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Handling Bottle and Can Deposits


If you sell bottled or canned beverages, your jurisdiction may require you to collect a deposit on the item. You may also be required to refund the deposit. Deposits are typically not taxed.

This guide will show you how to set up deposits so they are automatically applied to an order, how to process a deposit refund, and how to ensure TouchBistro reports the deposits and refunds.

Set Up a Deposits Sales Category

First, set up a Sales Category called “Deposits”. This will help with our reporting and help separate money from deposits from your actual sales income.

1. Tap Admin | Admin Settings.

2. Tap Menu and then Sales Categories.

3. Tap the Add + icon at the top right.

4. Enter “Deposits” and tap Done.

Note: To maintain consistency with old reports, once you create a sales category you cannot delete or edit it.

Create a Deposits Menu Category

1. Return to the Menu screen and tap Menu Categories.

2. Tap the Add + icon at the top right to add a new Menu Category.

3. Enter “Deposits” as the Menu Category name and set Sales Category to Deposits.

4. Tap Default Taxes to make all items under this category tax free.

5. Tap all the taxes with a checkmark to disable the tax.

6. Tap Done.

7. Review your settings (ensuring Sales Category is set for Deposits and there is no tax set for Default Taxes).

8. Set a color and an icon. Do not worry about setting a course.

9. Tap Done.

Set Up Deposit Menu Items

We’ll assume you have three different kinds of deposits:

1. 5 cents on cans

2. 10 cents on bottles under 750 ml (beer bottles)

3. 20 cents on bottles over 750 ml (wine bottles)

For each of these we’ll create a menu item under the Deposits menu category.

1. Return to the Menu screen and tap Menu Items.

2. Tap your Deposits category.

3. Tap the Add + icon at the top right to add your first deposit.

4. Call this Menu Item “Can Deposit”. It will be used for your 5 cent can deposit.

5. Enter the deposit amount in the Price field (for example, “0.05”).

6. You can give it a product image if you like. These items will appear in your menu on the front end if you have to do deposit refunds.

7. Scroll down and slide Allows Returns (Negative Price) to the green position. This will enable you to account for the deposit refund.

8. Verify Taxes is No Tax. If not, you didn’t disable taxes at the Menu Category level. Return to your Deposits menu category and disable taxes.

9. Tap Done to save this menu item.

10. Tap the Add + icon at the top right to add your next deposit.

11. Repeat the same steps to set up your second deposit. This time set this deposit’s particular price (for example “$0.10”). Verify it’s tax free and enable Allows Returns.

12. Tap Done to save this deposit.

13. Tap the Add + icon at the top right one last time to add your wine bottle deposit. When done, verify each item is set for No Tax.

Add the Deposit to your Menu

1. Return to the Menu screen and tap Menus.

2. Tap either Full Menu to add this to your full menu or tap the Add + icon at the top right to create a unique Deposit menu if you don’t wish to “clutter up” your food/alcohol menu with a more administrative menu item.

3. We’ll assume you’re adding it to your Full Menu or an existing menu. Tap Add Menu Category.

4. Tap Deposits.

5. Tap Done.

Creating Mandatory Deposit Modifiers

Although we’ve added the deposits as menu item, we do not want to add the burden of staff having to always remember to add a deposit menu item every time a bottle or can is ordered. We can use TouchBistro’s Item Modification system to ensure the deposit is automatically applied.

1. Return to the Menu screen and tap Item Modification.

2. Tap the Add icon to create a new Modifier Group.

3. Call this group “Can Deposit” and tap icon to give it an appropriate icon. Leave Minimum number of selections set at 0.

4. Tap the Add icon.

5. Tap Add Menu Item.

6. Tap the Deposits category across the top and tap the Can Deposit menu item. Ensure there’s a Checkmark next to it.

7. Tap Done.

8. Modifiers default to a $0 upcharge, even if the menu item has a configured price. So tap Can Deposit.

9. Enter 0.05 in the Price field.

10. Slide Mandatory to the green position. This forces TouchBistro to automatically apply the modifier and upcharge.

11. Tap Done.

12. Tap Done again.

13. Tap the Information icon associated with your Can Deposit modifier and tap Assign to Menu Items.

14. Tap a category across the top with menu items sold in cans and require a deposit. Tap the canned product. Ensure there’s a Checkmark next to it.

15. Locate all other canned products and then tap Done.

16. Repeat these steps for your other deposits types.

17. Create a Bottle Deposit modifier group and select Add Menu Item.

18. Select your Bottle Deposit menu item from the Deposit menu category.

19. Open your zero priced Bottle Deposit modifier and give it the appropriate bottle deposit price and enable Mandatory. Tap Done. Tap Done again.

20. Tap the Information icon associated with your Bottle Deposit modifier group and tap Assign to Menu Items.

21. Locate and select all menu items that require this 10 cent bottle deposit. Tap Done when you’ve associated this modifier group with all your menu items that require this 10 cent bottle deposit.

22. Again, repeat all these steps for you wine bottle deposit.


In the pictured example, we’ve added a can, beer bottle, and wine bottle. Upon adding, each automatically adds the mandatory deposit. We can also see the deposits have been separated out into their own Deposits sales category.

In this example, our state tax is 10%. We can see TouchBistro only applies the tax to the beer and wine purchased, not the deposit amount (10% x the Alcohol subtotal $28.00 = $2.80 in tax).

If we proceed to the checkout screen, we can see how the deposit appears on the customer-facing receipt.


Let’s assume the above purchase was the only purchase for that day. If we did an End of Day report, we can see how TouchBistro reports the money collected for the deposits.

We can see in our Sales Totals report, the deposits are accounted for using the Deposits sales category we set up. Although this is money flowing into our business, it’s money we need to separate out, account for, and remit to the government, or held in reserve to pay for deposit returns.

Refunding a Deposit

If your jurisdiction requires you to refund deposits, do the following.

1. Open your cash register and tap the Deposits menu category you added to your Menu.

2. Tap the appropriate deposit. For example, you’re getting a beer bottle return.

3. Tap the deposit item and tap Return This Item (Negative Price).

4. Tap Exact to close this return, pop open the cash drawer, and refund the customer 10 cents from the cash drawer.

5. When you do your End of Day, you will see a Returns line in the negative, indicating money you refunded for the deposit.

Customer Support

Our help site offers helpful guides, videos, step-by-step tutorials, live workshops, and more, for all TouchBistro products. If you can't find what you're looking for, our customer support team is available to you any time, day or night. And yes, even holidays and weekends!

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