The 10 Best POS Systems for Bars Reviewed for 2024

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

There are many great POS systems on the market specifically created for bars, cafes, and eateries, 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 POS systems for bars, looking at their features, pros and cons, and pricing.

The Best POS Software for Bars Compared for 2024

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

  1. Square $60/month — Overall, the best POS for a bar or restaurant, with unlimited countertop POS devices, a super-intuitive UI, and tons of tools and add-ons to streamline every aspect of your business.
  2. TouchBistro $69/month — All-in-one POS system with incredible reporting capabilities to help you monitor every aspect of your business in real time and make data-driven decisions to maximize profit.
  3. Toast  $69/month — Customizable POS solution with super-durable handheld devices, commission-free online ordering, and an award-winning customer support team.
  4. Lavu $59/month — Perfect for larger bars and restaurants that want to streamline operations by adding self-ordering kiosks to enable contactless ordering and payment.
  5. Clover $799 for hardware + $54.95/month — Simple and elegant POS solution with advanced order management and built-in CRM features to improve customer satisfaction and boost customer lifetime value.
  6. Vend  $119/month — Robust inventory management and the ability to accept a wide array of payment options, from credit and debit cards to mobile and contactless payments.
  7. Shopify POS $5/month — Great all-around POS with omnichannel selling tools, inventory allocation, and built-in staff management.
  8. Lightspeed $119/month — Solid option for bars, breweries, wineries, and liquor stores with its strong inventory management, real-time notifications, and direct purchase order creation tools.
  9. Harbortouch $29.99/month — A popular bar point-of-sale system with streamlined order, inventory, and staff management, on-the-fly menu updates, and quick access to full customer purchase histories.
  10. Epos NowQuote-based — Well-rounded service, with water-resistant POS terminals and dynamic menu options that enable automatic adjustments for specials and happy hour.

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.

Key Features For Bar POS Systems

When it comes to a POS system for a bar or restaurant, you can’t just choose a generic POS. There are quite a few specific POS features that bars and restaurants need to ensure that every aspect of the business is running smoothly. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important features:

  • Flexible payments — With a POS system, you can accept a wide variety of cards and other payment types like Google Pay and Apple Pay. The system also makes it super-easy to handle tips and chargebacks.
  • Fast order entry — With KDS (Kitchen Display System) devices, your waiters can take fast and accurate orders sent directly to the kitchen staff, so your team will never get orders wrong again.
  • Floor management — This allows you to see your table layout, keep track of reservations, and ensure service is running smoothly by monitoring their status in real-time.
  • Kitchen management — If you serve food at your bar, a POS system will help you track orders to the correct stations, monitor order prep times, ensure your inventory is synced with your menu, and improve kitchen efficiency.
  • Digital menus — A POS system lets you offer a digital menu for your customers, which is often much more convenient. Rather than going through a physical menu page by page, they can simply scan the QR code at the table and access the online menu in seconds.
  • Inventory management — Taking stock of inventory manually is tedious and time-consuming. A POS with built-in inventory management makes it easier to keep an eye on every item in stock. You’ll get real-time notifications when you’re running low on items, so you can contact suppliers ahead of time.
  • Shift scheduling — Instead of printing out shift schedules or sharing them on WhatsApp, you can handle scheduling directly from your POS dashboard. This helps ensure you’ve got enough staff for busy nights and makes it easier to track sick days, vacation, and unpaid leave.
  • Cash flow management — The best POS solutions allow you to see the money coming in and out of your business, and they should give you quick and easy access to your cash when you need it.
  • Reporting and analytics — If you want to know exactly how your bar is performing, you should opt for a POS with robust reporting functionality so you can get valuable insights on what areas need to be improved to drive efficiency and increase your profits.

The Top Bar POS Systems Reviewed

Now that we’ve covered what you should be looking for in a POS system let’s take a closer look at each of the top 10 solutions so you can see which one best fits your bar’s needs.

1. Square — Overall, the Best POS System for Bars and Restaurants in 2024

Square is a customizable, flexible, and feature-rich POS system that can help you streamline the day-to-day operations of your bar and deliver an outstanding customer experience.

