20 Best Restaurant POS Systems for 2021
According to Toast, 95% of restaurant owners observed an increase in their business efficiency by embedding technology in their process (Source). As a restaurant manager, choosing the right software will give you a competitive edge and keep your patrons happy.
Now more than ever, touchless payment systems are a must, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The right POS system will help automate or streamline every operation in your restaurant — from taking orders, to monitoring your inventory, and tracking to-go or online orders.
The best restaurant POS systems will cater to tasks like quick service, food delivery, and online ordering. The entire platform should facilitate communication between the front and back of house, spur growth, drive revenue, and cut costs.
Whether you run a full-service restaurant or a quick-service operation, restaurant challenges like secure payments, employee scheduling and inventory management are always top of mind. A point of sale system can also help with customer loyalty, tableside ordering, and more.
In this review guide, we compared a list of the top 20 best restaurant POS systems. We took factors like the type of foodservice, features, price, hardware, and more into consideration. Ultimately, your software choice will depend on your restaurant type and needs.
Let’s Take A Sneek Peek: The Top 10 Restaurant POS Systems
8. Lightspeed Restaurant
9. Square for Restaurants
10. Revel Systems
Why Do You Need a Restaurant POS System?
No modern establishment would think twice about writing paper tickets. The industry has forever changed and now, the type of technology you employ is almost as important as how the food tastes.
That’s because the name of the game is speed and efficiency. Having a top POS system is vital for restaurants to compete. POS systems for restaurants are essential for connecting the front and back of house like no other technology.
Even online ordering is simplified in a single platform. Restaurant computer systems automate important foodservice management tasks, making communications and operations easier as a whole.
The software is specifically designed to keep track of things like:
- Customer data
- Employee activities
- Cash flow
Comparing The Best Restaurant POS Systems for 2020
1. TouchBistro: Best Overall Restaurant POS System
Developed by people in the restaurant industry, TouchBistro is designed to efficiently run a full-service restaurant from mobile POS hardware. The brand gives you the freedom to choose your own payment processor from top-tier partners. This includes integrated payment solutions, pay-at-the-table options, and the ability to accept all types of methods.
The TouchBistro platform offers a host of features that includes robust menu management. A business can merchandise items with full-color pictures. The menu can always be updated from an iPad when inventory changes. No more sending 86’d orders back to the kitchen. Communication is streamlined between the front and back of house.
Quick Service Restaurant
In addition to a full-service offering, TouchBistro also caters to quick-service restaurants. The system is designed to speed up service and increase sales. Pull more revenue in less time with predictive, quick-cash buttons. Reduce ordering errors with voids sent to the kitchen automatically. You can also drive sales with the TouchBistro customer loyalty program.
A fast-paced solution for a restaurant always on-the-go, TouchBistro offers a lean solution for food trucks. It’s the power of a traditional restaurant POS system all in the touch of an iPad. Drive repeat business with order accuracy and make menu edits as you go. Clock employees in and out, take cash payments, and view reports—even when offline.
Other types of restaurants include:
- Bars and clubs
Key features include:
- Restaurant inventory tracking & management – ingredient-level food costs, real-time alerts, and profit margins by menu item.
- Floor plan and table management – manage multiple sections, identify slow-turners, and move parties around freely.
- Staff management and scheduling – track labor costs, measure performance, and schedule staff.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) – tools that remember and reward customers, personalized service, and promotions strategy.
To learn more about their POS system, read our TouchBisto POS review.
2. Upserve POS: The Best Cloud-Based Restaurant POS
Upserve is a restaurant point of sale system designed for small to medium businesses. This industry-leading mobile restaurant POS system streamlines operations and increases productivity. The software is available on sleek, restaurant-grade terminals with all payments built-in.
This restaurant computer system offers brilliant menu intelligence. Servers can search items and categories on the spot and fire off orders quickly. It combines restaurant POS software data with payment processing. This allows you to see which items are selling well and what’s creating repeat customers.
Upserve deployment is simple. They assign every customer a dedicated success manager and provide 24/7/365 U.S.-based support. Intuitive workflows and a dedicated “how to” site means a business always has support in every aspect.
Use Upserve Live for a real-time view into your restaurant from anywhere on the planet. It’s an always-on link to your business, organizing sales, and more. All in one spot.
