10 Best Restaurant POS Systems 2020

[Tested and Reviewed]

Running a restaurant is hardly a walk in the park.

It gets hectic, it gets stressful. And your reputation heavily depends on good service.

So what can you do?

Get a decent POS system, of course!

Not sure how to choose one? Well, the best restaurant POS systems should include: 

  • Simple user interface for staff to take orders
  • Card scanning machine
  • Inventory management
  • Reporting
  • Menu configuration

Many modern POS systems offer advanced features like offline operation, multiple site support, staff scheduling, payroll, etc. 

Here’s a list with the top 10 restaurant POS systems 2020 to help you choose:

Show more

Top 10 Restaurant POS Systems 2020

1. Square POS

Square is a free mobile point of sale app for bars and restaurants. It adds a dash of style to any business. With fun and attractive interface and sleek, proprietary hardware, managers, staff, and customers will find it a joy to use. The feature-rich platform and offline functionality make it perfect for any business. Full Review

  • Impressive hardware
  • Integrated food ordering platform
  • Intuitive, conversational ordering interface

Square is a free mobile point of sale app for bars and restaurants. It adds a dash of style to any business. With fun and attractive interface and sleek, proprietary hardware, managers, staff, and customers will find it a joy to use. The feature-rich platform and offline functionality make it perfect for any business. Full Review

2. TouchBistro POS

The TouchBistro POS software is a very impressive iPad restaurant system with an attractive design, good functionality and lots of features. Everything runs smoothly since it’s all built on reliable Apple hardware like iPads, Mac Minis, etc. Although this costs a bit extra it proves its worth in practice. Full Review

  • Option to use your own payment processor
  • Reliable iOS-based software
  • Low entry cost for small restaurant business

The TouchBistro POS software is a very impressive iPad restaurant system with an attractive design, good functionality and lots of features. Everything runs smoothly since it’s all built on reliable Apple hardware like iPads, Mac Minis, etc. Although this costs a bit extra it proves its worth in practice. Full Review

3. Toast POS

Toast is an all-in-one restaurant POS vendor that includes proprietary software and hardware designed to work in unison for the best results. Bonus features include online ordering, inventory management, offline card processing, loyalty rewards, and customized gift cards. Toast will simplify and streamline all restaurant functions, no matter what size your business is. Full Review

  • Many advanced features
  • Simple learning curve
  • Self-service kiosks available

Toast is an all-in-one restaurant POS vendor that includes proprietary software and hardware designed to work in unison for the best results. Bonus features include online ordering, inventory management, offline card processing, loyalty rewards, and customized gift cards. Toast will simplify and streamline all restaurant functions, no matter what size your business is. Full Review

4. NCR Silver

NCR Silver is the modern small restaurant POS system from the world’s longest-running cash register company. Benefit from over 100 years of experience in payment processing and customer satisfaction! Full Review

  • Strong security and reputation
  • Good marketing tools and templates included
  • Integrated social media tools

NCR Silver is the modern small restaurant POS system from the world’s longest-running cash register company. Benefit from over 100 years of experience in payment processing and customer satisfaction! Full Review

5. Clover POS

Clover offers a fresh take on the table service restaurant POS system with its Clover Dining software. The software is supported by a range of sleek, modern appliances like the Flex handheld card scanner, the Clover Mini all-in-one POS system and the Clover Station full POS solution. Full Review

  • Impressive and attractive hardware selection
  • Highly customizable
  • More advanced features

Clover offers a fresh take on the table service restaurant POS system with its Clover Dining software. The software is supported by a range of sleek, modern appliances like the Flex handheld card scanner, the Clover Mini all-in-one POS system and the Clover Station full POS solution. Full Review

6. ShopKeep Restaurant POS

You don’t have to break the bank just to get decent restaurant system software. Shopkeep offers industry-standard software at a lower rate than most competitors. They offer affordable hardware options to go with it, too. The software can be easily customized to fit your brand and leveraged to increase sales. Easily accept payments in any format, create stunning menus and ensure you never run out of stock with the excellent inventory system. Full Review

  • Good back office inventory system
  • Very detailed reporting
  • Highly customizable

You don’t have to break the bank just to get decent restaurant system software. Shopkeep offers industry-standard software at a lower rate than most competitors. They offer affordable hardware options to go with it, too. The software can be easily customized to fit your brand and leveraged to increase sales. Easily accept payments in any format, create stunning menus and ensure you never run out of stock with the excellent inventory system. Full Review

7. Lightspeed Restaurant POS

Lightspeed offers a restaurant-specific POS solution as part of its wider POS product range. The software provides custom floor plans, multiple menu and modifier management, time events, workflow, staff, and printer management. With offline mode, you can keep serving guests without interruption even if the network goes down. Full Review

  • Continues to work offline
  • Automatic backups
  • Easily split bills by food, customer, or table.

