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How to Choose Between Cloud POS and Legacy POS Systems for Restaurants in Singapore?

When you’re in the market for a restaurant POS system, you’ll be faced with the decision of choosing between a cloud-based POS or a legacy POS system. Restaurant POS systems are a large investment, one you should not make without thoroughly researching all the available options. The best place to start is by understanding the differences between a cloud-based POS and a legacy POS.

What is a Legacy POS System?

A legacy POS system refers to a traditional point of sale system that is usually hardware-based and installed on-premise. These systems have been in use for many years and are typically used by businesses such as restaurants, retail stores, and hospitality establishments.

Legacy POS systems usually consist of a computer, a cash drawer, a printer, and a card reader. They are often equipped with proprietary software that is specifically designed to perform certain functions such as processing transactions, managing inventory, and generating reports.

One of the main drawbacks of legacy POS systems is that they can be expensive to install and maintain. Additionally, they often lack the flexibility and scalability of cloud-based POS systems, which can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

Legacy POS systems may also be more prone to security issues, as they require regular updates and maintenance to ensure that they are secure and up-to-date with the latest security protocols.

Overall, while legacy POS systems have been widely used for many years, their limitations and costs have led many businesses to consider alternative options such as cloud-based POS systems.

What is a Cloud-Based POS System? 

A cloud-based POS (Point of Sale) system is a software application that allows businesses to process transactions, manage inventory, and handle other business-related tasks using a cloud-based server.

Unlike legacy POS systems, which are typically installed on-premise and require specific hardware and software, cloud-based POS systems can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Cloud-based POS systems are often preferred by small and medium-sized businesses as they typically offer more flexibility and scalability, lower upfront costs, automatic software updates, and enhanced security features. Additionally, they often integrate with other cloud-based applications such as accounting software, marketing tools, and inventory management systems.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the cost, hardware alternatives, data storage, maintenance, and other important factors between cloud-based POS and legacy POS systems.

Why Legacy POS Systems are Not a Good Fit for Restaurants in Singapore

While legacy POS systems have been widely used in Singapore for many years, the rise of cloud-based POS systems has led to the gradual decline of legacy POS systems. This shift is driven by several factors, including the lower upfront costs, greater flexibility, and improved functionality offered by cloud-based systems. In addition, cloud-based POS systems are more scalable, allowing businesses to easily add or remove features and users as their needs change. The COVID-19 pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards cloud-based POS systems, as businesses seek to adopt contactless payment options and remote management capabilities.

Here’s why legacy POS systems are not a good fit for restaurants in Singapore:

  • High Upfront Cost: Legacy POS systems are typically expensive to purchase and install, which can be a significant burden for restaurants, particularly small and medium-sized ones.
  • Limited Functionality: Legacy POS systems often have limited functionality, which can make it difficult for restaurants to perform specific tasks such as managing inventory, creating menus, and processing orders efficiently.
  • Limited Mobility: Legacy POS systems are often fixed in place and cannot be easily moved around, making it challenging for servers to take orders at the table or for customers to make payments from their seats.
  • Inflexibility: Legacy POS systems are often inflexible, meaning that they cannot easily adapt to changes in the restaurant’s operations or new technologies.
  • High Maintenance Costs: Legacy POS systems can be expensive to maintain, as they require regular updates and hardware maintenance. This can be especially challenging for restaurants that operate on a tight budget.
  • Security Concerns: Legacy POS systems may be more prone to security breaches, as they often require manual updates and maintenance to stay secure.

Due to these reasons, many businesses in Singapore are transitioning from legacy POS systems to cloud-based systems, or implementing new cloud-based POS systems altogether. While there may still be some industries or businesses that continue to use legacy POS systems, it is clear that the future of POS systems in Singapore lies in cloud-based solutions.

What Makes Cloud-Based POS Systems so Appealing to Restaurateurs

Now that you’ve seen why legacy POS systems are not a good fit for restaurants in Singapore, lets dive deep into the benefits of cloud-based POS systems to understand how they can enhance your business operations and help you grow.

Here are the reasons why many restaurants switched from a legacy POS system to a cloud-based one:

1. Your Restaurant and Cloud POS System Scale Together

One of the benefits of cloud-based POS systems is their scalability. Cloud-based POS systems can grow and evolve alongside your business as it expands, without the need for expensive hardware upgrades or additional IT support. For example, if you open a new location, you can easily add new registers and users to your cloud-based system, without the need to purchase new hardware or software licenses. Similarly, if your business expands to offer new products or services, you can quickly and easily update your cloud-based POS system to accommodate these changes. This scalability allows businesses to be more agile and responsive to changing market conditions, and to better meet the needs of their customers.

2. Cloud POS Systems are Easier to Operate and Offer A/B Testing

Legacy POS systems can be difficult to operate, especially for businesses that are used to more modern technology. Cloud-based POS systems, on the other hand, are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, with simple interfaces and easy-to-use features. This can help businesses save time and reduce errors, while also improving the overall customer experience.

Additionally, cloud-based POS systems often come with built-in analytics tools that allow businesses to track sales, inventory, and customer behavior in real-time. This data can be used to identify trends and patterns, optimize pricing and promotions, and make data-driven decisions about staffing, inventory management, and other operational processes. Furthermore, cloud-based POS systems provide businesses with the flexibility to A/B test different changes to their operations to see which ones perform the best. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses that want to experiment with new menu items, promotions, or operational processes.

Overall, the ease of use and analytical capabilities of cloud-based POS systems can help businesses optimize their operations, reduce costs, and improve their overall performance.

3. Menus and Offers at the Click of a Button

Cloud-based POS systems often come with features that allow businesses to manage their menus and offers at the click of a button. With a cloud-based POS system, businesses can easily update their menus to reflect new offerings or changes to existing items. They can also create and manage promotions, discounts, and loyalty programs to incentivize customers and increase sales.

