Building your own POS System

Hey, I’m kind of NEW to these boards… but to make a long story short…

I’m about to open up a Pizza Restaurant and I’ve gotten quotes from several of the POS comapnies like Fire Fly, Revention, PDQ, etc… and all are coming in around $15,000.00 to $20,000.00 for a 3 Station POS System which includes printers, Touch Screens, Keyboards, Online Ordering, etc… But when you factor in leasing the system over a 3-5 year period, that $15,000.00 turns into about $25,000.00

But just yesterday, I ran into a guy that there’s no need to spend that kind of money on a POS System… he said he sales surplus type items like Keyboards, Touch Screens, Finger Print Readers, Printers, etc… and that all I would I would need to do is get a local Computer Software Designer to design a Software that woul fit all my needs (like Online, Delivery Dispatch, Customer Names, Orders, ect) for like $1,000.00 or so and then I could buy the 3-4 Monitors/Touch Screens, 3-4 Keyboards, 3-4 Mouse, 3-4 Printers, 3-4 Finger Print Readers from him and he could sell me all that for like $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 so basically I would get out for under $5,000.00 for everything (Hardware and Software) by going this route. He also told me he sells some of this Hardware type stuff to some local Domino’s store’s.

My question is: Is it even possible to do this kind of thing, and has anybody else done something similar? Or is it better to just just go ahead and go with a POS Company?

Anybody have any Advise or know a few tricks?


Do yourself a huge favor and check out “Point of Success”. Jeff and his entire staff have been fantastic to deal with, very fair in their free exchange of ideas and troubleshooting etc.

We purchased their Premium POS software, table-management, Inventory, and some other small programs and run our entire full service restaurant and Pub off it with ZERO hitches in our first year plus now.

We picked up workstations on Ebay for around $100 each, bought touch-screens between $100-$160 each, and like savings on printers etc… I know I’ve got less than $2000 in my entire system. Now, I did have the advantage of a son who is Army trained in all that computer geek stuff so we got all the hardware installed and talking nicely together with no sweat, and no fee. Between number one son and myself we installed our entire menu in around 8 hours over a few days, and it’s super simple to keep updated.

Point of Success…look into it! They even offer a free download so you can play with it before you purchase!

Just to add to what deaconvolker said. Point of Success now has a completely FREE version out. Obviously it is a stripped down version but the data transfers over to their other versions seamlessly.


Good luck finding someone to write you a POS “software” for $1000. In fact, good luck finding someone to write you a POS “software” for $10,000.

There are quite a few open source CRM programs out there, and they can be customized for significantly less than $1000, but the upkeep and upgrades are not there. Going with a low cost system has a ton of benefits though. Making your own system has a ton of reasons not to go there.

For my first POS, I picked up used hardware and ran POSPizza ( They were pretty good, and I learned what I needed from my POS. My 2 stations were junk PC’s that I got for free, both had no RAM or hard drives. I picked those up for $5 from a junk bin at the local used PC shop. I got a printer for $2 that wouldn’t print, but upon looking closer, there was a pen stuck in the paper feed. That lasted a year and a half. Touch panel monitors were a later addition at $70. My makeline monitor was an ancient 100 mhz lap top.

I paid for the entire system with my first database mailer. I wouldn’t do that again, but the experience was great. For my 4th build out, I bought POS stations that had been leased out, and a new server. Stuff like this: … CatId=5139

works perfectly fine, and doesn’t kill the wallet when it inevitably breaks down.

Point of Success fan here…built a 5 station system with some touch screens & some printers & use the Big Holler on-line ordering system…spent less than $2k

Wow dual 9 pin VGA ports…

Please be careful with these purchases, those are crucial ports to have on a POS but they aren’t VGA! :slight_smile:

Haha. TL;DR.

Yep. It looks like someone mislabeled that one. You can see the correctly labelled pic just above that one:

Like was mentioned earlier in this post - check out POS Pizza.
They do offer a free version for you to try out and even use as your pos, but it has limited features - which could work depending on your business. They recently upgraded to V6 which is a complete rewrite of the software for win xp + I believe their license runs about $5-600.


All education is expensive.

Good luck.

I have been a software consultant and computer programmer for almost ten years. The idea that someone will build you a custom POS system for $1000 is not realistic. Custom software development from someone who is reputable and capable of actually building a production grade piece of software will cost you anywhere from 30-100 per hour of development time. You could not even communicate what you want to build to a developer for a $1000.

Despite my skills and know how, if I were comparing the time I would need to invest with the purchase price of a production system for a single store, I would choose to buy off the shelf myself. If I could reuse that piece of software (in additional stores) or resell it…of course that is a different story. There is no way someone could build you a custom piece of software for the same price as you could purchase it for.

Let me point out a couple of things about buying software that I implore you to consider:

1.) Typically software is a small portion of the cost of your POS system. Although most vendors want to sell you the hardware and the software, you can save some substainal money by paying a fair market price for the software and buying hardware second hand. Typically if quoted 15-20K for a POS system, less than half of that is for the actual software license. Again, you may get some resistance from the sales person who will try to convince you to buy all brand new hardware, installation and training from them, someone will eventually sell you just the software license at a portion of that overall price. The more comfortable you are around computer hardware the more viable this option probably is for you.

