Best POS System for Restaurants (December 2019)

The ultimate guide for finding the best POS system for restaurants in 2020

A reliable restaurant POS system is the difference between a coffee shop or bar that feels like a disorganized open market, and one where customers enjoy the convenience of ordering remotely from their mobile phones, or perhaps booking tables beforehand and then having their orders delivered right on time.

It doesn’t stop there though. As you’ve probably noticed by now, the modern restaurant business is much more than just fine dining. In other words, your success depends on not only the type of dishes you’re offering your customers, but also your restaurant management strategy.

And that’s precisely where a POS system for restaurants comes in. It’s the one application you need in your food truck, coffee shop, fast food service outlet, or bar to streamline the entire business. Apart from inventory management, you should be able to coordinate customer orders, process payments, track all the restaurant elements, as well as manage your staff right from the point of sale system.

But, here’s the thing. Choosing a restaurant POS system is not as simple as conducting a Google search and settling for one that seems to attract the best reviews. The process is much more complicated than that since there are multiple software and hardware variables to consider.

Fortunately, we’ve done the homework for you. Our team has thoroughly tested a wide range of restaurant point of sale solutions for several years now, and we’ve carefully compared their features to identify the best of them all.

So, here’s the ultimate guide for the best POS system for restaurants in 2020. It reviews the 7 top restaurant point of sale applications to help you get a clear picture of the type of software and features you should expect, the accompanying pricing, plus possible weaknesses.

Since each of the POS systems we’ve featured has its own unique strengths to offer, we’d advise you to read the entire review guide. You never know what you might discover in the end.

But, if you’re in a rush, here’s a quick bird’s eye view of the two most outstanding POS systems for restaurants:

No time to read? Here's our no.1 pick when it comes to the best restaurant POS system in the market:

🏁 Our pick:

square for restaurants logo

Right off the bat, the name “Square for Restaurantsshould tell you three things about this POS solution.

For starters, it comes from Square, the renowned digital payments company. So, of course, you should expect Square for Restaurants to provide some of the best payment handling features for restaurant POS systems.

square for restaurant pos homepageThen secondly, there’s the issue of simplicity. Another thing we’ve come to know Square for is elegance when it comes to the design of their products. And that’s the same here – Square for Restaurants is extremely intuitive and easy to use.

Now, add reasonable pricing to that and you have yourself the best POS system for restaurants. Square for Restaurants will only cost you $60 per terminal station.

And to top it off, Square for Restaurant comes with all the fundamental features you’d want from a restaurant POS system. We’re talking about employee management, customer management, offline mode functionality, payroll management, customer management, etc.

But that’s not all. If you need additional functionalities, you just need to find yourself a suitable integration from Square’s extensive App Marketplace.

Square for Restaurants is, therefore, the best POS system for quick-service restaurants, full-service restaurants, coffee shops, and bars of all sizes.

Overall rating: 10/10

💰 Budget pick:
touchbistro logo
TouchBistro is one of the few restaurant POS systems that have not only perfected the basic POS functionalities, but also gone beyond them to offer exclusive, out-of-the-box extras.

touchbistro homepage pos for restaurants

Apart from order management, restaurant table management, payment handling, inventory management, employee management, and menu management, it comes with CRM capabilities- all of which we’ve repeatedly tried, tested and confirmed that they indeed perform well.

Despite boasting such an impressive set of features, this restaurant POS system will only cost you about $105 a month. And get this – that should pay for the software as well as the accompanying hardware.

Admittedly, quite a good bargain when you consider the thousands of dollars various restaurant businesses pay to acquire and install hardware POS.

However, if you have the hardware already, TouchBistro Restaurant POS system will cost you as low as $69. Imagine that for an unlimited number of employee accounts plus 24/7 customer support.

Hence, we’ve declared it the best budget POS system for restaurants.

Overall rating: 7/10

Ok, fair enough. But what’s the difference between these two and other business management software? What exactly is a restaurant POS system?

What Is a Restaurant POS System?

Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Remember when we used cash registers to process payments? A point of sale system was essentially made up of a basic PC for calculations and a cash drawer. So, of course, restaurants handled most of their management stuff manually.

That was pretty much the standard framework until the modern point of sale systems began taking over.

First came the typical POS systems that offered one-size-fits-all functionalities for managing businesses, processing payments, and tracking the numbers. Then gradually, their developers started specializing in selected business niches. And that’s how the restaurant POS system ultimately became a thing.

Today, the best POS system for restaurants are well-optimized for the hospitality industry. They go above and beyond payment processing by automating all the critical management tasks, hence streamlining business operations as well as communication.

In essence, they are built to help you with inventory management, order management, customer management, table management, credit card processing, menu management, employee management, and remote real-time tracking of all the KPIs plus cash flow. In short, therefore, you can think of the whole thing as a centralized restaurant management system.

But, make no mistake about it. A restaurant POS system doesn’t come in the form of a software application only. That’s just one part of the whole ecosystem.

The software itself requires hardware components like an iPad or tablet for android OS, cash drawers, card readers, bar code scanners, receipt printers, and other add-ons to offer the full point of sale experience.

