The Best POS System for Restaurants and Bars – Top 10 Compared for 2024

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The best POS systems for restaurants and bars are easy to use and customizable while offering all the core features and functionality you need, such as table management, customizable bills, discount offers for happy hours, team management, and shift scheduling.

There are many great POS systems on the market specifically created for bars, restaurants, and cafes, so there’s no shortage of options out there. To help you make an informed decision and choose the one that’s best for your business, we’ve reviewed and compared the top 10 best restaurant and bar POS systems, looking at their features, pros and cons, and pricing.

The Best Restaurant and Bar POS Systems

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the different POS systems for bars on our top 10 list:

  1. Square – Best for order management
  2. TouchBistro – Best for all-in-one restaurant management
  3. Toast – Best for online orders and delivery
  4. Lavu – Best flexible iPad POS system
  5. Clover – Best for reports and analytics
  6. Vend – Best for inventory management
  7. Shopify – Best for omnichannel restaurants and bars
  8. Lightspeed – Best for cafe owners
  9. Epos Now – Best for bars and nightclubs
  10. Revel Systems – Best for restaurants with multiple locations

Reviews of the Best POS Systems for Bars and Restaurants

While there are many POS options on the market, not all are ideal for restaurants or bars. Below, we compare and contrast some of the top restaurant POS solutions to help you decide which is best for your establishment.

1. Square – Best for Order Management

Square Logo

Best For Order management
Free Trial 30-Day Free Trial
Starting Price Free Plan
Transaction Fees Starting from 2.6% + $0.10
Top 3 Features Menu Customization, Auto Gratuity, Advanced Discounts
Why We Picked It

Square is the best POS system for small restaurant and bar owners looking to optimize order management and improve customer service. One of Square’s strongest points is its flexibility, both in terms of hardware and software. Regardless of your plan, you’ll have access to unlimited countertop POS devices for all your locations, as well as unlimited handheld devices for taking orders. You can even get barcode readers, receipt printers, registers, and more.

Square also offers the best free POS software plan, making it one of the most flexible POS platforms for startups and first-time users who aren’t ready to commit to a subscription.

Features
  • Accepts Diverse Payment Methods: Square allows businesses to accept various payment methods, including credit cards, debit cards, and mobile wallets. This flexibility ensures convenience for customers and enables quick and secure payment processing.
  • Transparent and Competitive Fees: Square prominently displays its payment processing fees on its website. This transparency means you won’t encounter any hidden costs or surprises.
  • In-House Add-Ons and Integrations: Square offers numerous in-house add-ons, including restaurant management software for teams and shifts, loyalty programs, and invoicing.
  • Payroll Solution Integration: Businesses can seamlessly integrate Square’s payroll solution into their accounts. With pricing comparable to top payroll software, this feature centralizes data and simplifies payroll management.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Square’s intuitive interface ensures that restaurant staff won’t need extensive training. Whether handling payments or using advanced features like table management, the user-friendly design enhances efficiency.
Pricing Plans
Plan Cost Processing rate Hardware
Free Free From 2.6% + 10 cents From $20
Plus $29/month From 2.6% + 10 cents From $149
Square Restaurant Essentials Bundle $153/month From 2.6% + 10 cents From $149

Square Restaurant Essentials Bundle:

Square offers a dedicated plan specifically for restaurants. This pricing plan includes six essential software tools for new restaurants to get off to a great start. The tools included in the cost are:

  • Square for Restaurants Plus
  • Square Online Ordering Premium
  • Advanced Access
  • Square Shifts Plus
  • Square Team Communication
  • Square Payroll
  • Plus 24/7 customer support

Square has a transparent pricing structure for its business services, including its POS system. You can use its free plan to test its interface and basic features before committing to a subscription, but we suggest opting for its 30-day free trial for the Restaurant plan instead, as you’ll get access to its advanced features.

Who's It Best For?

Square’s restaurant POS software would be best suited for small restaurant or bar owners who are just starting out or looking for an affordable and user-friendly solution. It’s particularly well-suited for those who want a comprehensive system with transparent pricing, advanced features like menu customization and staff management tools, and the flexibility to start with a free plan before upgrading to a paid subscription.

Pros pros

  • Comprehensive free plan
  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Advanced floor and kitchen management functionality
  • Fully operational in offline mode
  • Unlimited countertop and handheld POS devices

Cons cons

  • High fees for larger organizations

Read our full Square review

2. TouchBistro – Best Solution For All-In-One Restaurant Management

TouchBistro Logo

Best For All-in-one restaurant management
Free Trial None
Starting Price Starting from $69/month
Transaction Fees Quote-based
Top 3 Features Upselling Reminders, Bill Splitting, Individual Staff Logins
Why We Picked It

TouchBistro is another excellent all-in-one bar and restaurant POS system with customizable tools to help you grow your business and deliver an outstanding customer experience. It’s comparable to Square but more specifically aimed at bars and restaurants.
It stands out from the competition with its exceptional compatibility with other business services, including the best accounting solutions and inventory management tools.

