/ Small Business Software

The Top 10 POS Systems for Restaurants - 2018 Edition

If you’re on the hunt for the perfect point-of-sale (POS) system for your cafe, counter service restaurant, fine dining establishment, or bar, you may find yourself overwhelmed by all the options. To help you narrow your list, we scoured reviews and compared platforms to identify ten of the best POS systems that cater to restaurant owners on the market today. Keep reading to learn more!

1 - Square


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FROM THE WEBSITE
Start selling fast. With Square, you can accept all major cards and get deposits as fast as the next business day.

WHAT IT COSTS
No contracts, no extra fees, free card reader. Processing fees start as low as 2.75% per transaction.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
PC Mag (4.5 out of 5 stars - Editor’s Pick)
Square is not only a payment processor, it's also a major player in the point-of-sale (POS) space as well as a fast-growing software company. Square Point of Sale is a transparent merchant services provider that offers flat fees and low-cost, iPad-compatible equipment that's ideal for small vendors, especially if they sell on the go.

Merchant Maverick (5 out of 5 stars)
Square is, without a doubt, the most feature-rich and advanced mobile processing (mPOS) solution you can find without a monthly fee. Square earns a perfect 5-star rating for its ease of use, its astounding feature set, transparent and affordable pricing, and its overall status as a powerhouse for merchants.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Low cost makes it a smart solution for up-and-coming businesses
-- Versatile platform works well for many types of merchants
-- Built-in online storefront capabilities make it easy to expand your platform
-- Dozens of integrations allow you to simplify accounting and reporting

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
To the naked eye, Square may appear to be a stripped-down payment processing tool. But upon closer inspection, you’ll see that the platform is capable of helping you manage many different aspects of your business. It serves as a virtual terminal with stored card capabilities, helps you handle invoicing and recurring billing, provides an online ordering platform with advanced analytics, and comes with tons of built-in app integrations. Last but not least, if the out-of-the-box version leaves you wanting, you can use their API to customize the system to meet your specific business needs.

2 - Touchbistro


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FROM THE WEBSITE
TouchBistro gives restaurateurs the best of both worlds - a speedy and reliable POS system, paired with the convenience and flexibility of the cloud.

WHAT IT COSTS
Solo (1 iPad) is $69 a month; Dual (2 iPads) is $129 a month; Team (up to 5 iPads) is $249 a month; Unlimited (you guessed it - unlimited iPads) is $399 a month.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
PC Mag
TouchBistro allows servers to remain with customers while instantly submitting orders to the kitchen of a restaurant. The single-entry system diminishes errors, escalates efficiency, and expands customer service through increased customer contact.

Merchant Maverick (4.5 out of 5 stars)
In the POS world, TouchBistro has rapidly climbed to the top of the market, and is ranked as the top-grossing POS Application on Apple’s App Store in over 35 countries. Designed for restaurants, cafes, and bars–really any business with a menu–TouchBistro is a successful Point of Sale application that runs solely on mobile iPads that are synchronized through a local network. The TouchBistro hardware setup is simple and low cost and the licensing fees are also cheap compared to the gigantic POS systems of yore.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Real-time inventory and instant cost reports
-- Robust reporting capabilities with automatic cloud backup
-- Easy to train on, use, and make your own
-- Pay-at-table options available

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
This elegant, cost-effective iPad based POS system works well for large and small dining establishments. Innovative features make Touchbistro a standout among the many POS systems available to restaurant owners. For example, Touchbistro allows customers to skip the line, pay ahead, and walk up to the counter to quickly retrieve their order. Relying on an iPads is also a big perk, as it saves space and makes it easy for servers, hosts, managers, and bartenders to create and edit orders anywhere.

3 - Toast


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FROM THE WEBSITE
The most successful restaurants run on Toast. Take control of restaurant operations, increase revenue, and delight your guests in new ways with a single, easy-to-use platform.

WHAT IT COSTS
$79 per month, per register; $499+ installation, flat-fee processing, hardware costs vary

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
G2 Crowd User Reviews (4.3 out of 5 stars)
Toast is highly intuitive and easy to use. It has an app-based design and is hosted in the cloud, meaning you check sales from your phone, update employee information from any computer, and quickly update software in just a couple of minutes. Other highlights include price point, the ability to email receipts, easy tracking of receipts, easy editing of closed checks, easy on the fly counts and system-wide messaging to servers.