Consequently, some of the tasks you should be able to handle with the best POS systems for restaurants include ⤵️

  • Integrating third-party business platforms like CRM, marketing apps, etc.
  • Facilitating online ordering and table reservations.
  • Tracking inventory, staff performance, and restaurant activities.
  • Accepting and processing different types of payments.
  • Promoting your restaurant business through customer loyalty programs, discounts, etc.
  • Conducting accurate accounting and record-keeping.
  • Coordinating table orders between your staff.
  • Billing your customers automatically based on their orders.
  • Managing tableside ordering through a graphical layout of your restaurant.
  • Streamlining the flow of orders between the kitchen and other restaurant areas.

There’s much, much more we can add to that. The list of possible stuff you can achieve with the best restaurant POS solutions is endless.

But then again, the whole thing begs the question – how can you combine all these POS features and considerations to identify the best POS system for your restaurant?

Well, the truth is, you need a systematic approach if you intend to sort through the overwhelming pile of POS systems, and select the most suitable one for your coffee shop or food truck business.

And to help you with that, here’s a brief guide on what to consider when choosing the best restaurant POS system:

What to Look For When Choosing the Best POS Systems for Restaurants

Restaurant POS System Features

  • Payments – The best restaurant POS systems offer much more than just credit card processing. Customers additionally get mobile payment options like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.
  • Inventory Management – Your point of sale system should keep a tally of your restaurant’s inventory, as well as track inventory in real-time. That would also mean alerting you accordingly when the numbers are low.
  • Table Management – The best POS system for restaurants come with an intuitive interface that includes a graphical floor layout of your tables. As a result, you should be able to easily manage and coordinate table service, customer orders, as well as table reservations.
  • Financial Tools – Considering cash management is fundamentally the principal idea behind the point of sale systems, your restaurant POS software should offer a heck of a lot of tools for streamlining your finances. It should monitor the numbers automatically, provide remote access to the corresponding cash flow analytics, and integrate with renowned accounting software, including QuickBooks.
  • Online Reservations – The best POS system for restaurants allow customers to make table reservations without necessarily making a phone call. Instead, they simply reserve tables through an easy to use online platform.
  • Online Ordering – Apart from reservations, your restaurant POS system should provide customers with an intuitive portal for placing their orders online.
  • Real-Time Data and Reports – The best restaurant POS systems are built with all the essential analytics capabilities you need. You can use them to monitor your business performance, cash flows, employee activities, order processing, inventory levels, and much more in real-time. You should also ensure the insights generated are accurate and accessible remotely via mobile devices.

Restaurant POS System Flexibility

  • Multi-Platform Support – While web-based SaaS is the way to go now, the best POS systems for restaurants are not restricted to online PC dashboards. They provide additional point of sale software versions that are compatible with both android and iOS platforms. That means you can freely use them from your tablet or iPad mobile devices.
  • Offline Functionalities – Although your internet service provider probably guarantees an uninterrupted internet connection, you cannot afford to risk your restaurant business by taking their word for it. Instead, you should be prepared for possible downtimes by leveraging a restaurant POS system that maintains normal business operations even after going offline.
  • Hardware Peripherals – The best POS systems for restaurants are extremely generous when it comes to external point of sale hardware. Although some of them provide their own proprietary hardware extras, they go ahead and support a wide range of peripherals from other dealers. Consequently, you should be able to freely embed card readers, bar code scanners, receipt printers, cash drawers, etc.

Restaurant POS System Pricing 💰

  • Installation Fee – Every single restaurant POS solution comes with its own installation requirements. Therefore, expect to incur upfront installation costs in the form of software acquisition fees, along with hardware purchases. The best restaurant POS systems might not necessarily be the cheapest to install, but they charge reasonable fees.
  • Flat Rate – In addition to the installation fee, you should evaluate your restaurant POS solution options based on their subscription rates over the long haul. More specifically, compare their features and the corresponding charges to identify the ones with the best possible ROI.
  • Transaction Fees – Other charges your restaurant business will possibly incur via POS systems are transaction fees for the payments you process. So, assess the percentage rates they charge for each transaction, and then calculate what your business stands to incur over the long haul.

Picking the Best Restaurant POS Systems – Table of Contents

7 of the Best POS Systems for Restaurants in 2020

Best POS System for Restaurants #1 – Square for Restaurants

Square is, undoubtedly, one of the few most dominant brands in the point of sale system space. It even features prominently in our review of the ultimate best POS systems in 2020.

Now, as you might have noticed already, one of the reasons why Square is growing exponentially is its holistic approach to POS solutions. While its Square Point of Sale App is an all-in-one software for pretty much any business, Square for Restaurants is rather an optimized version with the specific features that restaurant business owners need.

That said, Square for Restaurants is recognized as the best POS system for restaurants primarily because of its remarkable balance between simplicity and management functionalities. It comes with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that even beginners could master in no time.

[/su_column][/su_row]

square for restaurants homepage

Its table mapping function, for instance, provides a simple, neat and organized restaurant layout management interface. The whole thing can be customized in a few minutes to reflect your actual floor plan.

Another customizable function here is the menu, through which you have the freedom to come up with an unlimited number of menus. You can even configure their corresponding pricing to include promotions and special sales.

