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Costs, Benefits and Features of Hotel POS Systems

Read This Buying Guide Before You Purchase a Hotel POS System

The basic function of a hotel point of sale (POS) system is well known: accept payment from your guests. Today's systems, though, provide features far beyond merely accepting payment.

The ideal hotel POS system tracks every charge your guests make, from gift shop to restaurant to room service to spa and golf packages. You can also include reward systems and analytics that provide detailed data on your customer's likes and dislikes, enabling highly focused marketing campaigns and wow! service.

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How Hotels Can Best Utilize POS System Features

POS systems offer an enormous variety of features and capabilities. Which ones you choose depends on the size of your organization and your unique needs.

You can integrate your POS system with your online reservation system, allowing your clientele to reserve rooms from any type of computing device, from desktop to tablet to smartphone. If the guest is a return customer, your POS system provides details from previous visits, enabling you to really wow the customer. Did they request extra towels or pillows? Place those items in the room before check-in, along with a message that you've done so.

Does your facility offer spa services or other specialty packages? Add any extra services easily to the guest's folio for quick checkout. This includes restaurant and bar tabs, as well as room service and gift shop purchases.

POS systems offer a variety of reporting features, as well as inventory management tools. For example, you can set parameters that automate purchase order generation when supplies hit certain thresholds. You can also use your POS system to log employee hours, including pay codes.

What to Look for in Your Hotel POS System

Even though features vary widely, there are some components you find in just about any system. Common components include:

  • POS computer
  • POS software
  • Customer display screen
  • Touch screen monitor
  • Barcode scanner
  • Cash drawer
  • Keyboard
  • Printer

In addition to these basic components, you want a user-friendly system. This means an intuitive interface with a short training window so that new employees quickly get up to speed. To ensure you find a system that's easy to use, make sure the vendor lets you demo the product before you buy it.

How Much Does a Hotel POS System Cost?

Many variables in POS systems lead to wide price differences. What you spend depends largely on how many users you have and the level of personalization you choose for your system.

For a complete system, including the POS computer, touch screen, software, and printer, you'll pay around $2,000 for each terminal. This is due in part to the hardware, but the price of software licenses for each user greatly influences your overall cost. The price drops by about 40 percent if you choose a refurbished system.

If you have the hardware already and only need to purchase software, the cost ranges between $500 and $2,500 per user, depending on features and personalization. Finally, you may opt to go with a cloud-based platform. In this case, you do not have the software licensing fees. Instead, the provider charges a monthly fee for each user. This cost starts at around $10 per month, per user.

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