POS (Point of Sale) systems are a network of hardware and software used to assist workers and owners in the restaurant industry. Apart from the usual gadgets such as cash registers, sales terminals, touchscreen terminals, etc., modern POS systems provide stats, analytics, storage reports, and other useful tools.
In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of the best restaurant POS system options. We will compare and contrast the different systems to help you choose the best one.
More than 12,000 happy clients can’t be wrong, right? Well, they are the reason why you should consider TouchBistro. It is an amazing POS system for new restaurants as well as the veterans of the business. With its wide variety of features and a 24/7 customer support team, TouchBistro is there to cater to everyone’s needs, from bartenders to owners.Read full review
Ease of Use
Good for all sizes of businesses
If you’re looking for the best rated POS system for restaurants, Square might be exactly what you need. It offers something for everyone; whether you are a big chain restaurant or a small self-starter with a local food bistro, Square provides great solutions and support.Read full review
Ease of Use
Whether you’re a beginner just learning the ropes, or an experienced hospitality veteran looking to expand, you can’t go wrong with Toast. This amazing POS system for restaurants will impress you with its ease of use and wide range of features. You can start with as little as a single tablet, and expand your business from there with Toast’s POS.Read full review
Ease of Use
Generating reports and analytics
If you are looking for a simple, straightforward POS you can control from the comfort of your living room, then look no further. With its clean and crisp interface, ShopKeep provides just what your restaurant needs, without making you feel dizzy with all the technical details. Ideal for venues of all sizes and types.Read full review
Ease of Use
Can provide for both hospitality and retail businesses
Special COVID-19 Offer
If you are looking to add a bit of your own touch to your POS, then Lightspeed might be the answer to your prayers. With its third-party app integration option, it allows you to adjust it to your needs and places it on the best restaurant POS system list. Don’t miss the special COVID-19 relief offer and get the first 3 months of Lightspeed for free.Read full review
Ease of Use
Guest seating assistance
Does your restaurant have a great following online, but you just can’t seem to get them to dine in? If this is the case, then Clover is just what you are looking for. By using various different tools, Clover will help you combine your online and on-site operations and maintain an even better connection with your guests.Read full review
Ease of Use
Works for both retail and hospitality
Even though it is not exclusively a restaurant-specific POS solution, Epos Now offers many tools of vital value to all restaurant owners. Not only that, but these tools come with a simple and intuitive interface. With more than 30,000 users worldwide, Epos Now has become a household name in the world of POS.Read full review
Ease of Use
Free Menu Builder Tool
Here is a POS that was created by people who speak your language. All of your needs, no matter whether your business is a cafe or a fine dining restaurant, Upserve will probably have the right solution for you. This is why Upserve definitely makes it onto our best restaurant POS system list.Read full review
Ease of Use
Generating bills and invoices
Analytics and reports
When you are new at something, you want help from someone who is experienced. Well, in the POS sphere that someone is Squirrel Systems POS. With more than 30 years of experience and a large following worldwide, this pioneering POS offers you all the tools you need, with the ability to operate on iOS, Windows, and Android with equal efficiency.Read full review
Ease of Use
Talech is the POS to start with if you are a young business owner who is looking to cut corners without losing quality. Starting at as little as $29, Talech comes packed with just the right set of features your business needs. If you are a “bigger player”, don’t worry. Talech’s Standard and Premium plans will cater to your needs.Read full review
Ease of Use
When we decided which POS systems to include here, we took several criteria into account. All these were implemented with the best user experience and the latest trends in mind. So, our search for the most popular POS system for restaurants took the following into account:
How user-friendly the system is and how accessible from different devices
What the highlights for each system are, regarding several categories:
What special features does it have that set it apart from the competition? You might find that a lot of the listed POS systems got very creative with the features they offer, due to the competitiveness of the market. This is good news for all you restaurateurs out there, because you get a better choice for the same amount of money.
What the hardware background is like and how effective you can expect it to be.
Here, we will focus on how the given POS stores and backs up your data. This can be a very important issue for most people when choosing the right POS for themselves.