Lightspeed offers a restaurant-specific POS solution as part of its wider POS product range. The software provides custom floor plans, multiple menu and modifier management, time events, workflow, staff, and printer management. With offline mode, you can keep serving guests without interruption even if the network goes down. Full Review

8. Harbortouch Restaurant POS

If you’re trying to get your restaurant off the ground, you’ll find no better partner to help you along the way than Harbortouch. With its proprietary hardware and installation included free with any package, you’ll be ready to start serving in no time! With affordable monthly payments and 24/7 support, you’ll have little to worry about other than ensuring your customers are happy. Full Review

  • Works well with small and large restaurants
  • Proprietary remote access system for 24/7 management
  • Provides free software

If you’re trying to get your restaurant off the ground, you’ll find no better partner to help you along the way than Harbortouch. With its proprietary hardware and installation included free with any package, you’ll be ready to start serving in no time! With affordable monthly payments and 24/7 support, you’ll have little to worry about other than ensuring your customers are happy. Full Review

9. Heartland (Dinerware) POS

With the Heartland restaurant point of sale software and Dinerware solution, you get the combined backing of long-running payments company and a modern, competitive foodservice platform. Heartland’s Dinerware solution offers upcoming restaurants, cafes and food trucks a fully-fledged POS system - with hardware included - at an affordable price. Full Review

  • Property Management System (PMS)
  • Integrated online ordering, delivery and dispatch system
  • Integrated CRM system

With the Heartland restaurant point of sale software and Dinerware solution, you get the combined backing of long-running payments company and a modern, competitive foodservice platform. Heartland’s Dinerware solution offers upcoming restaurants, cafes and food trucks a fully-fledged POS system - with hardware included - at an affordable price. Full Review

10. Squirrel Systems POS

Squirrel’s bespoke point of sale system for hospitality has been trusted by the food service industry for decades. Now with modern, updated apps and new hardware! The system is highly scalable and offers some of the best hardware and customer support in the hospitality industry. Full Review

  • Familiar interface
  • Benefits from decades of experience
  • Very tough hardware designed for foodservice

Squirrel’s bespoke point of sale system for hospitality has been trusted by the food service industry for decades. Now with modern, updated apps and new hardware! The system is highly scalable and offers some of the best hardware and customer support in the hospitality industry. Full Review

Here Is How We Tested  and Reviewed the Best Restaurant POS Software

To find the best rated POS system for restaurants we searched online for what software was available. We read through hundreds of POS system reviews. We then downloaded and tested trial versions and contacted suppliers for any additional information. Here is our methodology:

1. How versatile and intuitive is the interface?

To get a feel of how easy it is to use the software, we downloaded the software to test it firsthand. Then, we tested out all the features – adding staff, creating menus, organizing tables, and placing orders.

2. Performance on the key functions

Beyond just a good ordering interface, the most popular POS system for restaurants should have a decent inventory module, customer management, quality reporting features, and several payment integrations. We would run through these features to see how they perform. Then, we’d compare our findings with independent reviews to get an overall idea.

3. Does the software offer some extra features?

Most POS systems should have at least a few advanced features. Those include menu and staff management, online ordering, delivery, or a reservation system. We tested any advanced features on software to ensure they performed well.

4. How it performs under pressure? 

In the food service industry, speed is a necessity and a slow POS won’t cut it. We would try and see how many features and processes we could run at the same time to evaluate the speed of each software.

5. Integrations and available add-ons

Some of the most important integrations for businesses are with accounting software, inventory management, and staff scheduling solutions. To ensure compatibility, we would evaluate the quality of integrations available on each system. We’d also check if they worked with commonly used software. We tested to see if any paid add-ons were worth the extra investment.

6. Deployment & Backup

In our reviews of the best restaurant POS systems, we checked how easy it is to install the software and what kind of backups are in place. Without adequate backup, you could lose all your restaurant data. This would be catastrophic for end of month cash up and payroll.

7. Can you count on the customer support?

Customer support is another vital element and to meet the demands of restaurants that operate late into the night, we made sure sufficient support is available. Independent reviews give a good indication of the quality of customer support available.

8. Pricing and how it is formed?

The pricing structure of the top restaurant POS systems varies wildly depending on business size and required features. We would ascertain which systems have fair pricing and which type of establishment they suit. Some POS systems offer just software on a monthly contract. Others sell full systems at large one-off prices. We would check to which pricing structures offer good value in the long-term.

Detailed Reviews

Toast POS
Toast POS

BEST FOR

Best cloud-based restaurant POS system

Visit Website
  • User-friendly interface
  • Remote monitoring and management
  • Automatic and regular updates
  • One of the best choices for POS systems

With more than 70 technology partners, Toast seems like quite a professional, restaurant-specific POS solution with lots of bonus features. It scales well to multiple sites which can all be remotely managed from one location. There is 24/7 support and the system continues to work even if the internet goes down.

Features 

Let’s see what the Toast POS has to boast.

Order Management

The Toast Kitchen Display System (KDS) provides highly durable, on-screen orders sent directly to the kitchen. Notifications of ready orders can be sent by customers by SMS or directly to a waiter’s handheld device.

Inventory Management

A centralized inventory is maintained across sites, with waste-tracking and reporting to maximize profitability.

Customer Management Tool

Toast features an opt-in loyalty rewards program that is linked to a customer credit card and stores purchase history.

Reporting

Toast offers advanced real-time Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) reporting to reduce waste, over-buying, and over-portioning. 

Payment Integrations

The ToastGo® handheld devices support offline EMV and mag-stripe credit card processing.

Reservation System

Toast restaurant POS software can integrate with OpenTable for reservations.

Menu Management

Toast includes menu engineering to maximize profits and reduce waste. Prices are automatically synced across sites and the online ordering app.

Staff Management

The integrated Toast Payroll service supports onboarding, recruitment, scheduling, HR, and legal requirements for all staff.

Online Ordering and Delivery

Customers can order online via the customizable Toast online ordering app with integrated delivery.