Table management, on the other hand, offers more dynamic capabilities like meal course coordination, while tableside ordering helps boost your order processing efficiency.

And speaking of management, this best POS system for restaurants goes ahead and provides both customer management and employee management tools.

Then when it comes to payment processing, Square for restaurants proves to be quite a flexible solution. In addition to Square’s standard credit card processing capabilities, the restaurant POS system can also accept Google Pay and Apple Pay, even in the middle of an internet service outage.

That said, Square for Restaurants also happens to be the one the best restaurant POS systems as far as flexibility is concerned- all thanks to the Square App Marketplace.

You can find out more from our detailed review of Square for Restaurants.

Square for Restaurants POS System Main Features ✨

  • Ticket reprints and quick splits
  • Repeat orders
  • Track covers and assign items to seats
  • Set up discounts and flash sales
  • Customize orders between For Here, Pickup, and Delivery
  • Set up comps and voids
  • Automatically apply gratuity for large parties
  • Synchronize and track item quantity
  • Manage multiple locations with one login
  • Add unlimited employees and permissions
  • Build and edit floor plans and sections
  • Set up menus, items, and modifiers
  • Create invoices for catering
  • Create and enhance existing customer profiles
  • Reporting on covers, shifts, discounts, modifiers, revenue centers, labor, taxes, comps & voids, and more.

Square for Restaurants POS System Available Hardware ⚙️

square for restaurants hardware

There are three main kit options ⤵️

  • Square Stand Station -This restaurant POS system kit costs $1,074 and it provides a USB receipt printer, receipt printer paper (25 rolls), kitchen printer paper (25 rolls), an Ethernet kitchen printer, a printer-driven cash drawer, plus a Square Stand for contactless and chip payments.
  • Windfall Stand Station: This restaurant POS system kit costs $1,082, and it comes with receipt printer paper (25 rolls), kitchen printer paper (25 rolls), a Heckler WindFall stand for iPad, an Ethernet receipt printer, an Ethernet kitchen printer, a dock for Square reader, a printer-driven cash drawer, plus a Square stand for contactless and chip payments.
  • Square Stand Station with Square Terminal: This is a complete POS system hardware kit that will cost you $1,473. It comes with a USB receipt printer, receipt printer paper (25 rolls), kitchen printer paper (25 rolls), an Ethernet kitchen printer, a printer-driven cash drawer, a Square terminal, plus a Square stand for contactless and chip payments.

Square for Restaurants POS System Pricing 💰

The Square for Restaurants POS system’s pricing is quite simple.

Acquiring the POS software and proceeding to install adopt it in one POS terminal, for starters, attracts a fee of $60 a month. Then each subsequent additional installation beyond that will cost you $40 a month.

square for restaurants pricing

In-person card transactions, on the other hand, are charged 2.6% + $0.10 for each swipe, dip, or contactless payment. The fees for digital payments, however, are costlier at 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction.

Square for Restaurants POS System Pros 👍

  • Square for Restaurant POS system is reasonably-priced and affordable.
  • The POS system interface is incredibly easy to use.
  • The Square App Marketplace provides an array of third-party apps that you could integrate with your restaurant POS system.
  • The Square for Restaurant pricing is pretty straightforward.
  • You can process payments offline.

Square for Restaurants POS System Cons 👎

  • You can only process your card payments through Square.
  • Square for Restaurants does not provide advanced restaurant POS system features.
  • Square for Restaurants is only available on the iPad.

Who Should Consider Using Square for Restaurants POS System?

Square for Restaurants is particularly suited for basic quick-service coffee shops, food trucks, cafés, bars, etc. Unfortunately, however, the easy-to-use software layout does not provide the advanced tools you’d need to manage a full-service restaurant. I guess you’d be better off with the original Square Point of Sale App.

👉 Check out our detailed Square for Restaurants POS review.

Best POS System for Restaurants #2 – TouchBistro

TouchBistro currently holds the title for the best budget restaurant POS system. Although it doesn’t offer a free package, I must admit that all its subscription plans are competitively priced. Or in simple terms, they provide advanced features at considerably reasonable rates.

The type of POS features we’re talking about here range from inventory tracking and menu planning to payment processing, employee management, customer management, and order management. TouchBistro is seemingly built to help you manage your restaurant operations conveniently and efficiently from an iPad system.

touchbistro pos homepage

Yes, that’s right, TouchBistro is ahybrid iPad pos system that runs on a local network. But, make no mistake about it. This iPad POS software for restaurants is as solid as they come.

It offers an all-in-one toolkit for small, medium-sized, and large restaurant businesses. Combined, the tools are particularly handy for streamlining the management of multiple restaurant locations.

If you’re dealing with large orders across your outlets, for instance, TouchBistro’s menu coursing tool is capable of accommodating up to 12 courses per customer. You can take advantage of its flexibility to coordinate shared orders between the kitchen and customer tables.

Another notable feature on this best POS system for restaurants is its support for an unlimited number of users per account. That basically means you can expand your business and add as many employee accounts as you need. Plus, you have the freedom to specify the user roles for each new account.

