Restaurant Hardware Needs for 2023

Restaurant Hardware Hero

Restaurant hardware is the physical element of any type of restaurant technology, from something as sophisticated as a POS screen or terminal to something as simple as restaurant swinging door hardware that lets staff walk through in either direction hands-free. What hardware does a restaurant use? Read on to find out.

A successful restaurant is a well-oiled machine. The byproduct? Customers’ favorite meals, appetizers, desserts, and drinks, at their table or in their hand in a timely manner. 

It doesn’t get there by itself, though. A slew of restaurant hardware helps bring visitors’ favorite meals into reality, from innovative restaurant point-of-sale hardware to traditional restaurant supplies that stand the test of time or have been improved over the years. In any event, these pieces work in conjunction to provide restaurant goers a delectable, enjoyable, and convenient experience. 

Restaurant technology hardware

Customers visit restaurants to take a load off and experience a convenient dining experience. A key element of that convenience is meeting restaurant-goers where they are, a benefit that an array of restaurant POS hardware solutions allow wait staff to offer their guests.

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Restaurant POS hardware

The best POS restaurant hardware enables purchases to happen in any corner of the dining area.

Here are just a few of the payment options available to add to your restaurant’s hardware supply chest:

Types of restaurant POS hardware

POS terminal 

With terminals, the objective is to create efficiency. A cloud-based POS terminal is the heart of your operations: linking your front and back of house, your handhelds, your back office, your kitchen display system, your payroll system — it can all come together at the terminal.

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POS cash drawer

The shiny-and-new gleam of many of these restaurant hardware POS pieces doesn’t negate the usefulness of a good, old-fashioned cash drawer. This tried-and-true solution can still organize and store the day’s earnings — and many modern POS systems can come with a cash drawer linked to the system.

Contactless payment terminals

The pandemic expedited what has been a long-simmering push toward contactless restaurant POS hardware. Contactless terminals help restaurant-goers maintain distance between themselves and the staff, enabling customers to pay with swipe, dip, or tap of their cards at the table. 

Guest-facing POS screen

Toast’s 2019 Restaurant Success Report found that 53% of restaurant-goers mentioned an interest in self-ordering technology. Guest-facing screens allow you to empower customers to see their own orders as they’re being placed, improving order accuracy and giving guests the transparency they want. 

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Kitchen Display System

Kitchens are busy. A kitchen display system allows you to keep orders organized and the digital capabilities allow your staff to be both efficient and sustainable by cutting down on printer paper use. A strong KDS keeps your back of house running smoothly while delivering unforgettable meals to regulars and soon-to-be regulars.

Self-ordering kiosks

Traditional kiosks get everyone in line — literally. Kiosks provide customers with the necessary time to figure their orders out, which can help increase check sizes with upsell prompts and add-ons, and free up staff to handle other duties — like delivering amazing hospitality.

Handheld POS

Big parties can lead to lots of foot traffic and back-and-forth action from table to terminal. Handheld restaurant POS hardware cuts down on the trips servers have to make and leads to efficient and effective orders. Rather than taking an order for a round of drinks, walking back to the terminal to put in the order to the bar, waiting for the drinks to be ready, and then walking them back to the table, handheld POS devices send the order in real-time to the bar or kitchen so orders can be prepared faster.

These easy-to-use, mobile platforms can travel with staff to all points of the bar and every table in the house so customers can order and your whole team can work efficiently. 

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The Next Generation of Handheld POS


Receipts, whether paper or digital, keep orders in check. It’s important to have a reliable printer for your restaurant so you can keep the orders coming! 

What to look for in restaurant POS hardware

  • No matter what kind of restaurant hardware you’re working with, they all have to share some common traits: they need to be durable to withstand the wear and tear of occasional drops, spills, and heat.
  • They need to be versatile enough to process different types of payment options and support both online and offline orders. 
  • They need to be user-friendly, whether your staff is placing orders or customers are using self-service kiosks to order.

Having the best hardware for your restaurant can make a huge difference

Diners are short on time and it’s no secret that restaurant staff are juggling many plates — literally. Finding the right POS hardware for your restaurant allows for maximum productivity for your staff and enjoyment for your guests. Provide your team the tools they need to create a profitable, pleasant, and hospitable dining experience!

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Find the right POS for your restaurant's unique needs

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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.