Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped thousands of restaurateurs choose the right restaurant POS software so they can analyze food sales and navigate a tip-based payroll.

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Epos Now

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 gen... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 94 recommendations

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HungerRush

HungerRush is a food delivery solution that enables restaurants of all sizes to streamline operations related to online ordering, loyalty programs, reporting and more. Professionals can utilize the platform to create custom order ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 59 recommendations

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Toast POSFrontRunners 2021

Toast POS is a flexible system built exclusively for restaurants and the food service industry. Offering tools like online ordering, delivery, takeout, mobile app ordering, contactless payments, and e-gift card purchasing, this so... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 57 recommendations

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talechFrontRunners 2021

Talech POS is a cloud-based retail, restaurant & bar and professional services solution that offers point-of-sale (POS), inventory and customer management, appointment scheduling and deep, real-time analytics. The solution stores ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 47 recommendations

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SpotOn RestaurantFrontRunners 2021

SpotOn Restaurant is a cloud-based point-of-sale solution that enables businesses to streamline processes related to food ordering, tableside payments, customer retention and more. The online ordering functionality enables busines... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 19 recommendations

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BrewPOS

BrewPOS is a Windows IOT solution for restaurants designed to intuitively manage the daily functions for your restaurant. Open Tabs with EMV chip cards and close them without the customer present. Never keep a credit card behind t... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 9 recommendations

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Infor Point of Sale (POS)

Infor POS is a cloud-based point-of-sale solution purpose-built for the retail and hospitality industries—serving hotels, resorts, restaurants, and retail stores of all shapes and sizes with revenue tracking, queue, and order mana... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Bepoz

Bepoz is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) solution designed for restaurant, retail and admissions businesses of all sizes. The product caters to both single as well as multi-location retail. It offers stock control, cash control,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Square Point of Sale

Square Point of Sale is a mobile POS system available for iOS and Android devices. Key capabilities of the Square POS system include online payment processing, sales reports, inventory tracking, digital receipts, Square marketing ... Read more

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PayPal Here

PayPal Here is a mobile application that allows retailers and merchants to process transactions. The application uses a card reader device attached to a smartphone. This solution helps retailers and field sales staff to process tr... Read more

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Loyverse POS

Loyverse POS is a cloud-based, mobile point-of-sale solution aimed at small retail, restaurant and salon establishments. With this software, users can manage inventory, visualize sales analytics and manage customer relationships. ... Read more

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LS RetailFrontRunners 2021

LS Retail is a retail management system consisting of point of sale (POS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). Key features include inventory management, customer management, retail accounting, e-commerce, warehouse management ... Read more

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Lightspeed POS

Crafted specifically for the hospitality industry and perfect for cafes, restaurants, bars, and any other hospitality business imaginable. Lightspeed Kounta POS is the point of sale that is easy to use, simple to manage and powerf... Read more

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Flipdish

Flipdish is a cloud-based solution designed to help restaurants, hotels, takeaways, cafés or bars process and manage online orders through custom branded mobile applications and websites. Features include sales analytics, reward p... Read more

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Harbortouch POS

Harbortouch is a restaurant POS system designed to help small and midsize businesses manage inventory, promotions and employees on a centralized dashboard. The platform enables administrators to gain insights into sales reports ac... Read more

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Koomi POS

Koomi POS is a cloud-based point of sale solution and was created specifically for the quick-serve and fast-casual restaurant segments. Customers typically include coffee shops, salad bars, pizza stands, ice cream shops, food truc... Read more

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PointOS

PointOS is a point of sale (POS) solution that helps restaurants, bars and nightclubs streamline operations related to invoicing, menu management, inventory re-ordering and more on a centralized platform. The employee management t... Read more

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GoFrugalFrontRunners 2021

GoFrugal POS is a hybrid point of sale (POS) solution that helps retailers across various industries, to manage their distribution and billing routines and automate financial transactions. The solution can be deployed either on-pr... Read more

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eHopper

eHopper is a cross-platform point-of-sale software designed for small size retail stores and available for Windows, Android, iOS and Poynt Smart terminals. In addition to the POS module, eHopper offers a suite of applications like... Read more

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KickFin

Kickfin is a tip distribution solution that helps restaurants, bars, clubs, nightclub venues, hotels and entertainment centers directly deposit tips into employees’ bank accounts. It enables managers to create groups, manage emplo... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 14, 2021

 

As restaurant manager, bouncing back and forth between incoming inventory shipments, taking orders, tracking each order, and making sure each dish on each table is billed appropriately—among many other restaurant tasks—can be challenging.

