Money may earn a commission when you click on the products and services below. Opinions are our own,
but compensation and in-depth research determine where and how they appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Fact checked by:
Published: Jul 21, 2023 18 min read

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Best for Customer Loyalty
Best Free OptionBest PriceBest Mobile OptionBest for Small RestaurantsBest Capabilities
Clover Logo
Square Logo
Toast Logo
Lightspeed POS Logo
Talech Logo
Epos Now Logo
CloverSquareToastLightspeedTalechEpos Now
Processing

2.3% + 10 cents for card-present transactions; 3.5% + 10 cents for transactions without a card present

2.6% + 10 cents for card-present transactions; 3.5% + 15 cents for transactions without a card present

2.49% + 15 cents for card payments; 3.5% + 15 cents for transactions without a card present

2.6% + 10 cents per transaction

1% to 4.99% for card-present transactions

2.6% + 10 cents per transaction

Features

Customizable loyalty programs; Order-level discounts

Flat per transaction fee; Extensive integration

Cloud-based POS; No contract

Employees can clock in from their smartphones; Wireless cash drawer

Cloud-based POS; No contract

Real-time reporting; Multi-channel capability

Cost

Starts at $150/month

Starts at $0/month

Starts at $0/month

Starts at $69/month

Starts at $29/month

Starts at $39/month

Ease-of-use

Comprehensive and versatile

A joy to operate

Small learning curve, 24/7 customer support

Simple

Minimal training required

Train staff on it in minutes

Best for Customer Loyalty
Clover
Get Started
Processing

2.3% + 10 cents for card-present transactions; 3.5% + 10 cents for transactions without a card present

Features

Customizable loyalty programs; Order-level discounts

Cost

Starts at $150/month

Ease-of-use

Comprehensive and versatile

Best Free Option
Square
Get Started
Processing

2.6% + 10 cents for card-present transactions; 3.5% + 15 cents for transactions without a card present

Features

Flat per transaction fee; Extensive integration

Cost

Starts at $0/month

Ease-of-use

A joy to operate

Best Price
Toast
Get Started
Processing

2.49% + 15 cents for card payments; 3.5% + 15 cents for transactions without a card present

Features

Cloud-based POS; No contract

Cost

Starts at $0/month

Ease-of-use

Small learning curve, 24/7 customer support

Best Mobile Option
Lightspeed
Get Started
Processing

2.6% + 10 cents per transaction

Features

Employees can clock in from their smartphones; Wireless cash drawer

Cost

Starts at $69/month

Ease-of-use

Simple

Best for Small Restaurants
Talech
Get Started
Processing

1% to 4.99% for card-present transactions

Features

Cloud-based POS; No contract

Cost

Starts at $29/month

Ease-of-use

Minimal training required

Best Capabilities
Epos Now
Get Started
Processing

2.6% + 10 cents per transaction

Features

Real-time reporting; Multi-channel capability

Cost

Starts at $39/month

Ease-of-use

Train staff on it in minutes

Restaurant POS systems — or point-of-sale systems — are the hardware and software restaurants use to manage inventory, take customer orders, accept payments and more. Restaurants can also use these tools to efficiently calculate bills and track inventory.

The best restaurant POS systems offer robust features, easy-to-use interfaces and competitive pricing. To help you choose the right POS system for your business, we put together this list of the six best restaurant POS systems of 2023.

Our Top Picks for the Best Restaurant POS Systems

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Make payments effortless
Credit Card Processing Services are crucial for businesses to thrive and maintain a competitive edge. Click on your state below to find the plan that fits your business's needs.
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
View Plans

Best Restaurant POS System Reviews

Pros
  • Customizable customer loyalty programs
  • Ability to accept Venmo
Cons
  • Expensive hardware

Why we chose it: While most restaurant POS systems can provide some basic customer loyalty programs, Clover offers the most in-depth solution to keep your customers coming back.

Clover’s loyalty program automatically tracks customer purchase history and rewards them with discounts, coupons, freebies and more, giving your diners even more reasons to become frequent customers. The mobile app allows for easy ordering and payment, and you can sign customers up for loyalty programs at the counter.

Additionally, Clover makes it easy for your customers to earn points toward rewards. Every time they make a purchase, Clover’s system applies points automatically. When the customer has enough points for a reward, they’ll be notified before checking out. Your employees can then add the reward directly to the customer’s order.

Clover offers a variety of features specifically for restaurants. These features include order-level discounts, pick-up and delivery order types and stock tracking. Additional features include third-party menus, which can allow companies like Grubhub and DoorDash to make a simplified menu for easy online ordering. The system can also use PayPal, Venmo and traditional methods like cash and credit cards.

