Restaurant POS System
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between restaurant software and point of sale system?
When referencing a restaurant POS system, that is usually referring the complete hardware package including software. So a touchscreen computer, cash drawer, printer, and the restaurant software. When looking for a complete restaurant POS system, make sure to know exactly what is and is not included with the purchase so you are not surprised getting something that you were not expecting.
Do I really need a complete restaurant POS system or just the software?
Restaurant software runs on a computer, so you will need some type of computer system if you want to use POS software. Most programs are touch screen based, meaning they do not use a keyboard and mouse to operate, so when looking at computer hardware it is important to know if you need a touchscreen computer or not. You will also typically need a cash drawer and some type of printer, all of which can be purchased as a complete restaurant POS system package or as individual hardware parts too.
Do I have to purchase the restaurant software and hardware together?
Not necessarily, it really depends on the company that you are purchasing from. Restaurant software companies might only offer the software, some might offer software and then software and system packages, and other might only offer their restaurant software with the complete restaurant POS system package. If a company offers the software on it's own, then you should be able to purchase any compatible hardware from another company to use with the software. If this is the situation, just make sure to know exactly what computer specifications are needed to run the software, so you do not accidentally invest in hardware that ends up not working well with the restaurant point of sale software.
What should I look for in a restaurant POS system?
First you want to find the right point of sale software, before concerning yourself with a complete system or computer hardware. Once you have made your choice on software, then move on to the hardware. Once you are looking at the hardware or complete restaurant POS system, you want to look at the brand of hardware, the hardware specs, and also the hardware warranty. A good warranty with at least a three year coverage period should be included with the total cost of the restaurant point of sale system. Some companies offer extended warranty periods for up to 5 years for an additional charge. Although having a couple of more years of warranty time might sound beneficial it usually isn't worth the additional cost. Typically if there is a hardware failure, it will happen within the first year and that would be covered under warranty, so if a system lasts three years without incident then it will usually last more. We say usually, because with any electronic component there can always be failures at anytime. Also another point to consider is at the three year mark, your system technology will already be pretty outdated and it might make more sense to upgrade at that time instead of holding on to a restaurant POS system hardware for more years. The restaurant POS software however should updated throughout those years and simply be moved over to a new system when the time comes.