Average cost of Restaurant POS systems

Restaurant POS systemThere are easily more than 70 different POS systems on the market. The numbers continue to grow as more and more iPad-based solutions enter the market. Finding the right POS system for a restaurant can be a daunting task. You want one that is easy to use, that matches your budget, that has good customer support, and that offers features you need for your specific business. Knowing exactly what you need in a system is a great start. It helps you to narrow down the field a bit. Once you’ve narrowed down the options, all that’s left is to test out each restaurant POS system. Think of the process like the process of buying a new car. Narrow it down by make, model, and feature packages before taking it on a test drive. This guide will help you thin out the options and find the best choice for your restaurant.


Before you get into the research and fall in love with the Lamborghini of restaurant POS systems, it’s best to know what you can afford to spend. This does a couple of things. First of all it helps to narrow the selection pool, and secondly, it keeps you from becoming hypnotized and overspending on the shiniest new toy. As you consider your budget for a POS, keep the following costs in mind: license fees, monthly support fees, and the cost of any hardware bundles you may need to purchase. Below is a breakdown of the average costs.

  • Locally-installed restaurant POS software generally has a one-time license fee that ranges between $1, 000 and $2, 500. Web-based systems don’t usually charge a licensing fee.
    The monthly support fees for those same locally-installed systems run from about $25 to $100 per month. Web-based restaurant POS systems charge anywhere from $50 to $200 per month for their service.
  • Locally-installed POS systems are your more traditional POS systems. The hardware for those ranges from $2, 000 to $4, 000. Hardware bundles for web-based systems, on the other hand, cost between $450 and $1, 500.
  • Do your best to avoid long-term contracts and cancellation fees. Sometimes it’s good to keep your options open.

Web-Based or Locally-Installed

Do you want a system that stores your data and updates on a server in the cloud, or are you the old school type that prefers your data and updates to be housed on a computer on the premises at the restaurant? There are pros and cons to each option. Learn about them here.

Feature Requirements

You’ve narrowed your options by budgetary requirements and by whether the system server is in the cloud or local. Now it’s time to narrow your choices based on the features each system has to offer. It might help to rank the features on a continuum of “must have” to “would be nice to have but isn’t necessary” to help you determine the best overall system for your needs. The goal is to find a system that includes all of your restaurant POS must-haves.

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