It also offers a wide variety of auxiliary tools and add-ons that can help you optimize other areas of your business, including online orders and advertising.

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.

Square POS System

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
-Floor and kitchen management
-Inventory management
-Live reporting updates
$60/month From 2.6% + $0.10 Yes

It’s also part of a comprehensive business solution, comparable to the likes of Shopify, while also being ideal for bars and eateries. When it comes to the software, Square POS is highly intuitive, so you won’t have to spend days or weeks training your staff.

You’ll be able to create a custom menu, easily add and remove items, apply discounts for special offers automatically, track prep time, and save the most frequently sold items as favorites to help make your team more efficient.

Square POS also features comprehensive floor and kitchen management. There are simple drag-and-drop layouts to change your floor plan, and you can get real-time notifications for table statuses and new orders.

Square excels when it comes to accepting payments. You can accept all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Tap to Pay. You’ll also be able to fully customize receipts to feature your logo and color scheme. All taxes and discounts are automatically applied on the receipts.

What’s more, you’ll be able to accept payments even in offline mode, so you don’t have to worry about internet connectivity. Square is also great for tipping. With a single tap, your staff can offer customers the choice between preset tip amounts or a custom tip directly from their handheld device.

Another reason to opt for Square is that it offers tons of add-ons to help you handle other aspects of your business, such as payroll, employee management, and shift scheduling.

You can also use Square’s online store builder to create a website for your bar if you want to start accepting online reservations or include online orders and delivery as part of your core services – something that wouldn’t be possible with most POS systems.

The best part is you can get started for free. Square offers a free-forever plan, so you can test out the POS in practice, only paying for processing fees – though it’s worth noting Toast and Clover offer lower transaction fees.

You won’t have access to all the features with the free plan, but you could also opt for a 30-day free trial of the premium plan to see what Square is truly capable of before committing.

Pros

  • Unlimited countertop and handheld POS devices
  • Highly intuitive and easy to use
  • Advanced floor and kitchen management functionality
  • Fully operational in offline mode
  • Offers a free plan, so you can test it out in practice before committing

Cons

  • Relatively high processing fees

2. TouchBistro — All-in-One POS System With Incredible Reporting Capabilities

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 while being more squarely aimed at bars and restaurants.

With TouchBistro’s POS, you’ll have complete control over your floor plan and table management, with the ability to customize your floor plan on the go according to key factors like distance between the tables, average time seated, and average spend per table.

You’ll also be able to see your venue’s capacity in real-time, which makes it much easier to handle reservations.

Touchbistro POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Advanced floor and table management
– Menu scheduling
– Upsell pop-ups
$69/month Quote-based No

TouchBistro makes it easy to create, clone, and organize menus with a few simple taps. You can even have multiple menus and schedule them for different times of day or for happy hour promotions.

All the items on your menus can be customized with special modifiers when taking orders so your servers can easily meet the customer’s requests and dietary needs.

In addition to the POS system, TouchBistro also offers a Tableside Ordering system that lets servers take orders with ease, improving table turnover by reducing ordering time.

Handheld devices come with color-coded menus and integrated pop-up reminders to highlight promotions and remind your staff to upsell customers by offering specials, desserts, and meal combos.

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.

With TouchBistro, you’ll have access to more than 50 reports, which update in real-time, so you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions to increase sales, improve service by monitoring the performance of staff members, and streamline business operations with easy data access and sharing.

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.

Pros

  • Create multiple menus and schedule them by time of day
  • Advanced floor plan and table management with insights on average table spend
  • Lets you group items to split bills among multiple people
  • In-depth reports that let you monitor every aspect of your business in real-time
  • No commission fees for online orders

Cons

  • No shift scheduling
  • Kitchen display system is paid for separately from the POS

3. Toast — Customizable POS Solution With Durable Handheld Devices

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.

The POS system includes front-of-house and back-of-house terminals, as well as handhelds, helping ensure your entire staff is in sync while allowing them to record and fulfill orders faster and take tap, dip, and swipe payments at the tableside.