Moreover, cloud-based POS systems can provide businesses with real-time information about sales and inventory, allowing them to make informed decisions about which items to promote or feature on their menus. This can help businesses reduce waste and optimize their inventory management processes.

Cloud-based POS systems can help businesses provide a more personalized and efficient customer experience by allowing servers to quickly access information about menu items and promotions. This can help servers make recommendations and suggestions that are tailored to each customer’s preferences, increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Why Legacy POS Systems are Not a Good Fit for Restaurants in Singapore

4. Cloud POS Systems are Highly Cost Efficient

Yes, that is correct. Cloud-based POS systems are generally more cost-efficient than traditional legacy POS systems. Cloud-based POS systems typically have lower upfront costs since they do not require expensive on-premise hardware or software licenses. Instead, cloud-based POS systems are hosted on remote servers and accessed through the internet, which means businesses only need to pay a subscription fee to use the software. Additionally, cloud-based POS systems are often easier and less expensive to maintain since software updates and hardware upgrades are typically handled by the provider. This can be particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses that may not have the budget or resources to invest in expensive IT infrastructure or staff. Overall, cloud-based POS systems can help businesses save money while also providing greater flexibility, mobility, and functionality compared to legacy POS systems.

5. Cloud POS Systems can Easily be Updated

Cloud-based POS systems are typically easier to update than traditional legacy POS systems. Cloud-based POS systems are hosted on remote servers, which means that software updates can be pushed out automatically to all users. This ensures that all users are using the latest version of the software, which can improve security and performance. Additionally, updates to cloud-based POS systems can often be performed remotely, which means that businesses do not need to schedule downtime or pay for costly on-site IT support to update their systems. This can save businesses time and money, and ensure that their POS system is always up-to-date and functioning optimally. Overall, the ease of updating cloud-based POS systems is another key advantage over legacy POS systems, which may require manual updates and on-site maintenance to keep them up-to-date.

6. Cloud POS Systems are Modern and Intuitive

Cloud-based POS systems can offer intuitive and modern hardware, but it depends on the specific system and provider. While cloud-based POS systems do not require as much hardware as traditional legacy POS systems, they still require some hardware such as tablets, smartphones, or touch-screen monitors. However, cloud-based POS hardware is typically designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, with modern and sleek designs that can enhance the overall look and feel of a business. Some cloud-based POS systems even offer innovative hardware solutions, such as mobile payment terminals or self-service kiosks, that can improve customer experience and streamline operations. However, the hardware quality and design can vary widely depending on the specific provider and system, so businesses should carefully evaluate the hardware options offered by different cloud-based POS providers before making a decision. Overall, while cloud-based POS hardware can be intuitive and modern, it is important to choose a provider that offers high-quality and reliable hardware solutions.

7. Cloud POS Systems Deliver Clean and Actionable Data

Cloud-based POS systems provide businesses with access to clean, actionable data that can help them make better decisions and improve their operations. Cloud-based POS systems typically come with built-in analytics tools that allow businesses to track sales, inventory, and customer behaviour in real-time. This data can be used to identify trends and patterns, optimize pricing and promotions, and make data-driven decisions about staffing, inventory management, and other operational processes. Additionally, since cloud-based POS systems are hosted on remote servers, businesses can access their data from anywhere with an internet connection, which can be particularly beneficial for businesses with multiple locations or remote workers. Overall, the clean, actionable data provided by cloud-based POS systems can help businesses better understand their customers, streamline their operations, and increase their profitability.

8. Cloud POS Systems Facilitate Seamless Restaurant Management

Cloud-based POS systems can help restaurants manage their operations more seamlessly and efficiently. With a cloud-based POS system, restaurant owners and managers can access real-time information about sales, inventory, and employee performance from anywhere with an internet connection. This can be particularly beneficial for multi-location restaurants, as managers can easily oversee all locations from a single dashboard. Additionally, cloud-based POS systems often come with built-in tools for managing reservations, orders, and deliveries, which can streamline the ordering process and improve customer experience. Cloud-based POS systems can also help restaurants manage their inventory, labour costs, and other operational expenses more effectively, which can increase profitability and reduce waste. Overall, cloud-based POS systems can help restaurants save time and money, while improving customer satisfaction and optimizing their operations.

9. Cloud POS Systems Enhance Guest Experience

Cloud-based POS systems can enhance the guest experience in several ways. One way is by allowing restaurants to provide more personalized and efficient service to their guests. With a cloud-based POS system, servers can easily access information about a guest’s preferences and past orders, which can help them make personalized recommendations and provide a more tailored experience. Additionally, cloud-based POS systems often come with built-in tools for managing reservations and waitlists, which can reduce wait times and improve the overall guest experience. Cloud-based POS systems can also make it easier for guests to pay, by allowing them to split the bill, add tips, or pay with mobile payments. Finally, cloud-based POS systems can help restaurants improve communication and collaboration among staff, which can result in faster and more efficient service. Overall, cloud-based POS systems can help restaurants create a more seamless and enjoyable guest experience, which can increase customer loyalty and drive repeat business.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, cloud-based POS systems have become increasingly popular in Singapore due to their numerous advantages over legacy POS systems. These systems can scale as a business grows, are cost-efficient, easy to update, and provide access to clean, actionable data. Additionally, cloud-based POS systems often come with intuitive and modern hardware and can enhance the guest experience while allowing for seamless restaurant management. As a result, many businesses in Singapore have been switching to cloud-based POS systems to streamline their operations, increase profitability, and provide better service to their customers.

To help you evaluate your options, we have curated a complete downloadable POS comparison guide based on pricing and 15+ different features offered. Check it out now!

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