If you're a restaurant owner, then you know that having the best POS system is absolutely essential for running your business smoothly while maximizing your revenue.
The POS market is large and growing rapidly for good reason ($11.5 billion in 2022.) A good POS system will help you streamline operations, enhance the customer experience, get actionable product-trending data and improve your bottom line.
But with so many different POS systems on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one has the right feature set for your business.
In this article you'll find the 13+ best POS systems for restaurant, fully ranked and reviewed plus recommendations to find out which one may be best suited to your needs, including a summary of the top 3 editor's picks below for your convenience:
Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation at no additional cost to you to support this site that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my 10+ years of online business experience consulting for clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that offer the best return for your investment (for more details, read my Affiliate Disclosure).
What is the Best POS System for Your Restaurant?
TouchBistro is an award-winning all-in-one restaurant management system that can handle all facets of operating a food services business.
From taking orders and processing payments to managing your inventory and analyzing your sales data, TouchBistro has all the features that are needed to operate your restaurant business from a single platform.
You can use it not just to settle customer checks but also to boost on and off-premise orders, drive repeat business, turn tables faster and increase average check size.
TouchBistro Features that Stand Out
- Customize and edit your floor plan on the go by looking at critical factors like distance between tables, time seated, and spend per table
- Increase upsells, manage on and off-premise orders and build and update menus from any device.
- Understand your food costs, reduce waste, and alert staff when items are low
- Make informed business decisions faster with more than 50 reports that provide deep insights into sales trends, staff performance and much more.
- Manage your team and shift schedule, streamline payroll and optimize labor costs
Best Hybrid Solution:
Unlike TouchBistro, Lightspeed is a broader POS application that can be used not just for food services but also for hybrid cases where food service is intertwined with other types of customer service, like in the hospitality and golf businesses.
With Lightspeed, you can streamline complex operations, simplify workflows and get more done in less time through a platform that is fast, reliable, and scalable.
From retail and food sales to inventory management to customer relationship tracking, Lightspeed is a great POS solution for hybrid businesses.
Lightspeed Features that Stand Out
- Diversify your restaurant’s offering with delivery and contactless online ordering
- Move tables and adjust your floor plan on your app so staff always knows where to go
- Increase your profit margin and avoid third-party fees by managing your own takeout with commission-free online ordering
- Get orders automatically from top apps like UberEats, Skip The Dishes or DoorDash sent directly to your restaurant POS software
- Offer fast transactions anywhere with credit card, debit card and mobile payments
- Minimize loss due to spoilage and track how much inventory has been purchased, produced, wasted or sold with stock reporting
- Access monthly sales reports and export inventory reports when needed
Upserve is a cloud-based restaurant POS platform that provides everything from online ordering and reservations to managing your inventory and finances, so you can access your data and manage your business from anywhere.
It can help you streamline your operations, raise productivity and increase profits through the combination of payment processing, point of sale and analytics, which provide in-depth insights to boost your margins.
Upserve Features that Stand Out
- Collect useful data on each guest so that you can build deeper relationships every time they come into your restaurant. Servers can add notes and management can tag and segment guests into customized lists for targeted marketing campaigns
- Learn what happened in your restaurant during the previous day, first thing in the morning, via email. Raw data is translated into understandable insights alongside qualitative feedback from servers
- Capture your floor staff’s qualitative insights from the day’s shift. Customize questions and checklists to suit your restaurant’s unique operations
- Break down specific menu items at-a-glance in terms of “One-Hit Wonders”, “Greatest Hits”, “Underperformers”, and “Hidden Gems”. Empowered with this data, adjust your menu to feature your best dishes and train servers to upsell other big contributors to your restaurant's profit margin
Best for Ease of Implementation
Cake's restaurant software suite has great features to help you manage the entire dining experience, from taking orders and managing inventory to processing payments and tracking customer data.
This software has an intuitive user interface that makes it easy for you to manage your restaurant's operations with ease. This ensures a smooth and profitable dining experience for your customers.
Cake's integrated inventory management capabilities allow you to monitor your stock levels in real time, keeping costs under control while making sure you always have the right amount of ingredients on hand.
It also comes equipped with advanced analytics tools that provide insights into customer behavior, allowing you to better understand your customers' preferences and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
From mobile marketing and wait list management to point of sale and payment processing, the Cake restaurant management system helps you grow your business.
Cake Features that Stand Out
- Increase your speed of service by optimizing curbside pickup and delivery and improving your wait list and reservations process
- Simple point of sale system, intuitive, and cost-friendly that accelerates your order process with customized workflows as well as on-the-fly menu and table adjustments
- Give your guests more ways to order your food and maximize profits with online ordering. Customers can order online with pickup and contactless delivery options
Best All-in-One POS System
Clover is an all-in-one POS system you can quickly set up to take payments and manage just about everything for your restaurant.