How much you can rely on the system provider’s help, should you need it. What kind of support is provided (phone, live chat, 24/7, etc.)
How much it costs, whether it is charged monthly/annually, and how the prices are calculated.
This is probably one of the top POS systems for restaurants in 2020. Users have lauded its ease of use, accessibility, and fast customer support. It comes as no surprise that more than 12,000 restaurants around the globe use TouchBistro as their POS of choice.
TouchBistro is one of the few POS systems that have been developed specifically for the hospitality industry, from the get-go. It has a clean and user-friendly interface with more than 200 features, that cover nearly all the needs of a modern restaurant. Anything, from restaurant layout to inventory is at your fingertips with TouchBistro.
TouchBistro prides itself on the number and versatility of the features it offers. Some of the main ones are:
TouchBistro offers backup and both on-device and cloud storage. That said, the TouchBistro app is designed to work only on Apple iOS devices, which is one of the very few things the users complained about.
The basic POS license package with TouchBistro starts at $69 per month, with a free one-month trial. Additional packages are available at different prices, such as:
TouchBistro offers 24h free customer support. They are fast and efficient in solving all sorts of problems. On top of that, they also offer training and seminars.
The major limitation of TouchBistro is that for the time being, it operates only on Apple devices and iOS.
We Chose TouchBistro because it is the best overall POS for restaurants at the moment. It has the largest user base and offers a wide variety of features.
This is a very user-friendly POS, ideal for smaller restaurants, bistros, cafes, and restaurants that are just starting their business. Easy to set up with very helpful customer service.
Square could actually be the best POS system for new restaurants. It is famous for offering mobile payment processing, but it also offers a whole set of features designed to satisfy the needs of restaurants of all types and sizes. It comes in a variety of packages and can be used on different platforms, so it is versatile and you can easily adjust your business to it.
Square offers a wide range of features ranging from the basic ones like menu management or inventory control up to some unique tools that can help managers control curbside pickup and delivery.
Square offers data storage on devices as well as their own server. Besides physical servers, they offer cloud servers as well, so you never need to worry about losing your data due to a hardware malfunction.
Square offers three different pricing plans:
The Square customer support team is helpful and effective. They provide assistance with hardware, software, transfer issues, etc.
Some Square POS system reviews say that some essential features for medium-to-big businesses are charged extra.
Square is ideal for small hospitality businesses like cafes, bistros, or food trucks because it provides sufficient support for a relatively low price.
Toast stands out first and foremost due to the fact that it supports Android devices, which makes it perfect for all of those looking for a way around using Apple hardware. On top of that, Toast offers a very easy-to-use interface that integrates all the necessary features.
Toast is an increasingly popular and easy restaurant POS system. It has a growing network of clients and provides service of very high quality to hospitality venues of all kinds, from bars to big restaurant chains.
Just one look at this section will make it clear that Toast compares well with TouchBistro when it comes to the unique features it offers. Some of the most prominent are:
These and many other great features make it clear why Toast is included more and more often in the best restaurant POS reviews.
Toast recommends using their own devices, which are an optional part of some price plans. They host data both on local servers and in the cloud.
The Toast POS comes with 3 different pricing plans, each designed for a specific purpose:
Each of the plans is also fully customizable and you can mix and match all the features to create a plan that works best for you.
Toast provides 24/7 support as well as a training and advancement program called Toast University.
The main limitation of Toast is it does not operate on iOS devices.
Why We Chose Toast: Its rapidly increasing number of satisfied customers and award-winning service were reasons enough.
ShopKeep can be used for operating a single venue as well as a POS system for multi-location restaurants. This is due to the fact that it is very mobile-friendly, and managers/owners can stay in the loop at all times by using their mobile app.
This is a POS that can operate on a single iPad or on a full restaurant system. It offers a user-friendly interface lauded by waiters and managers alike. ShopKeep gives you all the basic tools needed to operate a restaurant of any size, keeping the entire process straightforward.
A feature that really sets ShopKeep apart is the ability to build email marketing lists to market events directly to customers. Other than that it also prides itself on its:
ShopKeep is a cloud-based POS, which means that all of your data is stored in the cloud and backups are pretty regular.
