The best POS system for restaurants is Toast POS, a reasonably priced, full-featured point-of-sale platform for US-based foodservice companies. It provides all the order and payment processing tools you need, with additional capabilities to help you operate your restaurant optimally.
How often do restaurants have to gray out certain menus on the list for unavailability because of a lack of certain ingredients? POS software does away with the embarrassment and inconvenience, while the best of them keep track of repeat customers and give them the rewards they deserve no matter if they’re switching branches of your restaurant.
In this article, you’ll read about what we found to be the 20 best POS systems for restaurants in the market today based on core features, restaurant management tools, ease of use and more. These applications would typically provide the same core functions, so watch out for other things like the hardware you would need to purchase on top of the software or which mobile platform it runs on. You would also do well to keep a keen eye on vendor reputation for providing timely updates and customer service.
More Americans are eating out than cooking at home today. And looking at the sales progression of the restaurant industry, presented in the chart below, the trend has never shown any signs of slacking off.
That’s good news for restaurant owners. Even better is that they can utilize technology to further fuel this growth by improving how things are run behind the counter. In fact, our restaurant statistics show how technology is one of the biggest factors in gaining an edge in today’s fierce competitive restaurant industry.
Many of the leading POS-based restaurant management systems have a combination of useful functions, melding POS with back-office and front-end features. They also provide you with more integrations as you work your way to adding more functions, where necessary.
Consider also some of the POS features that are most useful to your line of business. Most establishments point to the availability of quick keys or product lookup as a very useful feature to facilitate rapid response to purchase orders or just customer queries. Speed is the key, and these simple buttons or icons should do the trick.
Those who are more aggressive could be at home with the more technical shortcut keys to get to speed when dealing with customers who expect to be served fast. For technology concerns, consider the availability of Bluetooth as an option for fast alternative payment over wifi. It’s almost unimaginable that Bluetooth would get back on the groove after all these years, but things took a turn in its favor after the removal of the headphone jack in some mobile devices and Bluetooth itself became blazingly fast.
Whether you’re planning to get into this exciting industry or are already in it, understand that competition is stiff and almost always, between two restaurants with an equally successful menu, how efficient you provide customer service is the deal-breaker. Hence, getting your POS right off the bat is crucial.
Toast POS is one of the few providers of an Android POS system, which is more suitable for restaurants due to the flexibility and affordability of the Android infrastructure. Android devices offer more options, provide faster software updates and have more customization options than the iPad. The software caters to quick-service and full-service establishments, with a configurable toolset for nightclubs, pizzerias, bars, and chains in the US. Users can turn to the huge Toast community to share or receive best practice tips. The vendor offers a comprehensive look at its features.
More than a POS system, Toast POS provides a comprehensive restaurant management system that streamlines front-end and back-office processes. It also integrates CRM to help you nurture customer loyalty. Overall, Toast POS can enhance staff efficiency, reduce costs and improve customer service.
For one, servers can split menu items and bills among customers. The system can also send alerts to service when an order is ready. Likewise, servers can take orders on the fly. Using a system-enabled Android tablet, servers can process payments, print receipts or send them via email at tableside.
Customizing the menu is also easy. You can set time-specific menu pricing, for instance, during happy hours, or configure different menu sets for online and offline customers. You can also set up menus for different subgroups.
Other main functions include customer management, staff performance tracking, product mix reports to identify your best-sellers and a kiosk system for digital ordering at restaurants. Toast POS is such a comprehensive restaurant system that it’s also the leading product in our list of best restaurant management software.
Detailed Toast POS Review
TouchBistro is one of the most used and popular iPad-based POS systems, which caters to both quick service and full-service establishments of any size. It fits the processes and dynamics of restaurants, cafes, and nightclubs, as well as food trucks, bakeries, and fast-casual. The tableside POS enables staff to serve customers efficiently from showcasing the menu to order taking, to checkout and payment. The vendor offers a great free trial plan for those who’d like to try out the key features of the product first.
After testing dozens of POS systems, we found TouchBistro to be a top-of-the-line EMV-compliant system that also integrates an end-to-end restaurant management system. Aside from tableside service efficiency, the system helps you with staff management and scheduling, menu management and inventory management using iPad-accessible tools.