Apart from the integrations, TouchBistro offers numerous in-house services, including gift cards and profit management features. These add-ons aren’t common amongst its competition, making TouchBistro the best restaurant software for businesses looking to boost sales and attract new patrons. This puts it in close competition with Square and ahead of services like Shopify, which has fewer features geared specifically to food and drink service.

Features
  • Tableside Ordering System: TouchBistro enables your staff to take orders and process payments directly at the tables.
  • Seat Joining and Splitting: TouchBistro makes it a breeze for staff to join or split seats, items, and bills within seconds.
  • Flexible Billing Options: Whether patrons share meals, pay separately, or switch tables, TouchBistro allows effortless charging.
  • Intuitive Menu Configuration: With just a few clicks, you can create, configure, and sync your menu and items using TouchBistro’s well-designed interface. Customize background colors for menu items to highlight promotions and upselling opportunities.
  • Staff Management: Another great thing about TouchBistro is its built-in staff management features that let you track employee activity, optimize labor costs, automate payroll, and increase security with individual staff logins across all devices. Alternatives like Square and Epos Now sell these features as add-ons, so this is a big plus for TouchBistro. It’s worth mentioning, though, that TouchBistro doesn’t include shift scheduling, so you’ll still have to handle shifts using spreadsheets or other software.
Pricing Plans
Plans Price Processing rate Hardware
TouchBistro Plan From $69/month Quote-based Quote-based

TouchBistro has a single restaurant POS system pricing plan that’s rich in features and compatible with numerous third-party and in-house apps. The basic plan costs $69/month; however, its payment processing fees are custom, and you can expect its price to go up if you need additional features, such as a kitchen display system, which costs $19/month, or online ordering, for $50/month – which is something of a drawback if you’re on a tight budget.

For streamlined front-of-house operations:

  • Tableside ordering capabilities
  • Customer-facing displays
  • Payment processing solutions

For optimized back-of-house efficiency:

  • Kitchen display system (starting at $19/month)
  • Profit management tools (starting at $330/month)

For enhanced guest engagement:

  • Online ordering (starting at $50/month)
  • Reservations management (starting at $229/month)
  • Loyalty programs (starting at $99/month)
  • Marketing automation (starting at $99/month)
  • Gift card solutions (starting at $25/month)
Who's It Best For?

TouchBistro stands out with its exceptional compatibility with other business services like accounting and inventory management tools, as well as its in-house services such as gift cards and profit management features. This makes it a great choice for restaurants, particularly those looking for a beginner-friendly platform with tailored features and functionality specific to the food and beverage industry.

Pros pros

  • Restaurant-specific features
  • No commission fees for online orders
  • Excellent customer support
  • Comprehensive offline mode capabilities
  • Advanced floor plan and table management with insights on average table spend

Cons cons

  • Additional features can get expensive
  • Apple-only compatibility
  • Kitchen display system is paid for separately from the POS

Read our full TouchBistro review

3. Toast – Best For In-House Online Order and Delivery Service

Toast Logo

Best For Online orders and delivery
Free Trial Free Plan
Starting Price Starting from $69/month
Transaction Fees Quote-based
Top 3 Features Real-Time Fraud Monitoring, Toast Delivery Services, Digital Menus
Why We Picked It

Toast is a robust cloud-based POS designed for restaurants, bars, and clubs. It features hardware with super-resilient screens, made to withstand spills and bumps, making it a better POS for bars than some of the more general solutions like Shopify POS and Vend.

Toast offers exceptional features for restaurants looking to manage their on-premises and online ordering and payments. One standout feature it offers is contactless ordering, so customers can browse and order from your menu from their mobile devices. In addition, they can pay using Apple Pay, reducing wait times and long lines and taking the workload off your staff.

With its most expensive plan, you can further simplify online ordering and attract new customers with Toast’s commission-free delivery. It helps you craft Google Search-optimized menus and promotions that allow new customers to find your restaurant and lets you organize their data to drive repeat visits through marketing.

Features
  • Comprehensive Reporting and Analytics: Toast provides robust reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing you to gain deeper insights into your business’s performance and customer behavior.
  • Performance Monitoring: Monitor your restaurant’s performance over any period, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly to help you pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
  • Labor Cost Tracking: Whether you’re analyzing a single location or viewing data across your entire business, Toast helps you optimize staffing.
  • User-Friendly Interface and Real-Time Item Countdowns: Toast’s intuitive interface simplifies menu management and helps you prevent the awkward “86″ situation so your servers and your kitchen are in sync.
  • Customer Support: Toast excels in customer support, offering responsive assistance 24/7.
Pricing Plans
Plans Price Processing rate Hardware
Starter Kit Free N/A Terminal or handheld kit included
Point of Sale Starting at $69/month N/A Included
Build Your Own Custom N/A Included

Toast offers a comprehensive free plan for startups and two premium plans for small-to-large-sized businesses. It offers lots of flexibility to its customers with its add-ons, making Point of Sale an exceptional plan that you can mix and match with its other features. It already incorporates most of its add-ons, but restaurant owners looking for advanced team management features should opt for its custom plan.

