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Fortunly's Guide

The Best POS Systems For Restaurants To Make Your Business Thrive

By
G. Dautovic

March 07,2022


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Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foodservice industry has taken a massive hit. Restaurants all around the world have all seen a significant decrease in business. However, as things started changing for the better and the customers started coming back, the owners and managers of these restaurants began to realize the value of having good point of sale systems to help track inventory, employees, and sales.

If you’re looking for the best POS system for your restaurant, you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the key features of the best POS systems for restaurants on the market. We will also compare pricing plans and monthly fees to help you find the best option for your business. And finally, we will give you a breakdown of each system's order management and support options. So whether you're looking for a free POS system or one with a low minimum deposit requirement, we have you covered! Now, let's get started.

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Square for Restaurants Logo

Square for Restaurants

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Pricing Details: From $60 per month
Free Version: Yes
Mobile App: Android, iOS
Key Facts
Overview
Pros & Cons
  • Free online ordering included
  • User-friendly and easy to get started with
  • 30-day free trial available
Pricing Details: From $110 per month
Free Version: Yes
Mobile App: Android, iOS
Key Facts
Overview
Pros & Cons
  • Excellent hardware options
  • Real-time fraud monitoring
  • Loyalty and gift cards
Lightspeed Restaurant POS Logo

Lightspeed Restaurant POS

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Pricing Details: From $39 per month
Free Version: No
Mobile App: Android, iOS
Key Facts
Overview
Pros & Cons
  • Multi-location reports
  • Offers customer relationship management
  • Works in offline mode
Pricing Details: From $69 per month
Free Version: No
Mobile App: Android, iOS
Key Facts
Overview
Pros & Cons
  • An all-in-one solution
  • Pay-as-you-go option
  • Flexible invoicing features
TouchBistro Logo

TouchBistro

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Pricing Details: From $69 per month
Free Version: No
Mobile App: Android, iOS
Key Facts
Overview
Pros & Cons
  • Multiple integrated payment processors
  • Customizable add-ons
  • ​​Detailed data reporting

Choosing a POS System for Restaurants

Choosing a POS system for your restaurant is not an easy task. However, it’s something that every restaurant owner should do before opening their doors to customers.

POS systems are highly beneficial to restaurants and can help increase efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. According to relevant restaurant industry data, providing users with multiple payment options can lead to a 14% increase in order sizes. All in all, POS terminals can help you manage your business better and keep track of all the details that make a restaurant successful. 

Here are some of the features that you should look for when checking out popular POS systems for restaurants.

Inventory Management

One of the first things you should check for in a POS system is inventory management. You should make sure that the system you choose can keep track of your current stock, so you never run out of supplies. The best POS solutions will allow you to set up alerts when certain items are running low and send notifications to employees on their smartphones or tablets.

Restaurant inventory can get pretty complicated, and you might need some additional features, such as purchase order management, low-stock alerts, and the possibility to track different vendors.

Employee Management

Employee management is an important factor you should not overlook when choosing a POS system for your restaurant. The best POS systems for restaurants and bars will allow you to create employee profiles, which will include their contact information, job titles, and assigned shifts. They will also allow you to run reports about sales by employees and track their performance.

This is a great way to identify your top performers and give them a raise or bonus. They will also let you assign tasks to different employees, set up employee schedules, and track their clock in/out times.

Third-Party Integrations

Another thing you should consider when looking for the POS system for your restaurant is third-party integrations. All top POS systems for restaurants have APIs that allow them to connect with other software applications and services, such as accounting software or online ordering platforms. This can help streamline operations and make it easier for your staff members to get their work done.

Customer Relationship Management

The best POS systems will allow you to keep track of your customers, so you can personalize their experience and increase customer loyalty. They will also let you run sales reports by individual customers, which can help you identify your top-spending patrons and give them a discount or unique offers. It also helps you keep track of customer complaints and feedback, so you can improve your service.

Menu Management

Finding the best POS systems for restaurants isn't an easy task, and menu management is one of the most crucial features to look for. You need to make sure that the system you choose can display your menu in a visually appealing way, so customers will know what dishes are available and how much they cost.

The system also needs to be able to handle changes quickly and easily and keep track of different ingredients for each dish. This feature is extremely important for restaurants that have a lot of different dishes on the menu, constantly change their offerings, or have seasonal specials.

Pricing and Fees

An obvious way to compare POS systems for restaurants is by looking at the upfront and ongoing costs. The most expensive systems can cost several thousands of dollars per month, while the most affordable ones start at just $30 or so per month, and some rudimentary ones are even completely free. 

However, it's important to remember that not all expensive systems are worth the price and not all affordable systems are bad. You should look for the features you need and a pricing plan that fits your budget. Don't forget to factor in maintenance and support fees as well, since some POS systems have high additional costs despite seeming deceptively affordable at first. 

Restaurant POS Systems: Our Top Picks

  • Square for Restaurants
  • Toast
  • Lightspeed Restaurant POS
  • Clover
  • TouchBistro

FAQ

How much does a POS terminal cost?

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Depending on the type of POS terminal, the price can range from $30 to hundreds of dollars. However, some POS systems come with free terminals, or you can use your own mobile device as a terminal. Just be advised that there are usually monthly fees associated with these systems.

If you are looking for advanced products and features, such as a card reader or a receipt printer, the cost of those devices will also be added on top of your other expenses. It might end up being a costlier solution than if you purchased a terminal separately. Some of the best restaurant POS systems offer free trial periods, so you can see if the system works for your business before spending any money.

What is the difference between Square and Clover?

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Square is a mobile POS system that offers different plans based on your needs. Clover is provided as both a hardware and software solution. It is an all-inclusive solution for restaurants with advanced features like inventory management, employee scheduling, and time clock integration. If you're looking to add more functionality to your restaurant, both are good options but check out our detailed reviews above for more details.

What is the cheapest POS system?

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When it comes to cheap POS systems for restaurants, Square is definitely one of the top picks. It offers a free POS system with limited features, but if you want more functionality, there are different plans available at affordable prices. It is one of the most popular options for small businesses, and it's easy to see why: it has everything you need in a POS system without breaking your wallet.

What POS system is the best?

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There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best POS system for your restaurant will vary depending on your specific needs. However, some of the best POS systems for restaurants include Square, Clover, and Toast. 

All these companies offer different features and rates, so be sure to do your research before deciding which one is best for you. You should also ensure to check their monthly fees and minimum deposit amounts before making a final decision.