The cost of implementing a restaurant POS system is vital for owners and managers. This article concisely overviews restaurant POS systems costs, including software licensing fees, hardware requirements, installation and setup expenses, ongoing maintenance and support costs, and potential add-ons. By understanding pricing models like upfront purchases, subscriptions, and cloud-based solutions, restaurant owners can optimize the efficiency and profitability of their restaurants.
What is a restaurant POS system?
A restaurant POS (point-of-sale) system is a software and hardware solution that streamlines various operations within a restaurant, including order processing, payment transactions, inventory management, and reporting. It acts as a central hub for handling customer orders, tracking sales, and providing essential data for restaurant management.
The system typically includes a touchscreen terminal or tablet for order input, integration with kitchen printers or displays, and connectivity to payment processors. Advanced POS systems may offer features like table management, online ordering system, reservation system, menu customization, staff management, and integration with other business tools.
What does a restaurant POS system do?
Online ordering POS systems are a central hub for managing customer orders, tracking sales, and accepting payments. However, POS systems become increasingly advanced in features and all-in-one solutions for restaurants, encompassing various functionalities within a single platform. You might wonder what might be the features of the POS system except for its basic functionality. These can include:
- Reporting and analytics (sales reports, trends, popular items, labor costs, etc.)
- Table management
- Online ordering system and delivery management
- Creating and customizing restaurant menu
- Staff management
- CRM and loyalty program management
- Tableside ordering
- Inventory management
- Customer self-service (like self-ordering kiosks or mobile apps that empower customers to independently place orders and make payments, resulting in reduced wait times and improved convenience)
- According to Skyquest Technology Group, market projections, the restaurant POS system market is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% between 2021 and 2028.
- According to Tech, the initial cost of hardware and POS systems typically ranges from $1,200 to $6,500 for the first year, with subsequent years costing between $600 and $1,200 annually for maintenance and support.
How much does a POS system cost?
Restaurant POS systems generally have a monthly software cost ranging from $50 to $250. Alongside these recurring fees, there is usually a one-time fixed hardware cost, typically from $700 upwards. Rather than solely considering the least expensive pricing proposal, analyzing the restaurant POS system prices regarding the value they will bring to your business is crucial. That’s why considering how the different restaurant costs contribute to the overall value is essential.
The restaurant POS systems cost varies based on the restaurant’s requirements and the size of the establishment. For example, small businesses like food trucks probably will need a single register and can opt for handheld POS tablet packages. On the other hand, large restaurants and franchises may require multiple terminals to meet their needs. Therefore, these establishments’ POS costs must be multiplied by the additional registers needed. Point of Sale (POS) software generally ranges from $29 to $100 monthly for small businesses with a single register.
When choosing a restaurant POS system, there are many factors to consider. One of the key factors influencing the restaurant POS system prices is the POS system type.
What are the POS hardware types?
We can distinguish two main types of POS hardware:
- Tablet Systems: These POS systems are commonly known as software-as-a-service (SaaS) or cloud-based POS systems. Users can access data from anywhere, thanks to the Internet connection. These systems store data on remote servers.
- Legacy Systems: These POS systems have a closed internal network. They store data on internal servers, which are located in your restaurant. Legacy restaurant POS systems consist of large hardware terminals that require manual updates.
POS system hardware comprises the physical components necessary to operate a point-of-sale system. These components include
- Touchscreen Terminals or Tablets
- Cash Registers or Cash Drawers,
- Card Readers or Payment Terminals
- Receipt Printers,
- Barcode Scanners
- Kitchen Printers or Displays
- Handheld Devices
- Kitchen Display Systems (KDS),
- Customer Displays
- Wireless Access Points
The specific POS hardware components required for a given POS system can vary based on the needs and preferences of the business. Collectively, POS hardware components enable the smooth operation of a point-of-sale system.
Certain types of hardware, like mobile POS systems, may include a built-in credit card reader. However, other hardware components, such as credit card readers, cash drawers, and receipt printers, may need to be purchased separately. Depending on the POS system, you might find all-in-one hardware sets that include a cash drawer and receipt printer, or you may need to acquire them individually.