Who's It Best For?

With its integrated online ordering platform, delivery logistics, and marketing/analytics tools, Toast emerges as a strong option for restaurants and bars looking to establish or enhance their online ordering and delivery sales channels in a streamlined and data-driven manner, especially for multi-location operations or those aiming to scale up delivery in the future.

Pros pros

  • Customizable solutions with transparent pricing and no hidden fees
  • Handhelds designed for bars and restaurants and resistant to spills and knocks
  • Supports multiple payment methods
  • Optional in-house payroll software
  • Excellent employee management

Cons cons

  • Limited transaction fee transparency
  • Android exclusive

Read our full Toast review

4. Lavu – Best Flexible Mobile iPad POS System

Lavu Logo

Best For Flexible mobile POS system
Free Trial? None
Starting Price Starting from $59/month
Transaction Fees Quote-based
Top 3 Features Dual Pricing Capability, Kitchen Display System, Customer Database
Why We Picked It

Lavu is a great bar POS system for fast-paced environments, like nightclubs, or quick-service restaurants like food trucks. It’s also a full-featured POS solution for full-service restaurants and nightclubs.

What’s unique about Lavu is that it enables you to offer contactless ordering and payment options to your customers. You can set up an intuitive self-service kiosk in your bar or restaurant to relieve the pressure on your staff and make it more convenient for customers to order and pay via touchscreen display.

In addition, it offers a highly customizable platform for users with advanced programming skills, allowing you to tailor it to your needs and reflect your brand’s image. This means you’ll have no issues adding or editing food items, automating the communication between your servers and cooks, or generating reports that show the information you need to see.

Features
  • Mobile Management: Lavu’s mobile apps allow you to remotely manage your restaurant business, keeping you informed about performance even when you’re on the move.
  • Compact iPad POS Devices: In limited space, bulky cash drawers and monitors are impractical, so the iPad solution streamlines operations, making it ideal for mobile setups.
  • Efficient Order Taking: Handheld devices empower you to take orders from customers waiting in line, leading to better customer experience.
  • Lavu Pay: Lavu integrates in-house payment processing through Lavu Pay which simplifies POS features, ensuring seamless operations even when offline – an essential benefit for food trucks.
  • Direct Customer Support: Lavu has 24/7 assistance, a community blog, and a self-help portal.
  • Preauthorized Tabs: If you’re running a bar or a nightclub, you will greatly benefit from the Preauthorized Tabs feature. This essentially lets you collect customer payment information at the start of the night, acting as a safety net against unpaid tabs.
Pricing Plans
Plans Price Processing rate Hardware
Starter From $59/month From 2.6% + 10 cents Custom
Growth From $129/month From 2.6% + 10 cents Custom
Optimize From $279/month From 2.6% + 10 cents Custom

Lavu offers three customizable pricing plans to suit businesses of different sizes. Although each plan includes Lavu Pay, inventory management, reporting, and numerous other capabilities, upgrading to its more expensive plans offers online ordering, gift cards, and other advanced features.

Who's It Best For?

Lavu POS is a great choice for bars or nightclubs that require a customizable, cloud-based POS system. It offers features specifically tailored for them, such as menu management, order and delivery management, inventory tracking, and integration with various third-party apps and payment processors.

Pros pros

  • Super easy to set up, intuitive, and user-friendly
  • Excellent mobile apps
  • Supports automatic timed menu changes for happy hour deals and special promotions
  • Compatible with third-party payment processors
  • Enables contactless ordering and payments through self-ordering kiosks

Cons cons

  • No free trial or free plan
  • Addons can get expensive

Read our full Lavu review

5. Clover – Best Tracking and Reporting Tool

Clover Logo

Best For Reports and analytics
Free Trial None
Starting Price Starting from $54.95/month
Transaction Fees Starting from 2.3% + $0.10
Top 3 Features Table Mapping, Tipping Support, Scan-to-Pay
Why We Picked It

Clover is a user-friendly POS solution ideal for small and medium-sized restaurants and bars. It offers robust reporting features and a wide range of modern, well-designed hardware options. The Clover system is fully customizable, so you can mix and match both hardware and software. The hardware portion includes countertop, portable (handheld), and mobile POS devices, while the software lets you choose the exact features you need to run your business smoothly.

The Station Solo system, with its fingerprint login, backup battery, and tiltable HD screen, is particularly popular among Clover users. Hardware can be purchased upfront or financed over 36 months.

