Best POS Systems for Restaurants

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What is a POS?

Before selecting a POS System for Restaurant, we need to know what actually is POS.Point of Sale (POS) is a software where the customer can make payments in exchange for goods or product and are usually developed on platforms like iOS, Windows or Linux. Nowadays, POS is so much more than this as they are sometime even referred as retail management systems.

All you need to know about POS systems

  • The need for POS

Owning and managing a restaurant is a hectic task and consume a large portion of your time that you initially intended to use for other tasks. A POS system can save you a lot of time.

Imagine you have a long line of customers at your take-away counter. When one customer reaches the counter, he/she dictates their order and then it is taken to the kitchen by the waiter, and finally when their food is ready, it is packed and then handed over to them. This whole process takes a lot of time, and as it is said “time is money”, you need to cut down on this. A POS system can help you in doing so.

Now imagine that the scenario, but this time you have a waiter taking the orders from customers on his tablet or iPad while they are waiting in line. The order taken by the waiter is sent straight to the kitchen and when finally, the customer reaches the counter, it is packed and ready to be delivered. This process also reduces the communication gap between the kitchen and the waiting staff.

This is the basic feature of almost every POS system available in the market, but many POS systems offer you other features like inventory management, employee management, real-time reporting etc.

Benefits offered by POS

Efficient way to run your business

It is a less time-saving solution to your problems as it provides you with tools that can heavily speed up your tasks.

  • Easy to use

In the present day, everything is in digital form and so is a POS. With a feature loaded POS on your fingertips, you can easily run your business with ease.

  • Can accept payment in different forms

Most customers do not use the same means of payment, some use cash while others use chipcards, NFC or even mobile payment options like Apple Pay, Android pay etc. A suitable POS can accept all these types of payment on a single system.

  • Eliminating human error

A POS system eliminates the human error thus increasing accuracy of the data. You don’t have to punch in every little detail, every number by yourself, the POS does most of the work itself.

  • Employee management

It is difficult to keep a check on your employees all the time. POS makes it easy for you as it allows the employees to clock in and out, they have their own employee profiles on the system and makes it easier for you to assign them task through the system.

  • Simple accounting

There is no need for you to go through hundreds of receipts as a POS system stores everything in the system for ease of accounting.

  • Quick service

It makes shopping less frustrating for the customers by speeding up the checkout time and leaving a good impression with them.

  • Detailed receipts

POS provides much more details to a customer than a traditional paper receipt e.g. item details, its price, the money you saved with the coupon etc.

Features to look for in a POS

 The set-up cost

When selecting a POS, it is necessary that you keep in mind that a POS system needs a compatible hardware to run. Make sure you have suitable hardware, if not, you should consider the additional cost of purchasing new hardware.

  • A POS with user friendly interface

As the target audience of this software system does not have a good know-how of the technology they are buying, it is necessary that the interface should be simple and easy to use.

  • Reporting

It should offer reporting option and produce sales reports in real-time. The POS system should also have powerful data analyzing capabilities run these operations smoothly.

  • Integration

This feature can save you a lot of manpower and time. With this feature, all of your customer data, accounting information and sales figures are stored in one central system and can be accessed anytime from anywhere.

  • Cloud-based

It provides you with data security and saves a lot of your time and money. In cloud storage, the servers that store the data are not located locally in the restaurant. They are heavily secured, and with it, you can access your data online whenever, from any place you want to.

  • Customer support

With your business heavily dependent on a POS system, you need an excellent and efficient customer support from the manufacturer of the system. It can be easy to install and operate, but there are times especially when your system is down for which you need quick and effective costumer support.

POS systems available in the market

TouchBistro is an iPad restaurant POS (point of sale) system for your restaurant that supports tableside ordering, custom menus, custom restaurant layouts, sales report, bill splitting, and an unlimited number of order and cash register printers.

This POS is suitable for any restaurant business looking to cut down costs, increase efficiency and improve their customer experience.

It should also be noted that TouchBistro does not require an internet connection to work as it uses local Wi-Fi to communicate with the printers/cash drawers which also means that it does not offer cloud storage feature and it can be a big disadvantage. So, if cloud storage does not mean that much to you or that you do not have an internet connection at your restaurant, this is a POS system you should keep in mind.

User interface is simple and easy to use                            Customer support is below average
Works for any type of restaurant Base app is pretty basic, requires add-ons
Cost effective Not cloud-based
Easy to use and customizable No menu import feature
Works online and offline No chip card swipe

Revel is a cloud-based POS system with integrated inventory management, customer management and social media management functionalities. Revel states that it can bring, “Added value to your business, from generating more revenue, to improving efficiencies, to delighting your customers.”

