The last thing needed in the restaurant business is more stress. A fast-paced business needs a fast-paced transaction system. More than that, restaurants need to track inventory, manage a full roster of employees, and be aware of all the expense to profit data during rushes.
A reliable point of sale system for restaurants will equip an establishment with a central means of controlling all of that. Restaurant POS systems consolidate business reports to review inventory, expenses, profits, customer data, and all while maintaining fast transactions.
Check splits are made easy with a solid POS system. Menu creation and adjustments lay at your fingertips, the restaurant layout can be viewed and managed, and receipts can stay digital for convenience. Below we’ve reviewed POS systems which streamline the efficiency of restaurants. Our top picks are based on features, support, and pricing.
- 1 Best Overall Restaurant POS System: TouchBistro
- 1.1 Our Runner Up Pick for Restaurant POS: Toast
- 2 Other Top-Rated Restaurant POS Systems
- 2.1 NCR Silver
- 2.2 Breadcrumb
- 2.3 Ambur
- 2.4 Lightspeed Restaurant (LR)
- 2.5 Revel Systems
- 2.6 ShopKeep
- 2.7 Bindo
- 2.8 eHopper
- 2.9 Square POS
- 2.10 Our Final Review
What is a POS System for a Restaurant?
Traditionally, restaurant POS systems included payment terminals, touch screens and a variety of software and hardware options to enhance productivity. Today, however, restaurant POS is more than just making sales.
Whether you’re a small or large restaurant, POS systems now provide a platform that is the heart of restaurants. POS systems enhance customer experience and streamline your operations.
The most important things that you need to look for in a restaurant POS system is that it should be intuitive and easy to use. A POS system will grow with your restaurant if it is easily automated.
The POS system must have built-in analytical capabilities and be cloud-based before you consider purchasing. Here is a list of 10 restaurant POS system and their reviews to help you chose the best point of sale solution for your business.
Best Overall Restaurant POS System: TouchBistro
TouchBistro is one of the most popular iPad-based POS systems for restaurants. It caters to both quick service and full-service restaurants. TouchBistro caters not only to restaurants but also to cafes, pizza parlors, nightclubs, bakeries and more.
TouchBistro is an EMV-compliant system which integrates an end-to-end restaurant management system.
A hybrid solution
TouchBistro gives restaurants a best of both online and offline experience. The POS system is paired with convenience and had the flexibility of the cloud. This convenience and flexibility give you a hybrid system.
Additionally, it gives you maximum reliability, as it does not depend on the internet. TouchBistro allows you to continue operation, even in times where there is no connectivity or a bad connection. The cloud gives you the convenience to access your data and manage your business activity anytime, on any device.
TouchBistro gives your staff mobility which increases staff efficiency and reduces staff error. Keeping them armed at all times, they are able to take complex orders and send them within seconds with the wireless restaurant POS system.
Pictures of the menu items can be shown to customers at their tables and staff can give customers descriptions of the meal. Finally, this will reduce chances of error and save time spent running back and forth between tables.
With TouchBistro you have more customization options. There are easy modifiers that pizza restaurants POS systems can use. One of these modifiers allows customers to add different toppings of their choice, for example, to add more tomatoes or no tomatoes, cheese, other vegetables etc.
With this option, your staff can quickly place custom orders. You can easily add custom modifiers that you offer or simply use the built-in ones to give your customers this added facility.
The waitstaff can also present a detailed visual menu to the customers. This menu shows details and pictures of every item on the menu. This option also lets you save recipes of your food items that can better help your staff to better assist your customers.
Choose Your Menu Views & Floor Plan
Additionally, TouchBistro lets you decide from three menu views; image, colored tile or list view. You can also color code your specialty items. These specialty items will stand out from the rest of the menu, but will also have color codes so your staff can recommend them.
A customizable floor plan layout is available. You can use the floor plan layout to design your restaurant according to your venue. You can add a bar, dining room, patios, etc. Another available design feature is to create multi-level or multi-room floor plans that best fit your needs.
You can also add business logos, information or websites on your customer’s receipt. Place personal messages at the bottom of the receipt. These messages will create long-lasting customer relationships and extend your business’s reach.