Features
  • Low Transaction Fees: Clover stands out with some of the lowest transaction fees in the industry, surpassing competitors like Square, Shopify, and Vend.
  • App Market Integration: You can enhance Clover’s functionality by integrating third-party apps. Whether you run a fast-food joint or a full-service restaurant, you can customize your Clover experience to suit your specific requirements.
  • In-Depth Reports and Analytics: Clover provides access to comprehensive reports and analytics – real-time sales tracking, detailed tax reports, and cost analysis by item, which empower you to make informed business decisions.
  • Loyalty Programs and Promotions: Clover offers features like loyalty programs, promotions, and gift cards without additional fees.
Pricing Plans
Plans Price Processing rate Hardware
Starter (Full-Service) $165/month From 2.3% + 10¢ Included
Standard (Full-Service) $220/month From 2.3% + 10¢ Included
Advanced (Full-Service) $325/month From 2.3% + 10¢ Included
Starter (Quick-Service) $105/month From 2.3% + 10¢ Included
Standard (Quick-Service) $145/month From 2.3% + 10¢ Included
Advanced (Quick-Service) $200/month From 2.3% + 10¢ Included

Clover prices its services differently for quick-service and full-service restaurants, and the final price depends on the hardware you need.

Who's It Best For?

Clover is best suited for small businesses across various industries, including restaurants and bars. The one issue users have with Clover is its operating system, which is prone to crashes and failure when overloaded. So, if you’re looking for a POS system for a bar and grill that hosts hundreds of visitors each day, we’d recommend an alternative like Square and Vend, which remain fully functional even in offline mode.

Pros pros

Cons cons

  • Expensive hardware
  • Complex pricing system

Read our full Clover review

6. Vend – Best For Inventory Management

Vend Logo

Best For Inventory management
Free Trial 14-Day Free Trial
Starting Price Starting from $69/month
Transaction Fees Starting from 2.6% + $0.10
Top 3 Features Advanced Reporting, Loyalty Program, Inventory Automation
Why We Picked It

Vend is ideal for growing bars and large restaurants looking to improve inventory handling and customer service. It’s a scalable solution that supports inventory tracking for multiple locations or channels. For example, if you offer online ordering and deliveries, Vend will update your stock in real-time for your restaurant employees with each order.

Its centralized inventory features can handle multiple suppliers, making it easier for your staff to track stock and deliveries. In addition, you can configure the platform to automatically fill orders, ensuring you never run out of essential ingredients and products.

The platform also excels at cash management, giving you real-time insight into your cash flow. This helps reduce errors, discourage theft, and minimize discrepancies.

Features
  • Customer Database Management: Besides inventory, Vend excels at managing customer information to build your customer database. You can then track how often they visit your restaurant, their preferred orders, and spending habits.
  • Vend Loyalty Program and Gift Cards: Vend offers an in-house loyalty program solution, Vend Loyalty, and a gift card system, so you can use them to attract and retain new patrons. You can reward returning customers with a free birthday meal, dessert, drink, or similar – though you won’t get this on the lowest-tier plan.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Its user-friendly interface is simple to organize and explain to new hires and includes numerous user-friendly features.
  • Multi-Location Support: Vend allows businesses with multiple locations to centralize their operations. You can manage inventory, sales, and customer data across different branches seamlessly.
  • Inventory Management: Vend provides robust inventory tracking tools. You can easily track stock levels, set reorder points, and receive alerts when items are running low.
Pricing Plans
Plans Price Processing rate Hardware
Lean $69 N/A N/A
Standard $119 N/A N/A
Advanced $199 N/A N/A
Enterprise Custom N/A N/A

Vend offers four different plans with monthly subscription fees with a transparent pricing model for small and medium restaurants. Large businesses should consider the Enterprise plan, a custom solution that requires a quote from Vend’s sales team. While its cheapest plan offers all the standard POS features, we suggest opting for the Advanced plan if you want to set up a loyalty program and access advanced reports.

Who's It Best For?

Vend POS is best suited as a restaurant management system for businesses that need robust inventory capabilities and the ability to sync data across multiple locations. With its strong focus on features like inventory tracking, order management, and reporting tools, Vend POS caters well to the needs of expanding companies.

Pros pros

  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and iPads
  • Allows customers to split the bill between multiple payment methods
  • No POS hardware needed to start
  • Excellent program features for loyal customers

Cons cons

  • Limited basic plan features
  • High monthly prices and transaction fees

7. Shopify – Best for Omnichannel Restaurants and Bars

Shopify Logo

Best For Omnichannel bars and restaurants
Free Trial 3-Day Free Trial
Starting Price Starting from $79/month
Transaction Fees Starting from 2.4% to 2.7% + $0 per transaction
Top 3 Features Custom Website, Manager Approvals, Order History
Why We Picked It

Shopify POS is an omnichannel POS system, meaning it’s designed to help businesses sell their products everywhere — in-store, online, on social media, and on digital marketplaces. This makes it ideal for growing businesses that want to diversify their revenue streams instead of relying solely on selling in the bar/restaurant.

The Shopify POS provides everything you need to start selling right out of the box. The available hardware includes a retail POS counter, a POS Go mobile device, a free POS app you can download on an iPhone, and a Tap & Chip card reader.

