Cloud v Traditional EPOS: Understanding the Differences

Opening a new restaurant or quick service business is no small feat, even for an experienced entrepreneur! Among all key considerations you are likely to be making, you will also be looking at how you can streamline your business operations using specialised software – this is where an electronic point of sale system (EPOS) comes in. Now that you have researched what is an EPOS system and why it will benefit your new hospitality business, you are likely to be faced with choosing ether a cloud or a traditional ‘on-premise’ system that is connected to the local network.

There are so many benefits to having an EPOS system, which is why it is really important to understand the different types of systems so you can invest into the right one for your business.

Read on to find out the differences between cloud-based EPOS and traditional, on-premise network systems. Learn which is best for your business, focusing on four key areas – softwarehardwaresupport and storage.

Differences between On-Premise Network and Cloud EPOS Systems

View a helpful illustration of Cloud v On-Premise Network EPOS systems.


Traditional EPOS systems need to be installed on the premises with a local database and are not dependant on a fast and stable internet connection.

Cloud-based EPOS systems have their database hosted online and require a fast, reliable internet connection at all times. If your internet disconnects, you will no longer be able access the cloud server. This means you will not be able to operate your POS system or process any transactions.


Both on-premise and cloud-based EPOS systems work from stationary terminals and mobile tablets. 3S POS hardware and EPOS terminals are linked together using the local network in the premises without needing an internet connection.


Both traditional EPOS systems and cloud-based EPOS systems may require support on location if there are hardware issues. However, most software support can be done over the telephone. Remote support is also possible depending on the issue.

Cloud EPOS companies don’t tend to provide any on-site support and reaching a remote support team can take hours if not days to resolve your issues. A lot of cloud EPOS companies are newcomers in the industry, therefore may lack the know-how that a traditional EPOS provider can offer after decades of understanding and serving your industry needs.

Make sure your EPOS provider is able to deliver remote as well as on-site support if needed, during your business hours. A company that provides installations on-site tends to be more reliable, as the team of highly experienced technical engineers will take time to really understand your set-up and business operations.


Traditional network-based EPOS systems require the database to be installed locally. Either on one of the EPOS terminals for a small business or a server in the back office for larger businesses. This is very helpful if the internet connection is lost, your files and data is still easily accessible.

Cloud-based solutions store all their data on remote cloud servers. These can only be accessed through the internet. No internet means no business. Some cloud-based systems offer an ‘offline mode’, in case the internet connection is disrupted. However, if you have multiple EPOS terminals in the same location, they will stop communicating with each other regardless of the offline mode.


Some companies offer hybrid solutions, so you can take advantage of both on-premise server and the cloud. You can have a traditional EPOS system installed with a local database that is secure and constantly syncing with the cloud server. This keeps your business uninterrupted if the internet connection is lost or disrupted.

To find our more about hybrid EPOS solutions, visit

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