Old School vs. New School – The Difference Between Traditional POS &Tablet

Whether opening a new business or simply looking to update your current system, one of the most important decisions is whether you should use a traditional POS or a tablet-based POS system. The system you choose will be the backbone of your business and will play an integral role in keeping things running smoothly. Well thankfully, we’ve done the homework for you.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of these two POS models:

Cost* $3,000 – $50,000 / Life time $600 – $10,000 / year
Payments Fixed number of Monthly Payments (lease or rental) Or upfront payment to reduce overall Cost of ownership Monthly payments for as long as you use the system
Software and features Installed on premise.  Tons of features accumulated over the last 30 years. Hosted online.  Limited features sets, less than 10 years of existence
Hardware Industrial graded rugged Stationary terminals Consumer graded Mobile and stationary tablets
Data Storage Internal back office server with daily backup to cloud server Remote cloud servers
Maintenance Local 365/24/7 On-location and remote access support Remote access or phone support- usually outsourced from remote location or another country.  No hardware replacement services on weekends or holidays
No Hassle Configuration Yes –  local onsite support by your local dealer No – You are on your own, need to setup the system yourself or work with remote support and be prepared to spend hours on the phone
Reporting and analytics Our RM Monitor App allows you to access from anywhere in real-time from Cloud based servers Access from anywhere in real-time from Cloud based servers
MKTNG/Loyalty Yes- Comes integrated into POS software Yes- Comes integrated into POS software
Scheduling Schedule and track employee hours from POS, interface with third party applications and payroll companies Schedule and track employee hours from iPad register
Limitations stationary hardware Internet reliance in some systems, non-local support, consumer graded hardware



Which one should you purchase for your restaurant?

There is no easy answer to this question, as all businesses are different.  From the standpoint of the tablet POS, the increased mobility and the perks it offers are undeniable.  However, there are always other factors to consider.  A traditional POS system won’t rely on an Internet connection the way a tablet might.  Traditional POS systems usually involve a heftier investment on the part of the business owners, which is always a consideration.

If you consider yourself a computer literate or your business is a simple operation such as a quick service with very simple menu without too many modifiers, a smaller system along the lines of a tablet or mobile POS may be a more cost-effective option. If you have a more complicated operation such as table service or small chain and you want to spend your time taking care of your business and customer instead of working on your POS system, a traditional POS model is definitely a smarter route to take, just given the amount of features and of data that could be collected on a daily basis for the business.

What is important for anyone to consider is that you purchase the system that gives your business the best chance to profit and thrive.