Its POS features help you transact faster while reducing manual error and increasing dining-counter-kitchen coordination with in-app communications. It’s also quick to generate transactional reports like payment and refund totals, detailed credit card refund and reporting. The system also accommodates gift cards and loyalty deals.
Furthermore, TouchBistro provides versatile admin controls and customization tools. Menu items can be assigned to multiple ticket printers. You can also hide menu categories for breakfast, lunch, and dinner or remove instantly unavailable items. Similarly, you have full security control of the system. Also, TouchBistro is actually one of the best on-premise POS systems in the market today.
Aside from POS features, TouchBistro has robust reporting and remote management. Features include sales snapshots, void reports by employee, detailed credit card payment reports and detailed shift reports. The system is also integrated with accounting functions, such as CFDI support, tax reports, and Bevintel reports.
Detailed TouchBistro Review
Sapaad is cloud-based, easy to set up and easy to use point-of-sale software that accommodates multiple franchises and branches.
It provides recipe management and food costing, purchase management, stock management and inventory, along with a powerful reporting capability. With its recipe management, you can set ingredients as you see fit and instantly see the effects of each change on the cost of your menu items.
Its purchase management feature lets you tweak purchase orders and receive goods against invoices conveniently. You may also manage the supplier database, generate conversion measurement units across ingredients, track ingredient and finished goods costs. This product is considered as a good Toast POS alternative, in case our top pick appealed to you but for some reason, you needed something else.
Detailed Sapaad Review
Upserve (formerly Upserve Breadcrumb POS) is a restaurant-grade POS designed for modern restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, and bars looking to improve operational efficiency. Featuring an easy to use interface and sleek terminals, the solution enables restaurant staff to deliver exceptional services that grow repeat business. Its menu intelligence leverages POS data and cloud technology to help you optimize menu and inventory management.
Additionally, Upserve facilitates digital ordering experience thanks to its online order features. With online ordering, guests can order in real-time and the orders go straight to your kitchen once they are accepted on Upserve. This offers a seamless experience to your customers and makes life easier for staff.
Furthermore, Upserve integrates with Upserve Payments and Upserve HQ to deliver a comprehensive POS system that helps you streamline the entire restaurant management process. Other notable features include server performance, tableside ordering, split checks, reporting, signature on-screen, item notes, shift notes, EMV, and table map.
Detailed Upserve Review
Revel Systems POS is a scalable POS system that enables you to right-size the tools you just need. It covers quick service, full service and retail for both their front-end and back-office processes. Notably, its POS system is integrated with finance and accounting tools. It’s targeted at restaurants, bars, breweries, cinemas, salons, and grocery stores.
Revel Systems POS is actually a full-scale restaurant management system. The POS features include cash management, table management, and delivery management. It’s built on a hybrid architecture featuring an offline mode that keeps the POS running during an internet outage.
Likewise, Revel Systems POS gives staff mobility for a more efficient table service; servers can take orders and process payments off-counter. The system can also set up self-checkout channels to keep queues short.
Beyond POS, the software features a Customer Display System, which can be utilized for promotions or showcase menu items in multiple places within your premises. Similarly, the system offers delivery monitoring to manage numerous deliveries at once and furnishes field status updates and smart delivery time calculations. Revel Systems POS also features a rewards system placement.
Detailed Revel Systems POS Review
POS Nation is a POS system customizable to your needs. It is being used by different types of businesses with different preferences and requirements. As such, it is useful as a retail or a restaurant POS. Furthermore, POS Nation not only helps its clients with customizable software but it also provides them with the right hardware and peripherals for their business.
POS Nation understands that your food business is unique. This is why their staff take a hands-on approach to design the right POS system for you. They offer a POS system builder where you can enter information to get a quote. Also, as you do this, customer support is helpful enough to guide you through the whole process of setting up your very own system. They are available 24/7 all year round.
For your restaurant, POS Nation provides what is called RPE or Restaurant Pro Express. The platform comes equipped with a robust inventory management feature allowing you to customize categories and settings. You can track stock levels and set reorder parameters. There is also a table management module, a sales reports module, and other features like top-tracking. They come with many automation functions so you can save time so you can grow your restaurant business.
With POS Nation’s RPE, you can seamlessly connect your kitchen to the floor. You can manage orders by tables for clearer communication. Pair this with kitchen-focused tools like menu programming, menu modifiers, recipe tracking, and a KDS (kitchen display system), and you’ll have a full-fledged restaurant management system that is unique to your establishment.
