Making the Move to a Cloud-Based Restaurant POS

As a restaurateur, you’ve probably encounter countless mentions of cloud-based restaurant POS solutions at some stage or another. You may have even thought it wasn’t the perfect system for you, or that your current solution works just fine, so why bother switching?

In this guide, we walk you through:

The terrific thing about the cloud-based POS format is how scalable and customizable it is –it may work for single-location full service and quick service restaurants, multi-location restaurants, and restaurant groups alike.

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What is a Cloud-Based Restaurant POS?

A cloud-based restaurant POS is a point of sale system for restaurants that relies on an internet relationship as opposed to the closed”on-premises” networks of a conventional POS.

There’s a reason why cloud-based POS systems are so common. Whether you have questions about cost, ease-of-use, or security, a cloud-based solution has the answers.

Rather than printing out lengthy reports for each and every change, now you can receive your insights from any smart device–such as your computer, phone, or tabletand get updated sales, inventory, customer feedback, and more, wherever you are.

Real-time data suggests real-time solutions to situations before they become problems. Just look at the time and money you’ll save by identifying issues before they blow out of proportion. Apart from the gigantic convenience factor, a cloud-based restaurant POS can streamline how you operate your business .

Benefits of A Cloud-Based Restaurant POS

You might be thinking that your traditional POS system–also called”legacy” or”on-premise” systems–have functioned well until now, so why change?

POS Data access

Legacy systems only allow on-premise access to data, so you have to be on your own restaurant in order to get the data on your POS system.  Like we mentioned before, cloud-based restaurant POS options can be accessed from anywhere you can use a computer or smart device, whether that’s in your living area or a different side of earth. All you need is an internet connection and a system that supports both the apps and applications.

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Cloud-Based Restaurant POS Cost

While purchasing all the crucial technology to be given a cloud-based POS system off the ground might appear pricey, they tend to have cheaper operating costs in the long run and some, such as Upserve, provide free support 24/7/365.

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Mobile POS and Contactless Payments

Using a cloud-based restaurant POS, you have the capacity to include on a mobile POS device which gives you a lot of advantages. Your servers conserve energy and time running back and forth to some POS station, which is especially valuable for large restaurants and outdoor spaces. That decrease in time spent waiting for their check or credit card to return to the table also increases guest satisfaction, boosting your reputation. A mobile restaurant POS also supplies contactless payments with a built-in EMV reader, minimizing the transaction between servers and guests — something that is particularly important in this moment.

Easier Upgrades

Cloud-based POS systems upgrade automatically and free of cost, just like the apps in your mobile device, whereas standard POS systems require manual updates which can be labor intensive and costly.

This means a difference of having the capability to manage updates and upgrades on your time with just a couple clicks, or calling a technician to schedule an appointment and have them care for it for you (for a fee, of course).


Will your restaurant’s POS needs remain the same over time or will they change? If you anticipate growth or change, a cloud-based POS system is better permitted to develop with you.

Whether it’s updating your menu on the regular, start new or improved loyalty programs, or requiring more precise inventory tracking, the more your needs will change over time, the more sense it makes to choose for cloud-based.

Most cloud-based POS systems also upgrade with new features as technology improves across the industry–something you’re unlikely to get with a legacy POS system.

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Less Regular Downtimes

After the net goes down, the system your heritage POS depends upon will probably be offline and non-functional. Luckily, on a cloud-based restaurant POS system you have the option of switching to offline mode as a backup.  You’ll stay up and running before the net can connect again.

Setup is a Breeze

You’ll be surprised at how easy it’s to set up and use your new cloud-based POS. As a consequence of the cloud and its encrypted online storage, there’s absolutely not any possibility of hardware or software incompatibility or failure, no viruses or driver hiccups, and no threat of a hard disk accidentally deleting a weekend’s worth of accounts.  It’s all backed up, automatically .

Plus, younger generations of workers –think millennials and Gen Zs–will be able to get right on board with a cloud-based POS solution with little-to-no training.