Toast POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Super resilient handhelds
– Online ordering with zero commission
– Automatic menu syncing
$69/month From $2.06 Yes

With Toast, you can easily configure your menu and make changes to it in seconds from any terminal in your venue. The changes are automatically applied to every device in-house and online, thanks to automatic menu syncing.

You can’t configure multiple menus to automatically switch based on the time of day, though, as you can with Touch Bistro.

That said, Toast helps you run promotions and limited special offers with its smart inventory management and real-time item countdowns. This way, both your servers and your customers will know exactly how many items are left for a particular promotion at any point in time.

In addition to a robust POS, Toast offers a variety of other tools, features, and functionality your business can greatly benefit from.

The most popular features are commission-free online ordering through the Toast TakeOut app, automated marketing campaigns, and payroll and team management – offering tons of potential to grow your business.

Another reason to opt for Toast is its award-winning customer support that’s available 24/7 via phone. You’ll also have access to Toast’s comprehensive library of video guides, how-to articles, free tools, and templates, so you’ll have no trouble learning how to utilize the system’s full potential.

Pros

  • Customizable solutions with transparent pricing and no hidden fees
  • Handhelds designed for bars and restaurants and resistant to spills and knocks
  • Smart inventory management with item countdowns for special offers
  • Commission-free online ordering
  • Lots of training materials available for free on the Toast website

Cons

  • Plain UI design built for functionality
  • Occasional issues with hardware can take time to resolve

4. Lavu — Perfect for Larger Bars and Restaurants Streamlining Operations with Self-Ordering Kiosks

Lavu is a robust iPad POS system that helps you streamline business operations, decrease labor costs, and improve the overall customer experience.

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

The kiosk’s menu can also feature combos and specials, and you can utilize upsells during checkout to remind customers to add drinks and desserts to their order, for example.

Lavu POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Self-ordering touchscreen kiosks
– Dual pricing
– Preauthorized Tabs
$59/month 2.99% plus $0.15 Demo

Another reason to opt for Lavu is its Dual Pricing approach to receipts, which lets both you and your customers save money. The way it works is simple — each receipt features two due amounts, one for paying with cash and the other for paying with a card.

The cash amount is lower since it doesn’t add processing fees, so your customers are incentivized to use cash to cover their bills. Even if they opt for card payments, they’ll still offset up to 99% of the credit card processing fees.

You’ll end up saving more money with each order compared to other POS solutions where the business covers the full cost of the card processing fees – which is particularly problematic with the higher transaction fees of services like Vend and Lightspeed.

If you’re running a bar or a nightclub, you will also 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.

The one drawback of this POS is that it can’t accept card payments when the internet is down, so we’d like to see Lavu implement an offline mode like Square and other alternatives.

Pros

  • Super easy to set up, intuitive, and user-friendly
  • Wide variety of integration options for inventory, payments, accounting, and delivery
  • Enables contactless ordering and payments through self-ordering kiosks
  • Lets customers create preauthorized tabs
  • Supports automatic timed menu changes for happy hour deals and special promotions

Cons

  • System can sometimes crash when overloaded
  • Can’t accept credit cards or print receipts when the internet is down

5. Clover — Simple and Elegant POS Solution With Advanced Order Management and Built-In CRM Functionality

Clover is an elegant POS system designed to simplify everything from accepting payments and handling orders to managing your inventory and staff.

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.

CLOVER POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Online ordering and contactless payments
– Advanced order management
– Built-in CRM
$799+ $54.95/month From 2.3% + $0.10 No

You can also enhance the POS system by adding Clover-approved accessories like barcode scanners, cash drawers, and employee login cards, as well as integrating it with dozens of third-party apps from the Clover App Marketplace.

With Clover, you’ll be able to offer your customers a wide variety of payment options. The POS supports all major credit cards, mobile wallet contactless payment, and can even scan checks. You can also enable online ordering and contactless payments for faster ordering and transactions.

A feature of Clover that we love is order management. The POS lets you easily accept orders in-house and lets your customers order online, whether to pick it up themselves or have it delivered.

