How Much Does a Restaurant POS System Cost?

Well, this is the million dollar question and can vary greatly, depending of what kind of system you need. Are you after a PC server system that connects to multiple terminals or is a single standalone terminal sufficient? How many printers, bar code scanners, card readers, mobile tablets and other peripherals maybe required? How many software licenses do you need and what type of service are you looking at? Are you looking for an ad-hoc system or an all in one solution? Will you need any training or installation? What are the set up costs? There are so many factors that will impact on how much your Restaurant POS system will cost.

One thing to bear in mind when trying to work out the cost of a POS system is that the initial cost of the software is just the tip of the iceberg. Monthly subscription costs, warranties, service plans, etc. will all add to the amount of money you will need to put aside.

Who Uses POS systems

Point of sale (POS) systems can be found in a wide array of businesses, but are most commonly found in retail, restaurants and hotels. Their flexibility allows them to do more than your standard, traditional cash register and they are far more than a basic payment device.

But Isn’t POS Hardware Expensive?

All POS systems need hardware to run. The main POS device will be a machine you use at the point of sale, in other words your till. This can be quite expensive, most businesses will need to factor this in when thinking about implementing a POS system. When looking for a POS solution, you will need to consider which hardware is included and what additional devices will be needed. There are complete all-in-one bundles out there that include everything in one package, but these can be expensive and may be part of a subscription model.

Nowadays POS hardware generally comes in the form of a powerful PC based device running windows 10, with a touch screen monitor, receipt printer, bar-code scanner, and the option to purchase additional add-ons such as, debit/credit card machines, caller ID, rfid and mag strip readers, integrated weighing scales and a host of other hardware which can be added if required by the business.

So, What do the POS Components Cost?

This depends on many factors, such as the type of device, whether it comes as part of a monthly subscription model, etc. For example, a barcode scanner can cost from £45 for a very basic model up to £600 for a top of the range one. Receipt printers tend to be in the region of £150 to £300. Credit card readers have a cost of around £80, but more expensive options are available.

What About restaurant software costs?

A good software will need to be specifically chosen, and must be customisable to suit the required type of business environment. This can have a real positive impact on business efficiency, and at the end of the day, profit margins. There are free software solutions available which can be downloaded from the internet. In our experience free software has many limitations in its functionality and will have far less impact on your business than a good paid for solution.

You can purchase restaurant management software on subscription from between £20 to £70 per month, this normally comes with some form of support plan that can be appealing to businesses who want the reassurance this gives.  The other option would be a pay outright system that will be more expensive initially but save money over time, if you do not require support or software updates to help and protect your business.

So, What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the two models?

Many subscription models are cloud based. This is great for flexibility and you will never have to keep your software updated yourself but can be a real problem if you value security as you are at the mercy of the Internet, hackers, your internet provider and your software providers servers.

Subscription models are a recurring cost to be factored in. The cost of a Restaurant software subscription varies depending on the level of service and support required and the size of the restaurant.

An outright  purchased software solution, on the other hand, may be a little cheaper to start but can prove to be inflexible and will have little option in the way of updates and upgrades.

The average cost for a single point of sale restaurant system will cost between £1200 to £2500 depending on hardware required and the software license subscription type.

Hidden Costs

As with any purchase the initial costs may not be the only ones you need to factor into your expenditure. On top of subscription costs and service plan costs there can be other fees that crop up over the lifetime of the POS system that you may not have initially foreseen. One of the main hidden costs you may incur can relate to not knowing exactly what you want in a POS system in the first place and having to purchase further software, hardware, or subscriptions later on down the line.

To try to combat this oversight we recommend you ask for a live demo from your prospective software provider prior to purchase, so that you fully understand exactly how the software works and what you require to run effectively for your business needs.

Be wary of cheaper options that may not be as feature rich as you need. If during your trial run of the system you think at any point, “It might be better with if,” or, “it would work better with if,” then price up what these ‘what ifs’ would cost. They may seem less important right now but down the line you may realise you need them.