Then to help you keep tabs on your overall business progress, TouchBistro generates a host of reports, including tax summaries, audit reports, labor summaries and shift info, discounts and void summaries, hourly sales heat maps, gross margins by day, as well as sales numbers by day, order type, section, category, and menu item.

Then to top it off, it allows you to prepare your own custom reports, based on specialized parameters.

TouchBistro POS System for Restaurants Main Features

  • Menu customization
  • Digital menu board
  • Customer-facing display
  • Self-ordering kiosk
  • Kitchen display system
  • Accounting capabilities
  • Staff management and scheduling
  • Online ordering integrations.
  • Staff management capabilities
  • Customer loyalty program.
  • Simple bill splitting
  • 24/7/365 customer support
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) functionalities.
  • Extensive reporting and analytics.
  • Floor plan and table management.
  • Restaurant inventory management
  • Menu management
  • Mobile payment processing
  • Tableside ordering
  • TouchBistro reservations

TouchBistro POS System for Restaurants Available Hardware ⚙️

Here are some of the compatible hardware peripherals ⤵️

  • Printers – TouchBistro POS system for restaurants supports TSP650 II series thermal, plus Star Micronics Impact TSP100, and TSP100III receipt printers. Sadly, however, you won’t be able to connect USB or parallel printers.
  • Cash Drawers – As long as a cash drawer is a printer-model with an RJ12 connection, you should be able to use it with TouchBistro Restaurant POS.
  • Routers – If you’d like to expand your local network coverage, TouchBistro supports AmpliFi™ MeshPoint HD and AmpliFi™ HD Mesh routers.
  • Mac Mini
  • iPad
  • TouchBistro mobile payments terminals
  • iPad hand straps
  • iPad stands
  • Barcode scanners
  • Kitchen impact printers

TouchBistro POS System for Restaurants Pricing 💰

touchbistro pricing

  • Solo – The annual price for the hardware and software bundle is $105 per month, while software only goes for $69 a month. It provides only 1 restaurant POS system installation license, along with free 24/7/365 support, free and easy product updates, menu management, staff management, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, restaurant table management, tableside ordering, payment processing integrations, reporting and analytics, plus unlimited users and logins.
  • Dual – Unlike the Solo plan, Dual gives you two licenses at a cost of $209 per month if you settle for the hardware and software bundle. This rate is billed annually and it drops to $129 a month when you pick the software only bundle. Some of the accompanying restaurant POS system features include full-time customer support, simplified product updates, menu management, staff management, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, restaurant table management, unrestricted users and logins, tableside ordering, payment processing integrations, reporting and analytics, plus access to TouchBistro's VIP community.
  • Team – Team provides five licenses for at least $359 a month on the hardware and software bundle, which is billed annually. The corresponding software-only bundle, on the other hand, costs at least $249 a month. Some of its highlights include full-time customer support, simplified product updates, menu management, staff management, TouchBistro's VIP community access, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, restaurant table management, unrestricted users and logins, tableside ordering, payment processing integrations, plus reporting and analytics.
  • Unlimited – Unlimited is reserved for 6 or more licenses, which start from an annual rate of $539 a month for hardware and software bundle users. The software only bundle starts from $399 per month.

TouchBistro POS System for Restaurants Pros 👍

  • The TouchBistro restaurant POS system comes with an intuitive, elegantly-designed interface.
  • The entire POS software system is simple and user-friendly.
  • TouchBistro is a cost-effective restaurant POS system that grants advanced functionalities at reasonable prices.
  • TouchBistro’s restaurant POS system features can accommodate small, mid-sized, and large restaurant businesses.
  • You don’t need a valid internet connection to run this restaurant POS software. That’s because it largely relies on a local network.
  • TouchBistro offers both kitchen display and customer-facing display POS portals.

TouchBistro POS System for Restaurants Cons 👎

  • The TouchBistro hybrid POS system for restaurants requires you to first set up a local network before proceeding to install the software.
  • TouchBistro restaurant POS system doesn’t come with purchase-ordering and vendor management capabilities.
  • TouchBistro POS system for restaurants doesn’t provide add-ons for enabling extra functionalities.

Who Should Consider Using TouchBistro POS System for Restaurants?

TouchBistro is one of the best restaurant POS systems that seemingly fulfill the needs of not only small businesses, but also mid-sized and large-scale restaurants. So, of course, you can use it to manage both quick-service and full-service establishments, including food trucks, coffee shops, breweries, cafes, nightclubs, resorts, plus bars.

One thing you should note though- while you comfortable adopt it in a single-location business, TouchBistro’s POS system is predominantly ideal for restaurant businesses with multiple locations.

👉 Check out our detailed Touchbistro POS review.

Best POS System for Restaurants #3 – Lightspeed Restaurant

Third on our list of the best POS system for restaurants is Lightspeed, which is a cloud-based POS system built for restaurateurs that run outlets like food trucks, coffee shops, cafes, and bars.

Its tools are fundamentally optimized for performance monitoring, payment processing, order management, employee management and scheduling, menu building, customer reservations, inventory management, and staff tracking.

All things considered, however, the one thing you’re bound to fall in love with here is the floor management feature set. The Lightspeed Restaurant POS system has designed the tools to help you easily create, coordinate and manage your restaurant floor plan as well as the accompanying menu.

