How Do Restaurant POS Systems Work?

Introduction and Summary 

The core features of a POS (Point Of Sale) system are easy enough to understand. But, how do restaurant POS systems work? What makes some POS vendors better than others? And, above all, how do you find the best software for your specific needs?    

Today, we’ll run down the most important functions of a POS and explain how they work in restaurants.  

  • What Is the Definition of Point Of Sale?
  • How Do Restaurant POS Systems Work?
  • How Much Does a POS System Cost for a Restaurant?
  • What Is the Best POS System for a Small Restaurant?

What Is the Definition of Point Of Sale?

By definition, Point Of Sale is the place where the customer makes a transaction with the merchant. When people say “POS,” they’re referring to the point of sale terminal and/or software that’s used.   

At least, that’s the basic meaning. From time to time, you’ll still hear someone mention their “POS machine.” In reality, a POS is so much more than just a computerized cash register.   

How Do Restaurant POS Systems Work?

The specific hardware and software will vary, depending on which POS vendor you choose. Still, these point-of-sale basics will give you a good idea of how your restaurant POS system will work.  


We’ll start with the exchange of money for goods and services. After all, that’s the primary point of sales.

The employee inputs the items and the system processes the bill. Once the diner pays, the POS charges the credit card or mobile payment. The POS system will also process cash purchases, even though they’re less common nowadays. 

Restaurant Kitchen Prep

Forget those annoying tickets. Once the order is taken at the counter or table, the order is delivered to the back-of-the-house staff. The best POS systems will allow you to enter specific instructions for every item. When the customer asks for no anchovies on their Caesar salad, you can quickly mark that on the order. The cook gets that message instantly, as well as any other modifications.       

With this in mind, it’s crucial to choose a POS system that will allow for extra tweaks.  A fussy customer might ask for no bell peppers on their Supreme pizza. Then, they’ll change their mind just a few moments later. Back in the day, you might have to re-do the whole order altogether. However, a good POS system will update everything accordingly to ensure quality service and avoid wasting food

Inventory Management 

This is a point that is often overlooked when it comes to restaurant software. When you make a pizza pie with 10 ingredients, your POS system can monitor your ingredient stock in real time. As soon as the order is placed, the inventory system can subtract each component from your running list. Now, you won’t have to spend extra money at Costco, because your POS will show you exactly what you need.    

Track Work and Employee Hours 

Your restaurant’s POS system automatically keeps tabs on staff productivity. When employees clock in for work, they’ll log in. From that point on, every sale is registered. Then, you can see how each person performed in a given shift. For example, you can check a waiter’s records for their total sales. If their total is underwhelming, it’s time to remind them about upselling and other go-to techniques for driving revenue.    

Furthermore, the POS system can prevent employee theft. At this point, you trust your longest-tenured people, but what about the new, part-time folks? To be sure that you’re not getting shortchanged, take a look at your POS. You’ll instantly see the exact amount of every sale versus what’s in the till.   

How Much Does a POS System Cost for a Restaurant?

Most POS vendors aren’t suited for small business owners. Surprisingly, some POS systems can cost tens of thousands of dollars. That’s often the case with “legacy” setups — those old-school computers that can only be accessed through the on-site network. 

At first, Restaurant POS systems were hosted locally. These days, owners don’t have to settle for outdated stationary terminals. Nor do they have to spend as much as the major chains.

Pay attention to the fine print. Otherwise, you could wind up with a system that is markedly more expensive than it should be. 

Hidden Costs for Restaurant POS Systems

POS vendors usually charge customers for initial setup and equipment rentals. Then, they’ll pile on unpredictable processing fees for credit card transactions.

What Is the Best POS System for a Small Restaurant?

Now, you know how restaurant point of sale systems work. Finally, it’s time to choose the right POS for your restaurant.

Slice Register is the best POS system for restaurants. Specifically, it’s the perfect POS system for pizzerias who want:

  • Small business-friendly pricing: With Slice Register, you won’t pay any initiation costs, and our subscription fee is a flat $69/month. You’ll get $3,000 worth of specialized POS tech absolutely free. Plus, credit card processing fees start as low as 2.5%.
  • Flawless online ordering: Generally, POS systems aren’t built to sync with specific online partners. Slice Register already comes with Slice ordering, so you don’t have to waste time or worry about missed sales.
  • Personalized marketing: You don’t want DoorDash sending your customers to fast food. With Slice, you’ll have turnkey marketing and reminders that bring customers back — to your shop
  • Industry-leading support: We’re the top-ranked service team for pizzeria owners. Why? Because you can get real help from a real live expert anytime, day or night.

Want to Know More About Slice Register?

Our POS is ready to get to work for your restaurant. Let’s chat.

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