Upserve Inventory gives you hours back to focus on what is important. Automated inventory tracking and management and one-click purchasing means you control food costs and know the profitability of each menu item.
Payment processing that comes with EMV, transparent pricing, and restaurant insights on guest behavior and loyalty.
Key features include:
- Restaurant analytics– insights that make it easier to understand and manage labor costs, scheduling, and productivity.
- Menu intelligence – instantly search menu items or categories, fire off orders quickly, and know which items are 86’d in real-time.
- Offline mode – no internet, no problem. Upserve works offline to send orders to the kitchen and transact with customers.
- Split checks and items – servers can transfer, merge, and split checks fast between cash and card payments.
- Training mode – provide hands-on practice for new employees. It’s easier to train staff with your own menu and data without disrupting service.
To find out if Upserve is right for your restaurant, read our Upserve review.
3. Toast: The Best All-in-One Restaurant Management Solution
Toast is a POS software for restaurants that is built to make your business better. It combines powerful cloud-based software with durable hardware and high-rated payment processing. The brand offers handheld technology designed for the restaurant environment that enables a team to accelerate service and see more guests.
80% of the Toast implementation team has restaurant experience. They offer free 24/7/365 support via Toast Central and received a 2018 award for “Customer Service of the Year.” They pride themselves on always being there for customers.
Innovative training in the Toast Central channel means staff is always one step ahead of the game. It features interactive webinars and training through Toast University. The knowledgebase is a searchable resource that’s always on. Customers also get access to new products and the ability to provide quality feedback through the VIP Table.
Toast is one of the best POS systems for restaurants because it has set up on-demand digital channels for delivery, takeout, online ordering, and e-gift cards. They offer free three months with no hardware or POS purchase necessary.
Toast Go is a fully integrated handheld POS system that is pocket-friendly and drop resistant. Fire directly to the kitchen straight from the table. Servers can access upsell prompts while the menu is automatically updated in real-time.
Key features include:
- Payroll and team management– a feature built exclusively for restaurants, the payroll and team management help your business thrive and grow.
- Online ordering – a digital platform developed to save time and money with orders fired directly to the kitchen.
- Analytics and reporting – detailed analytics to keep tabs on performance on any device. A unified view of net sales and labor costs across all locations.
- Tableside ordering – take orders and payments at the table. Send digital receipts and gather data to grow your customer list.
- Toast Kiosk – an easy-to-use interface that enables custom branding and instant order notification. It features kitchen technology integration, recommended add-ons, and the ability to tip on screen.
If you’re not sure if this restaurant POS system is right for your operation, read our Toast POS review.
4. CAKE: The Best Quick-Service Restaurant POS
CAKE is a popular POS system for restaurants developed by Sysco. It’s intuitive, simple, and cost-effective. It features affordable and robust hardware (in black or white), transparent pricing, and 24/7 customer support.
CAKE Guest Manager integrates with the system to increase table turns by up to 7%. This instantly connects the dining room with the back of house for faster and more efficient service opportunities.
Manual table status updates are a thing of the past. That’s because teams can communicate while remaining at their stations.
Be everywhere at once with CAKE’s in-depth reporting feature. This puts you in better control of your restaurant and gives your establishment the ability to track metrics in real-time. This includes running reports for things like:
- Weekly category sales
- Employee hours
- Inventory levels
- And more…
CAKE offers industry-low rates per swipe which makes it easier to focus on more important things in your business. There is never any complicated paperwork and you can start accepting payments in just minutes.
There is never any fixed cost or monthly fee. You only pay when you use the service which makes this platform unique on the list. The Smart Chargeback Assistance helps every business fight back against fraud.
The CAKE system works offline and has a white, 15” touch display. They also offer powerful, third-party integrations through CAKE Market with leading brands. The tablet-based OrderPad also enables a business to bring the POS system tableside to facilitate ordering and FOH to BOH communication.
Key features include:
- Online ordering– connect with consumers who are online and broaden sales horizons.
- Cloud-based – all data is stored in the cloud. This means the system can be used offline and upload data when connected again.
- Menu admin – this allows a business to adjust their menu and prices from anywhere on the planet.
Take a look at our CAKE POS review to learn more.
