Restaurant Point of Sale (or POS) systems are on a different level than they used to be years ago. And they are so much more prevalent these days. Whether you run a small fast food restaurant, a casual sports bar, or an upscale fine dining restaurant, restaurant POS systems are more critical than they are expensive luxuries.
Picking the right restaurant POS system to purchase for your restaurant is not a trivial decision. It should involve careful research before an order is made.
Restaurant POS systems consist of hardware and software components and come in a wide range of prices. These prices are determined by the array of features each system offers the restaurant manager.
Different systems work better for different types of restaurants, and so your choice should depend on what would be the best fit for your restaurant. Splurging on an expensive POS system when you run a corner coffee shop may not be a wise financial decision.
Restaurant POS System Features
The effects of an efficient restaurant POS system in helping you run a smooth business cannot be overemphasized. Not all systems are on the same level. Generally, they combine to make operating customer, inventory, sales, and inventory management easier.
Here are some of the features that will determine how much you should budget for your restaurant POS system.
- Flexible Payment Processing
- Inventory Management
- Employee Management
- Table Management and Reservations
- Tableside Ordering
- User Interface
- Ease of Use
- Analytics & Reporting
- Customer Support
The qualities of these features on offer, together with the number of features you need will affect the restaurant POS system prices of the options that will make a good fit for your restaurant.
Read also: How to Track POS Transactions
Restaurant POS System Prices
Having looked at the factors that will determine the cost of your restaurant POS system, let’s consider what you should budget for it, based on your preferences.
Restaurant POS Hardware
A restaurant POS hardware system includes touchscreen monitors and/or tablets or mobile phones, receipt printers, kitchen printers, and card readers.
Touchscreen monitors are usually stationary and may cost anywhere from $800 to $2000 per monitor. Prices depend on the brand, model, or year of release.
An iPad is the standard and may cost between $250 and $1600. Android and Windows tablets can also get the job done and fall somewhere within that range.
2. Receipt Printer
Between $200 and $300
3. Kitchen Printer
Between $300 and $375
4. Credit Card Reader
A simple magstripe card reader costs between $15 and $50. More complex systems with magstripe, pin pad, and EMV reader may cost between $100 and $300.
5. Barcode Scanner
Between $30 and $200
Some hardware providers offer bundles that may help offset the cost of purchasing each item separately.
Restaurant POS Software
While restaurant POS system hardware prices are usually one-off, the same is rarely the case for the software. Unless you opt for free open-source software, you will have to pay ongoing subscription fees, billed periodically, to continue making use of the software for your business.
The POS software provides the main functionality of the system. You will require fast software, one that combines the features you need depending on the size of your restaurant, and one that comes with updates and support.
The restaurant POS software may be cloud-based or legacy-based. Cloud-based ones are hosted on the provider’s servers and can be accessed on the internet, or offline. Depending on the provider, features, and plan, they may cost between $50 and $200 a month. They are usually chosen ahead of legacy software.
Legacy-based software, on the other hand, is installed on the hardware and run on a closed internal network. They usually have higher upfront costs and require monthly maintenance fees.
Payment Processing Charges
While not technically a component of the restaurant POS system, processing fees must be budgeted for. When a customer pays for a meal or product, the payment is processed, and you are billed for that payment.
Some POS providers permit you to work with a third-party credit card processor while others come with their own payment processing services. The fees include a flat rate of between $0.05 – $0.3 and a percentage of each transaction, between 1.5 and 3.5 percent, depending on the type of credit card.
Installation and Training Costs
The final component of your budget is the cost of installation, configuration, and training for employees on how to use the restaurant POS system. This service may not be offered by the POS vendor you decide to patronize, and so it will be up to you to pay for experts to handle this aspect.
Depending on the number and type of terminals, the number of staff, and the level of expertise or prestige of the company, the fees here will vary wildly. It may also be a block fee, or you will be required to pay per hour.
Read also: OPay POS Machine: How to Get One Fast
John follows everything happening in the tech industry, from the latest gadget launches to some of the big-name moves in the industry. He covers opinionated pieces and writes on some of the biggest names in the industry. John is also a freelance writer, so he shares articles on freelancing every now and then. email: [email protected]