The best POS system for restaurants is Toast POS, a reasonably priced, full-featured point-of-sale platform for US-based food service operations. It provides all the order and payment processing you expect from such applications, with additional capabilities to help you operate your restaurant optimally. These include syncing your front and back processes, providing you with convenient payment processing and helping you manage inventory down to each item.
A capable POS system is the difference between a busy restaurant that looks more like an open market than a cozy establishment where clients can relax while peacefully enjoying their preferred orders for the day. Aside from reducing the number of waiters and other staff to take care of orders, seating customers, and making sure the food arrives at the right table and on time, POS systems eliminate the complications of handling any number of floor orders and a fast-dwindling inventory.
How often do restaurants have to gray out certain menus on the list for unavailability because of 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 think are 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, which mobile platform it runs on, or whether you would prefer a platform that has a built-in CRM or ecommerce support. You would also do well to keep a keen eye on vendor reputation for providing timely updates and customer service.
There are more Americans eating out than cooking at home today. And the trend isn’t slacking off for the next few years, or so it seems based on the US Census Bureau Data. That’s good news for restaurant owners. Technology can further fuel this growth by improving how things are run behind the counter.
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 work your way to adding more functions, where necessary.
Consider also some of the POS features that are most useful for your line of business. Most establishments point to the availability of quick keys or product lookup as a very useful feature to facilitate quick 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 to its favor after the removal of 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, 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 said to be 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 iPad. The software caters to quick service and full service with a configurable toolset for nightclubs, pizzerias, bars, and chains in the United States. 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 the order is ready. Likewise, servers can take orders on the fly. Using a system-enabled Android tablet, servers can process payments, print receipt or send it via email at tableside.
You can easily sign up for a Toast free demo here.
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
TouchBistro is one of the most used and popular iPad-based POS systems, which caters to both quick service and full-service business 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 and 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 a top-of-the-line EMV-compliant system that also integrates an end-to-end restaurant management system. We highly recommend TouchBistro as a key tool to grow your business by improving service, providing insights for better business decisions and, overall, increasing sales. 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. The software integrates various payment options for efficient receipt and expense management. It’s also quick to generate transactional reports like payment and refund totals, detailed credit card refund and detailed credit card reporting. The system also accommodates gift cards and loyalty deals.
You can sign up for a TouchBistro trial here.
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. Manage role and permissions, for instance, to restrict access to transactions or set alerts for reopened bill history or unsent items.
Aside from POS features, TouchBistro has robust reporting and remote management. You can save a lot of time from report preparation via CSV export or by using the custom templates for weekly, monthly or annual reporting. Reporting 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.
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 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 supplier database, generate conversion measurement units across ingredients, track ingredient and finished good costs.
The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. You can sign up for the Sapaad free trial here.
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 and reports all via the cloud on any web-browser and devices.
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.
You can sign up for an A&B free trial here.
For around USD 194 per month of annual subscription, no hidden fees, you can have the powerful Cybersys POS software that you can use for any number of users and register for each location of your business. 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 receipt.
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 supports 12 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 analytic and reporting tool to conduct it.
You can sign up for a Cybersys POS free trial here to check its features firsthand.
Vend is a modern POS system that fully supports online stores and businesses or a physical brick-and-mortar storefront with robust support for receipt printers, cash drawers and barcode scanners. The software is aesthetically pleasing and intuitive, so even users who are not technologically proficient should be able to operate it in no time.
Its loyalty module also serves as a powerful customer contact management system, which lets you bring any customer profile or supplier information anywhere and create custom marketing program for any of them to boost your sales. As an application in tune with the modern ways of doing business, Vend works for your ecommerce business just as well as it would with your physical store, and you can sync your data both ways, creating a unified business.
Vend supports PayPal, all major credit and debit cards, cash, checks and gift cards, as well as Square and Worldpay among others. Since it’s a cloud-based application, the inventory works for any number of stores you might have, giving you an updated information about your stock levels and act on any of them accordingly. All these features and benefits are yours for a reasonable, USD 49 if you go for an annual subscription, though the vendor offers other pricing schemes for you to choose from.
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 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.
Miva Merchant is 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, they are also smartly connected with related items to allow you to cross-sell and upsell to ensure your inventory moves quickly.
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 ability to streamline processes.
Lavu offers a number of 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.
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.
Webnexs Wcomm is a flexible, technology-centric ecommerce platform that you can avail for as little as USD 19 per month. It lets you design a customized ecommerce front from scratch with expert designers and designers 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.
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.
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.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based ecommerce solution that provides a unified customer buying experience with modules for B2B, B2C and 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 in order 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 out 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.
With a starting USD 1,200 one-time payment, you can have money expert QuickBooks’ POS solution that you 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.
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 a 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.
Meantime, the Smart Table Management gives you real-time status of your tables, so 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.
Cegid is a POS and total retail management solution that offers both on-premise and cloud-based implementation for a true omnichannel operation. With a certified global presence, Cegid lets you localize currency and language, with solid regulatory compliance coverage for your peace of mind.
An advocate of unified commerce, Cegid offers a powerful inventory management tool to support your sales teams’ efforts to acquire and convert more leads from any channel anywhere in the world. The application is ideal for any type of business, from fashion, cosmetics, to sports goods, independent or superstores.
The POS tool transforms agents into savvy sales advisors capable of conducting sales via a simple click-and-collect system. Store-to-web or store-to-store operations is made possible, while you gain a 360-degree view of any customer for deeper insight.
Shopify POS is a full-featured point-of-sales application that lets you process and accept orders and payments using credit cards in-store or online with nothing but your iPad or iPhone, allowing you to conduct business anytime and anywhere. The system syncs orders, customer profile and inventory in real time across stores, so you can be sure your engagement with any customer remains timely and relevant.
Shopify POS is capable of configuring discounts and customized, compliant taxes so you stay competitive in any market you choose to compete on. Receipts need not be printed for the customers all the time: you can simply email or text them, a convenient way to conclude business without requiring actual presence in your physical stores.
Your purchase of Shopify POS, which starts at only USD 13 a month, always include an online store option, a handy feature when you are ready to take on a global audience for your products and services. Shopify’s strong global footprint and impressive hundred-plus payment options should make the migration a seamless process.
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.
Koomi is ideal for casual restaurants that want to efficiently manage and cut down long customer waiting queues and lines. It is touted as an ideal solution for businesses that handle large volumes of customers, whether for take-outs or dine service, as well as its reliability during peak hours.
The software is intuitive and easy to use, which not only allows users to quickly get acquainted with the platform but also receive and process orders much faster. Thanks to its clean and straightforward design, you can punch items into the system in just a few clicks.
For Restaurants that support tableside ordering, they can accept orders directly at the table, with orders getting sent directly to the kitchen. This can benefit you with shorter wait times and increased revenue.
Cash management is a major feature of POS software systems, but there are other key functions. In fact, 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 a dime and dozen of POS and restaurant management solutions out there, and cherry picking the best isn’t that simple. You will do well to look up a free trial offer before plunging into a final purchase. ToastPOS, 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 U.S., you can easily sign up for ToastPOS free trial here. It’s an unbeatable way to conclude your research on the platform.
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