This easy restaurant POS system offers a 24/7 client support system that will help you with everything from setting up to processing payments and operating the registers.
ShopKeep does not post the prices of their packages on their website. All prices are formed individually after you contact them personally. However, it does come with a free trial, and some older reviews mention a price of $69/month per register.
Even though there is 24/7 support with ShopKeep, the type of support you get could depend on the chosen pricing plan.
We chose ShopKeep mostly because it is praised for its ease of use. It is available as a mobile application, which is another convenient feature.
Lightspeed is probably the best iPad restaurant POS system because unlike most others it allows third-party integrations. That means that it allows you to use “outside” apps within the system.
This iPad-based POS offers a wide variety of features such as ingredient tracking, table maps with floor plans, etc. However, it is the third-party apps that make Lightspeed really stand out. There is a large library of apps that can be integrated with Lightspeed, to help you redesign this POS to fit the needs of your business.
Some of the most interesting features that Lightspeed has to offer are:
According to the information on their website, Lightspeed uses OnSite version 3.8 or newer for backup while using local servers for hosting. On top of that, backups and software updates are available for free with any pricing plan.
Lightspeed offers free live 24/7 customer support to all its users. It also comes packed with a lot of training videos that can be useful both to you and your staff.
Lightspeed POS for restaurants comes with a flat rate of $69/month. They charge another $34/month for each additional cash register. That said, Lightspeed comes with a free trial, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they also offer the first three months for free.
The biggest drawback of Lightspeed is that it works exclusively with iOS, which may turn the Android users the other way.
Lightspeed found its way on our list mostly due to its versatility. It can be used in all sorts of hospitality businesses, and it allows a lot of freedom due to the third-party apps.
Clover is a great point-of-sale solution for all those who want to combine their online and offline business processes. It offers integration with very useful tools such as Mailchimp and Shopify, to boost your customers’ online experience.
Clover is a simple POS system, easy to master for both owners and staff. What sets Clover apart is its ability to operate on laptops, tablets, and mobiles with equal efficiency.
One of Clover’s most original features has to be the customizable floor plan. You can adjust it to your location entirely, in terms of size, position, number of seats, etc. Other than that with Clover you can accept all sorts of payments:
And you do not need to worry about fraud, because Clover comes with an included fraud protection for payments up to $100,000.
Clover is a cloud-based restaurant POS system, supported by Android. This means that your data will be stored and backed up in cloud servers.
Clover provides customer support to all its clients through phone or email. They also provide regular hardware maintenance advice and software updates.
The only downside is, depending on your needs, Clover could turn out to be quite pricey.
Clover’s plans range, depending on the amount of gear you need:
These packages vary in the amount of hardware they provide. For example, Account is a starter’s choice, and it requires no hardware whatsoever. On the other hand, Station comes with full restaurant point of sale software and hardware solutions.
The drawback is Clover app solutions are limited to Android devices.
Why We Chose Clover: Because it offers integration of offline and online trading for businesses of all sizes. No matter whether you are looking for a POS system for a fast-food restaurant or a fine dining restaurant, Clover helps you build and maintain your online following while providing for all your needs offline as well.
This UK-based company has been lauded as the most simple POS system in many tech reviews. Epos Now caters best to the needs of small and medium businesses whose operations are not necessarily only in hospitality, but retail as well.
Epos Now is an easy to use POS designed for both retail and hospitality businesses. In both cases, clients get the same hardware and basic software set-up, with the only difference being in the details regarding business transactions and needs.
Epos Now for hospitality includes some great features that help your restaurant run smoothly. Some of these include:
Epos Now is a cloud-based POS, therefore all your data is securely saved in the cloud.
While Epos Now does offer full support to all its clients, it needs to be noted that 1-on-1 live support is charged additionally. These charges vary, depending on your chosen plan.
This restaurant POS software comes in 3 basic plans:
The difference between Standard and Premium is mostly in support. While with Standard you get a setup email, Premium comes with unlimited 24/7 support. And the third option available is:
On top of this, Epos Now also offers a wide range of hardware. You would not be obliged to get their hardware, but if you are just starting with POS, it might be advisable to do so.