5. Aloha: Best POS System For Restaurants & Bars
Established in 1997, Aloha is built by NCR. It’s one of the best restaurant pos software systems on the market and is an industry-leading technology provider. They offer end-to-end solutions that address all your operational needs.
HCS employees are former restaurant and hospitality professionals that understand what it takes to run a successful operation. The Aloha cloud applications do everything from labor management to reporting and analytics.
Other key benefits include:
- Security services
- Guest interaction
- Online ordering
- Back office remote tools
The system also has the ability to add more features via the open API. The robust speed, functionality, and accuracy help to not only improve customer service but drive growth and increase profitability.
Labor and Inventory Management
Aloha helps to remove the barriers to managing the major costs to your business. Sites can optimize staffing, streamline communications with suppliers, and control food costs. This is all with central visibility and management.
Valuable labor and sales data is collected from all locations and made available via the cloud. This results in unmatched visibility and enables fast and accurate decision making.
One central database controls the configuration settings for all locations. A business owner can securely access data from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows management to push changes like pricing and menu items in real-time.
Key features include:
- Security services– protect customer credit card data from cyber-attacks. This helps to maintain a strong network and create a multi-layered defense solution.
- Customer loyalty – stay connected with stored customer data. Utilize reward and bonus programs that are flexible and best identify guests.
- Digital signage – engage customers and leverage your brand with intelligent digital signage. Promote new items and control menu prices from anywhere on the globe.
Before deciding, read our full Aloha POS review.
6. Talech: Best iPad-Based Restaurant POS System
Talech is a feature-rich platform that is a top-rated cloud-based point of sale system for restaurants. It’s a simple solution that is equipped with more than 100 restaurant-specific features. The intuitive design comes with a free demo and allows a business to apply discounts, create orders, view sales, and manage inventory with just a few taps and clicks.
The platform is based in the cloud which means you can access the system anywhere at any time. Talech works closely with merchants across all verticals to understand the needs of a modern POS system.
Table and Position Management
Get an eagle-eye view of your open and seated tables. Set up a floor plan with multiple rooms and tap on a table to start. Streamline the ordering process by setting table and seating positions. Split shared items across multiple positions to make it easier for guests to pay.
Assign plates and dispatch tickets to multiple printers. Approve and track voids when changes occur during the order process. Automatically apply taxes, service charges, and gratuities based on present rules.
Discounts and Offers
Create happy hour discounts to trigger at specific days and times. Set up advanced “Buy One Get One Free” (BOGO) discounts to offer deals and encourage more spending.
Key features include:
- Seamless sync – manage orders across multiple devices in real-time. Even when the internet goes down a restaurant can still sign in, take orders, and accept cash payments.
- Customer-facing display – provide greater visibility into the purchase flow and customize the display. Engage at the point of purchase with promotions and custom messaging.
- Integrated gift cards – gain new customers and grow sales. Use high-resolution plastic gift cards or brand email and digital cards.
- Tips and signature – speed up checkout by skipping signatures for small amounts. Set suggested tip amounts to make closing a check a breeze.
Before choosing a system, read our full Talech POS review.
7. Lavu: Best Small Restaurant POS System
iPad POS system in the App Store and today, has processed over 400 million transactions. Additionally, they boast 1.3 billion menu items sold in over 93 different countries.
The brand offers 300+ restaurant-oriented features that are designed to meet the needs of any size business. These include aspects like:
Lavu integrates seamlessly with a variety of restaurant apps for every department. Run comprehensive and detailed reports in Lavu’s business management suite. Optimize the training and onboarding process with a full selection of features.
The iPad POS system offers speed and flexibility. Enhance the customer experience while reducing wait times. Order quicker with the tools you need to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. Customize menu and restaurant layouts for easier access and faster ordering.
Detailed Tracking and Reporting
The Lavu platform allows a business to run detailed reports for valuable insight. Some of the various types of reports you can analyze include:
- Labor reports
- Real-time sales
- Individual menu items
- Inventory levels
- Real-time payments
A customized menu allows a business to add the right modifiers that increase sales and lead to a higher rate of customer satisfaction. Built-in modifiers ensure servers are upselling whenever possible and sending all necessary information to the kitchen about guest preferences.
Key features include:
- Inventory tracking– cut back on food waste while keeping key ingredients in stock.
