Restaurant POS Hardware Secrets Revealed

The specialized computer hardware for point of sale systems is not as mysterious as you may think! The vast majority of point of sale hardware is standardized to work with current computers. Assembling a complete point of sale computer system is as easy as choosing what you want and plugging it in! Major POS software suppliers support current hardware, so you can easily switch software without the worry of hardware compatibility.


Where Should I Get My POS Hardware?

One of the benefits of choosing Point of Success is the ability to use your current POS hardware or to purchase a new system of your choice. We do not supply hardware, so you can use a local system vendor or Internet store for these components. Selecting a local Point of Success dealer is an even better idea! Point of Success dealers can handle all the hardware while ensuring compatibility with Point of Success.

Using a local computer and network vendor gives you these advantages:

  • Select the system of your choice, including retaining an existing compatible system
  • Local support for computers and network components
  • Huge cost savings!

Updated System Requirements for Version 3

Minimum display resolution for order entry workstations is 1024 X 768.

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3
    • Note: April 8, 2014 is the end of the Windows XP Extended Support period. After this date Windows XP will no longer meet PCI credit card data security standards. Although Point of Success will run on Windows XP it is not recommended for use in any installation.
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit)
  • Windows 8 (32 bit and 64 bit)

Fingerprint login is supported under both 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems. Fingerprint login is not support with Remote Desktop Services connections.

Order Entry on Tablets and Other Mobile Devices

This feature is used by restaurant table service staff and for line busting in quick service restaurants.

Mobile devices use a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client to access Point of Success on the server computer. Most every tablet device from any manufacturer has an available RDP client that is free or low cost. Search the App Store for your device for “RDP” and you’ll find lots of free and paid options. Using Point of Success through Remote Desktop from mobile devices is fast and stable, with the additional benefit of easier printer configuration than with a traditional POS terminal.

  • When devices sleep or are powered off the remote session can be configured to stay alive for the device’s next connection. Just turn on the tablet and you’re exactly where you were in Order Entry.
  • Set up a printer once for the Remote Desktop Server and it’s available for every remote user

Technical Requirements

  • Requires a Windows Server operating system with Remote Desktop Services (also called Terminal Services).
  • Windows Server Essentials, Server 2008 and Server 2012 are supported.
  • If choosing between Server 2008 and Server 2012, Server 2008 is recommended for easier Remote Desktop Services configuration and reduced hardware requirements
  • Server 2012 is also supported but an Application Server computer is required in addition to the Server 2012 server computer
  • Integrated credit card processing must be done on a standard Point of Success workstation computer. Credit card processing applications on consumer-class mobile devices cannot be PA-DSS Validated for credit card data security.
  • Can be used in smaller installations to remotely control a computer on the POS network. This use does not require a server operating system because the tablet is remotely controlling an existing computer. Requires a business version of your selected operating system.

Note: Point of Success connections through Remote Desktop Services use a computer license for each connection, just like with conventional POS computers.

It is recommended that a network technician who is proficient with Windows server operating systems and Remote Desktop handle the installation and configuration of this system.

Mobile Device Recommendations

You will get the best experience from a device with at least 1024 X 768 resolution. Try several RDP client apps to see which you like best.

iPad Mini offers a good combination of screen resolution, size, thinness, weight, performance, and battery longevity. Durable cases from many manufacturers are available to protect the device from the hazards of a restaurant.

Electronic Scales

Point of Success was developed with and tested with the following scales:

  • CAS PD-II (With the CAS serial cable part number 7880-PD0-4128 – Cable terminates in a 9 pin serial connector that will require a USB to serial convertor if the connected computer does not have a serial port)
  • Avery/Berkel Weightronix 6720

These are the recommended and supported electronic scales for Point of Success. Other scales that accept a “W” command (with a carriage return) for weighing then return the weight of the item will likely work with Point of Success but are not supported.


Operating System Selection

Point of Success is supported on the following Microsoft Windows operating systems:

  • Windows XP SP 3 or above
    • Note: April 8, 2014 is the end of the Windows XP Extended Support period. After this date Windows XP will no longer meet PCI credit card data security standards
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8 is supported only with Point of Success version 3

32 Bit or 64 Bit?

32 bit and 64 bit operating systems are fully supported and recommended for the current version of Point of Success.