Clover makes managing even the most complex orders a breeze. You’ll be able to utilize open tabs, split bills in seconds, combine multiple orders, apply discounts (specials, quantity discount, VIP customer, etc.), and easily track item-level sales, taxes, and more.

Clover also lets you collect feedback from customers and create individual customer profiles so you can engage them, send them target promotions, and enroll them into your loyalty program to improve customer satisfaction, keep them coming back, and maximize the customer lifetime value.

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

  • Gorgeous design and super simple UI
  • Intuitive back office management portal
  • Integrations with a variety of third-party payment processors
  • Built-in CRM features — feedback, engagement, loyalty
  • Excellent reporting capabilities

Cons

  • Expensive, plus it requires a long-term commitment
  • Relies on an older operating system that can fail when overloaded

6. Vend — Robust Inventory Management and Access to a Wide Range of Payment Options

Vend is a full-featured POS that’s primarily geared toward retail stores, though it can be used to great effect in bars, clubs, and restaurants as well. It’s easy to use, works offline, lets you accept a wide variety of payment options, and helps you elevate your service to ensure customer satisfaction.

Vend gives you the option to accept credit and debit cards, cash, checks, gift cards, and mobile and contactless payments. It also lets customers use multiple payment types for a single transaction, so they can use two different cards to cover the bill or pay a portion with cash and the rest with their credit card, for example.

Vend POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Custom receipts and split payments
– Advanced inventory management
– Customer profiles and purchase history
 $119/month From 2.90% plus $0.30 Demo

You’ll also be free to customize the receipt with your logo and brand colors, and you can add links to your website and social media pages on digital receipts.

Vend also lets you apply discounts and add notes to specific items or the entire bill, which will show up on the receipt. This is a must-have for happy hour, special promotions, or discounts for your VIP customers.

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

With Vend, you’ll also be able to manage your inventory with ease. You’ll be able to keep track of your stock, add multiple product variants, import existing barcodes and print new ones, manage pricing, promotions, and discounts, and even automate stock orders for your best-selling items.

The POS also functions as a central hub for all customer information. Each transaction is saved to their unique customer profile so you can track their purchase history, create customer loyalty programs, treat VIP customers with tailored promotions, and ensure they keep coming back.

However, loyalty features are only available on the most expensive pricing plans, whereas alternatives like Lavu offer loyalty on all plans.

Pros

  • Easy to configure according to your needs
  • Accept dozens of different payment options
  • Allows customers to split the bill between multiple payment methods
  • Offers robust inventory management capabilities
  • Provides excellent video and text tutorials to help you get started

Cons

  • High monthly price and transaction fees
  • Loyalty features and advanced reporting only available on the most expensive plan

7. Shopify POS — Great All-Around POS With Omnichannel Selling

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.

Shopify POS supports all major credit cards, as well as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Discover. All in-store and online payments are automatically tracked and synced, eliminating the need for manual accounting.

Shopify POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Omnichannel selling
– POS inventory system
– Staff management
$5/month From 2.4% + $0.30 3-day free trial + 3 months for $1/month

You’ll also have access to in-depth reports on your business’s finances, so you’ll have quick and easy access to all the financial data and will be able to monitor your cash flow in real-time.

With Shopify POS, you’ll also be able to manage your inventory and create purchase orders from a single platform. It provides real-time visibility into stock levels across multiple locations and warehouses, making it a great option for businesses with several bar and restaurant locations around town.

You’ll be able to manage your staff more efficiently, provide them with role-based access and permissions, set up manager approvals, and incentivize your team with sales goals and milestones.

With that being said, it’s also important to note that Shopify POS offers lots of features most bars won’t use in an omnichannel selling feature set, so 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

  • Payment processing at competitive rates
  • In-store and online payments automatically tracked and synced
  • Excellent inventory management with multi-location support
  • Great staff management functionality

Cons

  • Made for retail, with lots of features bars likely won’t need

8. Lightspeed — Solid Option for Bars and Liquor Stores Thanks to Its Strong Inventory Management

Lightspeed offers a dedicated POS solution for bars, wineries, and liquor stores, with plenty of features that facilitate the day-to-day operations of your business.

