POS hardware today is more affordable than ever, with almost every provider ditching the “expensive POS of systems past” for more current tablet models. No longer do you have to break the bank to purchase a clunky, out-dated piece of legacy technology, or pay a steep monthly, grey-hair-causing, fee to lease a POS system.
But the question remains: to buy or to lease? While there’s no right or wrong answer, to arm you with the information you need to make the best decision we’ve laid out the benefits and risks of both options.
If you’re an established restaurateur, looking to upgrade to a mobile POS, and have a budget flexible enough to make a full payment – why not buy? Purchasing your POS hardware outright gives you full ownership of the device, and since it’s non-proprietary hardware, your iPad can be more than just a POS. Unlike - dare we say it again - legacy technology, if your career ends up changing direction, you can take your tablet along for the ride and put it to other uses.
Making this one-time purchase is like ripping off a bandaid – quick and painless. By getting the purchase over and done with from the get go, you’re avoiding having X amount leave your bank account, every month, until the end of time. Buying might also be in your best interest if you’re already leasing other restaurant equipment, in which case, your POS can be one less monthly demand in your already demanding life.
One thing to keep in mind is warranty on the device; once your one year warranty is up, any repairs and replacements that arise will be on your dime, as well as any upgrades. Sadly you can’t just trade in your iPad or tablet after a year just because it’s no longer the latest, greatest model.
✓ Full ownership
✓ One-time buy
✓ Non-proprietary hardware
✓ Same pricing across the board
✗ Warranty expiration
✗ No “upgrades”
If you’re an up-and-comer on the restaurant scene, wary of making a full, upfront payment for your POS hardware, consider leasing options. The ability to pay in smaller incremental amounts is a huge draw for anyone on a monthly budget or looking to save some money from the start.
You don’t need to dump all of your money into POS hardware right here and now. Likely no day will pass where you’re cursing the monthly payments because it’s a “waste of money”.Your POS is a critical business tool that will benefit you everyday for the years to come, making forking over the money a no-brainer.
Another win for POS hardware leasing is the flexibility to upgrade. If you signed your lease with an iPad Air, when it comes time to renew your licensing agreement, you could sign on with an iPad Air 2. Granted the fees could be higher, but nowhere near the retail price of a new tablet.
On the flip side, as the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. The same goes for POS hardware repairs. Accidents happen, and depending on your provider, there could be costs associated with repairs. If it is free, you’ll want to know what the repair or replacement turnaround time is. Be sure to inquire about rate financing as well to find out if you’re locked into a monthly rate that will stand the test of time, or if there are interest rates you need to take into consideration. These questions should be kept top of mind during the leasing evaluation stage.
✓ Smaller, spread out fees
✓ Upgrade at the end of your lease
✗ Never-ending monthly payments
✗ Different companies, different rates
✗ Hidden fees
Whether you want to buy your POS hardware, or lease your heart out - ultimately, the choice is yours. At the end of the day, go with the option that best suits your business - and wallet!
You can buy or lease the best POS on the market today.
About the Author
Jackie is a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro. She covers the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.More Content by Jackie Prange