- Scheduling shifts – staff can switch shifts, clock in and out, and manage their schedules straight from the dashboard.
- Total efficiency – cut down on FOH and BOH communication times, reduce waste from human error, and keep track of high-profit menu items.
Not sure if this POS system is for you? Read our complete Lavu POS review first.
8. Lightspeed Restaurant: A Highly-Scalable POS System
Lightspeed Restaurant POS is built to scale with your business. That means it functions across multiple platforms in a variety of channels that you can manage all at once. A brand can generate multi-location reports to monitor overall performance.
Edit menus from all locations in a central space with no delay. It’s a fully-featured solution you’ll never outgrow. Whether delivering on the road or serving in a dining room, the staff relies on the POS system to keep things running smoothly. With just a tap and slide you can make adjustments to the floorplan in real-time.
Use the Lightspeed reporting tools to see what’s working and spot new opportunities. Accommodate last-minute reservations and special requests on the spot.
Online and Delivery
Maximize your delivery zone to reach more customers quickly. Lightspeed allows a business to consolidate all online orders into a single dashboard for easier management. Get orders from top apps like DoorDash and UberEats sent directly to your POS.
Built to Scale
Lightspeed Restaurant is a fully-featured solution you’ll never outgrow. A business has the ability to edit menus for all locations no matter where you are. This enables you to generate multiple reports and monitor the overall performance of the store.
The POS terminal is EMV-compliant and built to handle:
- Mobile payments
Add tips on the spot or later when servers have the time. You can even open tabs and place orders under specific customer accounts.
Key features include:
- Self-order kiosks– allow customers to take control and place the order themselves.
- In-depth reporting – assess hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly revenue with reports built right into the POS system.
- Employee management – staff can clock in/out and swap shifts. Track employee performance with shift and labor reports.
To see if this POS system can do wonders in your restaurant, read our review of Lightspeed Restaurant.
9. Square for Restaurants: Top-Rated Hospitality POS System
Square is one of the most popular POS systems for restaurants on the market. It’s built to save time, connect with customers, and run your business. The platform only charges for payment processing and your first piece of hardware (a portable card reader) is free.
You can accept all types of payments quickly and securely, whether at the counter or tableside. The same rate is charged across all cards and transfers are next day. There are never any chargeback or refund fees. All payments are PCI compliant with end-to-end encryption.
Every tool in Square is built to assist with coursing. Optimize floor plans to turn more tables and use conversational modifiers to speed up ordering. You can even repeat rounds of drinks with just a few simple taps. Every tool is designed to help your team move faster. Other key features in menu management include:
- Customizable layouts
- Make changes from anywhere
- Top sellers on the main menu for quick selling
Orders that are placed online will automatically sync for easier integration. Serve consumers in their homes with Square Online Store. Offer your own delivery service, curbside pickup, or a third-party app.
Customize the floor plan every shift for the sections and tables you need. Organize the bar, dining room, and other areas for large parties using the intuitive click-and-drop tool. A restaurant can individually monitor every seat in the establishment and have a better understanding of when a table is about to turn.
Key features include:
- Bulk additions – update for seasonal swaps or the entire menu at once. No need to make multiple changes.
- Integrations – Square integrates with platforms you already have in place from employee scheduling to reservation software.
- Reports – from granular daily stats to top-line summaries, keep tabs on all the numbers that matter.
Finally, read our review of Square for Restaurants.
10. Revel Systems: Best POS System for Full-Service Restaurants
Revel Systems is a restaurant POS and platform that is designed to achieve all your business goals. They strive to fuel growth for merchants and improve day-to-day operations with an intuitive point of sale system.
Expect benefits that include:
- Employee management
- Sales reporting
- Inventory control
- Powerful management tools
Easily manage menus for single or multiple locations. Understand all the moving parts of your business and analyze the bottom line with intelligent reporting. Achieve perfect order accuracy with seamless communication from kitchen display systems to mobile order takers.
Build a menu from easy order modifications to add-ons with the touch of a button. Track your best customers and drive repeat business using the customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Enhance productivity by configuring your front and back of house.
The Revel feature-rich platform integrates seamlessly into a host of additional services and third-party partners to fit the needs of your business. Some of the popular platforms involve:
- Workforce management
Intelligent Inventory Management
A business has the ability to control every item in the inventory which includes:
All of this can be tracked and updated in real-time for the most effective stock management.