It also offers a website builder that allows you to build an online store from scratch, so you can increase your revenue by enabling online orders, pickup, and delivery.

Lightspeed truly shines when it comes to inventory management. 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.

Lightspeed POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Inventory management
– Performance tracking and sales reports
– Pop-ups for age verification and upsells
$119/month From 2.6% + $0.10 14-day free trial

The inventory management system features real-time low-stock alerts, so you’ll always know when your most popular items are low in stock. You can also create purchase orders directly from the POS system, even from multiple vendors simultaneously.

The POS system itself is super-intuitive, so your staff won’t require extensive training to start using the countertop and handheld devices.

The system will automatically prompt staff to verify the age of customers, which is crucial for bars – but 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.

You’ll also have the option to add customer notes alongside their transaction, so you can ask them for their information to enroll them into your loyalty program and send them promotional emails in the future to ensure they become a returning customer.

All this makes Lightspeed a great option for bars, but the caveat is that you’ll be paying a premium price for this POS system. It’s nearly twice as expensive as other vendors like Square, TouchBistro, and Toast, which offer a similar level of functionality.

Pros

  • Super streamlined and very easy to use
  • Excellent inventory management with catalog import
  • Automatically reminds staff of age verification, promotions, and discounts
  • Offers a website builder with built-in SEO tools
  • Provides a variety of free training resources

Cons

  • More expensive than most alternatives
  • Special order system and reporting have room for improvement

9. Harbortouch — Robust Bar Point-Of-Sale System With Streamlined Order, Inventory, and Staff Management

Harbortouch is a smart bar and restaurant POS with free menu programming and on-site installation at no upfront cost. This comprehensive bar POS system lets you manage orders with ease, streamline your operations, centralize customer data, and give your customers a variety of payment options.

The Harbortouch POS makes order management a breeze by enabling check splitting, allowing you to adjust prices and quantities, and letting staff take reorders of rounds or single items with just one tap. It also automatically calculates sales taxes and makes it simple for your waiters to collect tips from satisfied customers.

What you’ll love about Harbortouch is how easy it is to update the menu on the fly. The UI (User Interface) is super intuitive, and it allows you to create custom categories, add or remove items, add modifiers to orders, and configure discounts for happy hours or special promotions.

Harbortouch POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Order management
– Inventory management
– Staff management and communication
$29.99/month From 1.79% plus $0.10 30-day free trial

With Harbortouch, you’ll also have access to every customer’s complete purchasing history. This helps you identify regulars and big spenders and gives you the opportunity to enroll them into loyalty or rewards programs so you can send them special offers or make sure they have a table reservation during your busiest nights.

The POS comes with a built-in inventory management feature, Fresh Sheet, which allows you to monitor your inventory levels in real-time and provides you with low-level notifications so you can contact your suppliers and send purchase orders before you run out.

Harbortouch also excels in staff management. It not only lets you schedule shifts and organize work, but it also gives you access to your team’s timesheets and lets you see exact hours worked and overtime.

You’ll also be able to see sales made by different servers, so it’ll be easy to monitor performance and reward your top-performing team members each month.

The Harbortouch POS system also helps you do away with sticky notes for good. It’s the only POS on our list that lets you send internal messages to your team that appear on terminals, so you can send reminders of crucial tasks and duties and ensure that they’ll be seen.

While both the hardware and software are an excellent choice for bars, Harbortouch’s reputation isn’t on par with some of the other leading solutions like Square, Toast, and Lavu. In fact, users have repeatedly complained about the vendor’s poor customer service and hidden charges/fees in the past.

Pros

  • Free on-site installation
  • Excellent order management with bill splitting and quick reordering
  • Simple, easy-to-use UI with the ability to change the menu on the fly
  • Centralized customer database
  • Streamlined staff management and communication

Cons

  • Most users complain about hidden fees and being overcharged
  • Poor customer service

10. Epos Now — Water-Resistant POS Terminals and Dynamic Menu Options

Epos Now is a cloud-based POS that helps alleviate the pressure from your staff and helps you grow your business and maximize your sales, thanks to one-tap ordering, omnichannel sales, and advanced real-time reporting.