Setting up table arrangements, for instance, should only take you a couple of minutes on its intuitive interface. It comes in the form of a drag-and-drop editor, which seemingly offers solid customization capabilities without comprising the overall ease of use.

Interestingly, this interface goes beyond tables to support even menus. You can, therefore, take advantage of its smooth editing capabilities to create and customize your restaurant menu, complete with its meal prices, photos, plus descriptions.

Now, when it comes to serving customers, the Lightspeed Restaurant POS system provides a neat tableside ordering function for increased handling efficiency. You don’t even need to have your employees rushing between tables and point of sale terminals. Every single order is sent straight to the bar or kitchen display for immediate processing.

Then guess what? Thanks to this tableside functionality, customers get to choose how they’d prefer to pay from the comfort of their tables.

And speaking of which, it turns that the Lightspeed Restaurant POS system has a pretty flexible payment framework. In addition to bill merging and splitting, it facilitates a range of payment options. Customers can proceed with credit cards, cash, check, debit cards, or maybe a gift card.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS System Main Features ✨

  • Unlimited 24/7 support
  • Webinars, demos and videos
  • One-on-one onboarding session
  • Advanced Reporting for deeper insights
  • A live, customizable feed of revenue centers
  • Track staff performance and shifts
  • Set tip redistribution for the team
  • Open tabs and place orders on account
  • Offer single seat checkout to group orders
  • Transfer items to a different table or guest
  • Preset modifiers to speed up order-taking
  • Divide items between customers
  • Split or group bills and transfer items
  • Manage takeout and delivery orders
  • Send orders to the kitchen or bar
  • Assign orders to seats or tables
  • Automatic syncs and backups
  • Fully-featured offline mode
  • Staff management
  • Workflow and printer management
  • Timed events
  • Custom floor plans

Lightspeed Restaurant POS System Available Hardware ⚙️

Since it’s a cloud-based restaurant POS system, Lightspeed’s primary dashboard can be accessed via standard web browsers.

However, for increased convenience, you might want to work on the restaurant POS system back office through its mobile app. Lightspeed can run on any mobile device with iOS 9.3 and above. That means iPads, iPods and iPhones are all compatible devices.

Sadly, that’s it. You cannot use the Lightspeed restaurant POS system on an Android device. So, of course, you don’t have much of a choice here but to join the Apple iOS bandwagon.

On a brighter note though, at least you can purchase an iPad starter kit that comes as a comprehensive point of sale hardware system.

Some of its peripherals include ⤵️

  • Lightspeed iPad stand
  • Lite Server
  • LAN receipt printer
  • Cash drawer
  • Kitchen printer

In case you need more, you can always check out Lightspeed’s main site.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS System Pricing 💰

If you’re thinking about installing the Lightspeed Restaurant POS system, you can begin with a single register for a monthly fee of $69. In addition to the features we’ve just explored, it comes with basic reporting, secure cloud backup, free updates, 24/7 support, and personalized onboarding.

lightspeed restaurant pos pricing

But, if you’d like to use the system in multiple locations, you should get in touch with Lightspeed’s sales team for a custom plan and pricing.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS System Pros 👍

  • The Lightspeed Restaurant POS system provides a comprehensive employee management toolkit.
  • The user interface is not only easy to use but also elegantly designed and neatly-organized.
  • Lightspeed Restaurant POS is extensively customizable.
  • It generates detailed reports and analytics.
  • Lightspeed’s restaurant point of sale app comes with multiple tableside capabilities.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS System Cons 👎

  • You won’t be able to process transactions when the Lightspeed restaurant POS system is on offline mode.
  • The inventory management features might feel limited if you’re running a large restaurant business.
  • The Lightspeed restaurant POS system might be fairly costly to small businesses.

Who Should Consider Using Lightspeed Restaurant POS System?

Because of its impressive table-side functionalities, the Lightspeed Restaurant POS system is exceptionally ideal for full-service establishments that host their guests on tables. I’m talking about typical restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars, etc.

👉 Check out our detailed Lightspeed Restaurant POS review.

Best POS System for Restaurants #4: ShopKeep Restaurant POS

ShopKeep Restaurant POS is another cloud-based point of sale app that offers the full management experience. And just like Lightspeed, ShopKeep Restaurant POS is available via a web-based dashboard and an iOS app, which serves as the primary cash register.

shopkeep pos homepage

Now, make no mistake about it. While it might not be as popular as the likes of Shopify and Square, ShopKeep is not a small brand. It is, in fact, an expansive company that offers a range of POS solutions for different types of businesses. But, all in all, small retail businesses, coffee shops, and general restaurants make up the bulk of ShopKeep’s user base, which stretches beyond 23,000.

Well, as you’ve probably guessed by now, hospitality-based businesses feature prominently because ShopKeep offers one of the best POS systems for restaurants. It’s particularly renowned for its excellent customer support, flexible payment processing, real-time sales reporting, automatic inventory tracking, plus dynamic employee management capabilities.

Although it might sound like an advanced POS system for large established restaurants, nothing could be further from the truth. The ShopKeep Restaurant POS system is actually built to support small growing establishments.

