EPOS systems have come a long way in a relatively short time. Nowadays I marvel at the ease-of-use (for the staff member) modern EPOS systems provide. They allow for much faster checkout times and intelligent upsell options, as well as giving the business owner all the data required that can be sliced and diced by accounting software.
It wasn't always so easy though. The earlier systems required a lot of staff training. I worked at a well known fast-food chain in the late 80s and the EPOS systems they had then were extremely user-unfriendly. The systems used bespoke hardware, built for the restaurant. They gave the staff member very little feedback until you submitted the order. Quite often the orders were wrong, but you wouldn't know they were wrong until the printout happened and by that time, the staff member had to fully cancel the order and start again. Compare that to modern systems that are full-screen and provide instant feedback to the user.
Not only are they easier to use (which reduces checkout time), but they can instantly upload their data to cloud storage. This gives headquarters up-to-the-minute information on sales from all of their branches. They can really get a birds-eye view of how things are unfolding. The big decision makers can react much faster to this kind of instant data as compared to weekly or even monthly reports.
Furthermore, this "live" data can inform stock control systems instantly of stock depletion. Knowing up-to-the-minute stock levels allows for more intelligent stock control.
Overall, the modern EPOS system has been a real benefit to businesses.
Article kindly contributed by Till Point