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Top 5 Restaurant POS System Compared

Top 5 Restaurant POS Systems Compared

A restaurant POS (point of sale) refers to the hardware, software, and location of where a customer makes a transaction in the hospitality industry. Nowadays, a POS system not only includes a cash register but also includes software to manage inventory or other items. Restaurant POS systems come in various formats from stationary cash registers to handheld devices.

Restaurant POS systems are designed with specific industry solutions and may involve a combination of handheld, tablet, or stationary POS systems. It is also becoming common to see tablet POS systems used for self-service kiosks.

These options provide restaurants and wait staff the flexibility to manage orders and payments with efficiency. Restaurant POS systems will help you manage items such as:

  • Order taking (front of house and back of house)
  • Payment processing
  • Item inventory
  • Restaurant reporting
  • Receipt printing
  • Time clock for employees
  • Calculate sales tax’
  • Software updates for security and optimization priorities

Restaurant POS Systems

Recommendations are based on reviews by Investopedia and NerdWallet. This list is subject to change if better options come available on the market.

FeaturesToastTouchBistroSquareUpserveClover
Kitchen Display System
Handheld POS
Personal Customer Guide    
Integrated Payroll 
Employee Schedule
24/7 Support 
Self-Order Kiosk(Customers can order from phones using a QR code)  
Auto Gratuity✓ (for select party sizes) 
Menu Management
1-click purchasing    
3rd Party Integrations
Overtime Calculations 
Offline Ordering✓ (payments will expire if not process in 24hrs)
Can you start using the software without buying hardware? (Just run the software on an iPad) 
Free Tier   

Toast

Toast is a strong contender for any restaurant. Built from the ground up with the input of restaurant owners, toast has a lot to offer. You can use a combination of a physical register and handheld POS systems. Toast is designed for both quick-service restaurants as well as full-service venues such as fine dining options. Common features that business owners find useful are:

  • Contactless ordering
  • Handheld POS
  • Digital onboarding for employees
  • Integrated payroll
  • Comparative reporting
  • Tip and Overtime calculations
  • Inventory management
  • Kitchen display system
  • Multi-location management
  • Self-Order Kiosk
  • 3rd Party Integrations
  • And more!

Pricing for Toast POS system includes 4 different plans:

Starter: $0/month which does include a flat rate payment processing. However, you do receive a point of sale, reporting and analytics, and order/table management.

New Restaurant Basics: This plan starts at $110 and includes more features than the Starter tier such as Lite scheduling, Lite payroll, business insurance, and more. This can be a great option for those looking to make a serious investment in their restaurant.

Essentials: This plan is $165/month and includes all features from Stater but not New Restaurant. You’ll find useful features like digital ordering, Toast Takeout App, and delivery services. It does not include items such as payroll or business insurance.

Custom: Finally, there is custom pricing which allows you to mix and match which services you want with custom pricing.

TouchBistro

TouchBistro bills itself as an “All-in-one Restaurant Management System” on its home page, and its reputation lives up to that. They offer many products, but their POS system rivals any other on this list. From managing tables to managing your menu, TouchBistro makes it easy by including all the features you could need into one platform. TouchBistro has a 4-star rating with over 300+ reviews on Software Advice. You can get started with just an iPad for TouchBistro You’ll find features for TouchBistro helpful like:

  • Handheld POS
  • Self-service POS
  • Floor plan & table management
  • Reporting & analytics
  • Menu management
  • Inventory management
  • Mobile ordering
  • Payroll processing
  • 3rd party integrations
  • 24/7 customer support

TouchBistro starts at plans at $69/month with additional pricing for add-ons.

Square

Square is one of the leading POS providers across multiple industries. This company is a favorite among small business owners because of its relative ease of use and competitive price point. Square restaurants pos provide many different solutions for businesses such as quick service, full services, fast-casual, bars or breweries, and even ghost kitchens. Square is so simple; you can get started right on your iPad and be up and running within the same day. The software makes it easy and intuitive to track your purchases and make changes on the fly. Some of the best features Square offers are:

  • Kitchen display system
  • 24/7 support
  • Menu management
  • Auto gratuity
  • Reopen closed checks
  • Auto 86ing & item counts
  • Real-time order updates
  • Kitchen performance reports
  • 3rd party integration

Pricing for Square is broken down into three tiers:

Free: This does include some basic features but will charge a processing rate of 2.6% + 10¢ for in-person payment and 2.9%+30¢ for online payments.

Plus: This includes more features, but you now pay $60 per month/location along with the processing rate you pay for in the “free” plan.

Premium: This plan is tailor-made to what you need and comes with custom pricing.

Upserve by Lightspeed

Upserve, which was just purchased by Lightspeed, packs a ton of features into even their base model POS. Some of Upserve's top features include splitting checks, offline mode, training mode, analytics, 3rd party integrations, sales reporting, and so much more. Unlike some of the other providers on this list, Upserve will assign a dedicated success manager that will provide personalized onboarding for your business, and they include 27/7/365 U.S.-based customer support. Many users love the hands-on approach and dedication to customer service. Some of the other notable features include:

  • Staff scheduling
  • Automated inventory management
  • Menu management
  • Server performance tracking
  • Online ordering
  • 1-click purchasing
  • Custom loyalty programs
  • Mobile App
  • Low inventory alerts

Plans for Upserve are split into three tiers:

Core: $59 + $60/terminal. This includes a POS terminal, sales reporting, staff scheduling, payment processing, and some more key features.

Pro: $199 +$50/terminal. The pro tier includes all of core, but includes other features such as menu optimization, vendor management, a customizable loyalty program, and much more!

Pro Plus: $359 + $40/terminal. Everything in pro is included in addition to features like Data API, custom reporting, and enterprise account management.

Upserve also offers 0% financing on hardware, software, and implementation for qualified buyers. 

Clover

Clover has designed a POS system that caters to multiple types of businesses. However, their restaurant POS systems are still excellent offer almost any feature a customer could want. Clover doesn’t charge per employee for their POS device so everyone in your business can immediately start using the device. Additionally, Clover offers multiple types of POS systems, from stationary devices to handheld ones, you can truly find the best for your needs. Both Clover’s software and hardware are intuitive and easy to implement. You’ll also find a 3.9 rating on Software Advice with over 340 reviews. Features that can be useful for your business include:

  • Employee scheduling
  • Handheld POS
  • Loyalty programs
  • Market to customers through email, text, or the free clover mobile app
  • Bill Splitting
  • Employee information and stats
  • Table management
  • Take and process payments on your mobile device
  • 3rd Party integrations
  • Cloud-based POS system

For pricing, Clover has different tiers and target markets that are subjected to different pricing. For this example, we will be using the pricing surrounding quick-service restaurants. All plans include the following charges:

Card-present transactions: 2.3% + 10¢

Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + 10¢

Starter: Starting at $749 + $44.95/month this does include a touch screen POS system along with features like online ordering, item and category management, sales reporting, tax reporting, and more.

Standard: $1,649 + $44.95/month this plan does include a register station with a front-facing screen for guests. You’ll also have access to features like a customer database, loyalty programs, and gift cards.

Advanced: $2,148 + $54.95/month and includes everything in standard plus a handheld POS and line busting. There are other additional add-ons you can have if you want more features.

If you need a POS system for your business, we can help! 360Connect helps businesses find restaurant POS systems from trusted dealers and brands! Just fill out our 1-2 minutes form and we’ll contact you to verify your information. It’s that simple!

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