Best Cash Registers for Restaurants – [Traditional & Touchscreen]

Best Cash Registers for Restaurants

When your restaurant is booming, the last thing staff should worry about is a faulty cash register. Outdated equipment can slow down transactions.

This is particularly crucial in the foodservice industry, where a lunch or dinner rush could be the majority of daily business. The right equipment is imperative to keeping a restaurant moving forward.

Traditional vs. Modern Cash Registers for Restaurants

A traditional restaurant cash register is very limited. The equipment allows a merchant to keep cash, ring up sales, calculate tax, and store receipts.

Some cash registers enable integration with additional hardware like barcode scanners and card readers. The average cost of a traditional cash register is $100.

Modern cash drawers for restaurants involve an extensive point of sale (POS) system. This means more sophisticated options for better business management.

Some features of this setup include:

  • Employee management
  • Inventory and stock administration
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Loyalty and guest reward programs
  • Automated email and social marketing

There are two types of restaurant POS systems, stationary and mobile. POS cash registers often come bundled with other equipment, like kitchen printers and tablets.

Cash registers for restaurants come in a variety of sizes and styles. The brand you choose is incumbent on several factors, like the size of your restaurant and the intent to scale. Here are some of the best brands to offer a cash register for restaurants:

Toast Terminal Bundle

The Toast program has everything a restaurant needs to streamline operations and increase sales. The bundle helps to reliably operate at top speed to meet peak demand.

It’s built tough to withstand drops, spills, heat, and pressure. The top of the line processor allows you to fire orders on the spot and everything is connected to the cash register.

Each hardware bundle comes with a cash drawer, as well as:

  • One terminal
  • Terminal stand
  • Credit card reader
  • Receipt printer
  • 5-port switch and cables

The commercial-grade equipment is available in your choice of black or white. Size options for the screen include 10”, 12”, and 22” models. You can also add an EMV-enabled card reader.

Price: the most popular hardware bundle starts at $899

TouchBistro Hardware

The TouchBistro bundle uses an iPad and integrates with many types of cash registers. The system can be used in any type of foodservice establishment and is specifically geared toward the restaurant industry.

The company allows a business to choose the payment processor that works for them. The bundle has features like:

  • Tableside management
  • Floor plans
  • Table reservation
  • Cloud-based access
  • Open integrations

The TouchBistro POS system supports a variety of brands for cash registers. This includes multiple models of:

  • MMF Val-u-Line
  • Star Micronics
  • APG

The system functions with a traditional print-driven cash drawer. It opens at cash-out and on demand wirelessly from the terminal. The register is connected to a printer with an RJ12 cable.

Price: cash drawers start for as low as $60 but you need to purchase the whole system

Lavu Bundle Hardware

Lavu offers some of the most extensive options for cash registers of any foodservice POS system. The all-in-one restaurant management platform can be used in a stationary or mobile environment and boasts benefits like:

  • Detailed reporting and analytics
  • Electronic receipts (email or SMS)
  • Ticketing for kitchen and customers
  • Tableside payment
  • Inventory management

The Lavu system offers cash registers to be purchased separately or within a bundle. The prime packages include the following equipment.

  • Apple iPad 9.7
  • Card authenticator (BP iDynamo 21073131-B)
  • Thermal printer (Epson M30 C31CE95022)
  • Cash register (CC-410-B2-5B8C)

If you choose to purchase the cash drawer separately, Lavu has many models for sale. They recommend using APG cash drawers. It’s the industry leader for security, durability, and reliability.

Available registers include:

  • APG: Cash Drawer – 4 Bill 4 Coin – Price: $160.00
  • APG: Cash Drawer – 5 Bill/5 Coin – Price: $180.00
  • 5 Bill 5 Coin Heavy Duty Cash Drawer – Price: $235.00
  • APG: 5 Bill 5 Coin Till for Cash Drawer – Price: $50.00
  • APG: 4 Bill 4 Coin Till for Cash Drawer – Price: $35.00

Price: bundles start at $599

Clover POS Bundle

The Clover Station POS includes a terminal with a built-in cash register. It can handle everything from transactions to card swipes and taps.

Key features of the package are:

  • Dynamic floor plans with real-time table status
  • Staff management (including scheduling)
  • Tableside ordering and payments
  • Accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Integrated with barcode scanners, scales, and other accessories

The Clover POS bundle is built with the flexibility you should expect with today’s technology. It’s designed to be customer-friendly and is ready right out of the box. There are a few hardware packages to choose from and they all include the following equipment:

  • 14″ high-definition touch screen display (swivel neck)
  • Built-in camera and barcode scanner
  • WiFi and ethernet
  • Fingerprint login
  • Connectivity hub: 4 USB 2.0 ports and 2 cash drawer ports

Every station includes a free receipt printer and cash register. Clover sends your business everything needed to get started quickly from USB cables to receipt paper and a pin shield.

Price: entire bundle is $1,349, membership starts at $69/mo

The Right Fit

The best cash registers for restaurants involve an integrated point of sale system. The networking provides many advantages, but it must also be affordable and easy to use. If you are only looking to spend money one time, a traditional system is your best bet.

You take a gamble using outdated technology in the foodservice space. It can bog down sales and lead to unhappy customers.

A cash register with a POS system typically requires a monthly subscription fee. However, it takes the place of so many systems, your business will still save money over time.

Benefits include:

  • Faster transactions
  • Ease of use
  • Store management features
  • Straightforward connectivity
  • Smoother customer engagement

Today’s cash register equipment does everything but greet the customer. It’s part of an integrated system that streamlines operations and automates processes.

Cash registers for small restaurants bring business intelligence to the foodservice industry. Invest in good equipment now to strengthen your brand, keep people engaged, and drive future sales.

Recommended Readings

We have compared Fattmerchant vs Square, thinking that they were very similar POS and payment processors, but we found many differences and we were surprised by these findings.

Complex industries that handle their own inventory and 3PL organizations have granular requirements about batch recalls, warehouse management and inventory reconciliation. They need handheld inventory scanners that connect in real time with their point of sales systems and ERPs. We review them here and test them connecting to a Zebra printer. Beautiful!

We have reviewed several POS providers. The most interesting according to their industry vertical are: OVVI POS, NCR Counterpoint, Alexandria POS Maid, Verifone Ruby 2 POS, Mynt POS, Indica Online, Reverse, Micros, 1st Pay, Simphony, and Appetize.

There is a type of POS that the majority of readers here do not seem to like. I refer to the POS Pin Pad type. I understand the readers that reject them, but we can recommend it for some type of businesses, as you will read.

Each industry vertical requires a different type of POS, so we cannot analyze them all together in one single group. Therefore, we have researched in different verticals to define which are the POS systems that we can recommend for each industry and why: Wholesale POS, POS for kiosks, fast foods, POS for restaurants and which of them work well in iPads because some work very bad in mobile systems in my opinion, gas stations, supermarkets, dispensaries, convenience stores, dry cleaning industries, furniture, liquor stores, and bike shops.

What about cash registers? We have reviewed some and we have found good and bad products: cash registers for gas stations, small businesses in general, and restaurants.

We reviewed some specific type of point of sale systems that determine the price according to the weight, called POS scales.

We have studied barcode and label printers, as label printing is a legal requirement in some industries

Restaurants, fast foods, delis and food trucks, require a separate kitchen printer integrated with the POS with a separate hardware unit. We have reviewed them here.

We do not usually review printers for POS, we simply dedicate ourselves to review a complete POS system with its hardware. However, we had so much criticism and discussions around printers for Square, that I have decided to investigate further here.

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Author Clark Howard

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