29 Apr 22 / Blog

What are EPoS Systems and how do they work?

Anyone opening a restaurant, pub, or café, will be prompted to install an EPoS system. This will help them bill customers and process payments.

In broad terms, EPoS is a form of technology, combining hardware and software. Its purpose is to help a business run efficiently by managing and/or supporting a wide range of operational areas.

An EPoS system is so much more than a traditional till system or cash register. It can provide much wider support to businesses than its name suggests.

What does EPOS mean?

So, what is EPoS? EPoS stands for ‘electronic point of sale’. It is the combination of hardware and software that allows you to accept different forms of payment. The common payment methods that an epos system accepts include cash, debit card, credit card, Samsung pay, and more.

In simple terms, EPoS gives businesses the ability to receive payments, track sales, and perform inventory management. It also integrates with other software and gives accurate reports on inventory levels, customer trends and more. Modern epos systems are mostly cloud-based.

epos pic

The process of an epos transaction

If you’re still wondering ‘what is epos?’, here is an example of a standard retail epos system transaction.

The customer approaches the epos with items to purchase, the employee behind the register scans the items using a barcode scanner, the epos system displays accurate pricing information, and the customer pays the amount due.

This is where the epos system demonstrates its capabilities. The customer can pay with cash, debit or credit cards, loyalty cards or vouchers, The customer can also make contactless payments and even request cashback.

The point of sale system will use its accounting software to record the sale, but also take the items purchased out of the remaining stock, keeping stock levels accurate. This powerful software will also store customer information if they pay with cards or loyalty initiatives.

After the customer completes the payment, the receipt printer will print the receipt which completes the transaction. Depending on the epos providers, the software designed might be able to give real-time detailed reports on sales, inventory levels, and customer trends like the highest selling products of that week.

girl standing behind bar

What is the difference between EPOS and POS?


Pos, or ‘point of sale’, is where customers make payments when purchasing products or services. This means that every time someone completes a purchase, they are making a point of the sale transaction.

When thinking of a pos system, many people picture a cash register or till system with a lockable metal drawer that simply accepts cash and gives change. However, pos systems have evolved over the past few years. Pos software helps business performance by bringing all the processes together in one place to reduce the time spent doing basic admin tasks.


EPoS systems work in a more advanced and intuitive way than standard pos systems, or old school cash registers. Epos software can manage different business operations and help increase sales in your business. For the most part, EPoS operates online and stores information in the cloud. Your epos software provider will also provide you with dedicated customer support.

Difference between EPoS and PoS

We already know that EPoS stands for ‘electronic point of sale’, and PoS stands for ‘point of sale’. This can cause a misunderstanding among people, as some people think that the difference between the two is that one has electronic components.

The difference between EPoS and PoS, is that EPoS stores its information in the cloud and operate mostly online. EPoS systems provide more flexibility and data, with greater security.

epos machine

What are some examples of EPOS hardware in business?

As epos continues to evolve, it comes in different shapes and sizes. As we already know, different epos software’s perform differently from each other. This isn’t really the case with the epos hardware. There are some core hardware components you need to have and some optional ones.

The core hardware comprises of barcode scanners, a tablet or desktop display unit with a terminal screen, receipt printers, lockable cash drawers, and a wireless router. A barcode scanner is an electronic scanner that reads barcodes to identify the product.

Some optional epos hardware components include touchscreen monitors, weighing scales, and portable hardware such as mobile/tablet epos.

epos hardware

Why is EPOS important for retailers?

Having an epos system is very important for many different businesses in many different sectors. Epos systems are particularly important in business to consumer (B2C) industries, for example, retail businesses. Retail businesses deal with customers all day long completing payment transactions.

Most retailers in busy cities would complete over 50 transactions a day. If these businesses are using a traditional till system, they will be slow at taking payments, meaning the queues would be long and moving slowly. There would also be a higher degree of human error in recording the payments and an employee would need to make regular stock takes and do other basic admin tasks.

If this retail business simply installed an epos system, it would eliminate a lot of these pain points and would get rid of the need for many admin tasks, giving employees more time to focus on other business operations.