Key features include:
- Cater to customers – easily split bills, accept more payment types, and hold bar tabs. Customers will be delighted with increased payment flexibility.
- Manage the team – push out schedules directly to the Management Console. Employees can easily track time with built-in timecards.
- Thorough reporting – grab the analytics that matter and draw insights from your daily processes.
Read our full review of Revel POS to learn more.
11. Shopkeep: Best Fast Food POS Software
Founded by a restaurant owner, ShopKeep is a powerful but simple to use POS system that will help your business grow. It’s intuitive, affordable, and flexible with essential features you need to run a successful foodservice business.
It costs 6 to 7 times more money to attract a new customer than to retain one. Keep patrons coming back with a dollar-driven rewards program, ShopKeep loyalty.
Successfully sell more and capitalize on the 50% of internet users who are online shoppers. Easily sync ShopKeep eCommerce. Online listings also serve to bolster customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Reporting and Analytics
Never have “end-of-shift surprise” again with ShopKeep in-depth reporting and analytics. From inventory values to transaction data and shift reports, access your store data from anytime, anywhere. Stay in-the-know with intuitive and customizable reporting dashboards.
ShopKeep’s smart and simple POS system is designed to perform inventory-intensive tasks like:
- Update inventory in bulk
- Manage details (product names and prices)
- Receive stock alerts in real-time
Everything you need to manage staff is at your fingertips. Simplify day-to-day management from one centralized dashboard. Track attendance, monitor sales performance, customize permissions, and more for added control over your business.
To see if Shopkeep is ideal for your restaurant, read our Shopkeep POS review.
12. Rezku POS: Simple POS System for Restaurants
Rezku POS is committed to being the best tech partner for restaurants in the business. Their motto is “where others compromise, Rezku excels.” They provide the largest scope of features of any restaurant POS on the market without extra fees.
The system is 100% EMV secure for mobile payments and POS tablets. Put the focus on the guests with a streamlined table-service workflow. Customize floor plans with simple table management and split checks fast by amount. Provide detailed product descriptions with full-color images to optimize ordering.
Quick Service Restaurants
This includes conversational ordering with unlimited modifiers. The platform comes with customer-facing displays and kitchen display systems (KDS). A built-in loyalty rewards program means you’ll always have customers coming back for more.
Other features include restaurant enterprise services with cross-data sharing capabilities, online order and delivery with timed ticket pacing, and in-depth, customizable reports.
Other benefits include:
- Drag and drop menu building
- Employee management with labor compliance
- Permission-based manager controls
- VIP service and support
- Automated inventory with par values and alerts
Rezku also offers fee-free integrations with an open API. The system comes with unlimited remote menu building, employee training, and set up.
Read our full review of Rezku POS to learn more.
13. SpotOn Restaurant POS: Best POS For Fine Dining Restaurants
One of the smartest payment processing solutions on the market, SpotOn empowers merchants by combining easy-to-use customer engagement tools with intelligent payment processing. Their focus is on helping restaurants create meaningful relationships with customers, saving time and money (while exceeding the normal user experience).
SpotOn offers a variety of channels that include:
Unlock the potential of your business with a lightning-fast point of sale system designed by people who’ve worked in the industry. Key features include:
- Unparalleled data and reporting
- Robust back-of-house tools
- Enterprise and multi-location ready
- Accept cash, cards, or gift cards
- Handheld POS for tableside ordering and payments
A business can accept nearly all forms of payment while also collecting customer data. Easily stay in touch and improve customer retention by accepting credit/debit cards, mobile pay, gift cards, and cash. The channel also offers features like:
- Back office controls
- In-depth sales reports for greater insight
- Inventory and stock management
- Customizable receipt options
- Oversee multiple locations
Collect customer data and accept payments your way, whether it is at the counter or through a hybrid POS terminal. The product comes with two screens, one for you and one for the customer. Wi-fi and mobile connectivity are also optional.
14. Restaurant Manager: Best Restaurant Menu Software
The Restaurant Manager POS system offers a touchscreen restaurant and mobile solution for a business of any size. The platform is designed to help a restaurant cut costs, increase revenue, and improve efficiencies.