TouchBistro is loaded with tons of food service features that make day-to-day running of the business easy. Features like bill split by seat, happy hour deals, joint seat and assigning staff to selection are additionally available.
There are also many seat features options. The waitstaff can separate customer bills by using the split by seat feature. Alternately, there is the joint seat feature. This feature allows waitstaff to choose seats to add to one bill.
Customize different deals for happy hours by day, time and item. You can also adjust prices when deals are active and re-adjusted once the deal time is over. Manage dinnertime rush by assigning serves to specific tables. TouchBistro gives you a visual picture that updates the tables with the server’s profile.
TouchBistro consequently gives you complete control over your staff permissions, inventory and more. It puts you in the driver’s seat. This allows you to have complete access to all security features and management setting. You can have everything at your fingertips while steering your restaurant in any direction you want.
You can easily customize your staff profile. Grant permission for staff to access different levels. You can also change employee’s pay rates, and store complete information on their performance, etc.
Additionally, You can keep track of your inventory level. Even more, you will know automatically when your items are low or full. TouchBistro ensures your data is to the right and thus a passcode is required to perform different tasks so that access to your data can remain in safe hands.
Through the cloud reporting, you can visually see all your restaurants insights and make decisions accordingly, anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Our Runner Up Pick for Restaurant POS: Toast
Toast is an all-in-one POS restaurant management system that allows greater mobility, easier access to data and excellent customer service. It was named as the ‘hottest start-up’ in 2016 at the NEVY award. The NEVY award assures Toast ascperfectly suited for all food industry business of all size and types.
Additionally, Toast ranks among the few Android POS system providers, which is flexible and affordable. Providing a wide array of built-in features, Toast furthermore includes an integrated online ordering system, loyalty program systems and more.
Toast gives you the option to split your checks. Either they can be split based on the number you want to divide it on, or it can be divided according to the seats. With just a swipe or two you can transfer checks to their respective seats.
You can either take orders through handheld tablets or counter-top terminals. You can swivel the counter-top terminals towards the customers. The handheld tablet not only takes orders but gives you the access to the whole application, including reports.
Staff can easily take orders, send orders and give instructions to the kitchen while managing customer tabs and bills.
Some customers do not want hard copies of their bills. Customers can, instead, easily opt for the bill to be sent to their mobile phones via text or email. This helps to build up a guest database, which can store guests’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and their order detail.
You are then able to design more targeted campaigns and cultivate your frequent customers.
Toast offers customized tip options where you give customers the option to tip depending on the percentage they want to tip, like 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and so on. This saves time as at the end of the day it is easier to calculate tips and distribute them accordingly.
With Toast POS restaurant system you can create your menu by diving it into main categories, like breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, etc. and then further divide them into sub-categories like appetizers, salads, main entrees, etc.
Further modifiers and sub-modifiers can be added to customize menu.
You can price menu items through many different strategies available on Toast. Apply these prices to entire groups and item sizes. Meanwhile, special items can be priced accordingly. Group pricing is easier.
You can charge a specific price for all items. By using this, you can use the size price option, and you can identify multiple category sizes and price items specifically.
Restaurant – based reporting
Toast’s most compelling offer is its variety of reports, from sales reports to product mix reports, labor reports, tie reports and more. Reports are updated in real-time and can be easily accessed anytime and anywhere.
Summary of reports is available; it is robust and shows all breakdowns done. Consequently, a quick scannable overview is provided. This overview provides detailed insights in relation to payments, orders, cash drawers, etc.
Customer data collection
You can easily collect all customer related information, such as customer contact number and order history. You can see which customers visited your restaurant frequently and what amount of money they’ve spent.
Then you can select individual customers and view detailed information about their average checks, days since their last visit, etc.
This feature includes programs such as inventory control, inventory reporting, food cost calculator, inventory variance report, etc., that analyze what your best-selling and most profitable menu items are.
The total subscription for Toast POS System starts at $100/month and for every additional device $50/month. Add-ons cost extra and are priced as follows.
