1.3.2021

How much does a restaurant POS System cost

Written by Kadence Edmonds

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Looking to invest in a point of sale system and want to know exactly how much a restaurant POS package costs? 

During your search for the perfect system, it’s best to be informed about the factors that determine the cost of a restaurant POS system.  

A restaurant POS system is the central point of communication in your restaurant. It transfers messages between the front and back of house, and holds crucial data that evaluates business performance, sales trends, and stock levels.  

Making the choice of which restaurant POS system to choose is a big decision for any business owner, not least because of the investment it represents. The search will involve a considerable amount of research into what your business needs from its POS software and hardware.  

After the daunting hours of research and product demos, some business owners will simply choose a POS system based on nothing other than price. Typically, this would mean accepting the least-expensive or cheapest proposal supplied by a range of POS providers. But be careful - this type of approach can prove costly in the long run.   

Instead of making the decision based on cost alone, you will need to evaluate the value a modern, cloud-based restaurant POS system adds to your business. 

What does a restaurant POS system actually do?

The basic function of a restaurant POS system is to accept payments, manage bookings, and communicate orders from the front of house to the kitchen. But today’s POS systems can now do far more than simply receive orders and take payments. Increasingly, they can enhance productivity in many ways.  

Alongside the general operating functions required, modern-day restaurant POS systems will often be able to provide the following features:

  • In-depth reporting and analytic capabilities
  • Tableside Service with payment processing 
  • Online ordering and delivery (whether through integrations of built-in)
  • Inventory management 
  • Loyalty and rewards programs 
  • Employee Management
  • CRM
  • Phone and email customer service

How much does a restaurant POS system cost?

This figure will vary wildly depending on many factors, but a general guideline will see software for a restaurant POS system costing anywhere from $49 - $180 per month. In addition to the recurring monthly costs, there are hardware costs which are generally a one-time payment and can start at $749 depending on your business needs.  

To get a better understanding, let’s break down what could be included in these costs that can make them vary so wildly.

  • Software: This is the technology of the POS system which will include features like processing payments, placing orders, and sales reporting functionality. This price can vary depending on the number of software licences your business needs, the additional features needed and integrations implemented.  
  • Hardware: This includes any type of physical hardware product that aids in your POS systems communication. Can be products like terminals, handheld tablets or devices, card readers and EFTPOS machines, receipt printers, Kitchen Display screens, and even your router.  
  • Additional features: Going beyond just the software and hardware in a restaurant POS system, you may need to account for additional features such as support, product training and installation, online ordering and delivery platforms, accounting integrations and employee management. 

One thing to keep in mind when choosing your restaurant POS system, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better, and cheap does not always equate to better value.  

Each POS brand will offer different software and hardware capabilities and have a range of different features when compared to another. This is why it’s best to compare quotes from POS vendors like oranges and apples.  

How much does restaurant POS hardware cost?

The hardware your restaurant needs can vary greatly depending on size, location, workflow and menu.  

Below are some of the hardware considerations to make when planning your restaurant POS system:

Front of House

  • POS terminals 
  • Handheld POS tablets or devices
  • Cash Drawers 
  • Receipt Printers 
  • Card Machines/EFTPOS Machines
  • Customer-facing display 
  • Scanners
  • Swipe Card Readers

Back of House 

  • Kitchen Printers
  • Kitchen Display screen hardware 

Technical Hardware 

  • Modem Router 
  • Servers (if using a legacy based system)
  • Data Points 
  • Data Cables 
  • WiFi Adapters 

Looking at this list may seem daunting to start, but rather than fixating on the total cost of the hardware needed, focus on the cost of each particular item and the value it adds.  

Get answers to questions like:

  • How many terminals will the restaurant need? Will each require a printer?
  • How does the cost of the POS terminal and handheld device set up compare and what value does it add?
  • What is included in the hardware bundle? Receipt printers, cash drawers, POS terminal? Or if not, what does each item cost?
  • How many Kitchen printers will the restaurant need, or would Kitchen Display Screens be better for workflow?

Most Cloud POS software can run on a number of devices, which means you may not have to opt for a complete POS terminal and use a handheld device like a tablet or iPad. Or in addition to your POS terminal, you may want a number of cost-effective handheld devices like the Epos Pocket device. This product allows for full functionality of the POS software in a small pocket-sized device which is great for handheld ordering in your restaurant.  

Approximately how much will restaurant POS hardware cost?