Multiple Locations Management

Toast is geared towards multi-site restaurant chains, managing all staff, recruitment, payroll, ordering, tips, and shift schedule from one location.

Security and Backup

Toast implements its proprietary PLATE framework for security: Perceive, Limit, Attribute, Take Action, Evolve. Each step combines resources from government, technology, and security council standards.

Pricing Plans 

  • Software ($79/terminal/month): reporting, menu management, kitchen operations
  • Hardware ($899): 10” terminal, flip stand, magnetic card reader
  • Installation: ($499): remote and in-person, 24/7 phone and email support
  • Customized flat rate payment processing costs

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

Toast sells itself as having high-quality customer service but independent reviews seem to indicate the opPOSite. Customers complain about long waiting times and inexperienced staff.

Limitations

The Toast iPads and other hardware are locked-down and can’t be used for other functions.

Verdict

Toast is one of the best  POS systems for fine dining restaurants that we reviewed due to its ease of use and wide range of features. 

However, it does appear to have some shortfalls. If you don’t want to use their locked-down hardware, they won’t provide support for other hardware. This is understandable but it means you have expensive hardware that can’t be used for other operations.

Still though, it fully deserves its place among the best restaurant POS systems.

Square POS
Square POS

BEST FOR

Best tablet POS system for restaurants

Visit Website
  • Stylish design and interface
  • 30-day free trial
  • Excellent customer support
  • Price point

Square POS a full retail point-of-sale solution from the Square group of products. It offers a restaurant-specific POS with features like restaurant layout and menu management, split bills, and tipping. The software is designed for iPad use but Android apps are also available and you can use your own device.

What’s interesting about the Square POS?

Order Management

The Square system offers kitchen and bar POS displays or printers which receive orders directly from handheld devices.

Inventory Management

Square’s inventory management helps to create a library of all items that is available across multiple sites.

Customer Management Tool

The Square family of software has a separate loyalty program that can be integrated with Square for Restaurants.

Reporting

You can keep track of all sales, stock, and inventory from the various reports available in the dashboard. However, some reviews suggest the reporting is very basic.

Payment Integrations

Square supports eCommerce payments over NFC (near-field communication) technology via its mobile wallets and credit or debit cards on its handheld POS devices.

Menu Management

You can easily create, edit, update and publish menu items all from the Square central management system. Updates will automatically show across all devices.

Staff Management

Square POS features built-in timecards, an integrated time clock with hours, breaks and overtime, access permissions, and employee performance reports. 

Online Ordering and Delivery

Square can integrate with the all-in-one food ordering system from Caviar, a delivery, and catering services company.

Multiple Locations Management

All locations can be managed remotely from the Square dashboard. Quite neat.

Security and Backup

All Square products are protected by the same security and PCI compliance measures that it uses to secure its popular payment platform. 

Pricing Plans 

Square for Restaurants software: $60/m (1 location. $40/m per extra)

  • Various other hardware is available at an additional cost (approx. $40/m) or you can use your own.
  • Card transaction fees are higher than most (2.6% + 10c)
  • 30-day free trial

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

Onsite hardware and software implementation including staff training are available from $600.

Setup guides, articles, and videos are available plus 24/7 technical support via phone and email.

Limitations

Food delivery and stock reordering must be done through 3rd-party integrations.

Verdict

Square offers good restaurant POS equipment that is decently priced, although the card transactions are quite high and this could really add up. 

However, the features and interface are of high quality. The wider Square family of products are popular and well trusted. 

We would say that while this may not be the cheapest option, it is reliable and offers good value for money.

TouchBistro POS
TouchBistro POS

BEST FOR

Best iPad restaurant POS system

Visit Website
  • Easy to add and price items
  • Works offline
  • Reservation feature available
  • Attractive Interface

TouchBistro is a new restaurant POS software solution built for Apple iOS devices and aimed at a small to midsize restaurant business. It offers a very affordable option for businesses that just need the basics to get up and running. However, any additional features cost extra and it could get quite expensive if your business grows and needs to add them on.

Features 

Here’s the things that restaurant owners love about TouhBistro.

Order Management

The basic order management system is simple and well designed, making it easy to configure menu items, pricing, and photographs. Table management is included and all orders can be sent directly to the kitchen printer or KDS.

Inventory Management

With the TouchBistro inventory management, you can track ingredient costs to evaluate what recipes to keep, assess profit margins, and ensure stock levels remain high.

Customer Management Tool

A loyalty system is available at extra cost.

Reporting

With TouchBistro, managers can use reporting to determine menu item profit margins and monitor staff performance. There are up to 50 additional reports available.

Payment Integrations

TouchBistro includes pay-at-table options with card swipe or tap, chip and pin. Also Apple Pay, Google, and Samsung Pay. 

Menu Management

Add menu items with full-color pictures and prices. Easily updates with promotions and special menus. Respond to inventory alerts and emergencies remotely.

Staff Management

Staff management and scheduling are included, with a digital punch card, payroll details, and in-app messaging. 

Online Ordering and Delivery

Online ordering is available through the TouchBistro app.

Security and Backup

Automatic daily backups are included. No other security information is available.

Pricing Plans

  • Solo: $69/m ($150 with hardware): 1 license
  • Dual: 129/m ($209 with hardware): 2 licenses
  • Team: $249/m ($359 with hardware): 5 licenses
  • Unlimited: $399/m ($539 with hardware): 6 or more licenses

All plans are billed annually and include: menu, staff management, table maps, reporting, analytics, payment processing, inventory, CRM, 24/7 support.