Other Top-Rated Restaurant POS Systems
Ultimately, this POS system targets small to medium sized business and is useful to new struggling start-ups. It has developed various different POS systems for different types of business. Aloha POS system is developed for restaurants specifically along with NCR Silver and NCR Silver Pro.
NCR has a complete package of POS System that includes management tools for both iOS and Android which include consoles, wireless printers, cash drawers and more.
Apart from hardware POS systems, NCR also offers POS software like inventory management, employee management, sales reporting, etc.
NCR Silver offers a fully functional cash register that accepts multiple tenders, gift cards, and even bitcoins. Cash can be easily paid in or out, tickets can be put on hold to be recalled later and discounts can be added easily on transactions.
Printer options let you send or not send print option to the kitchen, bar or the prep area printer. A weight scale can be integrated and a tare weight can also be set.
You can keep track of how many items you have, who your vendors are, inventory costs, modifiers and more for foodservice establishments. The snapshot features let you see the total value of inventory on-hand.
Easily maintain employee profiles with custom parameters and roles. Assign each employee to a unique pin. Employees can use the pin to log in and track their labor hours with the time-clock feature.
Employees can also clock-in and clock-out for unpaid breaks and minimum break times can be set.
Fortunately, monitoring cash flows is easy. By assigning cash drawers to specific servers, each shift is given a limited number of people who can access the drawer without a key. NCR silvers makes accessing cash much safer.
A general look can be given to the activity of the business, which provides a summary of your store’s net sales, tips, returns, discounts, etc. A basic swath of exportable reports is also available that show the finer points of your business.
You can view all your store operations and view each site for specific details.
A free demo is available for 14-days free trial. After that, the NCR silver is priced at $99/month with an annual contract. For each additional device, you will be charged an additional $0.10/ sale and a cap of $39/month/device.
Upserve developed Breadcrumb so that other restaurants do not go through the same experience.
Former managers, servers, bartenders all worked together to develop this user-friendly and low-cost POS system. This allows the Breadcrumb to make life easier for the restaurant industry.
Breadcrumb POS must be used on iPad 8.0 or later. Additionally, Breadcrumb can work specifically with certain, but not all, printers. Printers can be purchased on Breadcrumb’s website for ease of accessibility.
All terminal functions are customizable according to your specifications. The Breadcrumb representatives will help with the initial set-up, train your employees and set up everything without any additional fee.
With this feature, you can send orders/receipts to as many printers as you want. This is incredibly convenient, as servers can send one order to the bar and the kitchen. Customers can also create an order online with Breadcrumb. This makes the ordering process much easier, as all the server needs to do is send the order to the correct area of the restaurant.
The most convenient feature of Breadcrumb, however, is the live feature that gives access to all reporting functions on your iPhone. Merged with BreadcrumbsYou feature, you can check sales in real time from anywhere.
This is the app’s back-office. The back-office of Breadcrumb lets you generate reports and manage settings. You can also trace all menus, items, and employees in the back-office.
Organize tables and assign numbers by dragging them across the floor plan. Tables can be divided into different zones to simplify server assignments and management. Keep track of occupied seats from color coding.
Breadcrumb offers three pricing packages.
$99/month/location (for single terminal license)
$5o for additional terminal
$249/month/location (for single terminal license)
$50 for additional terminal
Contact Breadcrumb’s staff for a price quote.
Orders can be created easily by selecting a table and clicking the add + sign. You must then tap a menu item or just swipe the customer’s credit cards. Administrators can view full details of orders.
When analyzing an order, business owners must know many details. Some of those details include who placed the order, the type of order, the date and time, the total amount of the order, and the tip added. As a result, orders can be easily merged or split.
Audit logs can to catch small mistakes, increase efficiency or management employees. Managers can see every previous action. Managers can see when employees log in and when employees made printouts. You can also see when orders and payments were changed etc.
Ambur stores these audit logs for 30 days. After this time, managers can email these logs or send them to Ambur for inquiry.
Back up all your to your Dropbox on an hourly basis. Additionally, you can email data as an attachment. The attachment makes data easy to access.
Tables can be created and customized easily. The layout does not show the exact scale, but the concept works well. Each table can be assigned a name and number and you can designate the total number of guests and can check the total on the table’s icon.