How much does POS system hardware cost?
POS companies often provide hardware bundles, where multiple components are offered together, while additional add-ons are available as individual line items. Discounts may be available for bulk orders of hardware items, encouraging businesses to purchase larger quantities at reduced prices.
The POS hardware costs can vary depending on the components required, brand, quality, and additional features. Here are approximate price ranges for standard POS system hardware components:
- Touchscreen Terminals or Tablets: Prices typically range from $500 to $6,000 per unit, depending on specifications and features. The higher price refers to the terminal bundle (terminal, case, receipt printer, stand, cash drawer, credit card reader)
- Cash Registers or Cash Drawers: Costs can range from $100 to $300, depending on size, security features, and durability.
- Barcode Scanners: Prices typically range from $150 to $350, depending on the type (wired or wireless) and scanning capability.
- Receipt/Ticket Printers: Costs can range from $150 to $500, depending on the type (thermal or impact) and printing speed.
- Card Readers or Payment Terminals: Prices vary based on the type (magnetic stripe, EMV chip, or contactless) and can range from $50 to $500 per unit. A handheld POS system with a credit card reader typically costs around $600. However, when investing in handheld systems, it’s essential to consider additional networking hardware expenses, which usually vary from $200 to $800.
- Kitchen Printers: Costs range from $200 to $500 per unit, depending on the type and features.
- Customer Displays: Prices typically range from $150 to $500, depending on size and functionality.
- Handheld Devices: Prices can range from $300 to $1,000 per device, depending on specifications and features.
- Kitchen Display Systems (KDS): Prices typically range from $600 to $1,500 per unit, depending on size and features.
- Router: Prices typically range from $200 to $400.
POS software is the second factor influencing the cost of a restaurant’s POS system.
What is POS system software?
It refers to the system or platform allowing customers and employees to place orders and accept payments. POS software empowers businesses to streamline operations and enhance efficiency through various features. It’s not worth investing in hardware if your system’s software is not fast and regularly updated.
Key functionalities commonly found in POS software include
- Order processing: restaurant staff can input and process customer orders quickly
- Payment processing: POS software is integrated with payment processors and facilitates paying for orders. Various payment methods are included (cash, credit cards, mobile wallets, and other payment methods).
Additional features of POS software could be:
- Inventory management: POS systems track inventory levels, manage stock, generate purchase orders, and provide real-time updates on product availability.
- Online ordering feature: Some POS systems are integrated with food delivery apps and/or online ordering systems, which makes data flow seamless and enhances restaurant operations efficiency.
- Reporting and analytics: Most POS providers’ software collects data and generates reports and information on sales, inventory, and other key restaurant performance indicators, enabling restaurant analytics.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Some POS systems include restaurant CRM, which facilitates the creation of personalized promotions and loyalty programs for customers.
- Loyalty program – many POS systems have built-in loyalty programs that allow restaurants to increase the number of repeat customers.
- Gift cards – many POS systems are integrated with gift card programs. Customers can purchase gift cards and use them as payment.
How much does POS software cost?
POS software is typically priced through monthly or yearly subscription plans. The prices differ depending on the software vendor and the features included in it. Before choosing the best POS system for your restaurant, make sure what the price includes.
A given POS system provider might offer a lower price, but, at the same time, updates and software upgrades might be paid extra. The same refers to the support when a system breaks. Ensure that any support and new releases are included in the pricing offered by vendors.
Usually, the POS system software subscription costs are around $65-$70 per month per device. You might also find free plans, but in this case, usually, a transaction fee is what makes the POS software price.
The price of Kitchen Display System (KDS) software can vary based on the desired features, the complexity of kitchen operations, and the software provider. Typically, KDS software costs between $50 and $200 per month per terminal or user.
As we already mentioned, credit card processing fees also directly influence the cost of a restaurant POS system. Your bank or a POS supplier can provide payment processing, and they will impose a fee for processing each credit card transaction.
The credit card processing fees charged to restaurants can vary depending on factors like the chosen payment processor, transaction volume, accepted card types, and pricing structure.