Epos Now is a great restaurant POS software solution for everyone who is looking for something simple and straightforward. The simplicity of Epos Now is so important to them that they’ve made it a part of their slogan: “The POS that keeps business simple”.
We have realized by now that it is getting harder to be special in the world of restaurant system software. Upserve is trying to do that by providing features such as more advanced analytics to give you an even better insight into your business.
Upserve is a POS that prides itself on its amazing choice of features designed specifically for restaurants. Its amazing analytics will help your staff improve and help you to get those guests to return.
As a system that was designed by restaurateurs, it is not surprising that it comes with a wide range of helpful features. Our favorites include:
Upserve prides itself on offering cloud-based backup and hosting.
Apart from its specially designated support website, Upserve provides assistance through live chat and phone. Other than that, this restaurant-specific POS also provides various trainings and webinars.
Upserve offers its services through 3 plans, which differ in the number of features and gear provided:
Upserve is a great POS for everyone in the restaurant business because it provides so many features you never even knew you needed. The pricing may seem a bit high, but with provided staff training and cloud hosting, you could eventually end up saving more than you thought with Upserve.
Squirrel is a veteran in the POS business. They have been around since 1984, and have been through a lot. Enough to make them experienced and prepared for all the changes the market has in store.
Squirrel Systems is the first POS on this list that can operate on all platforms: Windows, Android, and iOS. Another fact that makes them popular is that they were the pioneers in many POS practices that we find today, such as touch-screens, EMV-compliant systems, etc.
Apart from operating on most commonly used operating systems, this restaurant system software comes packed with all sorts of neat features, including:
In 2019, Squirrel launched a new cloud-based restaurant POS system called Squirrel Cloud and has been doing backups and hosting through it since then. Many reviewers hoped that this would solve the issue of unresponsive software that Squirrel was facing in the past.
Squirrel offers support through several channels: on its client portal, live chat, or through direct phone calls and emails.
This restaurant management system comes with a free demo version, but not a free trial. If you decide to use it, you would need to pay a $500 one-time fee. Other than that, to inquire about specific plans you need to contact Squirrel or download their brochure.
What may deter some people from using Squirrel is that they do not offer free trial versions, and the demo does not provide sufficient information on how this POS operates.
Their years of experience in the POS game were the most crucial factor for including them on this best restaurant POS system list. On top of that, there is also Squirrel’s ability to adapt and operate on all sorts of operating systems.
If what you need is the best value restaurant POS system, Talech is one of the best according to reviews. Talech has been described as an ideal POS solution for small-to-medium vendors, as its basic month-to-month costs are somewhat more affordable than others’.
Talech is a cloud-based POS designed for small restaurant business needs. It provides service to more than 8,000 restaurants worldwide. You can operate Talech by connecting your iPad to it, and use it as a payment terminal. It also works with different types of POS hardware.
It is important to mention that Talech is not a restaurant-specific POS solution. It has plans for bars, retail, and other types of businesses. Its main features as a restaurant POS are:
It is a 100% cloud-based POS, which means that all your data is accessible to you at any time, from any location.
Talech provides 24/7 customer support to its users via email or phone.
Talech has 3 plans, each one designed for a different type of hospitality enterprise:
Premium and Standard plans also come with no limitations in terms of numbers of users and devices.
The Basic plan limits the number of devices and users.
Talech is a very simple POS system for big restaurants, as well as for smaller venues. Its competitive pricing makes it perfect for anyone who wishes to start their hospitality empire on a budget.
In this section we are going to go through several criteria you should consider when choosing the right POS system for your business. At the end of the day, a POS system is another expense, so you should choose wisely before investing. Here are some of the things to keep in mind:
These can vary depending on the type and size of business you are running. Is it a growing restaurant, midsize restaurant business, or an established fine-dining institution? All these factors should contribute to your choice of point-of-sale solution.
This includes everything from the number of servers to how many tables you have (if any). This will determine whether you need to get POS hardware, and how much of it exactly.