The platform integrates well with payment processing and online ordering systems. It is known to interface seamlessly with Chase, First Data, QuickBooks, and Worldpay, among many others. This cloud-based solution is priced starting at $119 a month.
Detailed POS Nation Review
CAKE is a cost-efficient end-to-end POS, guest management, and online ordering system from Sysco. Firstly, CAKE caters to full-service and quick-service restaurants, pubs, bars, and other food businesses. It helps users elevate the management of dining experiences by centralizing everything under one roof.
The solution offers a set of table management features that facilitates coordination between the kitchen and the restaurant floor. Taking orders is made more efficient and convenient at the same time. Furthermore, you can use CAKE to handle waitlists, reservations, and even payment processing. Also, it has an offline payment processing feature that you can bank on whenever your internet connection goes down.
CAKE is a cloud-based system and it integrates well with CAKE Guest Manager. In this way, you can use rich data gathered from previous transactions to inform future business decisions. Many love this feature as it lets customers make reservations or add themselves on a waitlist directly from Google. Plus, it comes with analytics and reporting tools to help you make more sense of what your data can mean. These include insights for sales trends, foot traffic, customer behavior, and others.
The software integrates well with other systems from Sysco like Cake OrderPad, Cake Guest Manager, and Cake Online Ordering. It also seamlessly interfaces with accounting programs, such as Xero and QuickBooks. Other integrations include 7shifts, Orca, Swipe, and Cards, among others. As of now, CAKE is only available in the US.
Detailed CAKE Review
For around $194 per month (annual subscription) and no hidden fees, you can have the powerful Cybersys POS software for any number of users and in any of your business locations. Your subscription entitles you to an intuitive point-of-sale application that works just as well with your desktop system or any iOS or Android device, including printing of receipts.
Cybersys POS supports EMV chip card readers with EVO, Mercury/Vantiv, Worldpay and First Data, among others, as well as the Magtek 21040108 card reader, to give you multiple payment options. Mobile credit card readers, barcode scanners, label printers or papers, and gift cards are also supported for more flexibility. Digital signature capture is supported through Topaz SigLite T-S460-HSB Wired Signature Terminalon via Windows.
Cybersys POS also supports twelve major languages, which should let you operate the software using the native language you are more familiar with. Real-time inventory management should ensure you don’t run out of stock and compromise customer reception to your business, while API support should let you integrate with third-party applications as you require them.
Cybersys POS shouldn’t get your staff in a bind operating it, but just the same, the vendor offers a strong 24/7 online and phone support for any contingency. When you want to gauge the productivity and performance of staff and business, the application gives you the analytics and reporting tool to conduct it.
Detailed Cybersys POS Review
Webnexs Wcomm is a flexible, technology-centric ecommerce platform that you can avail for as little as $19 per month. It lets you design a customized ecommerce front from scratch with both expert designers and those provided by Webnexs. It’s specifically targeted for fast deployment. Hosting is already provided so you don’t have to worry about additional expenses while focusing on optimizing your online store.
The application is designed for ease of use, so you don’t need vast technical background to navigate through the application and start processing sales orders, payments, and shipping. The software provides inventory management to eliminate the need for manual stock tracking and management, which could cost you more hours doing mundane tasks than growing your revenue and customer base.
Webnexs Wcomm is built to optimize your presence in the markets, with meta information, URLs and other details purposely meeting search engine requirements. The Wcomm Store generates Robot.txt and Sitemap.xml to allow search engines to find your site easily.
Detailed Webnexs Wcomm Review
A&B POS is a full-featured point-of-sale solution that provides simple but powerful functionalities in terms of taking orders, providing discounts and tips, managing inventory, and generating daily reports for insights on your business.
A&B POS gives you detailed reports on sales and transaction trends along with enhanced sales, financial, employee reports, all via the cloud on any web-browser and device.
The solution helps you free up staff so they can focus on providing quality service to your customers. Aside from streamlining your operations and providing excellent guest experience, A&B POS lets you train new employees easily via easy-to-grasp ordering and payment procedures.
Detailed AB POS Review
With support for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, Square POS handles and manages payments, issues digital receipts, provides inventory status updates reports—all essential and outstanding POS capabilities in an easy-to-use interface accessible through multiple devices. You can try its features even if you’re not yet ready to commit to a plan.