The target market here should be obvious right off the bat. When you log into the app, you’ll notice that the overall interface is simple, intuitive and it provides smart but straightforward tools for managing customer information, generating sales reports, tracking inventory, optimizing staffing, as well as driving customer loyalty.

From the look of things, I must admit that the ShopKeep Restaurant POS system doesn’t do much. But, you can bet it’s perfectly optimized for the little it does.

The menu feature, for example, has been streamlined with the app’s analytics to give you real-time insights into your top-selling items. You can also monitor your inventory down to the kitchen ingredients. And in case you miss something, the system has got your back. It’ll automatically notify you when your kitchen starts running short on ingredients.

Now, one thing you probably won’t be running short of is customers. The ShopKeep Restaurant POS system has a solid customer information system, which comes in handy when you need to maintain conversations with your customers, as well as promote the business through loyalty programs like gift cards.

ShopKeep Restaurant POS System Main Features ✨

  • Sync checks across registers
  • Customizable suggested tip amounts
  • Tableside service
  • Integrated loyalty program
  • Gift cards
  • Manage your restaurant’s online visibility across over 100 websites
  • Flexible payment options, including Apple Pay and EMV chip cards
  • Multi-location management
  • Integrated accounting
  • Customizable hardware
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Staff management
  • Online ordering system
  • Integrated payment processing
  • Customer loyalty programs
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Mobile business insights

ShopKeep Restaurant POS System Available Hardware ⚙️

ShopKeep offers a customizable restaurant hardware kit that comes with all the critical point of sale peripherals you’d need.

They include ⤵️

  • An Ethernet cable
  • A credit card reader
  • A receipt printer
  • A kitchen printer
  • An iPad enclosure
  • A cash drawer

You can further supplement these with Bluetooth barcode scanners, charging docks, label printers, and more. They are all available on ShopKeep’s main site.

And what’s more? They come with a one-year warranty.

ShopKeep Restaurant POS System Pricing 💰

The ShopKeep Restaurant POS System’s pricing starts at 99 per month for 2 training sessions, online ordering, unlimited employees, ecommerce features, ShopKeep loyalty programs, unlimited inventory, gift cards, online listings management, unlimited transactions, mobile business insights, unlimited registers, employee management, advanced business reports, email marketing, multi-location management, 24/7 customer care, and the ShopKeep register app.

ShopKeep Restaurant POS System Pros 👍

  • The ShopKeep Restaurant POS system generates solid insights, which come handy when you’re making critical business decisions.
  • ShopKeep provides 24/7 customer support across multiple contact channels.
  • The entire ShopKeep Restaurant POS interface focuses on ease of use plus intuitiveness.
  • The hardware peripherals come with a one year warranty.
  • The ShopKeep Restaurant POS system supports a wide range of payment options.
  • ShopKeep offers a host of marketing features for promoting your restaurant business.

ShopKeep Restaurant POS System Cons 👎

  • ShopKeep does not provide advanced functionalities for managing large restaurant businesses.
  • You might experience some connectivity issues from time to time.

Who Should Consider Using ShopKeep Restaurant POS System?

The ShopKeep restaurant POS system is optimized for small restaurant businesses, especially the ones that are expanding. You can combine its reporting and marketing capabilities to run promotional campaigns for driving growth.

👉 Check out our detailed Shopkeep POS review.

Best POS System for Restaurants #5: Lavu POS

Since 2010, Lavu has served as a restaurant POS system that offers specialized point of sale features, which are optimized for establishments like cafes, breweries, pizzerias, and food trucks.

Don’t get me wrong though. That’s not all you can manage with the Lavu restaurant POS system. Based on my experience with the POS solution, I’d say its robust features should comfortably support basically any type of small or medium-sized business in the hospitality industry.

lavu pos homepage

And just like the rest of the solutions we’ve featured in our best POS system for restaurants review guide, Lavu attempts to make your management operations less cumbersome through a user-friendly restaurant POS interface.

As a matter of fact, thousands of restaurateurs have liked it enough to install the restaurant POS system in more than 20,000 terminals across 93 countries.

While it might not provide the best designed layout, it at least allows you to customize the whole thing based on your restaurant business framework. And if you get stuck while you’re at it, you could turn to Lavu’s detailed onboarding materials for help.

In the end, you can go ahead and leverage the Lavu restaurant POS system for managing multiple business locations, tracking incoming and outgoing cash flows in real-time, managing your restaurant inventory, coordinating your staff work schedules, creating and organizing menus plus table layouts, as well as taking and processing orders efficiently.

Lavu Restaurant POS System Main Features ✨

  • 24/7 U.S.-based customer support.
  • Check trends including sales, labor cost, and labor.
  • Check labor summaries by hourly labor costs.
  • Track menu items.
  • Track hourly and total sales, average sales, taxes, voids and discounts, and payments.
  • Receive inventory manually or automatically via purchase orders.
  • Purchase orders for vendors.
  • Real-time inventory updates.
  • Pizza-building module
  • 26 different language packs and cross-currency conversions.
  • Customer database.
  • Open API
  • Account access levels.
  • Inventory tracking.
  • Schedule shifts.
  • Customizable display options.
  • Reporting on order times and item times.
  • Order timer.
  • Visual indicators for updated or deleted items.
  • Real-time ordering and communications.
  • Tab preauthorization.
  • Order status monitor.
  • Menu customization.
  • Happy hour feature.

