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Point of Sale Systems for Hotels, Restaurants, and Bars

Updated: Dec 7, 2021

Following the US National Restaurant Association forecast, restaurant sales will increase by up to $899 billion in 2020. Remember our previous articles about Points of Sale in general and POS systems for retailers. And guess which instrument will help this segment to manage such money turnover? Yes, powerful Points of Sale can support not only restaurants but HoReCa business as a whole. Let's consider how all of its segments understand and use POS. It's time to expand horizons.

Point of Sale System for HoReCa

What Is the POS Software for Restaurants?

Let's start the journey through one of the leading types of HoReCa business. Here the POS is a multifunctional instrument. The features of this system in the non-food retail and this domain are partly similar.

POS features in Restaurants

Point of Sale performs settlement transactions and transfers data to the tax authority by default. But common restaurant POS systems have more exceptional tasks, worth paying attention. Among them are:

  • Record-keeping & Menu Management. Restaurants need to understand how much food they spend. It also matters when and how many products should be ordered next time. For such purposes, all menu items and their ingredients are included in the POS system. It allows us to identify the sources of consumption and maintain a balance in the product warehouse.

  • Hall Management. The POS system makes it possible to control hall occupancy, table reservation. It also helps to determine which places are available and which are occupied.

  • Staff Management. The POS performs time-consuming procedures like making shifts schedule, recording employees' data, the number, types of performed processes, etc.

  • Order Management. Let's take a look at this feature using a powerful Cloud and Touch Screen POS system as an example. The last one contains information on which set of tables is assigned to a particular waiter. He completes the customer's order by simultaneously entering data into the system via his tablet. The information is transferred from the waiter's gadget directly to the kitchen. Thus, the chefs understand which dish to cook next and for which table it's intended. It simplifies the interaction procedure, minimizes the risk of mistakes, and speeds up the path from ordering to receiving.

Today the POS system's ability to manage a food delivery and "click & collect" option is also needed.

So, what are the Point of Sale systems for restaurants? As seen, they are instruments, managing menus, halls, orders, and keeping records and reporting on product usage. For this segment, POS is the central gastronomic facility management system.

POS Software for Bars and Cafes

Bars and cafes always need a reasonable solution. Here POS helps to keep tax accounting. Rent Point of Sale equipment to cut costs is a common practice for this sector. However, such an approach is undesirable as it can have unfavorable tax consequences for the tenant. Bars and small cafes do not have a varied assortment, so record keeping is secondary for them. However, any Point of Sale for bars must track alcohol usage and tips. Choosing the POS software for bars, these areas should proceed from the business size and its popularity among customers.

Point of Sale Systems for Hotels

The Point of Sale in the hotel business can rightfully be considered the most complex one. Here, the settlement transactions and interaction with the tax authority are not the main functions. While the following tasks should be highlighted:

  • Asset Management. Rooms are a key hotel asset. Thus, the POS system allows managing them (monitoring cleaning, hotel occupancy, booking, etc.).

  • Staff Management. The system helps regulate the whole hotel personnel activity: to form schedules, control the staff flow, the number of employees on a particular shift, etc.

  • Data Protection. One of the business features is the obligation not to disclose the client's data. Thus, the hotel's Point of Sale must have a high level of protection to prevent the illegal spread of confidential information.

  • Integration With Restaurant/Store Systems. The hotel POS should regulate the processes related to the above components for the provision of guest convenience. So, the client will be glad to get one general check for accommodation and usage of any hotel options.

POS features in Hotels

Thus, following hotel sector understanding, the POS system is also something more than just a Point of Sale. It allows controlling various internal organizational issues, including assets, personnel, data management, etc.

Which Types of POS Systems Does HoReCa Choose?


Hotels choose On-premise Touch Screen POS to provide high data protection and smooth work. Restaurants choose Cloud Touch Screen types of POS systems to provide employees with access to data. It speeds up all processes. This feature is incredibly important in such a business.

There is a significant amount of specialized software focused on the two above mentioned sectors. Both hotels and restaurants create demand and prefer ready-made POS to individual software development. But sure, such large hotel chains as Hyatt, Hilton, and others have their own IT team, developing and maintaining Point of Sale systems.

Gastrofix POS, Hotelogix provide the most popular POS software for hotels, EPOS Now, and popular restaurant POS systems are: Lightspeed, TouchBistro, Oracle MICROS Simphony.


As seen, cafes and bars are looking for a low-budget POS system with limited functionality. They usually use Touch Screen solutions. Cloud systems are common ones, but On-premise POS is also used. The purpose of these segments is to acquire a software license and buy or rent inexpensive equipment. Therefore, Portable Points of Sale are perfectly suitable for them. The cases of developing a POS software for small bars or cafes from scratch are practically absent.

The most popular POS systems for bars and cafes are Upserve POS, Square, Toast POS.

HoReCa vs. Retail: POS System Functioning Distinction

Difference #1. Scale and Complication of a POS Work

HoReCa POS is more linear and manages fewer processes than the retail one. It's because of the difference between the scales of these businesses. Retail is quite a complex area. It must have stores almost everywhere to provide a stable increase of goods turnover. It's too difficult to control each shop in the chain. Thus, retail POS should be integrated with a countless number of systems.

At the same time, the quantity of hotels or restaurants doesn't determine this business efficiency. Here, the POS system is designed to regulate smaller-scale processes in a limited area.

Difference #2. Goods/Services Return

In restaurants, bars, and cafes, a wrong-prepared order needs to be re-cooked. Or the client gets other kinds of "apologize" from the company. Thus, the return means a write-off of certain products in the financial statements. So, they are considered as spoiled and discarded. In retail, a goods return is always a money return. It's reflected in the reporting.

Difference #3. POS Interfaces.

HoReCa uses Point of Sale systems with a user-oriented interface. It should be simple and allow a quick order placing or reservation making. Retail POS interfaces are aimed at employee needs.


So, here the Points of Sale also have their features. In the first case, it includes the hall, menu, staff management, etc. Hotels choose Points of Sale, which run assets and easily integrate with other systems. The simplest and cheapest POS are used by bars and cafes since they are often small.

In the HoReCa segment, the business purchases POS systems based on certain budgets, needs, and goals.


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