When you run a restaurant your POS system is critical for keeping your business on the right track. The best restaurant POS systems are truly restaurant management systems — they help with everything: customer orders, inventory management, sales analysis, and employee scheduling so you can make informed decisions about menu items, staffing, and more.
Best Restaurant POS Systems for 2023
To determine the best restaurant POS systems, we reviewed and researched dozens of providers. We focused primarily on user-friendliness, features, installation, and pricing. These POS systems will help your restaurant succeed.
TouchBistro is a hybrid POS system for full-service restaurants. The software runs from an on-premises server, although the data is stored in the cloud and accessible from anywhere. You can manage reservations, view and customize menu items, take orders, and see sales reports from an iPad.
Widely seen as the best iPad-based POS system by restaurant owners, TouchBistro is an affordable, feature-rich solution with the post-COVID diner in mind. TouchBistro allows easy tableside and self-serve ordering, plus various payment processing choices.
TouchBistro uses an iPad as the register and supports iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini devices. Servers can take orders, and process payments tableside, or you can set up an iPad for customers to use for self-service ordering.
TouchBistro also integrates well with third-party hardware, so you can choose from a wide variety of cash drawers, printers, and kitchen displays.
- User-friendly interface
- Employees can clock in and out with TouchBistro.
- Inventory can be tracked and updated down to the ingredients of menu items
- Tableside ordering
- Sharp and clear menu photos
- Loyalty program
- Many hardware add-ons
- Compatible with iPad
- Creates customer accounts and retains customer history
- You’ll need to set up a separate payment processing solution
- Credit card transactions cannot be processed offline
- POS starts at $69/month plus hardware and fees
- Gift cards $25/month
- Reservations $229/month
- Loyalty program $99/month
- Online ordering $50/month
Square’s Point of Sale system for restaurants is a cloud-based POS. The system allows you to create menus, including descriptions and photos of the menu items. Square’s POS supports multiple locations.
Both free and paid versions offer kitchen displays, real-time inventory updates, gratuity management, and live wait times. The kitchen display feature means there aren’t any printed tickets; instead, cooks see a touchscreen display.
You can easily integrate with other Square products such as payroll, marketing, website creation, and more.
Square Restaurant POS Features
- Credit card and contactless payments
- Gift card creation and redemption
- Customer receipts are sent via email or text message
- Store payment details for regular customers
- E-commerce capability
- Inventory management
- Kitchen display system
- Free version includes the basics
- No contract required
- Funds may be held for security purposes
- Complications with third-party payment processing
|Free||Team, table, and menu management||2.6% + 10¢||Free|
|Plus||Kitchen display, shift reports, live sales||2.6% + 10¢||$60/month per location + $40/month per added POS device|
|Premium||Custom payment processing rates||Custom||Contact sales|
Lightspeed offers a powerful and flexible POS system for all types of restaurants. It can be used on Apple devices running iOS or Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
Lightspeed Restaurant’s advantage is its customizable system that can scale to restaurants of varying sizes and service styles. The simplest system involves an iPad, payment processing terminal, printer, and cash drawer.
Add-on features are plentiful for more complicated restaurant models and those who want more efficiency and analytics. The system also integrates with popular meal delivery systems such as DoorDash and Uber Eats.
- Sales and inventory management
- Employee management
- Customer loyalty card
- Payment processing
- Barcode scanning
- Customer management
- Data analytics
- Meal delivery services integration
- Some connectivity issues were reported
- The inventory transfer feature from store to store was reported to have discrepancies
- Add-ons have monthly fees
Lightspeed currently has three pricing tiers that vary depending if you pay monthly or annually, and also if you use Lightspeed for payment processing.
- Lean ($119/month billed annually, $129/month billed monthly) includes one register, unlimited transactions, and inventory, employee, and customer management.
- Standard ($169/month billed annually, $189/month billed monthly) includes notable features like sales restrictions for alcohol and tobacco purchases.
- Advanced ($249/month billed annually, $289/month billed monthly) includes notable features such as unlimited register licenses and hardware bundles.
Additional registers are priced at $59/month. Because Lightspeed has its own payment processor, you are able to take advantage of their low rates (2.6% + 10¢ for card present).