Each employee can have a profile of their own. Program managers can then create different employee groups. This is especially beneficial when different groups have different hourly wages and taxes. Each of these can be manipulated in the group settings.
As a scheduling program, managers can create each employees’ schedule for any day or time. An employee can use the program to check their schedules.
Web-based Back Office
You can view your reports at a glance. You can also update personal information and access the support page. View these reports at any time.
You can access the app for free for the first 30 days. After that it will cost you as follows:
Lightspeed Restaurant (LR)
Lightspeed restaurant POS covers all basic requirements, includes a variety of customized features and also adds a decent bit of useful side functions into the mix.
First, the key feature to Lightspeed is the employee management feature. POS users can change the visibility of employees at any time, for seasonal and part-time employees. Secondly, you can assign an employee as either managers or employee.
LR offers access to all or none. If assigned as managers, similarly, all employees will have complete access to the front-end. Make even further division of employees by arranging staff into categories like wait staff, cashiers, etc. Additionally, staff can be assigned to specific floor or tables.
Menu setup is effortless. You can put selected ‘products’ into sub-categories, like ‘Aperitif,’ ‘Starter’ and ‘Main.’ Accordingly, each user or manager can add products individually and name them accordingly. Adding pictures of food is another great benefit for your menu.
Lightspeed allows you to add specific prices and tax rates as well, even for take-out and delivery as well. Use Lightspeed to add discounts, combos and other fees as well. Fast food restaurants can also use the POS to add modifiers.
Raw Ingredient Tracking
By tying your ingredients tab you can create a record of raw materials. The restaurant POS software will automatically keep track of the ingredients based on the specific dishes being sold.
Lightspeed will then notify you if you’re running out of any specific ingredient. Lightspeed will be alert users about missing ingredients as soon as customers send their order. This allows you to inform customers about it. Integration with MarketMan gives features like purchase order management ability.
You can set promotional deals and offers on specific days, like ‘half-price Fridays’ with this feature. Multiple offers can be set to run at the same time as well. This is especially beneficial as it can be set for days or hours, providing more specific promotional deals for customers.
Kitchen Name Printing
This feature is helpful for restaurants that have a diverse workforce where their kitchen staff speaks a different language than the one printed on the menu. Waiters can take orders based on the names on the menu card. Then Lightspeed changes the name into the language of the kitchen staff.
This feature lets you insert menu item pictures in your mobile iPad POS system which you can show to customers for order clarity. For customers with allergies, this can make it much easier to determine whether or not they can have a dish.
A hefty number of reports are available like revenue report by hours, day, week or month. Tailored products, product information, cash register monitoring, and user trackers are also available.
Add or remove tables, floors, modify size, etc. all in a matter of minutes and without any effort. Customize your floors plans to represent the feel and look of your restaurant. Easily add more cars for deliveries. Colour code tables to know which ones are occupied and full and which ones are available.
With all the added functions, you may think that LR POS might charge high prices for their restaurant POS system, but that is not the case. Lightspeed Restaurant offers three different price packages:
Up to 1 register and 2 printers
Up to 3 registers and 4 printers
Up to 5 registers and unlimited printers
Revel System is a fully loaded POS system for quick service and full-service restaurants. Users can integrate traditional POS features with many other tools. Some of these tools are finances and accounting tools and targets restaurants, cinemas, salon and grocery stores.
Companies can be up and running even without internet connectivity. This restaurant management system is built on a hybrid structure.
Company owners can manage and add inventory with ease, as Revel requires only the item and its price. You can also add other fields like cost and SKUs. A matrix style is available for the entry of mass items that in similar but differ in color, size, and style basis.
Managers can track inventory per ingredient. Meanwhile, you can view food cost reports on an ingredient level basis. Revel marks low stock items in red to notify you to re-order them.
Purchase Order Management
Secondly, Revel also helps you manage when inventory items should arrive. Managers can initiate each partial orders. Orders can also be finalized when they are completed.
To streamline the bookkeeping process, the QuickBooks automatically transfer data from POS system to your accounts where you can view summaries of sales, inventory, purchases, etc. You can also add employee schedules and payroll information in your accounts.
