You likely didn’t start a restaurant to learn more about POS software and hardware, but choosing the right POS system for your business matters, not only will it impact how you operate but how effectively your staff can work.
In this article, we will cover how much restaurant POS systems really cost, breaking down what you can expect to pay for the hardware, software and any other equipment you may require to get your POS up and running.
As a restaurant owner, this should leave you well equipped to make the right POS decision for your business that will not only be within budget but will also make your business run more efficiently.
What Does a Restaurant POS System Do?
A restaurant point of sale system is a critical piece of software/ hardware that allows your business to accept payments for goods and services, charge taxes, and record payments.
Increasingly POS systems like TouchBistro, Lightspeed, and Toast have been including other features to help support your restaurant’s operations:
- Menu Management
- Online Ordering and Delivery
- Customer Loyalty & Rewards Programs
- Inventory Tracking & Management
- Reporting & Analytics
- Tableside Ordering & Payment Processing
- Table & Reservation Management
- Labour & Shift Management
The advent of these new features has caused a lot of cloud-based restaurant POS systems to shift into full-blow “restaurant operating systems”, helping to manage a broad range of your business’s operations including inventory, marketing, reservations and finance.
How Much Does a Restaurant POS Cost?
The cost of a restaurant POS system will generally range from $50 to $199 per month for the software and upwards of $699 for the hardware.
Though it should be noted these costs will ultimately depend on the provider you go with, the amount of hardware you require, and the features you choose to add-on.
To help give you a better foundation we’ve included some cost ranges below:
- Monthly software costs typically range from $79 – $299
- Initial hardware (terminals, cash drawers, receipt printers, kitchen display systems, stands, routers, etc) and installation costs typically range from $699 to $999
- Payment processing fees depend on your provider but range from x$ to x$
Many POS providers will also have financing available adding to the cost equation when considering a restaurant POS system purchase.
When making your choice you should also consider and list out what capabilities you will make use of as a benchmark for comparing proposals from POS providers, this will ensure you end up with a solution that isn’t just cheap but capable.
How Much Does Restaurant POS Equipment Cost?
Purchasing POS equipment for your restaurant doesn’t have to be a complicated process, below we cover all the costs associated with POS hardware you may need.
It should be noted that while we include the bulk of hardware you could purchase, that does not necessarily mean you need to purchase all of this hardware, take into consideration the size of your restaurant and think about what will add value.
Front of House
- Cash Drawers
- Card Readers
- POS Stands
- Guest-Facing Display
- Receipt Printers
- Self-Ordering Kiosk
Back of House
- Kitchen Display Systems
- Kitchen Receipt Printers
- Kitchen Bump Bars
- Used by cloud-based POS systems
- Used by legacy POS systems
Expected POS System hardware cost:
There are numerous points to consider when purchasing restaurant POS hardware as you will require multiple pieces of equipment including a terminal and credit card reader, router, and receipt printers at a minimum.
If you are evaluating cloud-based POS options for your restaurant (which you should be) then POS software will be a critical component of your purchase.
If you choose the wrong restaurant point of sale system you could be stuck with slow or limited software that hinders your business growth and frustrates your staff.
When making your decision think about the features you value, and try to demo the software prior to purchase.
It should also be noted most restaurant POS software will run on a SaaS style payment structure with either monthly or yearly costs associated.
Expected POS System software cost:
What you pay for your POS systems software will ultimately depend on the POS provider you choose to go with.
Most will start at approximately $50 per device, per month and become more expensive as you add-on more features.
If you are also considering a Kitchen Display System (KDS), expect to pay an additional $25 per month at a minimum.
As we mentioned above, many of the modern cloud-based POS systems are now including a range of add-ons to extend the functionality of your pos system.
These add-ons include features like self-ordering kiosks, online ordering and delivery, loyalty and rewards programs, software integrations, and gift cards which all come with their own independent costs.
To help you better understand the costs of these “add-ons” we’ve included some price ranges below:
- Gift cards
- Customer loyalty and rewards programs
- Online ordering and delivery
- Self-ordering kiosks
How Much Does A Restaurant POS Installation Cost?
Once you’ve selected your restaurant point of sales system and are confident in your decision you will have to get around to installing it and learning about all its features.
For many restauranteurs, this can be a rather daunting process, which is why many POS vendors provide installation and training services to get you and your staff started with your new system.
The costs of this installation and training will vary by provider and some vendors may not provide the service at all but to help you better understand the potential costs of these services we included some ranges below.
- Onsite Install: Approximately $80 to $120 per hour for on-site POS installation
- Remote Install: Approximately $75 per hour for remote instructions
- Menu Design & Implementation: Approximately $500 to $1000 for full menu design and build
If you’re frugal and tech-savvy you can often opt to install the POS yourself and build your own menu but theirs an opportunity cost to everything and your time may be better served focusing on other areas of your business.
If you decide on this route also keep in mind you will have to train your staff on how to use the system as well – something that may be easier done by the vendor who’s far more knowledgeable on their software.
Unfortunately, there’s no clear answer as to what a restaurant POS costs. As you’ve seen there are numerous factors that can impact how much you will have to pay for your POS system including your software and hardware needs as well as the add-ons you choose to go with.
The choice you make should ultimately be determined by what adds value to your restaurant and allows your staff to operate more efficiently, two factors that will differ for every restaurant.