Restaurants often have special requirements for hardware to accommodate their complicated workflows. Apart from common hardware for retail like payment terminals and receipt printers, restaurants need extra pieces such as self-ordering kiosks, kitchen display systems (KDS), and handheld POS systems.
Let’s explore the popular equipment needed for a restaurant:
Touch-screen monitor is the backbone of the POS system. The touch-screen monitor serves as the POS front-end by ringing up orders, clocking in, setting appointments, and more.
A monitor to run your front of house can be a tablet or a screen that connects to a customer-facing display and peripherals. You have 2 choices for POS tablets: iPad and Android, depending on which one your POS system is compatible with.
Price range: ranging from $350–$2,000 per monitor.
Credit card reader
A credit card reader collects credit, debit, and contactless payments securely. It is a necessary POS hardware component since more customers are opting for cashless payment options.
Credit card readers vary in style. It can be a small card-swipe device plugged into your tablet or a full terminal with a receipt printer and touchpad. If you only need a basic option, make sure your terminal has at least a chip reader that is EMV-compliant. This is more secure for your POS system.
Price range: $10–$500 per card reader.
A customer-facing display is a screen that faces your customers to let them view their orders, confirm their transactions, and sign their names. This is especially beneficial for restaurants. This screen prevents mistakes in order processing by allowing customers to check their orders before you send them to the kitchen. When the guest-facing display isn’t in use, you can program it to show daily specials, sale items, or your brand advertisement.
Price range: around $200–$400 per display.
Despite the growing popularity of digital payments, restaurants still keep cash drawers. A cash drawer is a device with a secure locking mechanism to store your cash for transactions. Today modern cash drawers can be integrated with your POS terminals via USB or Bluetooth. When choosing a cash drawer, you can consider the size and the number of slots and coin trays you need.
Price range: roughly $100 per drawer.
Although barcode is often used by retail businesses, restaurants can utilize barcode as well – especially those selling prepackaged foods or merchandise.
A barcode scanner gets product information by scanning its barcode and adding it to the customer’s cart. It can be connected to POS terminals, therefore you can check the scan from a register table or an order screen. In addition, barcode scanners can help you manage inventory with automatic stock counts when a sale is made, and sync the data to your POS system.
Price range: from $50–$800 per scanner.
A receipt printer uses thermal printing to generate receipts when customers make a purchase. If you have multiple monitors and registers, you can choose whether you want multiple receipt printers or connect all to 1 printer only.
Price range: $150–$600 per printer.
Though many restaurants now use digitized kitchen tickets, many still include a kitchen printer in their hardware bundle. It creates receipts using impact printing technology that makes smudging difficult. Unlike receipt printers, a kitchen printer is designed to work specifically in hot or humid environments. Thanks to its ability to endure heat, humidity, and sticky hands, the kitchen printer is a perfect choice for busy food preparation areas.
Price range: $200–$500 per printer.
Self-service kiosks, or self-checkout kiosks, allow patrons to customize their orders and pay themselves without a cashier. According to NICE, 81% of customers expect more self-service options. In addition, GRUBBRR CEO Sam Zeitz revealed that customers’ average order value increases by 12% to 20% when they use a self-service kiosk.
While a kiosk point of sale is a large upfront investment, it can make more money for your business over time with higher overage orders or ticket amounts. Furthermore, it can reduce labor costs and free your staff to focus on order fulfillment.
Price range: $150–$7,000 per kiosk POS.
Kitchen display system (KDS)
A kitchen display system (KDS) receives orders from waitstaff and sends them to kitchen staff through the POS system. It helps monitor the time a dish is prepared so that you can identify any bottlenecks. This is a crucial restaurant POS hardware that aims to replace traditional verbal orders or handwritten ticket orders, thus removing communication errors.
KDS can be a touch screen for small restaurants, while it can include a printer and a bump bar for larger businesses. A good KDS should display texts that are easily read from a distance while enduring a hot and greasy environment.
Some KDS have more features than merely listing orders. They can arrange order priority and separate orders by course. Besides, they can connect with online ordering and sync all orders in the queue.
Price range: $100–$1,500 per KDS.
Digital menu board
Many restaurants now use a digital menu board to show customers their menus, specials, or current promotions. You can create your digital menu in a POS software system, and only need a screen and a router to display it. Some options can be a flat-screen TV, a POS tablet for restaurants, a dedicated signage board, and other handheld options.
Price range: $130–$1,000 per board.
Handheld ordering device
A handheld ordering device, or a mobile POS (mPOS) device, lets you take orders and process payments from different locations while still connected to a central POS system. These devices also connect with the KDSes to ensure correct orders and the payment charged. A good mPOS should be able to work offline and process payment. When the Internet is restored, it will sync the data to the central POS.
Price range: $150–$600 per mPOS.