Lavu Restaurant POS System Available Hardware ⚙️

The Lavu Restaurant Point-of-Sale Station Kit costs $850 and it comes with an Epson M30 receipt printer, an iDynamo credit card reader, a cash drawer, and an iPad.

Lavu Restaurant POS System Pricing 💰

lavu pos pricing

  • Single Lavu Terminal – One Lavu POS terminal will cost you $69 per month, which is cumulatively billed annually. It comes with Employee Management features, free updates, 24/7 customer care, over 300 restaurant POS system features, and the plan can only apply in one restaurant location.
  • Multiple-Terminal Plans and Enterprise Plans – These two categories are reserved for large restaurant businesses and they come with Single Lavu Terminal functionalities plus enterprise-level support, global menu push, customized regional reporting, plus franchises and chains features. For the pricing rates, however, you have to contact Lavu directly.

Lavu Restaurant POS System Pros 👍

  • The Lavu restaurant POS system is extensively customizable.
  • There are multiple helpful add-ons.
  • The Lavu restaurant POS system can proceed with payment processing even in offline mode.
  • It comes with simple employee management functionalities.

Lavu Restaurant POS System Cons 👎

  • Some basic restaurant POS functionalities like gift cards come at an extra cost.
  • You might experience system glitches from time to time.

Who Should Consider Using Lavu Restaurant POS System?

The Lavu restaurant POS system offers advanced features that are capable of supporting a wide range of hospitality-based businesses. You could use it to manage small to medium-sized bars, fine dining hotels, pizzerias, bars, cafes, breweries, bakeries, etc.

Best POS System for Restaurants #6: Toast POS

The Toast restaurant POS system has been around since 2012, and it already boasts of numerous awards. It’s widely recognized as one of the best POS systems for restaurants thanks to its robust front and back end tools, which are offered via an incredibly intuitive software. Then to top it off, the company provides all that at competitive pricing rates.

toast pos homepage

Now, if you’re the type of restaurateur that would appreciate the flexibility that comes with add-ons, then Toast POS is worth checking out. Its developers have managed to create a large collection of add-ons over the years, which you can easily integrate with your restaurant POS system for extra functionalities.

Toast doesn’t stop there though. The restaurant POS solution extends its versatility for host devices by developing multiple front-end versions.

And speaking of which, the Toast restaurant POS system fundamentally runs on Android-based mobile devices. Then apart from the main back office access, it provides a kitchen display system, as well as a guest-facing display.

Then get this. This restaurant POS system is also available through a unique mobile device called Toast Go. It’s basically a handheld device that’s commonly used for convenient tableside ordering and payment processing.

Other areas where the Toast restaurant POS system has proven to be reliable include creating and processing gift cards, online ordering, customer loyalty programs, digital receipt generation, inventory management, employee time tracking, staff micro-management, customer data collection, reporting and analytics, plus menu creation.

Toast Restaurant POS System Main Features ✨

  • Receive sales performance trends, detailed usage data, and variance reports.
  • Calculate sales, profit, and pour costs across each category.
  • Instantly send out orders, search your order history and upload invoice images.
  • Manage inventory in offline mode.
  • Void, payout, and discount parameters.
  • Restaurant framework template.
  • Multi-location labor permissions.
  • All your locations in one place.
  • Calculate tips and OT across locations.
  • Payroll administration.
  • Automated nightly email.
  • Comparative reporting.
  • Email and SMS digital gift cards.
  • Customizable rewards.
  • Integrated delivery dispatch.
  • Real-time menu sync.
  • Centralized inventory data.
  • Integrates directly with Toast Go™.
  • Foreign language support.
  • Texts guests when the order is ready.
  • Track server performance.
  • Digital receipt feedback.
  • Guest info capture.
  • Real-time guest feedback.
  • Tableside payments.
  • Split checks.
  • Table management.

Toast Restaurant POS System Available Hardware ⚙️

Here are some of the POS hardware peripherals you can purchase directly from Toast’s main site ⤵️

  • Barcode scanners
  • Impact printers
  • Cloud-enabled routers
  • Toast kitchen display system
  • Toast guest-facing display
  • EMV-enabled credit card readers
  • Toast Kiosk
  • Toast Go
  • Toast terminals
  • Cash drawers
  • Credit card readers
  • Terminal stands

Toast Restaurant POS System Pricing 💰

toast pos pricing

  • Restaurant POS Software – The POS software itself starts at $79 per terminal. In addition to its core features for kitchen operations, menu management, and cloud-based reporting, it provides add-ons for payroll, online ordering, inventory, gift cards, plus labor.
  • Hardware – The most popular hardware kit costs $899 and it comes with a 10 inch touch screen POS terminal, flip stand, plus a magnetic card reader.
  • Restaurant POS System Installation – System installation services will cost you at least $499.

