check the box next to Activate bar tabs in the Settings section.
- In the Enter default pre-authorization amount field, specify an amount to pre-authorize or hold on a customer’s credit card when opening a bar tab.
Note: We recommend entering 10 or more as the default minimum pre-auth amount. An employee can change this amount at the POS when opening a bar tab.
- Click Save to save changes.
- (Optional) Disable the Allow the current transaction to be placed on hold setting in each device configuration to allow bar tabs to be opened before or after adding items to an order.
If this setting is not disabled, you will only be able to open bar tabs before adding items to an order.
Opening a bar tab
Start a new bar tab from the Register screen in the Restaurant POS app and insert a credit or debit card into an integrated payment terminal to open the tab under the cardholder’s name. Lightspeed will automatically pre-authorize the card to verify the customer's bank account and hold a minimum amount of funds for the tab. The customer’s card will be securely saved to use for payment later without re-swiping.
- In the Restaurant POS app, tap Register to open the Register screen.
Accessing this screen requires an open sales period and user shift.
- Tap Open a tab.
Note: Steps 2–6 can be performed after adding items to an order if the Allow the current transaction to be placed on hold setting is disabled in the device configuration (step 8 in Enabling bar tabs).
- Tap Continue to pre-authorize the customer's card using the selected payment method, or tap Skip pre-auth to open a bar tab without pre-authorization. Proceed as noted in the following bullets:
- If pre-authorizing the customer's card: Continue to step 4 in this section.
- If skipping pre-authorization: Manually enter a name for the bar tab and tap Continue to open it. Proceed to step 7 in this section.
Change or confirm the default pre-authorization amount.
- (Optional) Enter a new pre-authorization amount.
- Tap Open tab to continue with the pre-auth amount entered.
Insert a credit or debit card into a connected payment terminal to pre-authorize it when prompted on the terminal.
Note: If the card doesn't have a chip in it, swipe it through the terminal instead. When inserting or swiping, the cardholder's name will be captured to use as the name of the bar tab. Avoid tapping a contactless card on the terminal as this won't capture the cardholder's name.
- Make sure Pre-auth turns green at the top of the screen, meaning the pre-authorization was approved.
Pre-auth will turn yellow if the order total later becomes larger than the pre-authorization amount.Important: Pre-authorization guarantees payment of the pre-auth amount, not necessarily the order total. If a pre-authorization is not approved, a generic Decline error will appear.
- (Optional) Add items to the order as needed.
- Tap Send to save the bar tab and send relevant items to the kitchen for preparation.
- After opening a bar tab, you can edit it, transfer it to a table, change its name, or close it out for payment. Visit Managing and closing bar tabs to learn how to perform these actions.
- Learn how to interact with a floor plan and tables in Understanding the Tables screen.
- Learn more about searching for orders on the POS in Understanding the Orders management screen.