Merchant Maverick (5 out of 5 stars)
Toast comes with an amazing array of built-in features, including an integrated online ordering system, a loyalty rewards program, the ability to generate, accept, and sell gift cards (both digital and physical), and a recently added restaurant inventory management system. Toast itself acts as the client’s payment processor, and unlike many of its iOS-based competitors in the POS world, runs on Android operating systems, making it at once cheaper and more versatile.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Cloud-based means you can check in any time, from any device
-- Software developed and supported by a young, innovative company
-- Stress-free fully guided setup makes getting started easy
-- High praise from existing users on exceptional customer service

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
The fact that Toast uses an Android operating system gives restaurant owners a lot more flexibility when it comes to choosing what type of hardware they want to use. Unlike Apple products, there are a myriad of Android tablet choices in a variety of sizes at multiple price points. Another huge benefit of using Toast is they are highly dedicated to keeping their customers happy and offer top-notch customer service.

4 - Shopkeep


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FROM THE WEBSITE
Your cash register on an iPad, your business on another level. Easy to setup, easy-to-use. ShopKeep's system works exactly the way you need it to.

WHAT IT COSTS
$69 per month, per register - pay as you go, no termination fee

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
PC Mag
With Shopkeep’s software, you can utilize all the features of a fully functional point of sale (POS) system from the convenience and mobility of your iPad. With specialized versions for retailers, restaurants, and franchises, there’s a Shopkeep POS to fit most any need or situation. There’s also a mobile application, Shopkeep Pocket, to give you on-the-go access to all aspects of your business performance from anywhere right on your phone.

Merchant Maverick (5 out of 5 stars)
ShopKeep is a simple, elegant piece of software. It is aimed squarely at small businesses and has carved out a space catering to food and beverage sellers. That said, most retailers, food-seller or not, will feel at home with this iPad POS system.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Automated inventory management tools simplify ordering
-- Easily split, merge, and transfer open checks
-- Track top sellers and identify items with low profit margins
-- Simplify scheduling with detailed data that shows lulls and peak hours

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
ShopKeep focuses on keeping small business owners focused on providing excellent customer service by minimizing the time it takes to complete routine tasks. Intuitive inventory management and ordering tools save time and money, while dynamic scheduling tools help you ensure you have the right amount of staff in-house at all times. ShopKeep’s mobile app also lets you see at-a-glance reporting and more on the go.

5 - Breadcrumb POS by Upserve


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FROM THE WEBSITE
All the best features built into one easy-to-use Restaurant POS System. Deliver great hospitality while saving time and boosting sales.

WHAT IT COSTS
Starts at $65 a month per terminal, $99 a month for Pro. Flat fee payment processing and free support.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
G2 Crowd User Review (3.9 out of 5 stars)
Extremely intuitive and easy to use; easy to train new staff members on. Easy to open/close tabs. Easy to add new terminals. Offline mode has been vital to us when we have ISP issues -- everyone can keep moving and our business does not stop. Finding a nice looking interface with decent reporting that also kept open tabs (such a simple thing -- but many systems are retail focused) was actually pretty difficult.

Merchant Maverick (4.5 out of 5 stars)
Food service can be a thankless industry for the worker bees, and the creators of Breadcrumb POS by Upserve understand this all too well. As such, they have specifically designed their point of sale system with these workers in mind. Comprised of former managers, bartenders, and servers, Breadcrumb POS’s designers worked together to create an easy-to-use and low-cost POS system that would alleviate some of the major headaches faced by the restaurant/hospitality industry.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Integrated online ordering with no commission fees
-- Easy to use check and item splitting tools
-- Clean, easy to navigate interface
-- Print signature slips for stored cards to close tabs faster

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Due in part to the fact that it was developed by industry veterans, this platform makes it a point to focus on hospitality. By offering tools that make it easy to give your customers what they’re asking for, you’re able to save servers time and provide five-star customer service. And you can hear it straight from the source! The platform’s online ordering feedback tool allows you to get candid insights on what your customers love and what could use some improvement.

6 - Revel


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FROM THE WEBSITE
The POS built to simplify restaurant operations and delight your customers.