Acquired by Lightspeed in 2020, Upserve is a powerful POS system for restaurants. It includes employee training, payment processing services, and reputation management features. Beyond basic sales data, Upserve also reveals daily insights on menu performance, servers, customers’ reviews, and more.
An employee training mode allows servers and other staff to train and get comfortable on the POS system without worrying about making catastrophic mistakes. In addition, Upserve offers 24/7 support every day of the year, so your restaurant doesn’t miss a sale.
The extra analytics and support make it one of the more expensive POS options. Still, it also offers users sophisticated details such as menu customization and accurate inventory counts on low or out-of-stock items. Finally, since not everyone needs the same access to the system, managers can specify permissions.
- Unique reporting capabilities
- Online review management
- Daily menu performance communication
- Employee training mode
- Server performance reports
- Labor cost reports
- Access management
- Logbook for digital note keeping
- Scheduling tools
- Upserve is the most expensive POS in our comparison
- Online ordering and inventory management cost extra
|Plan||Features||Terminal Cost||Software Cost|
|Core||Guest trends, training mode||$60 per month||$59 per month|
|Pro||Loyalty programs, menu optimization, server performance||$50 per month||$199 per month|
|Pro Plus||Data API, dedicated account management||$40 per month||$359 per month|
Toast is a cloud-based POS for restaurants of all sizes that runs on the Android operating system. Data can be accessed from any device, and its user-friendly interface is easy to learn for both management and servers.
Created by experienced restaurateurs, Toast’s array of hardware is sturdy enough to survive the restaurant environment of heat and grease. Their software efficiently manages special orders, varying pricing, splitting checks, and multiple locations.
Toast is very flexible for order taking, including options for table-side, in-restaurant kiosks, and through an app on a customer’s computer or smartphone.
Toast software also has its own payment processing, which transfers funds to your account within a couple of days. Credit card payments have a small fee, and there is a monthly subscription cost for the payment system.
- Cloud-based POS
- Integrates with popular apps such as TableUp, Bevspot, SynergySuite, GrubHub, and LevelUp
- Easy menu updates and navigation
- Order management allows orders from both kitchen workers and customers
- Servers are notified when the order is ready
- Tableside payments
- Loyalty and gift card management
- Kitchen inventory management
- Multiple ordering options for customers
- Easy to customize orders and split checks
- Self-serve kiosks available
- Fees for credit payment processing services
- Annual contract
|Starter||Order and table management||$0*|
|Essentials||Online ordering, delivery management||$165 per month*|
*Upfront costs vary depending on specific hardware packages and installation. Starter Package has a Pay-as-You-Go plan.
Revel Systems is an iPad-based POS system with the flexibility to be configured for various quick-service restaurant businesses. Known for its scalability, Revel allows users to build the system to fit their specific type of restaurant, such as cafes, pizza restaurants, bakeries, brewpubs, and coffee shops.
You also have various options outside of the restaurant dining room, such as food delivery, online ordering, and drive-thru. All options allow restaurants to confirm orders, track inventory, and create customer profiles.
The Revel POS system can handle both quick-service and full-service restaurants. If you’re a startup, some of the features may be more than you need, so pay close attention to subscription fees and implementation/support costs—because Revel requires a three-year contract minimum.
Revel Systems Features
- Cloud-based software
- It can be customized for specific businesses
- Digital outdoor display hardware for drive-thru restaurants
- Order confirmation
- Order and driver tracking tools for delivery
- Text messaging and email updates for customers
- Analytics and efficiency tools
- Inventory management
- Customer relationship management
- Multichannel options
Revel Systems Downsides
- High ongoing terminal cost
- Three-year minimum contract
Revel Systems Pricing
- Starting at $99 per month per terminal
- Implementation Onboarding starts at $674
Choosing a Restaurant POS System
POS software systems can get pricey depending on your business’s specific needs, especially if your company uses multiple terminals, so consider all aspects of the system, such as user-friendliness, customer service support, and functionality, before deciding which POS system is best for your business.
For trials or demonstrations, be sure have representatives from management, servers, kitchen, and delivery staff present (anyone expected to learn the POS system). Don’t forget to ask sales reps about training and support for implementation.
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