Cloud vs Traditional Restaurant POS System: Which One is Better & Why?


Technology has spread its horizons, and new technologies are making a way in the restaurant industry. The right POS system has streamlined and speeded up restaurant operations. Days of scribbling guests’ orders have gone. Also, restaurant automation tools have been able to cut the cords.

Small restaurants, cafes, and bars are also opting for a restaurant POS systems so that they can take care of their day to day operations in a streamlined manner. POS systems have improved payment methods and restaurant management.

If you are looking for Restaurant POS System AKA Restaurant Point of Sale System, you have to choose between the Traditional POS and cloud-based POS. And, you need to know the differences associated with both traditional POS and cloud-based POS.

Now you might be thinking about which POS system you should choose, whether traditional or cloud? Which one should be best for your business? 

In this blog, we will compare both the POS systems, which will help you to choose the best for your restaurant.

First, Let’s start with:

What is the Traditional POS system?

The traditional restaurant POS stores data on the local servers and runs on a closed internal network. These POS systems have been used by the restaurant staff to print Kitchen order Tickets and to process restaurant billing receipts. The major drawbacks of these systems are data loss risks, high up-front costs, data security issues, information accessibility issues and the need for manual uploading of data.

What is the Cloud restaurant POS system?

This is web-hosted solutions that store data on remote servers, and you can access information online. For this, all you need is the internet, your internet is working, then you are good to go! There is no need to upload data manually. 

Cloud restaurant POS systems are integrated with:

  1. User data analytics
  2. Customer relationship management
  3. Loyalty Management
  4. Inventory management
  5. Accessible on devices like mobile, tablets, iPad, laptops, etc.

Let’s compare cloud POS and traditional POS:

key differences between a Traditional Restaurant POS system and a Cloud POS Restaurant system - RestroApp

1. Data accessibility

In the case of traditional POS, your servers have to run to each table and take orders and initiate payments. Not only this, they have to go back to the POS system, drink stations and kitchen too. But, with cloud POS system servers get the flexibility and they take orders and payment tableside. They don’t have to be constantly on the stand by. This saves time and allows them to serve their guests in a better way. In peak hours the restaurant tablet ordering system or tablet POS can be a great thing and speed up the order processing and payment process.

2. Security

The traditional POS system is not secure as thieves can bump into the premises and target the cash drawers. However, cloud POS cash drawers can be locked remotely and could be tracked via GPS software.

3. Reporting

Both restaurant POS systems produce reports with which you can analyze every section of your business. A cloud restaurant POS system can be accessed on an authorized device. With a cloud POS system, managers can take the device away to another location to print the reports. However, the traditional POS system has to be accessed at the same location and on specific computers or systems. This enhances the work of the manager.

4. Hardware

The hardware of the traditional POS system is bulky and big. Moreover, all the POS terminals are sold separately. Whereas, cloud restaurant POS systems are software-based, which means it requires less hardware.

5. Integrated Systems

It is difficult to integrate new models, features and updates on the traditional POS system. On the other hand, the SaaS POS system can be connected to third -party software programs and can be customized as per the business needs.

Moreover, a cloud-based POS system allows restaurants to integrate CRM. With this, you can design loyalty programs and improve your email marketing based on customer data.

6. Updates

In a traditional POS system, the servers need to be updated manually on-site. Also, the POS software is only upgraded once a year. In a cloud-based restaurant POS system, the provider implements updates automatically, and there is no need to manually update the system. They usually update more frequently than the traditional POS system and in real-time.

7. Cost efficiency

Traditional restaurant POS system costs more as they need maintenance and require additional labor and time. Also, if the system crashes, you need to reinstall it, and that can be expensive. Whereas, the cloud restaurant POS system costs you less, as it can be installed on the existing computers, tablets, and smartphones. Also, the software is updated automatically by the provider and you don’t pay from the updates as the cost is included in your monthly or yearly subscription.

8. Environment-Friendly

With a cloud restaurant POS system, bills and receipts can be uploaded to password-protected websites and hence and limits the use of paper. These days people prefer digital bills and receipts over paper receipts as it is easy to keep a record of the digital transaction.

9. Reduces serving time

Cloud POS system reduces the serving time as waiters don’t have to go back and forth between tables. This helps in handling the heavy rush and serve the customers better.

10. Increases sales

With a cloud POS, your servers can share the menu details with ease with your customers at their table. This helps them to make prompt orders, without delay and saves their time. In comparison to the traditional POS system, it is not possible.

11. Enhances customer experience

Table billing is one of the most useful features of a cloud restaurant POS system which makes the billing process easy and convenient. Your staff can directly take the cloud POS system integrated device, like an iPad/ or tablet to the customer’s table so that the customer can easily make the payment. This feature helps you to run your business successfully and delight your customers.

Moreover, the cloud POS system works wonders in the area where the full-blown system cannot be installed. They are equipped with different apps and can prove a great catalog for your restaurant. 

If a customer is taking too long to decide, instead of verbally describing the menu item, your staff can hand the iPad and share pictures of the food along with the description. This makes easy for the customer to decide on the food items. iPad POS is a great alternative to the bulky old tradition POS for improving customer experience.

12. Easy to Use

The cloud POS system can be used anywhere anytime. They are convenient for small restaurant outlets, food trucks as well as for big food ventures. It will be more convenient to use as everyone knows how to operate a mobile. While it is not possible by using a traditional restaurant POS.

So, Which one is best? Traditional or Cloud Restaurant POS system?

You should surely consider a Cloud restaurant POS system if you are looking for a new POS for your restaurant. It doesn’t matter whether your restaurant is a big or small cloud restaurant POS system is cost-effective, can increase your sales, and provide a great customer experience.

If you want to survive in this competitive business world, you need to give your customers the latest high-tech options such as online ordering. 

Let’s look at the best cloud restaurant POS of 2019 that you can opt for:

1. Square POS: It is better for small businesses that are looking for user-friendly POS with inbuilt payment processing.

2. Lightspeed: This is for retailers who are looking for detailed reporting and inventory management.

3. TouchBistro: Is for the restaurant that requires reservations and table management on- the- go.

4. Shopkeep: Is a budget-friendly option and an alternative to Lightspeed.

5. Loyverse: for a business that wants a free POS with a loyalty program.

After knowing about the two POS, we hope you will be choosing the right one for your restaurant. Choose the one that gives your profit and thrive you further in the restaurant industry.

These days people look for restaurant online ordering platforms to place their orders. For this, you can create a food ordering app integrated with your restaurant POS system.

You can hire skilled developers and get an app designed for you with all the latest features. We at RestroApp, create a restaurant app for you, so get in touch with us at to know more about our services. We have served several restaurant businesses and they are doing wonders.