2.) The real cost in technology is not upfront. Although it seems like it when you are looking at a 15K quote, the real value is in how well the company supports the software, how quickly they adapt to changes to your business, how easy is it to use, how much does it cost me to get upgrades, how much will it cost me to get things up and running, etc. The real cost (or value) is how much it saves you, makes you and costs you to maintain over the lifetime of the business. Regardless of price, someone who creates for you a custom piece of software will never provide you with ongoing support or be able to adapt the system for you without you shelling out a lot more money. Trust me, I know if I get a client a to agree to a 10K custom piece of software there will be at least 30K over the next five years in follow on work to adjust their system as their business model changes. So while the upfront costs look expensive view it as a relationship…you always put more into the courting process than you do as the relationship grows.

Finally, get on craigslist, or even check here and you find people everyday looking to sell their POS system for 10, 20 or 30% of their original purchase price. I have recently seen a Revention POS system less than 5 miles from my home for sale, some hardware included for $2500, less than five years old. I believe it will be around another $500 to transfer the license. I am not advocating Revention (read plenty here on them and draw your own conclusions), simply trying to point out that the system was $3K versus $15K+.

While I did not intend to make this a sales pitch by any means…I have more than enough of my own stuff to do…lol, you are welcome to contact me if you would like some assistance evaluating or finding used systems and I would be happy to help. As long as we don’t burn more than a couple of hours I will do it pro bono, if we exceed a couple hours I will put you on the clock.

Good luck!

Do yourself a enormous benefit and have a look at out “Point of Success”. Mark and his whole personnel have been amazing to cope with, very reasonable in their no cost change of thoughts and trouble shooting etc.

We ordered their Top quality POS application, table-management, Stock, and some other little applications and run our whole complete assistance eating place and Pub off it with ZERO hitches in our first season plus now.

We selected work stations on Auction web sites for around $100 each, purchased touch-screens between $100-$160 each, and like personal savings on models etc… I know I’ve got less than $2000 in my whole program. Now, I did have the benefits of a son who is Military qualified in all that pc dork products so we got all the components set up and discussing perfectly together with no sweating, and no fee. Between variety one son and myself we set up our whole list in around 8 time over a few times, and it’s extremely easy to keep modified.

Point of Achievements…look into it! They even provide a obtain no cost so you can perform with it before you purchase!

Tony, I have to say this, I’m sorry.

The longer they go, your posts begin to read like they’re being translated from Chinese by a computer program. Syntax is a non-factor, sentence structure is rambling at best, and the rhetoric seems at best like it’s AutoCorrect on steroids.

Sorry, but I’m laughing over it! It’s amazingly good information, but it takes me several minutes to figure out WTF you’re saying by the end! :smiley: :mrgreen: :shock:

It’s might odd…but it appears to be some sort of poorly structured clone of my original response to this thread…read mine again…read “tony’s”…weird.

Hmmmm…that’s very interesting. What foreign powers have hacked the Think Tank?

It is just His computer does as you say, posts poorly reworded garbage from a prior post. The only intent is to get more links to the websites he is promoting. More links = increasing standing in internet search engines. SEO at its worse.

I am another user of “Point Of Success” that has nothing but praise for them. The engineering on the software, and their online support forum makes them a great company to use.
I learned of them through the think tank forum a few years back, We don’t currently offer pizza, but the features and ability to build my own system is what I really liked about them and adding pizza to our business has always been the plan, and due to their product flexibility, it fit our needs perfectly.
A few fine dining establishments in our area are so impressed with our system, that they are switching over too.

I was planning to get a barebones kit from one of the many online sellers, and assemble something just shy of a gamer system in performance for our POS.
But while wandering through our local walmart, I found an HP mid-tower at blow-out pricing with a great build sheet and tons of disk space, with 6 USB ports for less than $300.00, A year earlier, I got an HP touchscreen 21" monitor for less than $200.00 because I knew I was going to build a POS system in my future.
From that point, I got 2 Star 700-series impact printers (1 Ethernet, & 1 USB interface) and a Star TSP100 (Ethernet) 2-color thermal printer.
I added 2 APG cash drawers and I have a great system on a low-budget.
I will be adding another terminal for our outdoor bar and food ordering once we get to that point.

2-color thermal printers are friggin cool right up to the point you go to order your 2-color thermal paper. then it gets ugly. So mine only prints black.

Kitchen printer is 2-ply carbonless impact printer,
Receipt printer is thermal printer with our logo printed on each receipt
Our CC-receipt printer is 2-ply Carbonless Impact

I bought new from a dealer, but many NIB and used Star printers can be found on auction sites for a huge savings.

Hi everyone,

I am one of those who really produce Point of Sale systems similar to mentioned here products.

We spent years on getting familiar with multiple details of POS and what I’d advice is to think about own POS creation just if you have at least regional chain of stores / restaurants. Or you want to resell POS product for local customers but that’s another story.

The idea of creation of small POS for small business and for small budget isn’t realistic. The mentioned local developer who you may hire will never do at least similar product than you can buy from let’s say Point of Success or Vend or Revel, etc. Simply because they already spent much more money and time to make it really suitable for daily store activity.

So in your case I advise to choose good POS product and buy it or subscribe. No better way.

And I advice to develop own Point of Sale system in following cases:

  1. You have big chain of stores or restaurants. You have specific business activity which can’t be supported existing products.

  2. You want to invest in POS product creation and to resell it for end clients like stores and restaurants.

But that is different story and different budget.

have you thought about one of those iPad POS systems?
A lot cheaper than the traditional POS.
A lot of shops prefer those local server POS cause their afraid of the cloud and whatnot, but what happens if the hardware craps out in their local server holding the shop’s database?
I very highly doubt they have a Disaster Recovery plan in place that could allow them to get back in business in minutes.

I am new to the whole business but I do know that we are using Thrive here in the shop I work at and it has a server but backs up to a cloud daily for safekeeping…just thought I would throw that out there. We dont worry about the server crashing and losing data.