Choosing a Restaurant POS system: Cloud VS Traditional

If you’re looking for a Restaurant POS, you will have to make a choice between a cloud POS and a traditional POS.  

Either would mean an investment for your restaurant business. And you need to be familiar with the nuances associated with both. 

So, here is a quick guide on both POS systems for you to take a more informed decision.

What’s a Traditional Restaurant POS system?

A Traditional restaurant POS system is a legacy system or an on-prem system that helps store your data on a local server, in an on-site set-up. They have traditionally been used by staff to print KOTs (Kitchen order Tickets) and process restaurant billing receipts. These systems are plagued by data loss risks, high up-front costs, data security issues, data accessibility issues and the need of continuous manual uploading of data.

Remember when you stored movies on your computer hard drive instead of streaming on Netflix?

And what is a Cloud Restaurant POS system?

A Cloud POS system, or cPOS system in short, allows data to be pulled from remote servers (and not local servers). You do not have to rely on physical servers any more with the help of Cloud POS. All you need is an active connection to the internet and you are good to go! Also, cloud restaurant POS systems do much than printing KOTs or billing receipts against orders. Cloud POS systems are integrated with Analytics, Customer Relationship Management, Loyalty Management and Inventory management. More like a central system, one that compliments the entire functioning of your restaurant.

POS Software

So which one’s better?

Cloud POS systems have features that top outdated traditional POS systems. They help make the restaurant management process more efficient.

Enhanced Security & less maintenance

Cloud POS data is stored on the cloud. So it’s safer.  No more local or on-premise data storage needed. Also, the updates happen real time i.e you don’t need to manually make security updates to your POS.

Real-Time Updates

Traditional restaurant POS systems require you to manually update the server online. Naturally, this takes more time and the need to train staff. Cloud POS takes care of this issue by allowing you to update real-time, which removes upgrade costs and ensures you’re always using the latest version of the software.

Remote Accessibility

You can access all your data from any remote location as it is now stored on the Cloud. So if you are a manager and wish to check up on your restaurant analytics (restaurant orders, employee clock-in intervals or any other data), you do not need to be physically present on-site, you can easily do so from any location at the click of a button! You just need to have an internet connection and that’s it!

Operate offline

Most Cloud POS systems work offline too. This is because the data gets stored in the cache memory of your browser/CPOs system. And the Data gets synced up the moment you go online. You never lose any data for transactions that you make while offline.


Cloud POS systems allow you to pay low monthly amounts instead of a large up-front payment. Also, no monthly maintenance amounts. Definitely a more economic option.

POS restaurant, Point of Sale image

Fully Integrated Systems

Simplify your restaurant operations with the help of a cloud restaurant POS by having your Loyalty management, Online Ordering, Payments management all in a single Platform.

Not tied to hardware

As the world increasingly becomes Mobile, it is important for restaurants to deploy software that can be used on all devices. Your cloud restaurant POS system will help you manage your operations on your mobile app or tablet! This way order punching is faster as you save multiple trips to a bulky central console.

Here is a quick tabulation of the key differences between a Traditional Restaurant POS system and a Cloud POS Restaurant system

Parameter Traditional POS Cloud POS
Cost/Payment Structures One-time + Monthly Maintenance costs Monthly Fee
Software On-premise Cloud, Online
Hardware Stationary Laptops, Mobiles and Tablets
Data Security Low High
Data Accessibility Stored on local servers Stored on remote servers
Data Storage On-site systems Cloud servers
Drawbacks Data security, no remote area data access, dependency on on-site machinery for updates Need an internet connection for all features to work



You should definitely consider a Cloud POS system if you are looking for a new POS for a restaurant. Having said that, going for a POS is a significant investment. You should carefully weigh the pros and cons of both the traditional and cloud Restaurant POS before making a final decision.

We at Limetray, have built a robust cloud POS system with a lot of key restaurant use cases in mind. Forgive the bias, but we recommend our cloud POS strongly.

Want to add to this blog? Do drop in your comments and let us know what you feel. We’d love to talk to you!


Aditya Sarkar

Aditya Sarkar

Aditya Sarkar is a Marketing Manager at LimeTray. When he isn't being a Marketer, he likes solo-travelling, playing all kinds of sports and chilling out with friends! He's reachable at