  • Starting at $749 for popular hardware bundles including POS terminal, receipt printer and cash drawer.
  • Additional receipt printers range from $249 - $599
  • Kitchen printers can cost upwards of $499
  • Handheld devices like Epos Pocket start at $289
  • Additional cash drawers can start from $99
  • Networking costs including data points and modem router start at $400

Restaurant POS Software 

The choice of which POS software to use in your restaurant differs greatly from system to system. 

Restaurants require hardy, durable POS hardware since accidents like spillages happen regularly. But if the software used isn’t fast, intuitive, replete with features and subject to constant updates, then chances are, it’s not worth your time or money.  

There are two main types of Point of Sale software:

  • Cloud-based systems: These types of systems utilise remote servers and a live internet connection for storing your business data and give users the flexibility to be able to access that data from anywhere using an internet connection. They are often Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and because they are web-based applications, they can run on many operating systems. 
  • Legacy Systems: Alternatively called traditional POS systems, these units store data locally on servers in your business location and utilise an internal network for communication. Because data is stored on servers, it is often not accessible remotely without third-party software, and will often require particular operating systems. 

Cloud-based POS systems will typically have either a monthly or yearly cost for the software which can greatly vary depending on providers. Legacy systems, by contrast, will often require an upfront purchase of the software.  

The best way to evaluate software prices and if they suit your business is to translate the price into the value your restaurant will get out of the system.  

To determine value, consider these factors:

  • Does the POS system price include future updates and feature releases?
  • How often are software updates happening?
  • Is there a service team available in your country for phone and email support?
  • Is training included with the purchase of the software?
  • Are there differing plans with software? Ie basic plan - doesn’t include reports. 

Most business owners will agree that it’s worth paying more for software that is both regularly updated to keep up with the ever-changing industry and supported by a team in your country.   

Approximately how much will restaurant POS software cost?

  • Cloud-based POS systems - from $49 per device, per month. Cloud POS licences will generally include 1 x Till screen licence and access to the Back Office.  
  • Legacy based POS systems - prices vary wildly depending on provider and type of licence purchased. Most legacy systems will require the purchase of both a till screen licence and a back-office licence which need to be operated on two separate devices (adding to higher hardware costs).

Additional Features 

While the basic purpose of a restaurant POS system is to take orders and accept payments, most restaurant owners who are investing in a new system will want more features than that. 

Most modern-day restaurant POS systems will have feature sets that allow businesses to increase productivity and expand offerings. Some of these features can include:

  • Online ordering and delivery 
  • Loyalty and reward programs 
  • Integrated payment processing 
  • Employee management 
  • Accounts integrations 
  • Inventory management 
  • Marketing integrations 
  • Gift card solutions 
  • Offline operating capabilities 

Choosing a system that has a large feature set like the above will power your business and help you succeed in a competitive industry. 

One example that has become a big factor in a restaurant's day functionality is online ordering. Choosing a restaurant POS system that allows you to either integrate with third-party online ordering applications, or which has one available like Epos Now Order and Pay, is a huge benefit in keeping your staff safe by decreasing the number of touchpoints. Online ordering allows customers to place orders via a website and an integration automates the process at your POS system to send it directly to your kitchen. 

While some of these features may be offered by certain POS providers as a built-in feature or integration, some do not.  

Approximately how much do additional restaurant POS features cost?

These costs can vary greatly depending on the provider and the platform chosen, but with cloud systems there will most likely be a monthly cost for the integration feature set.

  • Online ordering integrations can start at $40 per month
  • Accounting integrations can start from $50 per month
  • Loyalty program integrations can start at $30 per month

How to factor in the cost of a POS system when opening a restaurant 

A restaurant POS system is a big investment for businesses and special attention should be paid when making the selection. 

Choose a system that is going to add value to your restaurant and not just choose the one that is the cheapest. Quality hardware and software backed by a knowledgeable service team may be a big business expense in the beginning, but it will be worthwhile in the end.  

Ultimately you want to find a system and provider that is going to help your business operate to its fullest potential and improve overall workflows. 

Choose a restaurant POS system that helps you prepare for the future like Epos Now

Your point of sale system is the heartbeat of your restaurant.  It is the central point for all communication and it needs to be fast, easy to use with a robust feature set.  

  • Build your very own digital menu and offer online ordering with Epos Now Order & Pay, and keep your customers and staff safer
  • Integrate with over 100+ leading business tools to facilitate better marketing, improved customer loyalty, and simplified accounting
  • Accept credit, debit, gift cards, and contactless payments
  • Manage your restaurant from anywhere with 24/7 cloud access

Contact a consultant to learn more about Epos Now!

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