What’s great about Epos Now is that their POS hardware comes with water-resistant touchscreens, making it a great option for bars and restaurants where spills are common.

On the software side, you have a fairly simple UI. While the interface isn’t as intuitive as Square’s or Clover’s, your staff will be able to start using Epos Now as soon as you install the POS without needing extensive training.

Epos Now POS

Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
– Dynamic pricing
– Table management with custom seating charts
– Payment pre-authorization
Quote-based 2.6% + $0.10 30-day free trial

The POS offers dynamic menu options, so you can set up dynamic pricing for different items, and the software will automatically adjust the prices for specials, promotions, and happy hour.

Epos Now also comes with real-time inventory tracking, so you’ll get notified whenever you’re running low on certain items. However, it lacks direct purchase orders, so it’s beat by Lightspeed in this regard.

If you opt for this POS, you’ll also be able to offer your customers the opportunity to order online, thanks to the Epos Now Order & Pay mobile platform. This is especially useful for a bar or restaurant since you can add order pickup and delivery options and maximize your profits even when your venue is full.

Another feature we want to highlight is payment pre-authorization, which ensures that your customers have sufficient funds in their accounts before opening a tab. This acts as a safety net for your bar and ensures you’ll never have to worry about unpaid tabs again.

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

  • Pricey add-ons
  • Customer support could be better

The Best POS Software for Bars Compared

Here’s a master table with all the key information on the top 10 bar and restaurant POS systems so you can see how they compare head-to-head:

Bar POS Best Features Starting Price Transaction Fees Free Version
Square – Floor and kitchen management
– Inventory management
– Live reporting updates
$60/month From 2.6% + $0.10 Yes
TouchBistro – Advanced floor and table management
– Menu scheduling
– Upsell pop-ups
$69/month Quote-based No
Toast – Super resilient handhelds
– Online ordering with zero commissions
– Automatic menu syncing
$69/month From $2.06 Yes
Lavu – Self-ordering touchscreen kiosks
– Dual pricing
– Preauthorized Tabs
$59/month 2.99% plus $0.15 Demo
Clover – Online ordering and contactless payments
– Advanced order management
– Built-in CRM
$799 for hardware + $54.95/month From 2.3% + $0.10 No
Vend – Custom receipts and split payments
– Advanced inventory management
– Customer profiles and purchase history
$119/month From 2.90% plus $0.30 Demo
Shopify POS – Omnichannel selling
– POS inventory system
– Staff management
$5/month From 2.4% + $0.30 3-day free trial + 3 months for $1/month
Lightspeed – Inventory management
– Performance tracking and sales reports
– Pop-ups for age verification and upsells
$119/month From 2.6% + $0.10 14-day free trial
Harbortouch – Order management
– Inventory management
– Staff management and communication
$29.99/month From 1.79% plus $0.10 30-day free trial
Epos Now – Dynamic pricing
– Table management with custom seating charts
– Payment pre-authorization
Quote-based 2.6% + $0.10 30-day free trial

Key Details to Consider When Buying Bar POS Systems

When searching for an ideal POS system for a bar and restaurant, there are quite a few factors you need to take into consideration. This is a long-term investment, so you need to be absolutely certain that the POS provides all the features you need at an acceptable rate, including all the add-ons and transaction fees.

As you’ve seen from our reviews, both the functionality and the prices can differ greatly between providers, so you should carefully compare multiple solutions to ensure you find the best one for your bar. Here’s a breakdown of the key factors to pay attention to when choosing the best POS system for a bar:

Hardware

Every provider will offer POS terminals, but you’ll also need mobile devices to accept payments in a bar. These are often referred to as handhelds or tableside POS devices, so make sure they’re included in the deal.

If you’re just getting set up, you might also need card readers, a receipt printer, and a cash register. In any case, we recommend vendors that let you pick and choose which hardware components you need and allow you to build your own POS system rather than forcing you to choose a preconfigured option.

Features

When it comes to features, at the very least you need advanced order management with bill splitting, dynamic menus that you can adjust on the fly, and inventory tracking and management.