Add ons: reservations ($229/m), loyalty ($49/m), digital menus ($20/m)

Integrations, KDS, kiosk, online ordering (on quote).

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

Hardware Installation is available at extra cost. Free 24/7 phone and email support are included but the service is not very good. Support staff can connect remotely to provide assistance. 

Limitations

You will need to purchase expensive Apple products to run TouchBistro such as iPads, a Mac Mini, and Apple TV (for displays).

Verdict

For those who like Apple products and tailor-made iOS, TouchBistro will no-doubt impress. The award-winning software and hardware run very well together and comes preinstalled, making the initial setup less daunting. It’s an attractive interface but it comes at a high price if you include hardware. The basic system costs thousands of dollars a year. 

We would say TouchBistro is suited to busy restaurants with high turnover that appreciate and can afford, quality. This is why we put it in our list of best restaurant POS systems.

NCR Silver
NCR Silver

BEST FOR

Best POS system for multilocation restaurants

Visit Website
  • Good user interface
  • Excellent reporting and analytics
  • Loyalty and marketing included free
  • Good for multi-location restaurants

NCR is one of the best-rated restaurant POS systems in the world. It has now entered the digital POS sector with NCR Silver. One advantage is that many shops will already be using NCR hardware which can be upgraded. The NCR Silver Pro Restaurant package is aimed at the foodservice industry.

Features

Below are what make NCR Silver one of the best.

Order Management

The order management system is fairly standard with an attractive interface, kitchen printing, menu design, multiple tabs and table management.

Inventory Management

Inventory tracking and low stock notifications are included but there is no system for creating purchase orders or automatic restocking. 

Customer Management Tool

NCR loyalty and email marketing program, for better consumer engagement, is included in the NCR Silver package at no extra cost.

Reporting

Several reports are available, including daily or hourly sales data and itemized sales by category. Data can be exported to Excel or integrated with QuickBooks, Xero, Paychex, and others.

Payment Integrations

NCR offers offline swipe or tap credit card readers with split bill and tip functionality. Some users report chip and pin not available yet as of late 2019.

Menu Management

Create attractive menus with photos, information, and pricing. All can be updated remotely across all devices.

Staff Management

NCR Silver includes employee scheduling and clock-in/clock-out functionality.

Multiple Locations Management

The system can be used across multiple franchises and management from one office.

Security and Backup

NCR has a full IT security package integrated with its products, including endpoint protection, security patches, anti-virus, and monitoring.

Pricing Plans 

NCR Silver Pro Restaurant bundle: $178/m (2yr contract): 

Hardware:

  • Cash register with card reader and printer
  • screen stand fits various sizes (iPad sold separately)
  • additional stations: $64/m

Software:

  • menu management
  • delivery, takeout, drive through options
  • “86 list” automation
  • table mapping
  • split checks
  • works offline

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

All packages include 24/7/365 support from NCR’s worldwide online service desk, which has received good reviews. Training and installation are available through the NCR Concierge service.

Limitations

Runs on iOS devices only.

Verdict

NCR is one of the best POS systems for multi-location restaurants. Many sit-down restaurants already use and trust their hardware. For this reason, upgrading to the new NCR Silver software is likely an attractive option. 

However, while the software is good and comes with a high level of trust, it does seem a little dated. But the feature set is comprehensive and the hardware is solid. 

Long-running restaurant chains will no doubt find NCR Silver one of the best restaurant POS systems.

Clover POS
Clover POS

BEST FOR

Best POS system for small restaurants

Visit Website
  • Easy to set up and train users
  • Affordable solution for a growing restaurant
  • Lots of app integrations
  • Suitable for smaller restaurants

Clover offers a range of POS solutions for small to medium size restaurants. The handheld Flex device is a particularly good addition for food trailers to take card payments. The proprietary Clover Dining software is not particularly complex but offers all the features you would need to run a small restaurant.

Features 

Find out what makes Clover useful to many restaurants.

Order Management

In the Clover Dining app you can set up order types and categories, send orders directly to the kitchen or bartenders and add or update items. You can also design floor and table plans.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is included with barcode scanning for up to 15,000 items. 

Customer Management Tool

There is a loyalty program with promotions and proactive customer feedback.

Reporting

Basic reporting can be run per revenue center (restaurant/bar etc), sales items, order type, employee, sales tax, cashier system, audit reports.

Payment Integrations

Sipe or tap credit card (with NFC) processing is included. In the Clover Dining app, you can apply discounts, split tabs, authorize bar tabs, add tips, and apply happy hour prices. Taxes and service charges can be pre-applied. 

Menu Management

You can create menus and add items through the Cover Dining app, add all necessary information and pricing.

Staff Management

You can setup employee logins via card or fingerprint and access permissions with Clover Dining software. Time, attendance, scheduling, and payroll is also included.

Multiple Locations Management

I could find no information regarding multi-site support.

Security and Backup

$100,000 liability protection against data breaches.

Pricing Plans 

Software: 

  • Clover Dining Software: $69 /mo (1st month free)

Hardware packages:

  • Flex: ($99.00): handheld EMV reader, NFC, sto1ck, sales data, loyalty. Good for food trucks.
  • Mini ($749.00): all-in-one system. Menu, inventory, card payments, integrations, reporting, floor, staff.
  • Station ($1,349): 14” display, cash drawer, receipt printer, camera and barcode scanner, fingerprint login.