If you choose a 64 bit operating system you need to be aware of these limitations:

  • Fingerprint login for 64 bit systems is supported in Point of Success Version 3 and above.
  • All drivers for your POS peripherals, including printers, touch screens and pole displays, must be available for the 64 bit operating system you choose. Confirm driver availability with the hardware manufacturer.

System Requirements and Hardware Recommendations

Point of Success uses common, inexpensive computer hardware and networking components. Any compatible system may be used if it meets these requirements:

Receipt Printers

Although Point of Success supports any type of POS receipt printer that uses a Windows printer driver, we recommend selection of one of the following printers to simplify set up of your system:

  • Epson TM-T88III
  • Epson TM-T88IV
  • Epson TM-T88V
  • Epson TM-U220
  • Epson TM-U230
  • Epson TM-T20
  • Star TSP100
  • Star SP500
  • Star TSP600
  • Star TSP650
  • Star SP700
  • SNBC BTP-2002NP
  • Samsung Bixolon SRP-275
  • Samsung Bixolon SRP-500
  • Any Windows-compatible plain paper full page printer. Your report printer can serve as a backup in the event a receipt printer stops working.

Customer receipt printers must be the same make and model on all workstations because only one customer receipt printing template is available for use on all customer receipt printers. Other POS printers in the system, like prep or delivery dispatch printers, can be a different make and/or model.

Cash Drawers

Point of Success works with any make or model of printer-connected cash drawer. Purchase a cash drawer designed to work with your POS printer. Depending upon the printer selected, one or two cash drawers may be used for each printer. See the Point of Success Knowledge Base and search for two cash drawers for more information.

Cash drawers connected directly to a computer with serial, parallel or USB ports are not supported.

Box Label Printers

  • Cognitive Advantage DLX (new model, replaces Blaster)
  • Star TSP-800 (Direct thermal, this printer may be promoted as a receipt printer. It  works very well with the 1″ high by 4″ wide labels, Star part number 37995120, designed for the printer.)
  • Zebra LP-2844 (Direct thermal, 1″ high by 4″ wide label stock)
  • Zebra TLP-2844 (Thermal transfer, 1″ high by 4″ wide label stock)

Fingerprint Sensors

Fingerprint sensors supported with Point of Success include these models:

  • Digital Persona U.are.U 4500 (Requires Digital Persona Platinum Integrator software available from Point of Success and authorized dealers at no additional charge)
  • Fingerprint login is not supported with Remote Desktop connections.

Pole Displays/Customer Displays

Point of Success supports pole displays/customer displays:

  • Epson and compatible two line displays
  • Partner Tech CD7220
  • Display must offer a serial port connection

Magnetic Stripe Readers

Point of Success supports magnetic stripe readers for credit card processing and login with an employee card. The magnetic stripe reader (MSR) must be of the keyboard emulation type. HID (Human Interface Device) or OPOS type magnetic stripe readers will not work with Point of Success.

CentralPoint Central Office Reporting Email Requirements

CentralPoint Headquarters requires a standard POP3 email account to receive data transferred from Remote modules. Webmail is not supported for receiving financial or customer data transferred from Remote modules.

CentralPoint Remote requires access to a standard SMTP outbound email server for sending data to the Headquarters module and for emailing scheduled reports. Webmail is not supported for sending data or reports from the Remote module.

Receiving Emailed Reports – The CentralPoint Remote module can produce Point of Success reports and email them to any email address. These reports can be received and viewed with any email account, including webmail accounts. The receiving device must be able to view .pdf files to access the information.

Online Ordering

Point of Success Online Ordering is designed for use with BigHoller online ordering service. More information is available at http://www.bigholler.com. Restaurants must establish and maintain an account with BigHoller to receive online orders.

To receive orders transmitted by BigHoller a restaurant must have an always-on Internet connection and access to a standard, dedicated POP3 email account to receive order transmissions.


A Discussion About Ports

A port is used to connect computers to peripheral (accessory) devices. It is very important to determine the POS peripherals that will be connected to each computer so you can plan your use of its ports. Here are the ports that you need to be aware of for your point of sale system:

parallel port (also called a printer port) is used for connecting a printer to a computer. Parallel ports will normally have a picture of a printer next to it on the back of the computer. Parallel ports have a design limitation that requires a cable of no more than 9 to 12 feet. Use a parallel port to connect a printer that will sit beside the computer. Parallel printers are not normally appropriate for use as a remote printer in the kitchen.

serial port (also called an RS-232 port) is used for several types of devices. Touch screens commonly have a serial connector to communicate screen touches to the computer. POS printers are available with serial connectors. Customer displays (also called pole displays) normally use serial ports. The Point of Success Caller ID box requires a serial port. Computers commonly come with only one serial port, so plan your use of serial devices carefully. A serial cable can be up to 150 feet in length when it is constructed with high-quality cable, making a serial printer appropriate for use as a remote kitchen printer.

