Learn About EPOS Systems
EPOS Systems is the umbrella term for a wide range of point-of-sale solutions including cash registers, mobile apps, and integrated payment options.
EPOS stands for ‘Electronic Point of Sale’
EPOS systems were first used to facilitate payment at the ‘point of sale’, but they’ve since developed into a system of integrated solutions that support other parts of your business too.
EPOS systems are the umbrella term which covers all parts of the sales process - sales terminals, order taking/ordering mobile apps and integrated payment options. Here’s a quick breakdown of what each part does:
- EPOS terminal – often referred to as a ‘till’. This is the computer system the cashier uses to input products. This system calculates the price, applies any offers, and facilitates payment. It can also help manage a busy dining area through table management features.
- Order taking solution – a mobile app which mirrors the EPOS terminal and enables waiting staff to take orders.
- Ordering solution – a web page or mobile app which contains the entire menu. The customer uses this to place their order.
- Integrated payment – the chip and PIN machine you use to make payment with. These can either be at the counter or carried around by waiting staff.
How have EPOS systems changed?
The first thing that comes to mind when someone says “point of sale” is probably just a cash register. In the past, this would’ve been true - there wasn’t much need for EPOS systems - but as customer needs have evolved, so have EPOS solutions, particularly retail EPOS systems.
In recent years, pre-ordering, takeaway, and food deliveries have all seen a huge surge in popularity, with the revenue for online food delivery forecasted at almost £22 million (€26 million) by 2024. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this trend. EPOS systems for takeaways now incorporate mobile ordering apps to support this kind of commerce. The apps are more convenient for the customer and provide businesses with additional revenue streams – it’s a win-win!
EPOS hardware has become significantly more robust to suit the physical environments in which the systems are used. With drinks being made, busy staff behind the counter and high footfall to take into account, EPOS systems for restaurants and bars have to cater for hazardous surroundings. The best EPOS systems are durable and water resistant to protect against these conditions, so you don’t have to keep repairing damaged hardware.
In a retail and hospitality environment where you might have thousands of products on sale, you need to be able to easily organise items on a till. Having a touchscreen EPOS system will enable you to neatly compartmentalise all your products into categories so you can navigate quicker, check pricing and descriptions faster and improve your overall speed of service.
Cloud technology has been embraced across the retail sector. It refers to servers that are accessed over the internet, rather than on-site at your premises. Not only does this save space and cost, but it also means that data can be accessed from anywhere on any device connected to the internet. This is particularly helpful with EPOS systems. If you’re away from your venue, but need to update pricing and promotions, or urgently access important sales data, you access your systems via a website and access data as if you were onsite.