Many retailers have epos systems in place, it is mainly small businesses that don’t have one installed. A specific business that doesn’t operate using an epos is definitely missing a trick. Epos allows small business owners to leverage technology in their businesses to improve customer relationship management, the same way their large scales competitors do.

woman standing behind cash register
Smiling young African waitress wearing an apron using a touchscreen point of sale terminal while working in a trendy restaurant

What are some uses for EPOS systems?

EPoS helps with sales management

EPoS systems are designed to manage the whole sales journey. This ranges from taking customers’ orders at the table or bar (as a restaurant ordering system) to producing a bill at the end of the experience and finally completing the transaction by processing the payment.

Information regarding products and prices can be loaded onto the system. Meaning it’s ready for staff to access when they come to place orders through a touchscreen till on a terminal, tablet or other chosen device.

The sale software can even be programmed to account for % and € discount options. They can also be set with staff prompts for allergen reminders, special deals and upselling.

EPoS can also support a range of different styles of service, from fine dining to fast food. It can integrate with ordering and payment apps to make the sales process as seamless as possible for your team and your customers.

Without EPoS, the ordering and sales process would be open to error. Meaning it would take longer and be less efficient, hence why it is vital to consider installing it for this purpose.

EPoS helps with stock management

Another key function of EPoS is managing stock. The software allows operators to monitor stock and track its journey through the business – from accounting for deliveries and returns to taking stock counts – on one central system.

Every item of stock is processed through the EPoS system. This means operators can keep a closer eye on what they have in their storerooms, fridges and freezers. They can also see what they might need to order more of. It also enables hospitality operators to minimise wastage because they can see what is, and isn’t, selling at a glance.

Using EPoS for stock management, rather than relying on a manual process will save the business time. It will also remove the margin for error, cementing EPoS as a top choice for any hospitality business.

EPoS adds great reporting

As previously mentioned, an EPoS system has the ability to manage sales and stock, which in turn gives operators valuable insights into their business.

A system like Access EPoS includes basic reporting functionality, which is something that traditional epos systems don’t offer. It allows operators to run reports on stock levels, stock history and stock results using combined data of sales, received deliveries, returns, wastage and stock counts. This enables them to keep track of stock, minimise waste and accurately report on theoretical and actual GP values.

EPoS creates smooth operations

While the core functions are those noted above, the fact is that an EPoS system is more than a restaurant till management system. It can serve as the anchor to other technology solutions, such as workforce management, reservations systems and procurement. 

The software can be programmed to integrate with other solutions for streamlined operations and to boost efficiency. So, it’s best to choose an EPoS system with flexibility and compatibility with other restaurant and pub technologies.

closeup picture of somebody typing on an epos machine
Preparing the bill at a restaurant using a touch screen till

Access EPoS

Access EPoS is a cloud-based EPoS software that gives hospitality operators the technology to drive efficiency and run a more profitable business. This epos system helps provide exceptional guest experiences from one trusted source.

We offer all the key functionalities such as inventory management, and real-time sales reports. We also offer bonus features such as integrated upselling prompts, and the ability for customers to order and pay at the table. Our easy to use epos software integrates with popular apps, such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, Deliveroo, Uber Eats, and more.

Many epos systems won’t offer upselling opportunities in order to boost revenue, which is why Access Epos offers a great return on investment (ROI). Our epos system drives your overall business performance.

epos video slide

What sets Access Epos apart from competitors?

Our epos system is unmatched by competitors in the Irish electronic point of sale market in areas such as flexibility, reliability, and adaptability. Our epos software is easily configured for mobile devices, tablets, quick service, and kiosk-style services.

We allow all allergen, dietary, and nutritional informational on all dishes and recipes to be accessible at the click of a button, which is something that many epos solutions don’t offer.

Our epos system is packed full of easy-to-use smart functionalities, including clever up-selling tactics which help boost sales. We also provide promotional and grouping prompts that make serving customers more efficient. The epos system we provide is essentially a fully customizable, smart functioning epos system that makes your business operations run smoothly.

Our bottom line is to help your business save time, save money, and increase efficiency.

Book a free demonstration of our Access Epos system here.

Tom Doherty Email Signature