Extra:

  • Transactions: 2.3%+10c.
  • Chargebacks: $25 per charge.
  • LTE data plan – $15 /mo

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

24/7 customer support. Reviews vary, although for the most part, they say the customer support is quite good.

Verdict

Clover POS is a very up-to-date POS system for restaurants, with lots of app integrations. It’s an attractive software that works on any hardware. 

However, it is probably best suited for smaller restaurants as it doesn’t have some of the more advanced features. Also, some users have noted that the tablets slow down over time and sometimes need rebooting. 

It comes in at a very good price though so it will likely be attractive to small restaurants.

ShopKeep Restaurant POS
ShopKeep Restaurant POS

BEST FOR

Best simple POS system for restaurants looking to keep costs low.

Visit Website
  • Easy to use
  • Inventory works well across devices
  • Accepts multiple payment methods
  • Not too many complicated features

ShopKeep is a small POS system for new restaurants. It’s ideal for cafes or quick-service restaurants or small full-service restaurants. The software is easy to set up and use and has all the common features expected. 

However, the pricing system is not great if you have multiple sites that need more than one register.

Features 

Check out what ShopKeep has to offer.

Order Management

Ordering via the tablet is simple and prints directly to the kitchen to notify cooks. Check splitting, merging, and tip features are available and staff can take payment at the table.

Inventory Management

Inventory is quite limited to only individual items, making it difficult for restaurants that sell drinks measured in volumes, ie pints, etc.

Customer Management Tool

Contact information can be collected and integrated with Mailchimp. It’s great to use with email marketing.

Reporting

ShopKeep has some very detailed reports for sales and inventory like volume by the hour and bestsellers. Some users say there is no labor summary report to track hours and avoid overtime.

Payment Integrations

ShopKeep offers an inhouse payment processor called ShopKeep Payments. You can use your own, for a fee. Some reports indicate that the card reader often double charges and it’s difficult to get refunds.

It has a QuickBook integration for accounting although this doesn’t seem to work very well.

Menu Management

Menu planning and creation is included and works well with all the necessary features.

Staff Management

Unfortunately, you can’t create more than one role for staff. That hardly makes ShopKeep ideal for restaurants where staff occasionally swap shifts. 

Security and Backup

ShopKeep follows PCI DSS compliance and is EMV-compliant.

Pricing Plans

No pricing information is supplied by the vendor but they offer the following on their website:

“Depending on the industry, single-register hardware bundles for a tablet-based POS system can range from $500-$3,000. A small to medium-sized business can expect to pay a base price as low as $49 a month for subscription-based POS software.”

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

Customer support is available 24/7/365 by phone, email or chat.

However, user-written reviews suggest that the customer service is quite bad. There are reports of many people unable to return unused hardware or get refunds.

Limitations

You need to pay for a full new system if you want two registers.

Cost of Good Sales (COGS) doesn’t integrate with QuickBooks.

Inventory is limited.

Verdict

ShopKeep is a newer system that seems to be finding its feet in the restaurant business. It’s a good system but still suffers from a few growing pains. Hopefully, they will be fixed in upcoming versions. 

However, it comes at a good price for small restaurants that don’t need too many complicated features and won’t need to contact customer support too often.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS
Lightspeed Restaurant POS

BEST FOR

Best value restaurant POS system

Visit Website
  • Works on any hardware (iOS, Android)
  • Excellent e-commerce functions
  • Highly customizable
  • Most affordable software package

Lightspeed’s hotel restaurant POS is decent enough and offers all the functions you would expect in a POS. It has impressive scalability across multiple sites and the ability to centrally manage everything. However, inventory options are a bit weak for software that is intended to scale across multiple sites. 

It also needs to improve on its CRM and loyalty functions, although users report good customer service. 

Features 

Below are the reasons why people choose Lightspeed.

Order Management

Guests can order at the table side or via smartphone. Fully customizable floor plan and table management included. Orders go directly to the kitchen or bar and can be divided between printers.

Inventory Management

While Lightspeed Restaurant does offer an inventory function, it is not very detailed.

Customer Management Tool

Keep track of customer data with the built-in CRM and loyalty program. It can integrate with email marketing.

Reporting

Built-in, customizable reports are included.

Payment Integrations

Multiple check-splitting options, by seat, amount or item, and take payment one at a time or partial payments. Multiple payment processing available, both built-in or 3rd-party integrated.

Menu management

Create, customize and quickly update menus in the cloud and sync to all locations

Staff Management

Each staff member gets a custom profile and access permissions to the Lightspeed Restaurant app. Clock in and out functionality, scheduling integrations, and end of day reports are included.

Online Ordering and Delivery

Takeout or delivery orders can be processed through the system by assigning it as a table.

Multiple Locations Management

There is support for multiple locations.

Security and Backup

I was unable to find information about security level or backup options for  LightSpeed POS

Pricing Plans 

  • Starter ($12/mo): customer-facing display, KDS, reporting, digital table menu
  • Premium ($39/mo): accounting, loyalty, kiosk, delivery
  • Enterprise (quote)

All additional hardware is extra but you can use your own hardware.

Includes 30-day free trial

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

Free one-on-one onboarding included. 24/7 customer support excluding holidays, with dedicated one-day turnaround on emails. Live chat 9am – 6pm (EST). 

Reviews suggest the quality of customer service is high.

Limitations

Inventory is limited. 