Toast Restaurant POS System Pros 👍

  • The Toast Restaurant POS system comes with a sleek, user-friendly interface.
  • You’re guaranteed excellent customer service.
  • The Toast Restaurant POS system is compatible with Android devices.
  • The restaurant POS system is holistically developed to include a kitchen display, a customer-facing display, as well as a handheld Toast Go mobile device.
  • There’s a wide range of add-ons for customizing your point of sale functionalities.

Toast Restaurant POS System Cons 👎

  • The only card processing option you can use is Toast’s own payment processor.
  • The add-ons here come at an extra cost.

Who Should Consider Using Toast Restaurant POS System?

All things considered, Toast POS is an all-in-one restaurant management system with enough features to support both full-service and quick-service restaurants.

Small restaurant businesses like cafes, pizzerias, nightclubs and bars can capitalize on the software’s advanced menu creation and table mapping capabilities, while large franchises would be more interested in taking advantage of its real-time multi-location data syncing.

Best POS System for Restaurants #7: Upserve POS

If you’ve heard about Breadcrumb POS before, then the Upserve restaurant POS system is anything but new to you.

You see, Breadcrumb and Upserve are one and the same thing. The former rebranded barely a year or so ago after it was acquired by Upserve.

upserve pos homepage

Now, unlike the rest of the solutions we’ve explored in this best POS system for restaurants review guide, Upserve takes a rather interesting approach to POS functionalities. Its design team, which is made up of former waiters, bartenders and restaurant managers, has tweaked the system based on workers’ needs.

Consequently, the Upserve restaurant POS system comes with a range of decent features for helping hospitality professionals reduce their workloads, automate processes, and streamline their operations accordingly.

In essence, Upserve POS provides tools for customer management, restaurant management, table management, and specialty order processing. Then when it comes to online ordering, Upserve has linked up with a company called GrubHub to develop ideal integrations. Therefore, you should be able to proceed with online orders and deliveries.

It’s also worth noting that the Upserve restaurant POS system is available on both Android plus iOS platforms. That allows you to conveniently coordinate orders and collect bill payments from any employee device.

Upserve Restaurant POS System Main Features ✨

  • Real-time reporting
  • Menu search
  • Bulk menu upload
  • Menu customization
  • Menu inventory countdown
  • Tip pooling
  • Employee management
  • Sales analytics
  • Reputation
  • Campaigns
  • Labor reporting
  • Table mapping
  • EMV support
  • Item notes
  • Signature on screen
  • Tableside service
  • New vs repeat guest breakdown
  • Online ordering
  • Tab management
  • Check management
  • Split items
  • Split checks
  • Discounts & voids

Upserve Restaurant POS System Available Hardware ⚙️

Some of the available hardware peripherals include ⤵️

  • Meraki Networking routers and extenders.
  • Upserve POS and Epson KDS single and dual station kitchen display kits.
  • Impact and receipt printer options.
  • Stand-alone EMV readers.
  • Upserve Tableside

Upserve Restaurant POS System Pricing 💰

  • Core – For a subscription monthly fee of $59 as well as $60 per POS terminal, the Core plan offers 24/7 us-based support, a live mobile app, gift card add-ons, reputation management, campaigns, 3rd party platform integrations, online ordering, marketing capabilities, low inventory alerts, 1-click purchasing, vendor management, recipe costing, inventory management, transaction search, EMV support, sales, product, and labor reporting, Upserve payments, and the offline mode functionality,
  • Pro – For a monthly subscription fee of $199 plus $50 per POS terminal this plan combines the Core plan features with guest lifetime value, customizable rewards program, loyalty programs, server performance monitoring, and menu optimization.
  • Pro Plus – For a monthly subscription fee of $359 plus $40 per POS terminal this plan supplements the Pro plan features with enterprise account management, data API, and custom reporting.

Upserve Restaurant POS System Pros 👍

  • The Upserve restaurant POS system is specially optimized for restaurant employees.
  • It supports multiple restaurant ordering systems.
  • Upserve POS offers integration for online ordering capabilities.
  • The Upserve POS interface here is deeply customizable.
  • The system provides detailed analytics.
  • Upserve is compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices.

Upserve Restaurant POS System Cons 👎

  • Upserve might experience service outages from time to time.

Who Should Consider Using Upserve Restaurant POS System?

Since the Upserve Restaurant POS system comes with a dynamic ordering system, you could ahead and use it in both full-service and quick-service restaurants, pizza cafes, lounges, bars, breweries, wineries, bakeries, drive-thrus, etc.

It goes beyond the typical table ordering framework to support even deliveries, bar tabs, and eat-outs.

Further Reading:

Best POS (Point of Sale) Systems for Small Businesses in 2020

  • A Detailed Analysis of the Best POS Solutions

Clover POS System Review

  • A POS system ideal for counter-serve and quick-serve restaurant owners, retail companies, and full-service businesses

Shopify POS Review

  • This enables you to sell all the merchandise you usually sell on your online Shopify store, in-person.

Featured image

Davis Porter

Davis Porter is a B2B and B2C ecommerce pundit who’s particularly obsessed with digital selling platforms, online marketing, hosting solutions, web design, cloud tech, plus customer relationship management software. When he’s not testing out various applications, you’ll probably find him building a website, or cheering Arsenal F.C. on.