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The Traditional Point of Sale system VS a Cloud based Point of Sale System: which is better?

3 minute read

Probably one of the most important parts in your restaurant, bar or cafe is the Point of Sale system. It tracks everything from the customer orders, to the employee hours, therefore, it can either speed all of the daily operations or slow them down. Choosing the right one can give you more opportunities, however, choosing a system too complicated will affect the overall performance of the business.

Even if you are just now starting, are looking for an upgrade or don’t like your existing system, we will discuss the biggest differences between a traditional system and a cloud based point of sale system.

What is a traditional point of sale system?

An on-premise point of sale system is not dependant on the internet connection. It has its own internal network and stores the data locally as well. You can compare it to a personal computer: it is accessible only at home, as well as its data. If you download a movie or a song, you can listen and watch it only when using the device at home. However, if you download Netflix and Spotify, you can view your movies and listen to the music anywhere in the world from any device just by logging in. Which leads us to the main issue: do you always want to be at your business to access the restaurant’s data?

What are cloud based point of sale systems?

If you have recently been to a cafe, where instead of the notepad, the waiter served you by using a tablet, you have already experienced the benefits of a cloud based system. Coming back to the example mentioned above, listening to music is much more simple now: you can download an application on your phone or tablet and then listen to it anywhere. It is much more convenient rather than downloading each individual song and transferring it to every single device you want to listen to it. The purpose of a cloud based point of sale system is exactly that: making daily operations easy. Cloud based systems are also much more technologically advanced and usually bring more functionality with them.

Comparing the traditional and cloud based systems

  1. Flexibility: If you run a place, which often does promotional or seasonal foods, the software needs to be more flexible. In this case, a cloud based system is more convenient as in some of them, for example Lightspeed, you can add or change foods within seconds. However, if the menu is very standardized and rarely requires changes, a traditional system can still work for you.
  2. Cost: It might seem, that purchasing the tablets for a cloud based software is expensive, however, it tends to have less operational costs for its lifetime. This really depends on your own preferences- would you prefer to spend more in the beginning or spend more over time.
  3. Upgrades: As any other app, cloud based point of sale systems have upgrades, which take little time and effort from your side, however, traditional systems take time and manpower, which, affects your costs and schedule.
  4. Convenience: As mentioned above, cloud based systems are available from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection- your data is stored and you’re able to add new items, change prices or even check your employees even if you are at home. For the traditional systems you have to be present at your property where they’ve been installed.
  5. Internet connection: Cloud based systems are completely based on the internet connection, when the traditional systems do not require internet. It is important to consider, however, must keep in mind, that the internet would completely disappear only in emergencies, when most likely, you would not have guests dining.

The traditional systems have definitely affected how restaurants work today and can be considered as an important stepping stone towards the cloud based systems, however, with everything accessible online, most would agree, that the cloud based systems are much more accessible than the traditional systems.

Join the Progressive team of restaurants, cafes and bars using Lightspeed in Malta now!

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