USB port (Universal Serial Bus) can be used for printers, touch screens, and any other type of peripheral that incorporates a USB connection. The maximum USB cable length is 5 meters (16.5 feet). Cable length can be extended through the use of a powered USB hub.

An Ethernet port is used to connect a computer or peripheral device to a network. POS printers are also available with Ethernet ports, making these printer models a good choice for a remote printer.


Reliability and Recovery

You can make your point of sale system more reliable and make recovery much faster with two inexpensive, simple steps:

Install an Uninterruptible Power Supply (also called a UPS or battery backup) for each computer, then connect computers, printers, displays and network equipment to the battery-protected outlets. A UPS protects against damage caused by power fluctuations and power failures.

Copy backup data onto removable media or use an online backup service every day. When you have a data backup you can quickly restore good data to fix database damage or replace a failed database server computer by moving the database to another computer on your network.

Additionally, using a RAID hard disc system that provides storage redundancy on the database server computer can prevent a full hard drive failure, giving you time to fix a drive problem.


Workstation Computer (order entry and cashier)

  • Touch panel or touch monitor: Elo Touchsystems LCD touch panel is recommended, with other brands of touch panels and monitors supported. Touch display must support Windows mouse control. Minimum resolution of 800 x 600 is required (1024 X 768 in Point of Success Version 3). Higher resolution touch displays will allow more work area and permit easier navigation. Standard computer monitors are supported with the use of a mouse to navigate the program.
  • All current processors are supported. Higher performance processors offer a better user experience.
  • Recommended minimum 512 MB RAM for Windows XP, 1 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • 100 MBPS local area network (LAN) connection when using Point of Success in a network environment. A network switch or hub is required; cross-over cable connections are not supported. Wireless networks are not recommended. Single-user systems are also supported.
  • Data entry can be accomplished in its entirety using a touch display, but a mouse and keyboard may make customer information entry easier.
  • Receipt printers: Use of printers from the list above will assure the most trouble-free installation and setup. Other brands and models of receipt printers are supported if a standard Windows printer driver is available for the printer. Less popular receipt printers may require additional print formatting. Point of Success supports multiple printers on each workstation, including remote printers for printing of prep tickets. If a printer will be located more than ten feet from a workstation, an Ethernet or serial printer is recommended. Printers may be shared across a network, offering the ability to connect a printer to any available workstation with printer placement in any convenient location. Special Note: Receipt printer models on individual order entry workstations must match.
  • Cash drawer designed for your model receipt printer if a computer-controlled cash drawer is desired.
  • Uninterruptible power supply with AVR (automatic voltage regulation) for every workstation. A UPS will virtually eliminate power-related problems with both software and network.

Manager’’s Computer

  • Standard computer display with at least 1024 x 768 resolution. Manager’s workstation software can be used on an order entry workstation if the workstation has a display supporting 1024 x 768 resolution and an attached keyboard and mouse.
  • All current processors are supported. Higher performance processors offer a better user experience.
  • Recommended minimum 1 GB RAM for Windows XP, 2 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7.
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 or above must be installed.
  • USB Flash drive, CD-R drive or other high-capacity removable storage device for data backup.
  • 100 MBPS local area network (LAN) connection when using Point of Success in a network environment. A network switch or hub is required; cross-over cable connections are not supported. Wireless networks are not recommended. Single-user systems are also supported.
  • Laser or ink jet page printer.
  • Uninterruptible power supply with AVR (automatic voltage regulation). A UPS will virtually eliminate power-related problems with both software and network.

Database Server Computer

Point of Success uses a client/server database for managing and protecting data. Operating system, processor and memory specifications are similar to the Office Manager computer. The computer running the database software must be on at all times when Point of Success is used. The database server computer can be up day and night or started before using Point of Success. It is best to run the database software on a separate server computer, but the database software can also be loaded on the manager’s workstation or other computer on the network. Database software is not required for single-computer operation. Remember to include a UPS for power protection.