All cash related management functions are located under managers selection of settings tab. Additionally, all kinds of processing like batch processing, over till etc. are available along with quick printable reports.
Revel records customer purchase and customer-related data. Customer-related data includes information like contact number, name, etc. Your PR team can use this data to create marketing campaigns or to cross-sell items.
While using this feature, customers can place orders and pay on their own. Finally, menu browsing, selecting editing, and quantity options are all available. Customers can make their payment by credit, debit, gift card, cash or Apple Pay.
On a monthly basis, you can subscribe to industry-specific packages. You can choose from a range of pricing, and therefore, can change up your package each month. The subscription plan also incorporates the software license. A price quote is available on contact.
Consequently, users can set up the program in minutes. ShopKeep also offers POS hardware for restaurants such as cash reader, registers and receipt printers.
The POS integrated restaurant software provides you with tolls to run both front-end and back-end operations smoothly.
The registered feature ultimately allows you to ring up items. The register also allows users to add modifiers, split bills, discounts, easy returns, and funds. Ultimately these are just a few of the capabilities of the register.
Manage inventory, customers, employees, keep records of transactions and a wide variety of reports is available to analyze data. While larger businesses may not find this impressive, small-scale restaurants will enjoy the added features and the access to customer support.
Keep track of inventory quantity, set re-order points, and determine what to order, how and from which vendor with this feature. A key feature of ShopKeep is that it provides restaurant owners with an estimate of how many more products they can create.
In other words, as the ingredients are running out, ShopKeep will provide an estimate of the number of products which can be made with those ingredients. This is incredibly important for owners to be able to see, as it can revolutionize their ordering process.
Business owners can access an extensive reporting suite. This reporting suite allows users to access average cost reporting, sales by customer reporting and sales by discount reporting option.
Additionally, ShopKeep does not restrict the amount of data you transfer to this program initially. Instead, they make the process incredibly easy by allowing restaurants to perform mass uploads of their information.
Manage multiple locations stores all on the parent website. As a result, managers can easily view each store’s separate performance or a comprehensive overview. This can be especially beneficial when it comes to analyzing inventory needs for different locations.
The Pocket App
Many business owners are constantly on the go. ShopKeep has developed an app for Android or iOS users, which allows restaurant owners to check on their businesses from wherever they are. While the Pocket App does not have all the features of the normal program, it still enhances the owner’s experiences.
One of ShopKeep’s most important features is their customer service. Owners do not have to pay for any customer support help they receive. Instead, businesses have access to customer service through chat, email, online entry 24/7.
ShopKeep also manages a sister-website which provides extensive articles and video tutorials. By providing these additional features, ShopKeep is able to consistently upgrade and improve their services to meet the need of their average consumer.
ShopKeep is a pay-as-you-go subscription plan on a monthly basis that costs you $69/month/register. Each additional register (first three) will cost you $69 and after that $29 per register. This cost is much more than many other POS.
However, remember that ShopKeep is pay-as-you-go. Most POS don’t offer this option, many require you to pay for a full year at a time. It is important to keep this in mind when you consider purchasing ShopKeep.
Bindo is targeted at new start-ups and quick service restaurants. It is an iPad based POS solution, well equipped for modern day practices. Small-Scale operators can compete with large-scale businesses because of the benefits Bindo offers.
The initial workload with Bindo, and any POS, can be quite extensive. To import all previous data, users must upload spreadsheets. Bindo allows users to upload as many spreadsheets as may be needed over the first two weeks.
After this initial 14 days, Bindo only allows one free spreadsheet upload each month. This can become quite costly, as additional uploads cost more than $200 each.
Scan items, add purchases or simply scroll through inventory. Customers can certainly pay through a variety of payment methods. They can also choose many ways to split their bill, simply by using Bindo.
Managers and owners can access Bindo from anywhere at any time, as Bindo is cloud-based. This is an advantage, but Bindo is working to add more off-line features in case of power outages. Bindo requires the use of an iPad as the main register. Consequently, owners or managers can connect many other iOS devices to this main register and access all of Bindo’s features.