Doing everything manually is essentially the equivalent of juggling dozens of playing pins at a time; you are bound to drop one, or even several.

Fortunately, there are tools like restaurant POS systems and other related POS software that can help automate restaurant tasks such as inventory management and online ordering for restaurant managers.

To help you understand how restaurant POS systems and software can help, and what features it provides, we have prepared this guide. Here’s what we'll cover:

What are restaurant POS systems?

Restaurant POS systems help restaurant owners enhance the customer experience and streamline business operations relating to sales, cash flow, food inventory, and bookkeeping. Additional features include payment gateway, order management, analytics, and table reservations.

Some restaurant POS systems also provide advanced features, such as food costing and a built-in marketing suite to help restaurant owners with budgeting, as well as creating and executing outreach campaigns. Most restaurant POS systems and software can also be used by other food and beverage businesses, such as cafes, food trucks, and bars.

Common features of restaurant POS systems

When comparing restaurant POS systems, it's important to understand the functionality included in each. Here are the most common features of restaurant POS systems:

Order entry Ensures that orders, including any special modifiers, are easily, quickly and correctly entered and received by the bar and/or kitchen, while enabling split checks.
Inventory management Helps monitor inventory use and costs while tracking portioned items to determine food costs. Produces management reports to help detect theft and over-portioning while setting thresholds for minimum product counts and assigning automatic reordering.
Recipe costing Helps determine the monetary value of each batch and/or serving of a menu item to determine the actual costs and profitability for each dish.
Customer management Track customer purchase histories and follow up with targeted offers to valuable customers through email and text messages, while allowing for “opt outs” of future offers. Often supports a loyalty rewards program to build lucrative relationships with loyal customers.
Tablet/iPad-based system Provide an enhanced customer experience by reducing the amount of ordering and payment time. Servers have the ability to send an order directly to the kitchen while customers can input tips on the iPad and sign their names on the spot.

upserve restaurant POS reporting and analytics dashboard

A Restaurant POS reporting and analytics dashboard detailing orders, deliveries and sales (Source)

What type of buyer are you?

Whether you’re a pop-up or food trailer, single location or multiple location restaurant, there’s a type of restaurant POS system for every restaurant business.

  • Small restaurant business: If your operation consists of a single location, be it a fixed restaurant, a rotating pop-up, or a mobile food trailer, you'll be best served by a basic restaurant POS system. You'll be fine with limited hardware and fewer advanced features.
  • Midsize restaurant business: If you operate a high-volume, growing restaurant with one to five locations, you'll want a restaurant POS system that offers advanced features. These include reporting and analytics, inventory control and maybe even online ordering capabilities.
  • Large/enterprise restaurant business: Managers and operators of more than five locations should look for a restaurant POS option with advanced dashboards and analytics and multiple location management.

Pricing and purchasing options

POS systems for restaurants typically cost between $49 - $150 per month per terminal, while hardware costs can be as high as $1,000 for tablets, printers, network infrastructure, and cash drawers.

A big determinant of restaurant POS prices are the deployment options restaurant owners choose. The two primary options are:

  • Cloud-based POS software: These types of restaurant POS systems are typically charged on a subscription pricing structure, and priced on a per-terminal, per-month basis. Many vendors offer discounts to businesses that pay annually. Ideal for small or medium restaurants.
  • On-premise POS software: This is typically priced by the number of licenses and/or terminals required. Most of these systems require a large upfront fee for the right to use the software in perpetuity (rather than a monthly or annual subscription). This is better suited for restaurant businesses with five or more locations.

Market trends to understand

Increasing touchless payment methods: Several restaurant POS system providers are giving restaurant owners the ability to create a secure and touchless payment environment as a result of COVID-19. Options include using a fully PCI and EMV compliant pay-at-the-table device and/or the scanning of a QR code to launch a payment process that’s encrypted and touchless.

Growing gift cards as a revenue channel: As dining rooms across the U.S. are forced to close or operate at limited capacity, restaurants have had to turn to gift cards as one of their lifelines to generate revenue. The International Card Manufacturers Association predicts that the pandemic could see an increase in digital and contactless gift cards.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Restaurant Point of Sale (POS) Software, March 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Restaurant POS Systems products in North America.

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“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.