Verdict

If you’re looking for a simple restaurant POS system at the cheapest price then Lightspeed might be a winner. At only $12 a month, it is one of the cheapest software packages we’ve come across. Furthermore, it’s such a flexible solution that it made it into our top picks for the best POS software on the market, that aren’t industry-specific. 

However, the cheapest tier is somewhat limited and really just offers the bare necessities required to run a restaurant. You’ll most likely need to upgrade eventually to the more average priced premium package, but it’s a great way to test drive the software first.

Harbortouch Restaurant POS
Harbortouch Restaurant POS

BEST FOR

Low entry costs make this the best POS system for new restaurants

Visit Website
  • Free hardware included
  • Flexible plans and packages
  • Complete remote access and management
  • Widely-used

Harbortouch’s Restaurant POS equipment is unique in that the proprietary hardware is included free with the contract, although you do need to sign for 3 years minimum. It also forces you to use Harbortouch’s own payment processor with associated transaction fees. However, this still works as a very affordable option, especially for small restaurants starting up with little capital. Just be sure to read the fine print!

Features 

Below are what makes Harbortouch standout.

Order Management

The Harbortouch software offers tableside ordering and tracking with its tablet-based Echo or Elite POS systems.

Inventory Management

You can place create an inventory list, purchase orders and track raw goods with the Harbortouch inventory features.

Customer Management Tool

With Harbortouch’s CRM tools you can manage social media accounts, a loyalty program, customer reviews, offer gift cards, send marketing emails.

Reporting

Harbortouch includes a full reporting suite with offsite access via the ‘Lighthouse’ remote access app.

Payment Integrations

Harbortouch has its own integrated payment processing, Echo, which is mandatory. Transaction fees are quote-based and lower the higher your turnover is.  Echo accepts swipe, chip, and contactless payments.

Reservation System

Reservations are available via the online interface.

Menu Management

With menu management, you can create stunning menus, add info, set happy hour pricing, and add unlimited modifiers.

Staff Management

Employee management includes a time clock, timesheets, role permissions, and overtime.

Online Ordering and Delivery

Harbortouch has an additional Delivery POS system. It comes with driver management, directions, mapping, caller ID, and employee time management features.

Multiple Locations Management

Well not specifically mentioned, it is assumed Harbortouch serves multiple locations due to its Lighthouse system.

Security and Backup

Lifetime hardware warranty.

Pricing Plans 

  • Payment Systems (Free*): free hardware, 24/7 support, paper supplies
  • Echo POS Systems ($29/mo): digital display, free installation
  • Elite POS Systems ($39/mo): best for restaurants, extra hardware, free installation

*Hardware is provided free with a 3-year contract and transaction processing agreement.

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

Independent best restaurant POS reviews do not rate Harbortouch’s customer service very highly. Many note troubles with hidden charges and being locked into a contract.

Limitations

You must use Harbortouch’s payment processor. Integrations with 3rd-party apps are limited.

Verdict

Harbortouch is an interesting offering. It provides free hardware which could work out as very good value for money. It is widely-used and clearly a well-managed company but customer service reviews are not good.

Also, the requirement to sign into a 3-year contract is daunting, considering it might not be ideal for your business.

Heartland (Dinerware) POS
Heartland (Dinerware) POS

BEST FOR

Best POS system for fast food restaurant

Visit Website
  • Simple UI
  • On-site training and support
  • Lots of integrations
  • Sleek and attractive

Heartland has a slightly different spin on the traditional restaurant POS.  It offers a cheap monthly payment and free hardware included. The catch is a 3-year contract which could work out as good value for money – if the system works for your restaurant. 

However, while most reviews are favorable, there have been some issues. Best to first make sure it’s the right software for you!

Features

Coming right up is Heartland’s features.

Order Management

Heartland is geared towards QSR, with customer self-service kiosks and two-tap ordering for quick, single orders. Customers can also order via the online app. Orders are sent directly to the cooks in the kitchen.

Inventory Management

While Heartland Dinerware POS does have an inventory system, it’s quite basic. Restaurants with complex menus could find it problematic. 

It does track quantities of specials in real-time to ensure they’re not oversold.

Customer Management Tool

Heartland POS features a guest engagement app, offering loyalty rewards, skip-the-queue ordering, discounts, and gift cards.

Reporting

Basic reporting and analytics features are available.

Payment Integrations

Accept payments anywhere with mobile app payment devices, EMV chip cards, digital wallets, ACH payments, and gift cards.

Menu Management

Heartland Dinerware provides a fairly simple menu creation system. It tracks items sold and updates the inventory.

Staff Management

Heartland manages all staff time tracking, attendance, HR, and payroll procedures.

Online Ordering and Delivery

Heartland has a built-in delivery service and integrates with 48 delivery services, including UberEats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and POStmates.

Security and Backup

Heartland uses E3 end-to-end encryption technology, EMV chip technology, and tokenization technology to keep credit card info secret.

Pricing Plans 

Prices appear to be on a quote by quote basis only.

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

Heartland promises on-site support from local staff in various communities and assures that it’s support agents answer calls within 30 seconds. Reviews regarding support are generally POSitive.

Limitations

Locked into Heartland’s payment processor.

Verdict

This top fast-food restaurant POS system offers a good mix of a long-running, trusted company with an upgraded, modern interface. Its new Dinerware software is just as sleek and attractive as some of the newer offerings listed here but comes from a traditional POS company. The combination results in a very good, smooth-running system with strong hardware and lots of features. 