Finally, using the SST (simple scan technology) add items in a breeze. Scan barcodes to retrieve photos, title and descriptions of products. Keep track of inventory level and view real-time updates.
Create, submit, fulfill or cancel orders with a tap of your finger. Bindo will inform you of out of stock and low stock items, and the virtual vault feature will store invoices, quotes, supplier information, etc.
As a restaurant owner, enjoy a 14-day free trial. This includes free access to Bindo’s customer service. After 14 days, Bindo raises its cost to $59-80/month.
Targeting small-scale business, eHopper has everything that you would need to run your business successfully. Most noteworthy eHopper includes many extra features, aside from the basic features like employee management, cash management, customer management, and reporting.
Compared to other POS, this is where eHopper lacks the most. eHopper only allows business owners to generate 15 different reports.
eHopper’s greatest downfall, in terms of reporting, is a lack of customer analysis. Many of the other POS for restaurants allow the business owner to analyze customer spending by date and product. However, eHopper only allows this through the front-end office on an individual customer basis.
Track stock levels, current quantities, recommended quantities and minimum quantities for inventory. See the level of stock sold and remaining on hand stock. This is beneficial for restaurants with a large inventory or for restaurants with multiple locations.
Name products write descriptions and nest items in different departments and categories. Users can record sales price, cost price, and vendor information and type.
This feature gives you the ability to sell from multiple locations. In other words, if your restaurant has multiple locations, each location can access the same program.
eHopper provides a 30 Day free trial of all of their features. After the 3o-day free trial, users can continue using the base model of eHopper, called Essential, for free. Otherwise, the updated version, called Freedom, can be purchased for a monthly cost.
Many other POS systems are designed to improve quality of communication throughout different parts of a restaurant. However, Square is designed to increase the speed of all communication. This makes your restaurant as efficient as possible.
You can easily change the floor plan of your restaurant in-app on Square. Additionally, updating your menus is simple. A benefit of using Square is that the program is easy to use, it requires no information technology employee.
As restaurants are expanding, they are receiving more and more remote orders. Staff will receive remote orders as easily as in-person orders due to Square’s design. This feature is Square’s main advantage over the competition.
This is an extremely important feature. Keep in mind, no other POS system allows your staff to view all orders in one location. Your staff will view all orders on the same screen of Square. It does not matter whether the order is remote, to-go, or dine-in. This creates more efficiency, satisfying customers and staff.
Many of the POS systems we have reviewed have a back-office and a front-office. However, Square keeps all systems in one location. This makes it easy for you to manage your to-do list. Managing your staff requests and customer requests is simple because they are in one central location.
Customer Payment Options
Square has quickly become relevant for many businesses. Because of this, customers can pay through a variety of options. Customers can pay with a physical card or can save their card using your Square POS. They can also set up recurring payments online through Square.
Another option for customers is how they receive their receipt. Square allows customers to print their receipt or Square will email the receipt directly to them.
Square’s pricing is another advantage. The initial cost is low and there are no additional monthly fees. Restaurant owners face a huge advantage as Square only charge per purchase.
There is an additional option for restaurant owners. Restaurant owners can pay an initial flat fee and Square will have an employee walk the owner through each feature of the POS. If you struggle with technology, this is a reasonably priced feature you should take advantage of.
Our Final Review
Choosing the right POS system is essentially critical for the running of your business. When customized correctly, POS systems can be exactly what your business needs to run your operation smoothly and maximize revenue. There are a variety of POS systems out there, but you’ll have to choose one that has all the features you need.
In this guide, we reviewed the top 10 best POS restaurant systems, their comprehensive features, their pricing etc. You can find the best POS system by reading our extensive research.
Of all these POS systems, we strongly recommend TouchBistro as the best POS restaurant software. First of all, TouchBistro has many features and affordable pricing. This will help you grow your business by improving service, providing insights for better decision making and, as a result, will increase sales.
Aside from the many features, it helps with staff management and scheduling. Additionally, the user can perform all menu management and inventory management on iOS software.
Our second choice for restaurant POS is the Toast POS system, which is the best Android POS software provider. It provides a simple solution while streamlining your front-end to back-office processes and nurturing customer loyalty.