Typically, credit card processing fees in the restaurant industry range from 2% to 3.5% of the transaction amount.
Before choosing a POS system for your restaurant, check the credit card processing fees.
Apart from the credit card processing fees, ensure that any repair and/or maintenance costs are included in POS pricing. Is there any phone or email support? If your system breaks down, will someone from the POS provider come to the restaurant to resolve the issue? Are the system updates available for free? Ask yourself these questions while comparing different POS system offers and choosing the one that meets your needs.
Don’t forget about additional POS features. For example, selecting a POS system already integrated with an online ordering system is widespread. Thanks to that, customers can visit your restaurant website and order online.
Last but not least, the next factor that influences the cost of a POS system is its installation. You should check how you have to install POS in your restaurant. Consider the following questions:
- Will someone come to your establishment and do this, or is it your responsibility?
- If someone comes to do this, are there any time limits?
- If you exceed them, is it an extra cost?
- Will somebody train you and your employees?
- Is it an additional cost or already included in the pricing?
- How about creating a restaurant menu? Will the POS vendor do this for you, or do you need to do this yourself?
The installation costs can range from $0, when it’s already included in the costs of POS hardware and software, up to $700. Pricing for installation is usually per hour and is cheaper when the installation is done remotely.
Building a restaurant menu cost depends on:
- The number of menu items
- The menu complexity
- Customization options offered by POS providers
Creating a restaurant menu within a POS system can have a one-time cost ranging from $100 to $500 for a short and simple menu. In contrast, more complex or customizable menus may incur higher expenses.
- The restaurant POS system price depends on establishment size, operational complexity, desired features, and hardware requirements.
- Key restaurant POS system price components include software licensing fees, hardware expenses, installation/setup costs, ongoing maintenance/support fees, and potential add-ons or integrations.
- While evaluating how much a pos system costs for a restaurant, we can see that pricing models include upfront purchases, subscription-based models, and cloud-based solutions.
- Upfront purchases involve higher initial investment but may offer long-term cost savings.
- Subscription-based models require regular fees but often include updates and support.
- Cloud-based solutions offer scalability and reduced upfront costs, with payments typically based on monthly or annual subscriptions.
- Careful evaluation of needs, budget constraints, and long-term goals is crucial when considering the restaurant POS system cost.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The cost of POS system for small business can vary depending on business size, requirements, and POS features you are looking for. On average, the cost of a POS system, encompassing hardware, software, and installation fees for the first year, ranges from $0 to $2,000. Usually, monthly costs for a basic POS system range from $50 to $200 per register or user.
However, it’s essential to consider additional expenses such as hardware purchases, software licensing fees, payment processing fees, and any customization or integration needs. You need to check different POS providers’ offers, compare pricing plans, and assess the features to choose the right POS system for your restaurant.
The monthly cost of a POS system varies depending on factors such as the software provider, included features, and the number of registers or users. Generally, POS system costs range from $50 to $250 per month per register or user. The average POS system software subscription costs approximately $65 to $70 per month per device. It is also possible to find free plans; however, in such cases, a transaction fee is often charged, contributing to the overall POS software cost.
POS system pricing can vary based on business requirements, customization needs, integrations, and additional support or maintenance fees. We recommend researching different POS system providers and checking pricing plans and features included in each offer before selecting a POS system that aligns with your budget and business needs.
Some plans may require upfront payments for hardware or software licenses, while others operate on a subscription basis with recurring fees. Additional charges for add-on features, integrations, or ongoing support and maintenance may apply. That is why it is essential to review the pricing details and terms of a POS system provider to understand any associated costs before deciding.
The cost of POS system can vary widely depending on several factors, including the type of business you have, the features and functionality you need, the number of terminals or devices you require, and whether you choose a cloud-based or on-premises system.
Typically, the initial costs for a POS system, including hardware, software, and installation in the first year, can vary from no cost to $2,000. The usual monthly charges per register or user for a basic POS system generally fall between $50 and $200.
Contact POS system providers directly to get an accurate cost estimate and discuss your specific needs. Consider long-term costs, including support, maintenance, and scalability, when evaluating different point of sale systems prices.