Cloud-Based POS Systems for Restaurants: 10 Factors to Look For
Cloud-based POS systems for restaurants help businesses of all sizes process payments, receive updates, lower costs, and manage operations.
Your POS system can do this all through an internet connection and a subscription software agreement. With these perks for restaurant management, leadership gets a better grasp on transactions, inventory management, restaurant data science, online order delivery, and customer trends—as business ebbs and flows.
While cloud POS systems introduce a few concerns to overcome—like requiring connectivity for most features—they remain one of the best food tech innovations to continually advance the industry over the years.
Find the advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based POS systems for restaurants below.
Key Takeaway: Cloud-based POS systems for restaurants have advanced the industry to a new standard for customization, personalization, and restaurant intelligence in an ever-more-competitive landscape.
5 Benefits of Cloud-Based POS Systems for Restaurants
When they’re hosted remotely through an internet connection, POS systems tend to work a little better, faster, and more flexibly for restaurants. These restaurant tech solutions have quickly become so common in the industry that many consider them the new default and standard for full-scale, multi-location operations.
The good reasons for this swift change throughout hospitality revolutionize many areas of business. Here are the top five reasons to consider the cloud-based POS system for restaurants:
- Lower Cost: The cloud-based POS system for restaurants is also the more easily justified from a price perspective. They don’t require the same level of upfront investment as well, which often helps the growing chain gain its footing without losing features.
- Easier Scale: Cloud-based POS systems for restaurants scale more simply and easily because of their more-than-lightweight design. In fact, there is almost no change to a restaurant when they update regularly and introduce new, helpful designs or features based on business demands.
- Better Data: The cloud supports more insight and connection to the data points that matter to decision-makers. Big data for restaurants remains incredibly valuable and precious in an industry that competes increasingly for the same online ordering. Insight helps them navigate shifting trends, food technologies, and consumer attitudes.
- More Flexible: Flexibility within the cloud should not be underestimated. Almost every major cloud-based POS system for restaurants can be altered to match the unique profile of your current customers’ needs and preferences. They also match the custom needs of large-scale operations with less disruption.
- Simple Usage: Learning on a custom, on-premise solution can be nothing short of tiresome for all. Instead, cloud-based systems for restaurants use seamless design to get employees up to speed fast, helping everyone succeed more quickly and move to more important needs.
With the addition of advanced online ordering software, there’s very little else that restaurants will need to ask from their POS system. These advantages propel many restaurants into a new future for their business.
The outcome of sticking with these benefits through a cloud-based infrastructure are often increased sales, more satisfaction, higher loyalty, and better order fulfillment—alongside order accuracy boosts.
Nevertheless, it’s safe to have concerns about where the cloud-based POS system may fall short. Restaurants should review those in the next section.
5 Concerns with Cloud-Based POS Systems for Restaurants
While the cloud-based POS system brings many boons to the restaurant industry, it also draws up a few points for clarification. As with any system or technology, there are limitations to its functioning and application, especially with unforeseen and uncontrollable bugs or circumstances.
The top five disadvantages of a more open, scalable POS system in the cloud for restaurants are as follows:
- Internet Needs: While most don’t expect to lose connectivity, there are times when restaurants and regions experience blackout periods for their WiFi and wired connections. These mean that the cloud can’t communicate with your hardware, and software can also lose many important abilities.
- Security Protocols: Connection also means opening up a few more threats in the domain of privacy and payment security. When information is cast into and called back from the cloud, there can be interceptions when these platforms aren’t tightly protected, especially when new threats emerge.
- Customization Options: Not every cloud-based POS system works well with the idea of customization for their enterprising clients. Some are more adaptable than others, but when sold as an “out-of-the-box” solution, many lose the chance to make their brand stand out in the best light.
- Hardware Concerns: Even cloud-based platforms, while designed for more availability and readiness, can make demands on hardware. For instance, some POS systems only work with Apple-ecosystem devices like iPads. Others will only be compatible with branded and locked-in technology from the POS partner.
- Upgrade Costs: Like many SaaS models, POS platforms in the cloud frequently need higher and higher subscription fees as your restaurant strives for operational efficiency, while volume and demand increase. So, you should anticipate paying more “as you succeed” rather than expect prices to stay fixed—contract or not.
Even the best POS systems for restaurants can endure these kinds of issues. But, it’s a much shorter list than the alternative: a fixed, on-premise, and easily outdated POS platform requires constant support, maintenance, and custom investment. That’s merely the beginning.
Frequently Asked Questions on Cloud-Based POS Systems for Restaurants
Find out the best cloud-based POS systems for restaurants, generally speaking. Below, you can find answers to the most common questions about cloud POS systems.
Beyond that, there are many helpful links to articles specifically covering the best and worst of these options based on real user reviews. Dig into the details with us, and explore this quick FAQ for the cloud-based POS system.
What are the best cloud-based POS systems for restaurants?
The best cloud-based POS system for your unique restaurant or multi-location food brand will finally depend on its combination of features and requirements. Most restaurant and hospitality groups appreciate the speed, flexibility, and pricing (in some cases) of these top picks among cloud-based POS systems:
For example, TouchBistro and Lightspeed POS reviews show them as a great resource for advanced business intelligence features. But, few systems compete with the low cost of popular POS systems for restaurants like Square or Toast. Popularity and price should only start your research into the ideal, custom solution.
What does a cloud-based restaurant POS system cost?
The price of cloud-based POS systems for restaurants really depends on the scale of your operations. For the most part, you’ll find popular POS software costing upward from $200 per month, if you need all the relevant features from partners like Square, Toast, or Radiant and Simphony.
You can see more about pricing versus potential in POS system reviews. (Some are linked above by name.) Although, to get the clearest idea of what you will pay for advanced payments for contactless hospitality, QR, or mobile payments—you need to go directly to the source.
Is the cloud-based POS cheaper than on-premise POS systems?
Usually, the cost of on-premise POS systems is slightly deceptive. You could pay a relatively low one-time fee for your hardware and software, but this won’t account for the limitations that will grow out of not having updates or remote service. In that way, the cloud-based POS system stands as more cost-effective.
Cloud-based POS options are not only more secure, robust, and helpful over time, they also come with a more predictable range of fees. You’ll still need to be careful about which POS integration partners you choose to bring more benefits of future-proof ordering, processing, and more. Then, you’ll really see the resource of the cloud.