Clover’s restaurant point-of-sale system won the Restaurant Smart Terminal Provider of the Year award from the Strawhecker Group, which evaluates POS systems based on their comprehensiveness and versatility.

Accepts:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Gift cards
  • Contactless payments
  • EMV chip cards
  • Swipe cards
  • Contactless NFC Payments
  • Checks
  • Cash
  • PayPal
  • Venmo

Integrations:

  • Infuse
  • Abreeze Technology
  • True
  • MiPoint
  • Solupay
  • Direct Source
  • Chetu
  • Zoomifi

Pros
  • Free to get started
  • Exceptionally easy to use
  • Cost-effective hardware to scale your business
Cons
  • No phone support

Why we chose it: One of the most popular POS options, Square, offers more functionality than you might expect from a free solution. If you’re looking to save money on your restaurant payments, Square may be the answer.

Square is a free, easy-to-use credit card reader plugged into your smartphone’s headphone jack. The platform is the best free POS option for restaurants because it has no monthly fees. The Square POS app is accessible on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.

To take orders, manually scan your customer’s card with your iPad or phone and enter the credit card info for every transaction. Square also sells full-service POS terminals when you’re ready to upgrade.

For most businesses, it costs nothing to sign up and get started. Additional devices, however, cost $20 each to integrate. For each transaction, you pay 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions, 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file and 3.5% plus 15 cents for manual transactions or card-on-file invoices.

Square’s POS is great for anyone starting a food truck or any remote venture in the restaurant business. Square works offline and you can use it anywhere. This is especially useful if you’re catering an event and want to accept card payments or send invoices to clients.

Square also lets you track inventory and monitor customer feedback through the app’s reporting features. It’s easy to use — you can train new employees on how it works in less than 10 minutes. Square is an excellent option if you don’t want to spend a lot upfront or invest in expensive POS hardware that might not work out in the long run.

Accepts:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Prepaid credit cards
  • Afterpay
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay

Integrations:

  • Groupon
  • OpenTable
  • PeachWorks
  • Ritual
  • Spoonfed
  • Ritual Online Ordering
  • Otter
  • ItsaCheckmate
  • Pretamenu
  • Mobi2Go

Pros
  • No cost to get started
  • Easy to set up
Cons
  • Customer support is lackluster

Why we chose it: Toast offers one of the best POS systems for restaurants at the best price. Additionally, you can set up Toast’s POS system in just a few minutes. Toast also provides 24/7 customer service and technical support.

Restaurant POS systems can be expensive, but Toast is an affordable option that gets the job done. With Toast, there’s no software to install or updates to worry about. Plus, it’s easy to use and offers an offline mode so you can keep running your business when there’s a power outage.

Toast offers a flexible payment option that’s easy to manage. If you’re not ready to commit to a long-term contract, you can choose the company’s starter kit and pay as you go for the features you need. This is ideal if you have budget constraints or are still setting up your business.

Toast’s starter kit includes one terminal with $0 down for new customers. You’ll pay 2.99% plus 15 cents for card transactions. When you’re ready to upgrade to more terminals, you can purchase a standard license for $69 per month with a 2.49% plus a 15-cent processing fee per transaction.

Accepts:

  • Cash
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Gift cards
  • Prepaid credit cards
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay

Integrations:

  • Staples Connect
  • Rooam
  • DAVO
  • me&u
  • BarTrack
  • Mr Yum
  • Lunchbox
  • Yumpingo
  • Open Table

Pros
  • Easy to train new employees on
  • Wireless cash drawer
  • Transportable and compatible with mobile devices
Cons
  • No short-term contract options

Why we chose it: Lightspeed allows you to better understand what your business is doing and improve day-to-day operations due to its transportability. It’s easy to use, cost-effective and equipped with various integrations that help streamline your business.

Lightspeed is compatible with many devices like iPads, tablets and smartphones, so it’s easy for staff to use throughout your restaurant. It also allows you to easily track inventory on the go. LightSpeed simplifies payroll management by allowing employees to clock in and out on their phones or tablets. As a result, you’ll spend less time on administrative tasks, which is especially helpful for small businesses with few staff members.

For many restaurant owners, choosing between a full-sized traditional POS system and a mobile point-of-sale system is easy. The latter has many benefits in terms of cost and flexibility. Bringing your POS to your tables can increase efficiency, as servers won’t have to go back and forth to make orders and bring receipts. You can also use your phone to manage your entire operation, from orders to inventory to tracking sales trends.