Upon receiving a Square Chip Card Reader free of charge, customers are charged with flat rates. For keyed-in transactions, customers pay a 3.5% transaction cost plus $0.15. Customers who personally use their card to dip, tap, and swipe, they pay slightly lower transaction fees (2.75%). Over the phone and online transactions are charged higher because of the higher risk of fraud.
Square POS features printable sales reports, receipt printer support, barcode scanner support, digital receipts via SMS or email, adjustable taxes, tipping by percentage or custom amount, full and partial refunds and customer signature capture among others.
Square POS also sells Square Stand, an iPad contactless and chip stand that allows contactless payments as well as chip cards, NFC and magstripe. Vendors can update over the air to make sure it stays current with the latest version of Apple Pay or Google Pay for hassle-free payments.
Detailed Square Review
Miva Merchant is a complete ecommerce solution that provides online retailers not only payment tools through a shopping cart platform but also the support of active promotion systems, product visual enhancers, and a helpful knowledge base to drive the success of your business. It actively helps you minimize cart abandonment with timely solution suggestions based on best practices.
Miva Merchant places customer experience at the top of your priorities, with rich landing pages and product visuals to create a pleasing experience for them. The software works well with Google Shopping and other marketing platforms. A logic-based engine helps you create more attractive pricing schemes and other loyalty incentives.
Products displayed via Miva Merchant are not only visually stunning, but they are also smartly connected with related items to allow you to cross-sell and upsell to ensure your inventory moves quickly.
Detailed Miva Merchant Review
Lavu is a popular mobile point-of-sale system that is designed to cater to bars and restaurants. This solution runs on iPad devices and eliminates issues associated with vague sales data, order confusion, and lagging service, among others.
Lavu empowers restaurant owners with full control over their operations and enables staff to maintain top-notch customer support standards. The platform makes this possible with its simple-to-use interface, central data hubs, and the ability to streamline processes.
Lavu offers several features that allow customization of menu layouts, easier staff training, and quicker order taking. Apart from benefitting restaurant operations, the software enables a range of HR functions including the optimization of onboarding processes and employee training.
Detailed Lavu Review
Lightspeed Restaurant is another reliable POS system that streamlines the hospitality experience for both venue managers and their clients. The cloud-based POS solution helps manage your stuff, serve customers accurately and in time, and monitor performance to depict trends and opportunities.
To start with, Lightspeed Restaurant will simplify the process of menu creation, as you can upload any image you want, and customize and organize products to your needs. Your staff will find the product very intuitive and easy to use, which means you can put the POS in action since day one. All data will be gathered and organized in a centralized hub so that you can access it any time, and from any device. Lightspeed Restaurant is also equipped with order and payment management features and offers 24/7 premium support and access to training materials.
The company has also developed a dedicated accounting, retail, on-site POS and ecommerce solution as parts of its end-to-end productivity suite. To learn more, visit their official website.
Detailed Lightspeed Restaurant Review
Clover bundles its POS system with hardware with set options for EMV/NFC swipes, portable POS, countertop setup and smartphone-ready, contactless payment device. Specifically, it banners an ultra-portable POS device called Clover Flex, which allows you to transact where your customers are, including in the aisle, at tableside or counter.
Bundles are packaged as Clover Flex, Clover Mini, Clover Mobile, Clover Station and Clover Go for various POS setups, whether mobile or fixed. Likewise, Clover features other restaurant management tools for inventory management, real-time reporting, loyalty programs, staff management, and accounting. All bundles help you oversee inventory, edit menus and monitor staff activities and performance.
Detailed Clover Review
ShopKeep is another iPad POS system with an intuitive touchscreen interface and can be deployed in minutes. It also helps retail, quick service, restaurants and bars, and franchises to manage reservations, inventory, staff and marketing in one platform. Specifically, it has tailored solutions for food trucks, coffee shops, and convenience stores. ShopKeep also offers a countertop POS hardware for the register, card reader and receipt printer.
The POS-integrated restaurant management system provides all the tools to run your frontend and backend operations. Aside from the POS software and hardware that handle transactions, payment processing, and inventory, other main features include staff management, CRM, reporting and analytics, and integrations. It also provides an offline mode for internet interruptions.
Detailed ShopKeep Review
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based ecommerce solution that provides a unified customer buying experience with modules for B2B, B2C, and an extensive order management system. Its mobile implementation is equally capable with a one-touch payment feature to support a responsive build and superior micro-moments technology to drive your brand and actual growth of sales.