WHAT IT COSTS
You have to request a quote to get pricing from Revel, but a third party site reports a $1000 initial fee, monthly fees of $70-$200, and $1,500 in mandatory hardware costs.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
PC Mag
The front end is easy to navigate and the back end includes training videos for use as reference. [The system] requires all staff members to have individual PINs to access the settings and permissions. Products are displayed as a matrix for easy order placement. Quantities are easy to modify and discounts can be factored in as well.

Merchant Maverick (4.5 out of 5 stars)
Revel POS works in a hotkey fashion; cashiers can tap on menu categories with drop-downs of items and modifiers to select. Or, if you prefer, barcode numbers can be entered into the system for scanning items. Multiple tax rates, discounts, service fees, and surcharges can be set to automatically add or manually add at the time of sale. In the “edit item” screen, cashiers can set orders to-go, for delivery, repeat items, remove items, enter discounts, enter special requests, and add quantities. And of course, the POS can also void payments, allow for tips, split bills, email receipts, print/reprint guest receipts, and enter rewards card numbers.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Unlimited data storage and security is included in monthly fees
-- iPads can be used as a self-service kiosks
-- Tons of customization options allow you to make it your own
-- Platform is intuitive, easy to navigate, and easy to train on

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
If you need robust inventory management, reporting, integrations, and lots of customization options - consider Revel. Valuable reporting insights, ingredient-level inventory, and easy ordering will save you time and money. You can also track and manage all your orders right from your POS. Mobile order taking and customer loyalty program features round out this robust platform.

7 - Lavu


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FROM THE WEBSITE
Keep tables turning and lines flowing. Improve kitchen efficiency and communications. Use the control panel to check reports, create schedules, manage resources, and more.

WHAT IT COSTS
A single terminal plan costs $69 a month and is billed annually. More plans available to suit your business size.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
G2 Crowd User Reviews (3.4 out of 5 stars)
We are a privately owned restaurant and bar doing about 400 + covers per week. We have a fairly large food menu and drink menu. We transferred to Lavu from a different iPad based system in September 2014. We wisely chose to use a certified Lavu consultant to help us get up and running. And, we chose the server-based system that allows us to run when the internet goes down (can't process credit cards though). We have had no major issues during the last 13 months and the more we learn about the system, the more we’re able to do more specialized reports.

Merchant Maverick (4.5 out of 5 stars)
Lavu does a lot of things very well. Its layout is highly customizable and, although it’s not the most intuitive and simple system around, it provides enough materials to help with training. With the roll-out of its Inventory 2.0 function, Lavu has addressed arguably its biggest deficit and its inventory management and purchasing ordering features are now on par with those of other top-rated systems.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Flexible plans and flexible pricing
-- Real-time sales and labor reporting
-- Easy menu modification and customization
-- Tableside payment processing means better customer service

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Increase transaction speed and accuracy with this portable POS. The intuitive nature of LAVU’s system makes it easy to learn and easy to train on, and the feature-rich iPad platform makes it easy to provide five-star customer service. One shortfall mentioned frequently in user reviews is a lack of out-of-the-box in-depth reporting. However, once you master the system, you can create detailed reports to meet your needs.

8 - EPOS


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FROM THE WEBSITE
Trusted by 30,000+ Businesses - our award winning separate retail and hospitality systems are proven from a single system to thousands, with an official satisfaction rating of 9/10 online. Staff can be trained in 15 minutes, the system can be accessed from anywhere to monitor and report in real time. Use standalone, or connect to hundreds of applications including payment systems, online ordering platforms, CRM and accounting systems.

WHAT IT COSTS
A complete hospitality POS system (choose from cafe, restaurant, or nightclub and bar configurations) with all the hardware you need will run you $1,799. The iPad version costs $599, while the standalone software costs $39 per month.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
Software Advice (4.5 of out 5 stars)
Epos Now is a retail management system for small to mid-sized businesses. In addition to its Point of Sale module, the solution also offers integrated Inventory Management, Customer Management, and Retail Accounting, including general ledger, purchase orders, and payroll processing. Epos now is cloud-based, and compatible on Windows, Mac, Android, and iPad. Hardware can be purchased directly through Epos Now, or through a third party vendor of choice.

