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What to look for when purchasing a new café point of sale system?

A café or coffee shop point of sale system, also referred to as 'Café POS' is a combination of a computer, software, 1 or more printers and a cash drawer. Here's what to look for when you're opening a new café and unsure what system to buy!

Acquiring the right point of sale system quite often determines the success or failure of your business in the long run. Choosing the wrong program could mean potential disaster for your café. Imagine a scenario where you have a busy café and your printers are offline, or system is taking too long to print.

Choosing the right hardware

Choosing the correct set of hardware is a crucial part in the process. Buying a 10 year old computer with an old windows operating system is path to potential disaster! You need to ensure that your hardware are up to date, with the latest operating system installed and latest drivers.

POS hardware is a combination of: touchscreen computer, printer(s), waiter point of sale tablets and cash drawers.

We recommend choosing Microsoft Surface Tablets (i5 processors +), Hewlett Packard touchscreens (come with 3 year on-site warranty from HP), and Epson printers.

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What to look for in software?

Selecting the right software is the second most important part when purchasing your new café point of sale system. You need to make sure that your software has the ability to process sales quickly with very little screens/buttons to click. Also keep in mind that most café owners change staff regularly, so training new staff is a monthly routine. You need to have an ‘easy to use’ software so that you spend little time training staff on program and more time focusing on customer service.

Some of the crucial functionalities required in any pos software are: customer loyalty, advanced product and category reporting, voucher management, rostering, staff clock in/out and most importantly the ability to restrict staff from deleting sales and/or discounting orders (while you’re away).

Other optional but ‘nice to have’ features include: mobile reporting, software remote access and the ability to integrate with your preferred accounting software.

What to avoid

Every coffee shop owner wants to save money when purchasing a point of sale system for his/her business, however – there are things that you can’t compromise on. For example, buying a ‘used’ system could have disastrous effects on your everyday process. Also, choosing an iPad point of sale is certainly not the way to go for many reasons such as: internet usage, slow process, monthly ongoing fees. You might find this article about iPad point of sale useful.


Today, there are hundreds of pos software in the market at competitive prices, some are tablet based systems and some are traditional 15” inch. Regardless, you must choose an up to date hardware with warranty and a software that has some basic as well as advanced features mentioned above.

If you have any questions or disagree about the above, kindly send me an email: c.lyons@sassco.com.au

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Point of Sale



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