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Increased Security = Client Peace of Mind

The benefits of a cloud-based POS aren’t limited to you and your workers. Clients will feel good knowing their credit card information is encrypted and protected  together with the most up-to-date technology.

Staff Accountability

Irrespective of which kind of establishment, your cloud-based POS can track every last drop of product, allowing you spot discrepancies in an immediate and fix gaps before they become problematic.

Better Insights for Faster Decision-Making

Cloud solutions facilitate faster, easier, and more extensive business insights, which can help you make strategic decisions. By connecting what’s happening in the rear of the house to the front, restaurant operators get a holistic picture of how the company is operating.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cloud-Based Restaurant POS Systems

How much does a cloud-based POS cost?

If you’re dedicated to sticking with an on-premise, legacy hardwired POS system, be ready to pay more for less complicated tools.  Hardware costs are separate from service, and maintenance and support services frequently include a hefty fee.

While traditional POS systems certainly have lower startup costs, they tend to include lots of hidden costs that reveal themselves over time. Because cloud-based restaurant POS systems don’t require physical server hardware on the premises, upfront costs are kept to a minimum and monthly subscription fees are reduced.

On top of that, instantaneous free updates mean no lost earnings from downtime or inconvenient hardware upgrades as your business grows. Instead, plans can be upgraded or downgraded at will, and lots of providers don’t charge a fee for the issue.

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Do I want to start from scratch?

Cloud-based POS systems can be integrated with any number of functionalities, from digital payment and receipts to automatic discounts and updated loyalty rewards. If you have existing setups in place, many third party vendors have upgraded apps for cloud POS systems which will help you maintain your present rewards and promotions planning.

Is a cloud-based POS system rewarding?

Restaurateurs who move to cloud-based POS systems–no matter how apprehensive at first–  are almost always satisfied once they see the technology working to maintain their business safer, more efficient, and more profitable. Most studies are showing that people who changed are sticking with a cloud-based solution, which legacy POS systems will only decline moving forward.

Why a 23 Location Restaurant Group Switched from Aloha to Upserve

Old habits are hard to break. That’s why when Homegrown Hospitality Group–a 23 location restaurant group with an range of theories across the Carolinas–had to modify their own POS, they made their decision intentionally. After more than three years with a heritage POS system that just slowed them down, they made the move to a cloud-based POS to deliver their restaurants into the future.

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“We’d been using Aloha for 34 years and it was painful. Aloha is not a cloud-based system. Anytime any sort of update had to be generated, the master terminal needed to be reset. In our thoughts, that was very difficult,” said Colleen Simon, Chief Operating Office at Homegrown Hospitality. “Our restaurants are chef-driven, thus we have specials which change daily. We’ll have to add buttons every day. We alter pricing daily. Having to stop and reset all the terminals as it’s not instantaneous was a hassle.”

“It saves so much time. It’s extremely speedy and we aren’t holding up our guests when food orders are being placed.” — Colleen Simon, COO in Homegrown Hospitality

Not only did constant resets of the system create roadblocks for the team in Homegrown Hospitality, but support was also less than stellar and cost more than what it was worth.

“The system could crash nonstop, and our partners at NCR who support Aloha weren’t as helpful as we would have liked. We went through a good deal of pain–our system would crash all the time, credit cards wouldn’t spool, and information could be lost. Our IT department would spend a good deal of hours weekly just trying to recover information,” Simon explained.

Since changing a point-of-sale is such a enormous investment, Simon and the team at Homegrown Hospitality knew they had to make it with the perfect POS company.

“Working with Aloha’s issues was the main reason we made the decision to switch. The software needed to be upgraded, but that hardware that we’d wouldn’t support the new applications, so we should have had to swap out the hardware, too,” explained Simon.  “That was pretty much the breaking point: we were in the point where we needed to upgrade, but it could have cost us a couple hundred million bucks. We chose to source something new. The performance and capacity of Upserve won us over.”

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