A simple and intuitive system that comes with state-of-the-art hardware, Restaurant Manager’s SkyTab solution is a guest-facing “pay-at-the-table” (PATT) experience for your establishment. From PATT to tableside ordering and customer engagement, SkyTab provides the tools needed to bolster your bottom line.
A mobile POS solution allows servers to spend their time on the restaurant floor instead of waiting in line. This not only saves time, it improves communications and increases revenue by turning tables faster. Servers are mobilized with RM Handheld and the RM Tablet which can greatly cut costs.
- RM Handheld – iPod Touch makes it easier to take orders tableside.
- RM Tablet – Take advantage of a larger screen display with detailed item descriptions.
In addition to exceptional restaurant-grade hardware, Restaurant Manager also offers key features like:
- Table Management – Optimize projected wait times and organize seating management with RM Wait List.
- Tableside Order Placement – Servers can place orders more quickly and turn tables faster with access to operational data.
- Inventory Control – Eliminate waste and theft with a robust and powerful inventory control module.
15. Maitre’D: Best POS For Fast Casual Restaurant
Maitre’D is a POS solution that empowers over 20,000 merchant operations across the globe. It’s distributed by third-party resellers and streamlines operations with tools like:
- Cross-platform sales reporting
- Mobile management applications
- Optimized performance
- Profits generation
Analytics & Restaurant-Specific Hardware
Maitre’D POS offers advanced kitchen management and in-depth analytics which is available as a fixed workstation or on handheld tablets for payment and tableside ordering. The built-in inventory management tools help to keep track of stock, barcode scanning, costs, and instant notifications.
The program facilitates front and back-office communications across multiple locations. The hardware-agnostic solution is configurable in multiple languages and currencies. With 24/7 support and a system that runs on either Windows or MAC OS, other features include:
- Powerful reporting and forecasting
- Advanced inventory management
- Integrated transaction processing and gift cards
- Labor management and employee scheduling
- Cash management with customer loyalty programs
More Features & Integrations
The brand also offers a variety of mobile applications for all your business needs. Your key performance indicators are presented on the face of the dashboard with real-time data on labor costs, sales, voids, and promotions.
Maitre’D point of sale also has enterprise solutions with multi-concept management and global reporting. They offer a variety of integrations and interfaces to meet the needs of every business big and small.
Loyverse – A free POS platform where users can manage inventory, visualize sales analytics, and improve customer relationships.
Revention POS – A online and delivery POS that’s fully customizable. From remote management to mobile reporting, it’s a popular POS system for restaurants.
POSsible POS Restaurant – An all-in-one hardware/software bundle with a broad variety of restaurant concepts. From increased efficiency to waste elimination, it’s a platform for any type of foodservice establishment.
Ambur POS – Manage front and back of the house with powerful reporting and customizable table layouts. Feel secure with Amber’s backed-up data and offline capabilities.
Epos Now – A leading restaurant point of sale system to grow your business, they offer features that include online ordering, payment systems, CRM, and accounting software.
How Much Do Restaurant POS Systems Cost?
Now it’s time to consider the costs. The amount you spend can vary from one system to the next.
Consider these factors:
While some brands allow you to use your own tablet, most will charge a fee to install hardware that is compatible with the software. The market average for restaurant POS systems is at least $600 for a handheld and up to $2,600 for in-house installation.
Providers that don’t charge upfront typically require a subscription fee (monthly, quarterly, yearly). When purchasing this product as SaaS, fees can range from $20 to $150 per month depending on the number of users and business needs.
Always calculate the integrated processing rates in your budget. Some commonly used pricing models include:
- Interchange plus
- Flat rate
- Blended model
When it’s not a flat-rate model, the provider may be charging different rates depending on the method (swiped, dipped, tapped). Whatever the case, expect to pay anywhere from 2.2% to 4.5% per transaction.
Which POS System Is Best For My Restaurant?
Not every restaurant is the same and thus a POS solution can differ depending on specific business needs. Here are a few types of foodservice setups and the features that work best with them:
Fine-Dining / Full-Service Restaurant
When food is costly, it needs to arrive hot. A fine-dining establishment should have tableside ordering capabilities for error-free kitchen communication.
Quick Service Restaurant
With a QSR, you need speed so self-service equipment like kiosks work wonders in these establishments. Customer-facing screens for a countertop POS also ensures orders go through fast. They’re always accurate and agreed upon with the guest.