The only downside is that you will be locked into Heartland’s payment processor.

Squirrel Systems POS
Squirrel Systems POS

BEST FOR

Due to its scalability, Squirrel would be our best hotel restaurant POS system

Visit Website
  • Well-established company
  • Very scalable - 5000+ customers
  • No contract - one-off payment
  • Strong customer support

Squirrel offers a full restaurant POS package that includes everything you need for a one-time payment. It comes with all hardware, installation, and training and is designed to work straight out the box. 

Overall it seems like a very professional package that may cost a lot initially but save money over time.

Features 

Here’s why Squirrel captivates most restaurant owners.

Order Management

Squirrel’s POS software runs smoothly on both iOS and Android devices. Waiters can take orders, send direct to the kitchen, and even edit menus on the fly. 

Inventory Management

Squirrel integrates with Optimum Control, Compeat, Restaurant 365, Food Trak, and Yellow Dog Software for inventory management.

Customer Management Tool

Squirrels CRM module includes 3 solutions for customer marketing – loyalty rewards, gift cards, and delivery. 

Reporting

Squirrel has over 100 built-in reports, including sales, transactions, tips, and employee performance. Cloud-based reporting is also available via Squirrel IQ, an online reporting system.

Payment Integrations

Squirrel offers flexible payment options, with a range of devices and EMV-driven payment options. Customers don’t have to use Squirrel as their payment processor.

Reservation System

Customers can make reservations via the app.

Menu Management

Edit menus on the fly, manage promotions, update remotely, and organize table layouts. With the Corporate POS Manager add-on, you can organize multiple locations from a central system.

Staff Management

Staff can easily clock in and out on Squirrel POS. The data can be exported to a payroll program. The optional add-on, Labor Cost & Productivity, offers scheduling, cost control, and enhanced productivity reporting.

Online Ordering and Delivery

Online ordering and delivery are available and integrates with Onosys, OrderTalk and Eigen, UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub.

Multiple Locations Management

Squirrel’s POS system is highly scalable and supports multiple locations.

Security and Backup

Squirrel uses EMV compliant hardware with encryption and regularly updated software.

Pricing Plans 

  • Pricing is on a quote basis and includes all software, hardware, training, support, and warranty. Packages can scale from 1 to over 100 terminals to serve anything from 20 to 5000 or more customers.
  • Independent sites suggest approximately a $5,000 one-off payment for a basic restaurant setup with one terminal. 

Implementation, Training & Customer Support

24/7 solutions center with live agents available via phone. The average wait time is 2.2 minutes with a reported 99.9% availability.

Limitations

Requires a large upfront investment. 

Not many 3rd-party app integrations.

Verdict

Squirrel is by far one of the best restaurant POS systems we’ve reviewed. It may require a large initial investment but in the long run, it will pay off. It has a reliable interface with strong reporting, scalability and customer support. If you have a high-volume restaurant franchise and need a strong system to support multiple locations, Squirrel POS is a winner. 

However, for small individual restaurants, it may not be ideal.

10 Additional Restaurant POS Systems Worth Considering

Now. 

Although we’ve listed the best 10 restaurant POS systems on the market, there are several other solutions worth mentioning. 

Upserve (Formerly Breadcrumb)

Upserve has recently been rebranded from Breadcrumb POS. It benefits from a decent looking interface and some well-designed menu creation options. It also has some nice features like offline mode, bill splitting, and customized onboarding. Add to that the 24/7 support, detailed reporting, and analytics, and it all comes across as an impressive package.

However, despite the relatively high price of the core plan, it lacks inventory management. That makes it an unlikely choice for most restaurants. This requires an additional $99 / month investment which makes Upserve far more expensive than other packages of equal quality.

Lavu POS

Lavu sells itself as a quick and easy restaurant POS system and, to a certain degree, it delivers. The modern and attractive interface will appeal to staff and the decent range of features meets the basic needs. In particular, the Open API system makes it convenient for adding third-party applications. 

However, reviews online suggest a lot of problems with the system with many users reporting bugs and glitches. Considering the hardware that comes with the Lavu POS system costs so much, you would expect it to all work smoothly. Fortunately, there is a free trial available so you can always test drive it first.

Revel POS

Revel is a more complex restaurant POS system aimed at managing the full range of business requirements. It includes options to manage your finance, accounting, inventory, and employees. There are added features like a loyalty program and deliveries. This does mean that unfortunately, the initial installation process can be rather tedious and time-consuming. You’ll need to account for the added training.

While the Revel system is impressive, unfortunately, it comes in at slightly too high a price for it to be competitive. The most basic system starts at $99 per month just for the software and requires a 3-year contract. That is simply too high a commitment even for the busiest restaurants. 

Spoton Restaurants

SpotOn is a retail POS provider that offers a restaurant-specific system. It benefits from strong customer service and POSitive reviews to back it up. The menu creation and reporting features have been noted as particularly good.  It is cloud-based with a good user interface and 24/7 customer support.

However, it’s another POS system that suffers from a tricky pricing structure. Initially, it seems cheap at $25 per month but that doesn’t include the $65 for the restaurant add on. Additionally, you must sign up to SpotOn for payment processing costs at 1.99% plus 15c.

POSitouch

POSitouch is a very simple POS system with a very dated user interface that looks reminiscent of 90s software. The setup is complex and requires a lot of manual input and configuration. While the functions it has work sufficiently, it lacks advanced reporting, menu management, and additional accounting features. 