Features
  • Omnichannel Selling: Shopify enables a seamless shopping experience for your customers across various channels – whether in-store, online, or anywhere in between. This flexibility ensures that your brand remains accessible and consistent, regardless of the platform.
  • Local Pickup: With Shopify, you can efficiently manage and fulfill local pickup orders directly from your POS system. This feature streamlines the process for customers who prefer to collect their orders in person.
  • Buy In-Store, Ship to Customer: Imagine making sales in your physical store and shipping products directly to customers from available inventory. Shopify’s integrated system calculates taxes and shipping rates automatically during checkout, making it convenient for both you and your customers.
  • Smart Inventory Management: Shopify simplifies inventory tracking by providing smart recommendations. You can create purchase orders for vendors, receive demand forecasting suggestions based on product performance, request inventory transfers, and receive low-stock alerts. This unified view of inventory helps optimize stock levels and reduce errors.
  • Detailed Sales Reports: Shopify POS generates daily sales reports with granular information about staff and product performance. These reports empower you to identify bottlenecks, recognize top-performing items, and make informed decisions to enhance your business.
Pricing Plans

Shopify has a slightly complex pricing structure. It offers two pricing tiers, with Starter or Retail pricing plans costing $5/month and $79/month, respectively, and its omnichannel plans with a separate monthly fee. These plans include Basic, Shopify, and Advanced at $24/month, $69/month, and $299/month, respectively.

Plans Price Processing rate Hardware
Basic $29/month 2.6% + 10¢ USD in person Shopify POS Lite included
Shopify $79/month 2.5% + 10¢ USD in person Shopify POS Lite included
Advanced $299/month 2.4% + 10¢ USD in person Shopify POS Lite included
Plus C$2.300/month Custom Shopify POS Pro included
Who's It Best For?

Shopify POS is ideal for retailers of all sizes due to its robust features, ease of use, and seamless integration with Shopify’s online store platform. It provides a comprehensive solution for managing sales, inventory, staff, and customer relationships.

That said, it’s also important to note that Shopify POS offers many features most bars won’t use in an omnichannel selling feature set. If you’re not looking to open an online store or sell food and drinks on your website, you may be better off with an alternative like Square or TouchBistro.

Pros pros

  • In-store and online payments are automatically tracked and synced
  • Well-designed, intuitive interface
  • Offline mode for cash and custom transactions
  • Excellent multichannel selling features

Cons cons

  • Short free trial period
  • Made for retail, with lots of features bars and restaurants likely won’t need

Read our full Shopify review

8. Lightspeed – Best POS Solution for Cafe Owners

LightSpeed Logo

Best For Cafe owners
Free Trial 14-Day Free Trial
Starting Price Starting from $69/month
Transaction Fees Starting from 2.6% + $0.10
Top 3 Features Take Out and Delivery, Order and Pay at Table, Advanced Insights
Why We Picked It

Lightspeed stands out as a comprehensive POS system with integrated payment processing, hardware, and numerous advanced features for the hospitality industry. It is the best POS system for cafe, bar, and restaurant owners looking for better insight into server performance and actionable data.

In addition, its in-house payments solution makes it ideal for businesses that don’t use a third-party service to process payments. It has a straightforward per-transaction fee structure for in-person and online payments, and its online payment fees are some of the lowest in the restaurant industry.

Features
  • Accounting Integration: Lightspeed integrates with the best restaurant accounting software to prevent data errors with accurate data syncing.
  • Inventory Management: This feature ensures you always have the necessary inventory and saves time on tedious stock-taking tasks. It allows you to easily import entire product catalogs, add new items, change prices, create product categories, and add multiple product types and categories so you can sell by bottle, keg, and case.
  • Customizable Menu: This allows you to create your menu in minutes, add or remove items at will, add modifiers or create combos in just a few taps. This makes it possible to easily manage your menu offerings and provide clear information to customers.
  • Multiple Location Management: With this feature, you can get all your data for every location you have in your POS so you can see an overview of your entire business.
  • Reporting and Analytics: View detailed reports on products, sales, staff performance, end-of-day summaries, and accounting numbers. Access mobile reporting to analyze your business performance on the go.
  • Age-Prompt: The system will automatically prompt staff to verify customers’ ages, which is crucial for bars. No other POS system we’ve seen has offered this functionality. Lightspeed will also remind your staff of any ongoing promotions, discounts, and special offers.
Pricing Plans
Plans Price Processing fee Hardware
Starter/Lean $69 2.6% + $0.10 N/A
Standard $189 2.6% + $0.10 N/A
Advanced $399 Custom rates available N/A
Enterprise Custom pricing Custom rates available N/A

Lightspeed offers its cloud-based POS services at an affordable price for small restaurants, cafes, and bars, but it gets expensive for large businesses. However, opting for one of its more expensive plans means you’ll receive dedicated, one-on-one support and strategic advice tailored for the hospitality industry. Thanks to its 14-day free trial period, you can try Lightspeed risk-free before committing to a subscription.

Who's It Best For?

Square’s restaurant POS system would be best suited for small restaurant and bar owners who are just starting out or looking for an affordable and user-friendly solution. It’s particularly well-suited for those who want a comprehensive system with transparent pricing, advanced features like menu customization and staff management tools, and the flexibility to start with a free plan before upgrading to a paid subscription.