It helps you keep track of your inventory, sales and customer information so you can make good data-driven decisions about your business.
You can customize rates for discounts, tips and tax directly through the POS dashboard on your smartphone. You can also access your entire transaction history protected by industry-leading payment security.
Clover accepts all major credit cards, tracks employee hours and much more.
Clover Features that Stand Out
- Use a central hub for power and processing: one screen for your business and one for your customers, with simple rates for your credit, debit, and gift card payments
- The counter service takes orders and payments as fast as your customers expect, connects front to back of house, helps you manage your team, gift card programs, and pull sales and end-of-day reports
- Manage inventory and keep track of stock. Accept payments at the touch of a button. Handle returns and exchanges. Oversee your staff and run sales reports
Best for Business Insights
ePosnow is a comprehensive point-of-sale software that includes everything you need to run your restaurant, from inventory management to customer tracking.
The system enables you gain new customers, increase profit and remain future proof. It also allows you to easily set up, onboard, and train staff in minutes.
You can access business insights about your restaurant on the go through any device. Use ePosnow standalone or integrate it with hundreds of apps, including payment systems, accounting software and much more.
ePosnow Features that Stand Out
- Synchronize your front & back of house to increase sales and table turnover
- Integrate with major food delivery apps to win more customers and drive revenue
- Access your data 24/7 from any device to make smarter business decisions
- Drive repeat business and loyalty via CRM & promotions
- Accept all types of payments quickly and securely
Best Cloud-Native POS System
Revel is a cloud-native POS system that helps businesses of all sizes deliver a better customer experience, diversify revenue streams, and scale their businesses.
It offers features like fast checkout, automatic inventory updates, and detailed reporting. It also offers a white label solution so businesses can fully brand their checkout experience.
Revel Features that Stand Out
- Keep your sensitive business data and your customers’ information protected from potential threats with PCI-compliant cloud technology, Point-to-Point Encrypted payments and user access controls
- Input orders on the POS using conversational ordering. This is designed so cashiers can easily and quickly put in orders as they are spoken to them with fewer errors
- Create and apply discounts in real time from your POS during a transaction. Take a dollar amount off or apply a percentage discount
- Use the inventory management system to minimize waste and maximize your profits, ensuring you always have what you need
- Access real-time insights from anywhere to keep up with inventory, track customer insights & labor reporting, and analyze sales data to guide your business decisions
Best for Inventory Tracking
Helcim is a point-of-sale app that can be used with a variety of devices to help you run your business. It offers a fast, easy way to ring up sales and track your inventory.
You can easily track your customer's purchase history, keep payment information on file for your regulars and send digital receipts to minimize paper waste.
Helcim Features that Stand Out
- Automatically track your customer's purchase history, keep payment information on file for your regulars, and send digital receipts to minimize paper waste
- Organize your product catalog however you want, add variants, upload images, and track your inventory across your locations. Inventory information syncs across all aspects of your account
- You can log in from anywhere to get valuable insights into your sales trends, best-selling items, and more
- Create an unlimited number of user accounts for your team and set unique user permissions to control what your employees can see and do
Best for Large Volume Restaurants
Whether you run a large, high-volume restaurant or a small, family-owned outfit, Toast is a POS platform that is specifically built for food services businesses.
With its built-in order management and reporting tools, Toast makes it easy to manage all of your on-premise and off-premise orders in one system.
Its restaurant-grade hardware is also significantly faster than traditional POS systems, so you can process orders more quickly.
Plus, Toast offers a range of other valuable features that are designed to help you streamline your operations and boost your bottom line.
Toast Features that Stand Out
- Enable your team to spend more time with guests, accelerate service, and speed up checkout through table-side ordering and payments through the use of handheld technology
- Increase sales and allow guests to order directly from you. Offer curbside pickup or contactless delivery
- Eliminate the tablet farm and have orders from third party delivery marketplaces sent straight to your point of sale system
- Keep tabs on your restaurant's performance from anywhere, and on any device, with cloud-based access to key reports and sales performance
- Master your menu wherever you are. Make menu updates from any terminal at your restaurant or from anywhere else on your smartphone
Best for Small Retail Businesses
Talech is perfect for cafes, clothing stores, salons and churches, and offers a wide range of features that allow you to create orders, apply discounts, manage inventory and view sales online with just a few taps.
With over 100 features, Talech is also powerful enough to handle the most complex tasks for a large business. All your point of sale data is stored securely in the cloud so you can manage your business in real-time.