Additionally, with BlueCheck, DAVO, Drizzly and many other software solutions available through the app, you can increase efficiency in all areas of your restaurant.

Lightspeed’s service starts at $69.00 per month and goes up to $269 per month. Each plan has a 2.6% plus 10-cent card processing fee. You can also negotiate a custom fee with a Pro plan.

Accepts:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards

Integrations:

  • MarketMan
  • 7shifts
  • Drizzly
  • BevSpot
  • Chowly
  • DAVO
  • DigiValet
  • Flipdish
  • GourmetMiles
  • KitchenCut
  • BlueCheck

Pros
  • Robust table management features
  • Contactless payments
  • Affordable solutions for small restaurants
Cons
  • Very limited integrations compared to other systems on this list

Why we chose it: Talech’s POS system has been developed specifically with the challenges of smaller restaurants in mind, helping you with a lot of the administrative tasks your staff may need support with. Talech also offers a range of plan options for your budget.

Talech POS is a cloud-based point of sale. Everything you need to run your business will be in the cloud and accessible from any device, anywhere, at any time. It's designed to be user-friendly and easy to use, with minimal training required. The system includes a reservation booking feature to organize guests and ensure they're not waiting too long for a table.

Talech also makes check-splitting easy by letting you divide your guest’s bills into equal portions based on their seat location. Plus, Talech’s software gives you the flexibility to set up any number of different seating arrangements so you can easily adapt to large parties and events. You can also use Talech’s POS system to implement contactless dining. This includes an order queue where customers can see what’s happening at each station and watch their food being prepared while they wait.

Talech’s software is available for free on iOS and Android devices, but terminal-based options start at $29 per month. If you’re looking for a more robust solution that includes hardware terminals, cloud storage, reporting and inventory management features, consider monthly packages that range from $29 per month to $99 per month. Card processing fees range from 1% to 4.99%, depending on your plan.

Accepts:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Gift cards
  • Store credit
  • Employee vouchers

Integrations:

  • homebase
  • Xero
  • sage
  • EPSON
  • FreshKDS

Pros
  • Full suite of restaurant management software
  • Extremely user friendly
Cons
  • Extra fees for individualized support features

Why we chose it: Epos Now is a versatile and easy-to-use POS system with a range of tools that help you manage your restaurant. Notably, it helps make staff onboarding and training quick and uncomplicated.

Epos Now’s devices feature touchscreen displays and intuitive menus so onboarding and training documentation and processes are all in one place. This POS system also has built-in features for online ordering, delivery, collection and multi-channel capability. Whether you’re a small takeaway restaurant or a large chain of restaurants, Epos Now can work for your needs.

Epos Now also offers real-time reporting on staff, customers, sales, margin and stock so you can manage and grow your business. With a complete overview of the operation at any given time, it’s easy for restaurant managers to make adjustments that will lead to success. In addition, Epos Now gives you insights into customer patterns so you can tailor your marketing efforts to get more return customers.

Accepts:

  • Credit cards
  • Debit cards
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Samsung Pay
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Stripe
  • Revolut
  • Email
  • SMS

Integrations

  • Quickbooks
  • Kitchen Display System
  • Sage
  • Workforce.com
  • Epos Now Delivery
  • Epos Now Order and Pay
  • International Bancard
  • EVO Payments
  • Bulk Import
  • Multi-Site Manager
  • Loyalty

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Boost your business potential with a Credit Card Processing Service
Credit cards have become one of the most prevalent methods of payment. As a result, incorporating a reliable Credit Card Processing Service into your business is a must. Click below to discover the perfect fit for your business.
View Plans

Other restaurant POS systems we considered

TouchBistro

Pros
  • Add-on options enable new restaurants to scale affordably
  • Easy to train employees on the system
  • Flexible options
Cons
  • Lengthy contracts
  • Limited insights into reporting

With the TouchBistro POS, you can streamline backend processes and focus on what really matters: providing top-notch customer service and preparing delicious food for your guests. The system enables a range of features such as visual menus and customer loyalty program software to fit your restaurant’s needs.

Why TouchBistro didn’t make the cut: On the downside, plans start at $69 per month and don’t include the cost of hardware options, which you must purchase individually.

PayPal Zettle

Pros
  • Simple platform to use and train employees on
  • Multiple methods of payment
Cons
  • Reviews note delays on order processing
  • Limited add-on features and integrations

PayPal Zettle (formerly Paypal Here) is one of the most user-friendly apps on the market that allows you to easily process credit cards from your phone with no hidden fees. It also provides reporting, sales tracking and inventory management tools.