Bar and Nightclub
Inventory management is crucial for a bar and nightclub environment. Knowing how much each item costs is important for ensuring the customers are always getting what they want, right when they want it (i.e. nothing is ever 86’d).
Cafes and Coffee Shops
In this type of foodservice, there is a lot of employees and corresponding shifts. Thus, a robust employee management feature is necessary to keep track of everyone’s hours and performance. Staff can clock in/out and trade shifts in seconds.
Features to Consider in a Restaurant POS System
Handheld technology designed for the restaurant environment that can enable your team to spend more time with guests and speed up checkout through tableside ordering and payments.
- Tableside payments – Run EMV or card transactions tableside
- Guest feedback – Collect and respond to guest feedback instantly
- Order ready notifications – Take orders tableside and get notified when the order is ready.
Menu integration is a critical part of a restaurant’s POS system. Instantly search menu categories and items to get every order fired as quickly as possible.
Combine POS data with payment processing to understand which items on the menu are and are not selling. This helps to discover which plates keep people coming back for more.
An effective inventory management system helps to balance the books. Know, at a glance, which menu item costs in terms of raw ingredients. Get a clearer idea of the revenue made on each dish so you can drop the underperforming dishes and focus more on profitable items.
Key features include:
- Track ingredient and food costs
- Keep staff aware of inventory levels
- Improve service
- Track recipes against menu items to determine food costs
Keep customers coming back for more with a robust loyalty program that includes gift cards and a point system. This allows a restaurant to stay connected with customers with a customizable rewards program that engages them.
Identify your best guests and reward them accordingly. An effective rewards program also means you can track important customer data that can be used later on in digital marketing campaigns.
An effective foodservice POS platform should offer a means to manage staff scheduling and track performance. It’s everything you need to supervise employee activity and simplify day-to-day management.
You should be able to track things like:
- Monitor employee sales
- Track attendance
- Customize register permissions
All of this adds more control over your business and leads to a higher rate of sales.
Take control of overall performance with a detailed analytics program in your POS system. It enables a business to keep tabs on specific data anywhere, at any time. With cloud-based access to sales performance and key reports, you can look into key data sets like:
- Sales summary – Monitor performance over a period of time.
- Location overview – A unified view of labor costs and net sales across one or multiple locations.
- Product mix – Monitor product mix and identify areas of improvement.
What Type of Restaurant POS Hardware Do I Need?
When it comes to equipping yourself with the tools needed to support POS software, it all depends on your business type and the task at hand. Here are some popular pieces of equipment to consider when integrating your POS.
Self-Service Touchscreen Kiosks
If you run a quick-service restaurant or a busy food truck, you may want to consider customer-facing equipment like a self-service kiosk. It empowers the consumer to place their own orders while you upsell automatically with digital modifiers.
To get orders to any kitchen fast and efficiently, you need a kitchen printer and display system to communicate with the kitchen in real-time.
Magnetic Stripe Readers
When you need to slide, swipe, tap, or dip a card for payment, you’ll need a mag stripe reader. It’s the only way to take a card at the register.
If a customer needs a receipt, you’re going to need a printer. The main options for this type of equipment include:
- Thermal printers
- Dot-matrix printers
- Inkjet printers
In addition to the equipment above, other items include:
- Pin pads
- Signature pads
- Hardware bundles
- Customer-facing display
- Self-service kiosks
Manage Your Restaurant Efficiently With POS Software
When choosing a point of sale system that will work effectively with your restaurant, it’s essential to get as detailed as possible. The more a solution can meet your niche business, the more sales you’ll make, and the happier customers will be.
That means, do your research. This guide is a great start to understanding the features dedicated to the best restaurant POS system, but you need to dig deep before spending any money.
Consider some key questions to help you decide, like:
- What is my budget?
- What type of foodservice business do I run?
- What type of hardware do I need?
- What are the top five features that would benefit me the most?
- Can I integrate legacy systems?
Consider whether you want to purchase something outright or sign up for a subscription. The number of users can also affect this decision.
Once you know your total costs for the software and hardware, look at the processing costs. This will give a 360-degree view of the product you are purchasing and ensure it fits your business best.
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.
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
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.