Now it’s time to take a look at your budget. Based on the previous two factors, decide how much you are ready and able to spend on getting your ideal POS. Consider the fees, training, and hardware costs.
Think about how you are going to use your POS. Do you need a tablet-based POS system? Or is your business in need of a bit more? Do you need your POS to provide training for your staff?
How important is it to you that your POS allows you to customize it to your own preferences? If this sounds like something you would like to do, you might want to consider a restaurant system that allows third-party integrations.
A very important thing to consider in a time when data theft has become something commonplace. Always check if your desired POS provides enough security for your data. At the end of the day, it contains your customers’ data as well.
This can vary depending on how experienced you are with POS systems. Based on that, deciding how much support you need can greatly influence your choice of POS.
This is an important point. Deciding on the right cashier system can go as far as to make or break your business. Can you accept all types of cards? What about Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other methods of payment? Here you should also consider what the payment processing costs of your POS are, and make sure there are no hidden fees.
Choosing to use a restaurant computer system (or mobile/tablet) can influence your business in a lot of ways. One of the biggest benefits is that they can give you an edge on your competition. Simply put, the right restaurant POS can do wonders for your business, by providing you with tools you never knew existed.
Here we will provide a quick glance at what the best benefits of using POS systems are.
POS systems can help you automate some processes which used to be done manually. This increases the quality and speed of service, which customers just love, right?
You no longer need to hire an entire bookkeeping department just to file your papers at the end of the month. With improved analytics in most POSs, everything is done quickly, precisely, and effectively, helping you save money on accountants.
The title song to a popular 80s sitcom says, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name”, and that has been true for restaurant customers since the dawn of time. Now, with the POS features of loyalty rewards and customer contact, you can make each one of your guests feel special and guarantee that they return.
So many types of restaurant system software offer amazing analytics tools that can give you a detailed insight into every little aspect of your business. This can help you tremendously in case you are trying to find the weakest link in your business.
Some of the best POS systems for a bar or restaurant come with an integrated staff training option. They provide sufficient training so that everyone in your team, from bartender to manager, will know what they are working with and how to use it so that your business reaps the most benefits.
Paying for server hosting was one of the most important points in your budget plan with traditional restaurant POS systems. Nowadays, with cloud hosting, you can access all the information you need from the comfort of your home or even on vacation. Other than that, the fact that you do not have to pay for a physical server cuts the costs.
All the aforementioned features, along with the others can help you save something worth more than money – time. With great analytics, staff training, and most of all cloud hosting, using restaurant point of sale software will give you peace of mind due to the ability to check up on your business wherever you are.
One of the extremely important factors to consider when getting a POS for your restaurant is the hardware. Most POS systems can work with your own laptop, tablet or even mobile; but is that enough to run your business?
You can acquire hardware from the POS providers themselves or shop around on your own. Whatever you decide, here are a few things to take into consideration when choosing the hardware to go with your chosen restaurant POS vendor:
In most places, you are still required to issue a paper receipt, so this little gizmo might just be a must.
A barcode scanner, credit card reader, or other virtual payment tools; depending on the demographics you plan to bring to your place, you might need all of these.
If you decide to opt for the best tablet POS system for restaurants, you will need as little as a single tablet device to act as your main terminal. In other cases, you might consider getting a fixed terminal with a cash drawer.
This may not be a 100% hardware issue, but it is definitely a worthy investment if you are considering using a modern restaurant POS system. Even though more and more POSs offer offline mode, investing in a solid internet connection is a very sensible thing to do.
So, the question remains: should you get a POS system for your restaurant? And the answer is: definitely.
If you can afford one, a good POS system can boost your business in ways you couldn’t even imagine. Whether you are running a small size business or a top-class franchise, if you are not using a POS system, you are falling behind already. Restaurant POS systems can provide something for everyone: analytics, floor plans, etc. They can even help you organize profit and spendings.
To sum up, we have provided you with a quick comparison of restaurant POS system options, and the rest is up to you. Gather as much information as you possibly can, take your time, consider your budget and needs, and good luck with choosing from this best restaurant POS system list!