It is an iOS-based software that offers its customer with custom POS solutions for the service, entertainment, restaurant, grocery, and retail industries, with real time tracking of the order history, customer lists, sales figures and, payment and sales summaries, but it mostly works well with restaurants and quick-service businesses.

With a not-so-complex interface, it also provides a must have POS solution for those who are interested in its full-service suite. If you own a restaurant, bar, pizza place, or even a retail establishment, and are comfortably able to afford its high up front costs which may seem expensive at first,  Revelcan definitely help you but it mostly works well with restaurants and quick-service businesses.

Still, considering the initial cost, it might not be the best solution for small businesses that are in their early phase and they should explore the market for suitable POS system before settling down with Revel.

Extraordinary reporting Complex set-up
Easy-to-use interface No free trial
Kiosk functionality Expensive
24/7 customer reporting Infrequent glitches
Strong integrations  
Powerful and customizable system  

Lightspeed POS provides you with cloud storage and extensive network of integrations. With its features, it gives you the ability to go completely paperless. It requires minimal investment in hardware. This iPad POS system allows you to run your business smoothly as you can instantly access and analyze your data anywhere, at any time. In addition to that, you can use all the tools provided by this POS and manage your business remotely.

It is a feature-loaded POS system with a relatively simple software structure and a straightforward interface. With having additional useful functions as mobile ordering and ecommerce, it has everything you would expect to find in POS system specially designed for restaurants.

It is also suitable for retailers in industries such as apparel, footwear, bicycle, jewelry, pet, sporting goods and home decor.

However, it does not do well with detailed inventory management. Moreover, it requires internet to process card payments. Other than these problems, Lightspeed seems to be a good choice for your restaurant.

Depth of reporting Poorly organized special orders
Fully customizable Not suitable for large, busy businesses
Detailed employee management 5 employees and 1 register allowed in basic plan
Good customer service Inventory not detailed
Easy integration Payments can not be processed while offline
Supports online sales  

Square is a POS (point of sale) application available on Google Play and the App store that is designed to run on a tablet or a smartphone. It is a feature-rich Point of Sale (POS) system that also happens to be free.

Square offers online payment processing, sales reports, inventory and digital receipts and analytics information. Italso works offline even when the internet is down. It keeps the record of transactions locally and when internet is available, it uploads it on the cloud storage.

Square does not have any subscription fee. It also offers competitive rates and only charges a fee per transaction. This POS system is basically designed to help in managing businesses with multiple locations.

Offers both Android and iOS compatibility Not ideal for big companies with huge transactions
Suitable hardware options to select from Requires regular updates
Can work without an internet connection Sometimes transactions are slow
Pricing is simple Not suitable for high risk industries
Good customer support Processing fee can be high
  • Toast POS

Toast POS, an Android based software, is one of the most user-friendly POS system out there for restaurant owners. It also offers a cloud-based storage system that is highly secured.

It is specially built for restaurants and is very easy to use. With its payroll integration feature, the owners can easily manage staff’s payroll. They also can update the menus (online and in-house) and fulfil orders from their tablet.

With its ‘pay at the table’ feature, payment options have become very easy for both the customers and the owner by printing receipts or emailing the details directly from the tablet. In addition to this, the customer receives loyalty points every time they make a transaction and these points can be redeemed afterwards.

Customer management Additional cost for feature and add-ons
Customizable loyalty rewards Customer service has mixed reviews
Personalized webpage Mixed reviews about overall functionality
Android based Mandatory Toast credit card processing
User friendly Pricing may look pretty high
Many integration options Payment processing nonflexible
One-stop shop  

Final Verdict

Keeping in mind that it is restaurant business that requires the use of POS, TouchBistro is a better choice of all the above-mentioned POS systems. It will provide you ease in managing your restaurant and provide additional comfort to your customer.

As it works using a local Wi-Fi, TouchBistro does not require internet to work which also means that it does not offer cloud storage feature. So, if cloud storage does not mean that much to you or that you do not have an internet connection at your restaurant, this is the perfect POS system out there for you.

Taylor Goldstein

Taylor Goldstein

Hey, my name is Taylor Goldstein and I am the creator / editor of the "POSsmartly" website. I have been a CTO and VP Technology in couple of a big brands, and my mission now is tocriticises this misunderstood field of tehc pieces.

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