This is just a quick observation. Most of the small eateries we went to in Hong Kong did not have an electronic POS cash register. They used a simple locked drawer, if that, with a cashier who hand tallied the receipt and then collected payment and distributed change.
Often they’d have wads of cash for making change very close to the door where seemingly anyone could make a grab and go. I’m surprised to infer that must not happen often.
You need to have decently intelligent people you can trust to do fairly menial work accurately and honestly each time. I also wonder how they reconcile their receipts for tax reporting purposes?
In the US, even small businesses and startup food locations have electronic cash registers. I can’t remember the last time I saw someone operating a business this way. It is another good example of the contrasts I saw between the overhead costs of doing business in the US versus here in Southeast Asia. While there’s certainly a wide variety of clientele and no one is running a fancy steakhouse without electronic POS, it is nonetheless fascinating how little customers expect from small scale operations in terms of aesthetic design, seating comfort and cashiering services.