Merchant Maverick (4 out of 5 stars)
If you’re looking for an easy-to-learn solution, Epos Now may be the way to go. In-depth tutorials and an intuitive UX make this POS an accessible solution for many merchants. However, if you’re looking for robust functionality and a lot of payment processor options, you may come away disappointed. No matter what, you should give Epos Now a test run before you decide. The 30-day trial is absolutely free and painless to sign up for.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Affordable pricing and a free trial
-- Comprehensive training for new users
-- Easy to use, robust table management tools
-- Amazon Web Services hosting provides excellent data security

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
EPOS has a lot of very specific configuration options, perfectly suited for cafe, restaurant, and bar owners. They also offer a free demo and a free trial, which gives business owners ample opportunity to see the software in action before making a financial commitment. Multiple pricing structures and hardware and software packages make it a great fit for any budget. Do be aware that you have to purchase a support package separately and US businesses only have one payment processing option.

9 - Talech


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FROM THE WEBSITE
Simple and powerful - talech’s intuitive design allows you to create orders, apply discounts, manage inventory and view sales with just a few taps. And with over 100 features, talech is powerful enough to handle the most complex tasks for a large business. All your data is stored in the cloud so you can manage your business in real-time at home or relaxing on the beach.

WHAT IT COSTS
Talech has three service tiers, all of which can be billed annually or monthly. Annual billing saves you a few dollars each month. The starter plan is best suited for cafes, standard plan is good for fast casual restaurants, and pro plan is best for full-service restaurants. Pricing starts as low as $44 per month.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
Merchant Maverick (5 out of 5 stars)
Built with advanced inventory features, in-house marketing capabilities, and the ability to integrate with virtually any payment processor, talech takes your standard POS to the next level. Though not without its faults, this software is still on par with its top-ranking competitors, establishing talech as a formidable contender in the POS market.

Software Advice (4 out of 5 stars)
Talech Register is a cloud-based retail solution that offers point-of-sale(POS), inventory and customer management, and analytics. The solution stores in the cloud, and can be accessed from multiple devices. The solution can also be deployed on-premise.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Entirely cloud-based system means maximum flexibility
-- Excellent inventory features and advanced purchase order options
-- Easily scalable and customizable to fit all businesses, big and small
-- Competitive pricing with multiple service tiers to meet your needs

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
Built-in marketing functionality and dozens of well-built management tools top the list of benefits of this robust platform. Easy-to-use, comprehensive inventory features simplify day-to-day operations for small business owners, while the ability to integrate with almost any payment processor provides limitless options. But perhaps the most notable feature has nothing to do with the software, but rather the cost. Multiple price points and service tiers allow talech POS to scale with your business.

10 - Lightspeed Restaurant


Charge one rate to all customers in an origin-based state.

FROM THE WEBSITE
Lightspeed restaurant works for you. Our recipe for success? A POS that allows you to create your menu in seconds, update your floor plan directly in the system, impress customers with photos of items and allow your staff to focus on creating a unique restaurant experience.

WHAT IT COSTS
$69 a month plan gets you one register, personalized onboarding, 24/7 support, free updates, secure cloud backup, and basic reporting. Additional options available.

REVIEWS FROM ACROSS THE WEB
PC Mag
Lightspeed’s comprehensive approach to business management and POS software gives business owners unparalleled access to and control of their inventory, employee management, and analytics tools for insight into what’s working and what’s not. In addition, Lightspeed’s customer support is there when needed, 24x7, with a vast library of training material available to help get users up and running quickly.

Merchant Maverick (5 out of 5 stars)
Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based iPad POS system for restauranteurs. It balances two seeming opposites (and quite well I might add), combining a comparatively complex, feature-rich POS backend with a deceptively simple structure and intuitive interface. Just saying that LR ticks all the standard boxes would be doing the system a disservice. Lightspeed Restaurant covers the basics, adds a range of custom options, and throws a good dollop of useful side functionality into the mix as well.

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT
-- Multi-location support helps streamline operations
-- Built-in customer loyalty programs generate repeat business
-- Digital menus with photos let customers eat with their eyes
-- Orders are instantly sent to the kitchen and bar, reducing foot traffic

BIGGEST BENEFITS FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
This system packs a lot of features into a clean, easy to navigate interface that’s easy to learn. Unique tools, like built-in loyalty program options and a fully-functioning backup mode that comes to the rescue if your internet goes down, earn this platform a spot in our top ten.

Use this list to help you find the perfect POS for your restaurant, bar, or cafe!

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