Pros pros

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Superb inventory management for restaurant chains
  • Excellent menu customization
  • Automatically reminds staff of age verification, promotions, and discounts

Cons cons

  • More expensive than most alternatives
  • UI may be challenging for new users

Read our full Lightspeed review

9. Epos Now – Best POS System For Bars and Nightclubs

Epos Logo

Best For Bar and nightclub owners
Free Trial 14-Day Free Trial
Starting Price Starting from $99 + Subscription
Transaction Fees Quote-Based
Top 3 Features Robust Hardware, Payment Pre-Authorization, Staff Onboarding
Why We Picked It

Epos can help you provide a convenient service to patrons with a wide range of payment options, loyalty rewards, and more. Its powerful menu management features ensure transparency and accuracy and allow your staff to add product notes to help customers with allergies and dietary restrictions. Besides its customer service benefits, Epos will assist with inventory management by allowing you to monitor stock levels down to the ingredient level.

One standout feature is the ability to specify which ingredients go into certain meals and drinks. That makes it the best POS system for restaurant and bar owners seeking flawless control over their stock levels and a solution for overpouring.

Features
  • Tab Management: This feature allows customers to move around freely without closing out their tabs. Staff can pre-authorize payments and keep customer notes, resulting in less payment chasing and improved customer experience.
  • Mobile POS Compatibility: The platform enables staff to take orders on the go using mobile devices, enhancing efficiency and reducing wait times for customers.
  • Customizable Menu Design and Restock Alerts: The system allows for customized menu designs, and it provides instant restock alerts for bartenders, ensuring that the bar never runs out of popular products.
  • Dynamic Pricing and Happy Hour Discounts: Epos allows staff to implement dynamic pricing strategies, such as offering happy hour discounts on certain products, which can help drive sales during specific periods and enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Integration with Business Solutions: Epos integrates with popular business solutions, including the best CRM software, delivery apps, and email marketing platforms.
Pricing Plans

Epos offers a complete solution for businesses looking for reliable hardware and software. It costs $99 and includes a robust terminal, receipt printer, and metal cash drawer. However, Epos doesn’t disclose its software pricing, meaning you’ll need to contact its sales team for a quote.

Plans Price Processing rate Hardware
Complete $99 N/A Included
Who's It Best For?

Epos POS system is an excellent choice for businesses that require flexibility and extensive integration capabilities. This high level of interoperability makes Epos ideal for companies looking to create a streamlined, centralized ecosystem tailored to their specific needs and workflows.

Pros pros

  • High-quality hardware with water-resistant touchscreens
  • Simple and easy-to-use POS system
  • Dynamic menus with automatic price changes for promotions and happy hour
  • Real-time inventory tracking and low-stock alerts

Cons cons

  • Customer support could be better
  • Pricing can be a bit steep for small business owners

Read our full Epos Now review

10. Revel Systems – Best Scalable Solution for Restaurants With Multiple Locations

Revel Systems Logo

Best For Larger restaurants with multiple locations
Free Trial None
Starting Price Custom
Transaction Fees Quote-Based
Top 3 Features Table Ordering System, Color-Coded Timers, Custom Reports
Why We Picked It

Revel Systems provides a unified solution for multi-location management that ensures resilience to marketplace changes. With features that allow you to push menu changes to several restaurant locations with a single click or generate detailed reports to find profitable revenue streams, Revel Systems is the best POS restaurant software for large businesses. It has an easy-to-use and highly customizable interface for streamlining orders and payments. For example, setting up its kitchen display system will automatically inform the cooks what your patrons ordered when a server enters the instructions into the POS.

Features
  • Enterprise Scalability: Well-suited for large businesses managing multiple locations.
  • Integrated Payment Processing: Revel Systems offers an in-house payment processing solution called Revel Advantage, which seamlessly integrates with its POS software. It also supports integrations with various third-party payment processing providers, allowing your staff to split bills, accept multiple payment types, and ensure secure transactions.
  • Reliable Cloud Platform: Trustworthy, secure, and continuously updated for seamless operations.
  • Comprehensive Feature Set: Revel Systems offers other features, including inventory management, employee scheduling, reporting and analytics, and more.
Pricing Plans

Revel Systems doesn’t have a transparent pricing structure on its website, meaning you have to contact the sales team for a quote. However, that’s ideal for larger businesses, as Revel Systems will likely tailor its services to your unique needs.

Who's It Best For?

Revel Systems is an excellent restaurant POS suitable for establishments with multiple locations. It offers a robust, cloud-native platform that can scale seamlessly as your workforce and business operations grow across different sites. Revel Systems provides powerful features tailored specifically for restaurateurs, such as real-time inventory monitoring, kitchen order management, staff scheduling tools, and options to diversify revenue streams.