Table management is also good to have, especially if you’re selling food. In that case, you should also consider a solution that lets you accept online orders and offer pickup and delivery.

And if you want to fully optimize the day-to-day operations of your bar, we strongly recommend a POS with built-in time tracking so you can see the hours worked and overtime of every employee, manage their shifts, and reward your top-performing team members based on their average sales.

Ease of use

Even the most robust POS falls flat if your team struggles to use it day-to-day. That’s why POS bar systems should be intuitive and easy to use, so you don’t have to spend weeks training every new staff member or risk annoying your customers by taking forever to process their order and print a receipt.

That said, you shouldn’t sacrifice flexibility for the sake of simplicity. It’s best to choose a good middle-ground and ensure that the software lets you customize the menus, add and remove items with ease, apply discounts, and manage tables without being too complex and overwhelming for your staff.

Scalability

As your business grows, you might expand your bar, open up a garden with additional tables, or add food to your menu in addition to the drinks.

That’s why the best POS system for a small bar should give you the opportunity to easily upgrade to a premium pricing plan if the need for additional features and add-ons arises, as well as add new POS terminals and handhelds to your system.

Integrations and Add-Ons

It’s crucial to ensure that your chosen POS can integrate with the tools and apps you’re already using to run your business.

The most important one is likely to be your accounting software, but if you’re already using third-party software to track your inventory, manage your team, process payments, and monitor your cash flow, carefully go through all the integrations the POS supports to ensure they’ll work seamlessly together.

If you don’t use any other software, pay close attention to the add-ons the best bar POS systems offer.

Most of them have built-in inventory management but check to see if other tools like payroll, shift management, loyalty, online ordering, and text message marketing are included and how much you’d have to set aside monthly for each add-on.

Pricing

When it comes to POS systems for bars’ pricing plans, they can vary wildly between different providers.

The cost for POS systems for bars is based on the number of features, add-ons, integration options, and processing fees. Most vendors only display the monthly cost of the POS system, which doesn’t include the cost of hardware, transaction processing fees, and add-ons.

When calculating bar POS system cost, you need to take all of this into account.

The vast majority of vendors offering a bar POS system for sale typically display the information on the pricing page of their website, but it’s easy to overlook some of the costs if you’re not extra careful.

That’s why we strongly recommend contacting the vendor’s sales team to receive a custom quote. It’s also a good idea to have that quote sent to you via email so you have the full details in writing in case of any disputes or disagreements in the future.

Bar POS and Accounting Software Guides

Want to learn more about POS systems and business accounting solutions? Here’s a list of our other helpful guides:

Conclusion – What is the Best POS System for a Bar in 2024?

There are many excellent point-of-sale systems for bars, so there’s no shortage of options. That said, every POS has its pros and cons, so you should carefully compare them and choose the one that best fits the needs of your bar.

If you’re on the fence after reading our reviews, we recommend Square POS for bars due to its flexibility and competitive pricing. It’s intuitive and easy to learn, comes with a simple drag-and-drop editor for the floor plan and tables, and you can update your menus with just a few taps.

With Square, bars can get unlimited countertop POS devices, which also makes it the best POS system for a high-volume venue.

You’ll have access to tons of add-ons, as well, so you can even build a website from scratch and start accepting online orders for takeaway and delivery, which is a great way to boost the profits of any pub, bar, or restaurant.

The best part is you can get started for free and see the Square POS in action before you decide to commit to a monthly or annual plan. Click the button below to get started with Square POS and transform the way you run your bar.

Bar Management Software FAQs

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Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert
Aleksandar Stevanovic
Software Reviews Expert

Aleksandar Stevanovic spent 10 years honing his craft as a freelance content writer. He has a degree in Economics, and extensive experience in software, crypto, and cybersecurity industries. He covers a multitude of topics, writing factual and informative articles, helping individuals better understand the intricacies of the online world. Over the last two years, his research focus shifted more towards tech and software content, as evidenced by his publications on CEX.IO, Business2Community, and Techopedia. He believes in simplifying complex topics and bringing them closer to like-minded individuals. His work is as detail-oriented as it is creative, and is designed to…