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The point of sale industry has always had some mystery surrounding the true cost of ownership. In reality, can you really own point of sale technology?

When calculating the true costs of ownership, you should be sure to include hardware, upgrades, support, and cost of replacements. The traditional model - restaurant owner purchasing hardware, and getting a few years of use out of it - has passed. Traditionally, post-recession affordable financing, leasing options, capital and emergency funds were limited. Different options have since emerged and subscription alternatives with low upfront costs are now available.

Cellular carriers have also jumped on the subscription bandwagon. For example, in late 2019 I began searching for new cell cellular carriers - my family plan was over $200 per month. The monthly billing was high, the phones were old, and there were lots of new unlimited options. It looked like I didn't have the buy a phone outright, either. Kimonia, a cellular services representative from a major carrier in my area, explained how equipment subscriptions impacted the cellular industry. “Its our most popular option, customers can choose the plan and phone they want.” Ultimately I decided to keep my account with the current carrier, as they upgraded my phones to subscription-based pricing with trade in coupons. I also lowered my bill significantly by going unlimited.

The question restaurant owners should be asking themselves: when should I choose a multi-year POS subscription instead of an outright purchase?

When shopping point of sale, it’s important to meet with a local dealer in person. Local POS experts, like Cervion, go through specialized industry-specific certifications and training for the software that they offer and support. Most provide a very high level of local service, in-house support, and modern hardware and software options. Having a local, trusted expert on your side provides powerful alignment with a partner whose business model is designed around developing tools to help boost your success and keep you happy.

Many of the well-known restaurant POS brands sell bundled credit card processing services. Their strategy is to gain market share by selling bundled discounted contracts - similar to the way a cellular provider sells a device subscription for only one carrier. While it's becoming commonplace to bundle services, most of these contracts are really designed to keep the restaurant owner on one specific processor, using proprietary POS equipment. Costs can often be too good to be true (or artificially low) and sound like a great deal, but could be a risky transaction. Why? Consider the amount of leverage the vendor has over the restaurant through the contract term, processing lock in and use of proprietary hardware. Processing fees may change over time, and rate changes are of concern - even with a rate match at the time of sale. Remember that a small rate change spread over a restaurant’s annual revenue can turn into thousands of dollars in fees. Most of these vendors include liquidated damage penalties, and very expensive cancelation fees (calculated as future profits) that can range from thousands to tens-of-thousands of dollars per location.

Aligning with The customer's needs was priority Number one when developing Our As-A-Service subscription.

Cervion is organically transitioning its restaurant customers to an affordable subscription, the As A Service plan, a rental model including hardware, service, equipment replacement and upgrades - without requiring a payment processing change, or upfront hardware purchase.

Industry experts agree that no matter the size of the restaurant, having a local service company is an advantage. In this area, Cervion has delivered. Instead of proprietary hardware, Cervion rents Apple iPads or allows customers to BYOD (bring your own device). The tablets are surprisingly reliable, and customers are very satisfied with the affordability of the subscription - when considering there is no equipment to buy. From the customer perspective, Cervion’s As A Service model gives restaurant owners a modern POS option with a high level of support, without holding them hostage with its Payment Pledge. The subscription program includes software upgrades, equipment replacement and is a true benefit provider - annually saving customers thousands of dollars.


Cervion is a point of sale provider with offices in New York, Pennsylvania, and South Florida. Founded in 1996, with over 20 years of experience, Cervion is one of the leading restaurant focused VAR (value based resellers). Cervion provides local sales and service for modern, tablet-based point of sale systems, and affordable As A Service plans for new and existing restaurants. For more information, please call (877) 476-7246 or email sales@cervion.com.

Alejandro Swaby

Written by Alejandro Swaby

Alejandro is the Director of Sales at Cervion.

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