Pros pros

  • Exceptional back-office tools
  • Multichannel capabilities
  • Customizable interface
  • Can integrate with many software

Cons cons

  • Pricing isn’t transparent
  • No free trial

Read our full Revel Systems review

The Best Restaurants POS Systems Compared

Choosing the right Point of Sale (POS) system is essential for effectively running your restaurant, bar, or nightclub. Let’s explore a comparison of some leading restaurant POS systems to assist you in making an informed choice:

POS Systems Free Version Starting Price Best For Top Features
Square Free Plan, 30-Day Free Trial Starting from $60/month Order management Menu Customization, Auto Gratuity, Advanced Discounts
TouchBistro None Starting from $69/month All-in-one restaurant management Upselling Reminders, Bill Splitting, Individual Staff Logins
Toast Free Plan Starting from $69/month Online orders and delivery Real-Time Fraud Monitoring, Toast Delivery Services, Digital Menus
Lavu None Starting from $59/month Flexible mobile POS system Dual Pricing Capability, Kitchen Display System, Customer Database
Clover None Starting from $54.95/month Reports and analytics Table Mapping, Tipping Support, Scan-to-Pay
Vend 14-Day Free Trial Starting from $69/month Inventory management Advanced Reporting, Loyalty Program, Inventory Automation
Shopify 3-Day Free Trial Starting from $79/month Omnichannel bars and restaurants Custom Website, Manager Approvals, Order History
Lightspeed 14-Day Free Trial Starting from $69/month Cafe owners Take Out and Delivery, Order and Pay at Table, Advanced Insights
Epos Now 14-Day Free Trial Starting from $99 + Subscription Bar and nightclub owners Robust Hardware, Payment Pre-Authorization, Staff Onboarding
Revel Systems None Custom Restaurants with multiple locations Table Ordering System, Color-Coded Timers, Custom Reports

Methodology

How We Review And Test POS Products

To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular POS products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Scalability: We look at how many users can be added to a platform and how easy it is to do so to ensure companies can easily add more employees to their payroll as they scale their operations.
  • Integrations: We evaluate each piece of software’s integrations to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack and whether its functionality can be expanded.
  • Total Cost: We look at the features, integrations, customer service, and extras to determine if the price of the software matches the value it provides. We score a product higher if it offers customers a free trial.
  • User Experience: We get hands-on with each product to put ourselves in the shoes of a new user, testing each platform to gain an understanding if the platform is easy to use or requires onboarding.
  • Features: We examine the features offered by each POS software, how useful those features are, and how they compare to others on the market.
  • Security: We delve into the security protocols of each company, assessing the measures in place to safeguard user data.
  • Customer Reviews: We consider customer reviews from reputable third-party websites as a crucial aspect of our evaluation process.

What Is a Restaurant POS System?

A restaurant POS system is a software and hardware solution designed to manage various aspects of restaurant operations, including order taking, payment processing, inventory management, and reporting. It serves as a central hub for all transactions and data, enabling efficient and streamlined operations.

Why You Need a POS Bar System

The vast majority of bars and restaurants have adopted Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems in recent years, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as they can do much, much more than regular cash registers and card readers.

A POS system makes it infinitely easier to track orders for each table, streamline communication with the front-of-house team, and facilitate everything from inventory management to shift scheduling – so you can deliver a seamless customer experience.

Put simply, a bar POS system assists with every aspect of running your business, helping your team fulfill orders faster and making it more convenient for your customers to pay via their preferred method.
As a result, you’ll improve the overall quality of service, attract new customers, keep track of your inventory more easily, gain valuable insights into the overall performance of your business, and ultimately improve your bottom line.

Benefits of a POS System for Restaurants and Bars

A POS system can greatly improve how your restaurant operates, leading to increased efficiency, higher profits, and better customer satisfaction. Here are some key benefits of using a POS system:

Smoother Order Process: POS systems allow servers to input orders easily and accurately, reducing mistakes. Orders go straight to the kitchen, minimizing delays.

Better Payment Handling: With integrated payment processing, customers can pay conveniently with credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, etc. This improves the experience and helps prevent fraud.

Inventory Tracking: Real-time inventory data lets you see what’s running low and reorder accordingly, reducing waste and ensuring popular items don’t run out.

Reporting and Analysis: Detailed reports give you insights into sales, best-selling menu items, staff productivity, and more, helping you make informed decisions.

Employee Management: Tools for scheduling staff, tracking hours/attendance, and monitoring performance can optimize labor costs and efficiency.

Customer Loyalty Programs: Capture customer data and offer rewards programs to encourage repeat business and build relationships.

Online/Delivery Orders: Integrate with online ordering platforms and delivery apps to reach more customers conveniently.

Mobile Ordering: Servers can take orders and payments tableside on handheld devices, improving service.

Essential Features of POS Software

When evaluating restaurant POS systems, it’s essential to consider the following key features:

Order Management and Menu CustomizationPayment ProcessingInventory Tracking and ManagementReporting and AnalyticsEmployee Management and SchedulingCRM and Loyalty ProgramsKitchen Display System (KDS) IntegrationOnline Ordering and Delivery IntegrationMobile POS and Tableside Ordering

Order Management and Menu Customization: The ability to create customizable menus, take orders efficiently, and send them directly to the kitchen for preparation. This streamlines the ordering process and reduces errors.