Long-term users have noted it as being a very stable system with good payroll functions and backend configuration. It is also not cloud-based which could be a POSitive aspect for some companies. Overall, it is an old-school system that works but will not be impressive to new and upcoming businesses.

Future POS

Future POS is a long-established POS system for big restaurants, developed in the US in the 90s.  It sells itself on strong security and encryption to avoid credit card hacks and the customer service has good reviews. However, the aging system suffers from a lot of bugs and speed issues which make it difficult to use. Although it has many good bonus features like loyalty, discounts, and gift cards, it will need to upgrade the core programming in order to compete with other more modern POS systems.

Aldelo

Aldelo’s restaurant POS solution is a decent system for the price, with the basic setup coming in at only $59 a month with hardware included. This presents an attractive option for new restaurants that don’t want to spend a lot on hardware. It also comes with 24/7 support and a reliable cloud-based system. 

However, it requires you to sign up to its payment processing system at 2.5% plus 10c per transaction. For some existing restaurants, this will likely be more expensive than their current processor and therefore not an attractive option.

Silverware POS

Silverware is a hotel and restaurant POS system with a focus on customer relation tools, detailed reporting, and employee management. It promises a good mobile-ordering interface with menu creation and table management. The pricing structure scales well, from an acceptable $49 per month starter package to the highly affordable $89 per month enterprise package.

All packages include 24/7/365 customer support, analytics, unlimited users, and cloud-based software. 

On paper, it appears to be a good system. Unfortunately, in reality, the system seems to suffer from many bugs and doesn’t receive good reviews online.

Cake POS

The Cake multi-location restaurant POS software is good for tracking employee shifts and clocking in times, with real-time sales info from multiple locations. It also has payroll and can easily calculate staff wages and track performance. The system is quite modern, with a nice UI and a cloud-based app that runs on any platform. Integrations include PayPal, Xero, QuickBooks, and several others. 

The only problem is that the system has been known to make incorrect charges and often crash. It might be sufficient to manage a small restaurant but with a large restaurant business the issues could quickly pile up.

Rezku POS

Rezku POS is a full point-of-sale solution for any size restaurant, offering complete off-the-shelf packages from just $349. It has a decent amount of popular clients and receives good reviews online. Its good customer-facing system is supported by a strong back-office platform with inventory and staff management.

The training and onboarding are quite hard though and you might find staff struggling to get to grips with the system. Once up and running it looks good but the initial setup could take some time and money.

Buyer’s Guide – How to Choose POS System for Restaurants?

There are so many restaurant POS software solutions on the market. We researched and listed the top 10 systems available, but every business is individual and we know that. That’s why it is on you to decide which one of these solutions best fits your specific business needs. Here are some important aspects to take into account:

Which are the fundamental factors to consider when choosing restaurant  POS software?

Before selecting the best restaurant POS system you should look through several important factors that will affect your business.

  • Company size

Most importantly, you should evaluate whether the system can support the size of your restaurant or franchise.

  • How many locations you have?

Some POS systems are better suited to multiple locations than others.

  • Overall cost

Restaurant POS software cost is the next important factor. Going for the cheapest system may not pay off in the long run if it doesn’t give you all the benefits you need. A more expensive POS system may be able to replace some of your current software, thereby reducing overall costs. Always check for hidden costs like payment processing fees, installation, and training costs, or additional hardware.

  • Security and backup options

Check that the provider has adequate security in place since many providers are cloud-based and are responsible for keeping your company data safe. They should have all the necessary compliance in place, with strong network encryption and backup procedures.

  • Customer support and available hours

The best restaurant POS systems should offer 24/7 customer support since most restaurants operate all week until late. Ideally, phone and email support should be included and should have good reviews online.

  • Payment availabilities

A POS system that offers not only a card processor but can also integrate offline payments is another important factor when choosing the best restaurant POS system.

What Are the Advantages of Using a POS System for Restaurants?

  • Improve your service with fast and easy table orders and kitchen tickets
  • Cut labor cost by optimizing the working processes
  • Connect with your customers, creating a loyalty program and discounts
  • Get more informed decisions for your business, thanks to the automatic reports

As your restaurant grows it will become increasingly difficult to keep track of orders, labor costs, customer retention, and stock keeping. Menu updates, table management, and customer information are far easier to manage with a POS system.

Having a good restaurant computer system can save you a lot of time and money by automatically keeping track of everything for you. Modern POS systems also offer significant advantages to your customers in the form of loyalty rewards, gift cards, and feedback.

Reports will help you to ensure all sales are correct, the staff is paid accurately, payroll runs efficiently, and the right amount of stock is being ordered.

What Hardware Do You Need to Get the Most Out of Your Restaurant POS System?

To be able to use POS software you need hardware to run it. Some solutions are available for different operating systems, like Windows or Mac. Others limit their products to only one OS, and there are others that require specific hardware, in most cases from the same provider.

In all cases, to be able to use the POS software you will this specific devices:

  • Main POS station (computer or tablet)
  • Cash drawer
  • Card reader
  • Receipt printer
  • Payment processing devices

Also, don’t forget to ensure you have a decent internet connection, as this is the backbone of the entire system!

Well, that was quite the journey. 

When you first started reading this article, you were unsure which POS system to choose. Now you’re equipped with all the knowledge and information that we managed to gather. We’re sure that you’ve liked one or two of the reviewed POS solutions.

Go on, now! Bravely make your choice among the best restaurant POS systems!