Talech Features that Stand Out
- Assign courses and dispatch tickets to multiple printers with a few taps. Apply taxes, gratuities and additional service charges based on rules
- Let your customers place orders in-store through their mobile device easily. Create printable QR codes with table numbers that take customers to your online ordering
- Create happy hour discounts to automatically trigger at specific days and times. Set up advanced BOGO discounts to offer deals such as buy 2 burgers, get a free drink, etc.
- Accept chip, contactless and swipe payments with a choice of payment terminals and Talech's in-house payment processing
- Set custom suggested tip amounts to make sure your servers are rewarded for their hard work. Make closing a breeze with tip adjust and settlement
Best for Customization
Square POS for restaurants is a point-of-sale software that can help streamline your sales process and make it easier for you to manage your transactions.
You can customize your POS system to match the unique needs of your restaurant, allowing you to manage your sales, track your inventory, manage your menus and more.
Square Features that Stand Out
- Keep all orders organized and in one place, from in-restaurant dining to contactless takeout and delivery
- Square has no long-term contracts or installation fees
- Save time with reports that sync across the POS system and your software from front to back of house
- Complete tasks, like real-time menu updates and repeat orders, in just a few taps to make staff more productive
Best for Online Sales
Shopify is a leading point of sale system for restaurants of all sizes. With Shopify, you can accept payments, track inventory and manage your customers all in one place.
You can take payments and manage your inventory on any Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, plus with a seamless integration with Shopify's ecommerce platform, you get all the tools you need to sell your products online.
Shopify Features that Stand Out
- Turn any mobile device into a powerful point of sale. You can download the Shopify Retail POS app on to any Android or iOS smartphone or tablet
- Personalize your POS system to your business. Keep your most-used apps, discounts, and products at your fingertips so you can fly through checkout
- Generate purchase orders and transfer stock based on inventory forecasts and performance
- Set permissions to control staff access in the POS system so you can delegate with peace of mind
- Accept in-store returns and exchanges of items bought online or at other locations
- Email customers their in-store favorites, right from the POS system
13. PayPal Zettle
Best for PayPal Integration
PayPal Zettle offers a POS solution to help restaurant owners manage their sales and inventory allowing you to keep track of everything from sales to stock levels.
You can also customize the way you view and share reports, easily find and analyze the data that matters most, manage staff schedules, shifts, and view sales activity, quickly identify your bestselling products so they're always in stock, and more.
PayPal Features that Stand Out
- Customize the way you view and share reports, easily find and analyze the data that matters most, and more
- Set cost price, selling price, and more right on the platform
- Automatically update stock levels, or manually add and edit new items when you need to
- Organize your products in lists or groups to help accurately manage inventory
- Add and scan barcodes to help track specific products
- Quickly find products by adding photos and descriptions
- Import products in bulk from existing spreadsheets
Best for Staff Management
Lavu provides easy-to-use solutions that help you streamline your restaurant operations, empower your staff and provide a better customer experience.
Used by thousands of restaurants in over 80 countries, Lavu makes it easy to take care of everything, from managing your inventory to accepting payments.
Lavu Features that Stand Out
- Manage orders and payments
- Track inventory
- Send orders to the kitchen
- Get detailed reporting
- Identify menu best sellers
- Manage employee clock in and clock out
- Set up self-ordering kiosks
What are the benefits of using a POS system in your restaurant?
Primarily, a restaurant POS system speeds up the ordering and checkout process, including takeout and online orders, and it also provides detailed reports on sales activity.
It can help you track inventory levels, identify items that are selling well and spot trends in your sales data that you can use to maximize your future revenue based on actionable data instead of guesswork.
You can also use a POS system to generate invoices and receipts and to accept payment by credit/debit cards.
Overall, using the right POS system can help you run your restaurant more efficiently and lower your operating costs.
How do you choose the right POS system for your restaurant?
It depends on your specific needs and what you're looking for in a POS system. Here are some factors to consider:
- How many terminals do you need?
- What features are important to you? Are you looking for a system that includes online ordering or is tracking inventory more important for you?
- Do you need training on how to use the system?
- Is customer service important to you? Some POS systems offer 24/7 customer service, while others have shorter hours.
- Do you want the option of leasing or purchasing the hardware?
- What's your budget?
Once you've answered these questions, you can begin researching specific POS systems to find the one that best meets your needs.
What to Do Next
A good POS system is essential for any restaurant. It can help you manage your sales, cash flow, food inventory, and bookkeeping. It can also provide features such as a payment gateway, order management, analytics, and table reservations.
The above tools are in my opinion the best in the market, but they're not a one-size-fits-all for every establishment. Do your research to see which ones are best suited for your needs and then test them out.
Most of the above tools offer either free time-limited trials or a money back guarantee.