Payment Processing: Secure and efficient processing of various payment methods, including credit/debit cards, mobile payments, and contactless options like digital wallets and QR codes.

Inventory Tracking and Management: Real-time tracking of inventory levels, automated reordering, and insights into popular items and sales trends to optimize stock levels and minimize waste.

Reporting and Analytics: Comprehensive reporting capabilities, including sales data, employee performance, menu item analysis, and other valuable insights to support data-driven decision-making.

Employee Management and Scheduling: Tools for managing employee information, scheduling shifts, tracking attendance, and monitoring performance metrics.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Loyalty Programs: Features to capture customer data, create loyalty programs, and leverage marketing and promotional tools to drive repeat business and customer engagement.

Kitchen Display System (KDS) Integration: Integration with kitchen display systems to ensure accurate and efficient communication of orders to the kitchen staff.

Online Ordering and Delivery Integration: Integration with popular online ordering platforms and delivery services to streamline the process and provide a seamless experience for customers.

Mobile POS and Tableside Ordering: Capability for servers to take orders and process payments tableside using mobile devices, enhancing efficiency and customer service.

What Hardware do I Need for a Bar POS system?

You’ll need a POS terminal or a few, depending on the bar’s size, handheld POS devices for tableside ordering and payment processing, a receipt printer, and a card reader. Depending on your specific needs, you might also want to get a kitchen POS terminal, a cash register, and a barcode scanner.

Pricing and Fees of POS Software for Bars and Restaurants

POS systems can have various pricing models and fee structures, which can include a combination of upfront costs, recurring fees, and transaction-based charges. It’s essential to understand these costs to make an informed decision and budget accordingly.

Initial Setup and Hardware Costs

This includes the cost of purchasing or leasing the POS hardware, such as tablets, touch-screen monitors, receipt printers, cash drawers, and barcode scanners. Some POS providers charge a one-time software licensing fee for the initial setup and configuration, and some other vendors offer professional installation services and staff training, which may come at an additional cost.

Recurring Subscription Fees

Most POS providers offer monthly or annual subscription plans, which can vary based on the number of terminals, users, or locations. There are also fees charged by the payment processor for processing credit and debit card transactions, typically a percentage of the transaction amount plus a flat fee.

Add-on or Premium Feature Fees

Providers usually charge extra for advanced features or integrations, such as loyalty programs, advanced reporting, or inventory management tools.

Restaurant POS System vs. a Traditional Cash Register

POS systems offer significant advantages over traditional cash registers, including comprehensive features and functionality beyond basic transactions, inventory management and reporting capabilities, integration with other business tools, enhanced security and fraud prevention, and scalability and flexibility for growth. Cash registers are limited to basic transactions and lack advanced features and integrations offered by modern POS systems.

How to Choose The Best Restaurant POS System

Selecting the right POS system is important for the success of your restaurant business. Here are the key factors to evaluate when choosing the best restaurant POS system:

Business TypeScalabilityBudgetEase of UseIntegrationsReporting and AnalyticsCustomer Support

The type of restaurant you operate plays a significant role in determining the features and functionalities you need from a POS system. A full-service restaurant with table service will require different capabilities than a quick-service or fast-casual establishment. Consider factors such as menu complexity, order types (dine-in, takeout, delivery), and reporting needs.

If you plan to expand your business by opening additional locations or anticipate significant growth in the future, it’s essential to choose a POS system that can scale with your needs. Look for solutions that offer multi-location management, centralized reporting, and the ability to add more terminals or users as your business grows.

POS systems come with varying price points, ranging from entry-level solutions to more advanced and feature-rich options. Determine your budget and prioritize the essential features you require. Consider not only the upfront costs but also ongoing expenses, such as subscription fees, payment processing fees, and potential add-ons or upgrades.

A user-friendly POS system can significantly impact staff productivity and customer service. Look for solutions with intuitive interfaces, customizable layouts, and efficient order-taking processes. Also consider the training resources and support provided by the vendor to ensure a smooth implementation and ongoing assistance.

You should consider a POS system that integrates seamlessly with other software and tools you use. This could include accounting software, the best cloud HR software, online ordering platforms, loyalty programs, and inventory management systems. Seamless integrations can streamline operations and provide a more comprehensive view of your business.

Robust reporting and analytics capabilities are essential for making data-driven decisions and optimizing your restaurant operations. Evaluate the reporting features offered by different POS systems, including sales reports, inventory tracking, staff performance metrics, and customer behavior analysis.

Reliable and responsive customer support is vital, especially during the initial implementation and training phases. Consider the vendor’s reputation for customer service, availability of support channels (phone, email, online resources), and the level of ongoing assistance they provide.

FAQs

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John Iwuozor
Tech Writer
John Iwuozor
Tech Writer

John Iwuozor is a writer at Techopedia with over three years of experience and expertise covering topics on HR, business software, IT security, and finance for small and medium-sized businesses. His work has been featured on reputable platforms like Forbes Advisor and EsecurityPlanet. Leveraging his background in mathematics and data analysis, he specializes in delivering original and high-quality content with a keen eye for detail and accuracy.