A powerful self-learning AI engine, Einstein, probes into shopper preferences and finds matching product data to adjust your product offerings and recommendations accordingly in real-time. The smart engine eliminates tasks that used to zap staff hours sorting product categories, merchandising manually, updating customer profiles or defining rules to segment products.
Einstein also powers the deep insights that could be extracted from your massive data, giving you crucial information to navigate your business in the kind of competition you have in your industry.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud also gives you the kind of support provided by the massive Salesforce ecosystem, paving an easy path to globalize your operations with full support for local languages and currencies.
Detailed Salesforce Commerce Cloud Review
With a starting $1,200 one-time payment, you can take advantage of QuickBooks POS. This solution can run on any capable mobile device, on your business premises, or simply via the cloud infrastructure. What you get for the fee is an application that lets you provide multiple payment options and collect them, conduct sales campaigns, monitor and manage your inventory, build and offer promotional and other reward campaigns, and evaluate the performance of your business with the software’s capable reporting and analytics engine.
Order processing with QuickBooks POS is possible with an optional barcode scanner, a capable mobile device, or you can opt to simply enter items manually. Payments can be by cash or credit and debit cards, or via convenient payment gateways.
The inventory manager syncs product catalogs in real-time with every made sales or orders or even returns. You can have it show you what’s been selling hot lately and which items are languishing in the warehouses. Keeping customers happy is made possible by a customer profiling tool which lets you create the best rewards and incentives for returning customers and new conversions. Since it comes from QuickBooks, you can opt to integrate it with the accounting software and reconcile all the key numbers with a simple click of a button.
Detailed QuickBooks POS Review
Zomato Base is the cloud POS system of the popular restaurant review platform, Zomato. It is compatible with KOT printers, cash drawers, and kitchen displays and its functionalities can be expanded via an integrated app marketplace. The system also offers restaurant management tools to help you run the main aspects of your operations from a single platform. Food establishments of any type and size will find Zomato Base a big help to organize and centralize their daily activities and process flows.
Aside from the POS system, it features customizable menu management. It also allows you to monitor inventory and get alerts for resupply. Likewise, it accounts for the use of raw materials based on sales to help you cut loss.
Meanwhile, the Smart Table Management gives you the real-time status of your tables so that you can keep a close tab on orders and payments. For customer convenience, you can send receipts via email and SMS and offer them online payments via a payment gateway integration.
Zomato Base also provides CRM to help you tailor service based on customer preferences, order history, or birthdays. It also features real-time analytics for sales tracking and other key performance indicators with actionable insights.
Detailed Zomato Base Review
Harbortouch banners simplicity in its approach. This is evident from its module-based view, wherein you only see the features that you need while the others are hidden. The available modules are a cash register interface, a basic calculator, and a full Point of Sale solution. It boasts an intuitive interface that eases operation while at the same time, trivializes training sessions for newbies. There’s an option for remote management of the POS, too.
It sports state-of-the-art devices like the large but sleek screen that can easily rotate on a full 180 degrees so that customers can sign on the screen. There are several peripheral hardware available too such as barcode scanner, remote printer, and a digital scale. The best part is that each of these is covered in a lifetime warranty.
Another major feature of Harbortouch is its advanced reporting capabilities. It provides a lot of information grouped into a wide variety of types. There’s the financial overview, item sales summary, discount summary, employee directory, labor by employee, and more. They can even be viewed remotely as well.
Detailed Harbortouch Review
Cash management is a significant feature of POS software systems, but there are other key functions. Many systems run the gamut of streamlining a typical corporation’s processes and subscribe to the same factors to make the system fully adaptive to your business.
There are other factors to consider that will help you choose the best point-of-sale solution for your restaurant. These include general classification and cost of POS. You can learn more about them from our in-depth analysis of POS software.
Moreover, POS and restaurant management solutions out there are a dime a dozen, and cherry-picking the best isn’t that simple. You will do well to look for a free trial offer before plunging into a final purchase. Toast POS, TouchBistro, and Sapaad, for example, offer those, so why not go the extra mile to see how the software actually works in the real world. If your business is in the US, you can easily sign up for a free demo of Toast POS. It’s an unbeatable way to conclude your search for the ideal platform.
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