20.1.2022

The Best EPOS Provider for Restaurants

Written by Conal Yarwood-Frost

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The hospitality industry has seen a great many changes over the last couple of years. Changes in minimum wage rates in many countries, the delivery revolution, and COVID-19 have dramatically altered the way many restaurants do business. 

As these changes have been happening, electronic point of sale (EPOS) technology has continued to evolve and become more and more sophisticated and specialised. Many EPOS companies now offer systems dedicated to the business of running a restaurant.

With so many options available, choosing the EPOS software for your restaurant can seem overwhelming. In this blog, we’ll be taking a close look at the best EPOS systems on the market and help you decide which one would be best for your business*. 

What is EPOS? 

In short, an EPOS  is a system made up of software programmes and hardware that businesses use to manage their business and process customer payments. The pieces of hardware in these systems usually consist of a cash register and card reader though they can include things like receipt printers. 

Depending on the EPOS system, these systems can be customised to meet the specific needs of an industry or a business. There can also be variations between systems meant for large businesses and systems for small businesses. 

Tevalis 

Founded in 2003, Tevalis is a UK-based EPOS company that focuses entirely on the hospitality industry. This commitment to hospitality allows them to offer restaurants a specialised service that outpaces many of their competitors. 

For growth-minded restaurants, Tevalis is one of the better options on the market. Their software is great for compiling sales data and charts that give good insights into how your business is going

With that being said, Tevalis’ systems are best suited to already established mid-to-large sized businesses. This is because their system works best with multiple registers, tablets, and card machines. For smaller restaurants, this could be a major downside. 

Tevalis also gears its service towards the business side of things rather than customer service. Ensuring the customer experience is as smooth as possible is a huge part of running a successful restaurant and so shouldn’t be neglected.

Since Tevalis tailor the systems to what their customers need, it’s difficult to get an exact figure on how much they cost. While this could be seen as a bonus, it also means that you don’t know how much other restaurants are paying for the same service so there’s no way to compare. 

Square

Named for the square shape of their card readers, Square was founded by businessman Jim McKelvey and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Square EPOS offers a dedicated system for restaurants that boasts its price and ease of use as its major selling point.

The basic Square EPOS system for free and provides their customers with a card reader when they sign up. Their system can also be set up in two hours and comes with low overheads.

While the free system does include a lot of helpful programmes, you will have to pay a more expensive monthly fee to access a lot of their advertised features. For their mid-range system, it will cost you €69 per month per location. This price does not include any additional hardware. Square also offers loyalty programs for your customers and marketing software but these come at an additional cost of €25 and €9 per month. 

Square also only operates on IOS and Android devices so if your restaurant runs on Windows you will need to replace your operating system. 

Lightspeed

Lightspeed was founded in 2005. After launching their restaurant-only subsidiary, Lightspeed Restaurant, in 2010, they have become a widely used option for business owners. 

Lightspeed’s biggest selling point is their unified cash register. This register is designed to simplify processes and leave you more time to concentrate on your restaurant. While this may seem like a selling point, the unified cash register is very difficult to customise and so you would have less control over your till. While you can directly edit the code of your machine, this does require coding skills you may not have. 

In terms of price, Lightspeed Restaurant currently charges €35 per month for their basic package and €89 for their more advanced package. While the basic package may seem like a good option, it doesn’t include table management which is a basic part of running a restaurant. If you’d like to add more registers to your business, you will be paying an extra €25 per month per register. 

Lightspeed operates on a cloud-based system that stores your information off-site. While this is convenient and keeps your data secure, their system isn’t protected from internet outages. If you haven’t paid for their additional LiteServer service, you will not be able to take card payments or compile sales data in the event of your internet going down. 

Epos Now 

In 2011, the founder and CEO of Epos Now, Jacyn Heavens, saw how difficult it was to find an EPOS system that worked the way business owners needed it to. He launched a system designed with operators in mind and has seen continued success over the last decade. 

Customisation is at the heart of Epos Now’s restaurant system. You have the option to customise your systems with dedicated industry modules and an app store integration with over 100 of your favourite apps. Restaurants have the option to join the delivery revolution with Epos Now Delivery and apps like Deliveroo while things like accountancy are made simple with apps like Quickbooks

Hospitality businesses can also take advantage of a number of apps and integrations that make the sales experience easier for both operators and customers. With The right apps, You can easily integrate online ordering, payment processing, customer loyalty programmes, and gift cards. 

Epos Now software has the added benefit of working across IOS, Windows, and Android operating systems. This means that you won’t need to adapt to new hardware as Epos Now’s system will seamlessly integrate with your existing till. Unlike other EPOS companies, their hardware also isn’t hard-locked to their own software so if you ever wish to move away from Epos Now, you can. 

Like some of the other companies mentioned in this blog, Epos Now systems operate off of a cloud-based system. Not only is this a convenient and secure way to operate, but it also saves space in your building as your data will be stored off-site. 

Epos Now also boasts a number of fail-safes in case you suffer an internet outage or do business in an area with a patchy connection. For instance, Epos Now systems are designed to include seamless offline/online synchronisation. This means that their customers will never experience a break in trading. Even better, unlike other companies, Epos Now stores sales data locally on the cash register so that you’ll be able to access that invaluable once you regain connection. 

The best type of EPOS system 

The needs of each restaurant is different and so we would always advise you to do your own research when looking for your own system. With that being said, we believe that there’s a clear leader in the companies we’ve looked into here. 

If you’d like to hear more about Epos Now, we’d love to hear from you. Talk to a knowledgeable member of our team here.

*All information and prices are accurate as of January 2022

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