Why PayPal Zettle didn’t make the cut: PayPal Zettle’s features are limited. With no monthly fees and affordable hardware costs, this may be a good option for entry-level restaurants that don’t need complicated features but are prioritizing affordability.

Best Restaurant POS System Guide

There are so many restaurant POS systems out there, and it can be difficult to find the right one to meet your needs. When searching for a POS system, keep the following information in mind.

What is a restaurant POS system?

A restaurant POS system is an electronic cash register that manages your inventory and tracks sales. A POS system can also help you collect data about what’s working — and what isn’t working — with your business. Running a restaurant requires a lot of work, but having the right tools and systems in place can make it easier and provide useful insights into your business.

How do restaurant POS systems work?

Restaurant point-of-sale systems keep track of all customer orders, calculate taxes and save customer data. Here’s how a POS system typically works at a restaurant:

  1. When a guest places an order at your restaurant, the server enters the order into a POS.
  2. The POS solution calculates tax and saves the details of the sale in its system.
  3. An order slip and a receipt are printed out.
  4. The server gives the order slip to the cooks who make the meal, and the server will later provide the customer with a receipt.
  5. The receipts are saved as a backup in the event that the POS system malfunctions.

How to pick a restaurant POS system for restaurant owners

When you’re the owner of a restaurant, thousands of little details and considerations go into making sure your business runs smoothly and continues to thrive for years to come. Of course, if you don’t pay close attention to this area of your business, you could wind up losing money.

Below are some key considerations as you choose a POS system.

Payment processing

If you’re looking for the best restaurant POS system for your business, consider what kind of payment processing you’ll need. Think about whether your customers will need both cash and card payments. Also consider alternative methods such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Some systems offer more payment options than others, so it’s important to understand your customers' needs before choosing.

Inventory management

A good restaurant POS system should allow you to track and adapt inventory while alerting you of sold-out items. This is especially important for larger restaurants with many items and large amounts of stock. Consider the capabilities of each POS system’s inventory management feature before making a decision.

Reporting

If you want to know what’s happening in your restaurant, you need detailed sales reports you can access anytime. With the right system, you’ll be able to see sales by individual menu items so you can make better decisions about your menu and how much food you need to buy. If you ever have to investigate missing profits due to theft or negligence, a solid reporting feature on your restaurant’s POS will help you identify the issue and recover more quickly.

Third-party integrations

It’s also important to consider the third-party apps you’re currently using and whether the POS system you’re interested in is compatible. For instance, if a lot of your sales come from Uber Eats, confirm the POS system can integrate with the app. If you want developers to create custom interfaces for you, also look into whether the platform has an API.

Ordering online capabilities

You should look for a system that offers full capabilities for all your online ordering needs. This way you can take orders from anywhere, no matter what your hours are.

Billing and payments

It’s essential to understand a restaurant POS system’s billing and payment policies before committing to a platform. Some key questions you should ask include:

  • Is there a monthly fee or a flat credit card processing fee?
  • What are the payment processing options?
  • How does the system handle tips?

Restaurant POS Systems FAQ

How much does a POS system cost for a restaurant?

chevron-down
chevron-up
POS systems consist of two parts: hardware and software. The cost of a restaurant POS system depends on which plan you choose and which features you want it to have. Hardware generally costs anywhere from $400 to $2,500 as a one-time cost, or between $55 and $260 per month on a lease. Software costs can range, from $0 to $150 per month, depending on what features you need. You'll also pay processing fees for each transaction,

How much does it cost to build a restaurant POS system?

chevron-down
chevron-up
If you hire a software company to build a custom POS, the cost of restaurant POS systems can reach tens of thousands of dollars. While it's costly, this option will give you more control over what's included in your POS system. You can customize your needs based on specific restaurant industry metrics or features that are important to your business.

Hiring a software company to build a custom POS is more time-consuming than purchasing a prebuilt solution from a POS vendor. If you order a custom POS, be sure you have at least six months before opening your doors to ensure all details are taken care of and that there are no surprises when it's time to launch.

How do you calculate ROI on a restaurant POS system?

chevron-down
chevron-up
To calculate return on investment (ROI) on a restaurant POS system, first determine the key factors you think the POS is influencing, such as table turnover and inventory management. Then, calculate your costs and revenue since implementing the POS system. Finally, divide the extra revenue you generate using a POS by the cost to implement the system. You can use data directly from the POS to evaluate some of the factors you're considering, while other factors may be more subjective.

Compare what percentage return you're getting on these factors. For example, if you spent $5,000 on your restaurant's new point-of-sale system in one year and made $6,000 in additional revenue from things like increased upsells and fewer inventory errors, your ROI would be 20%.

How We Chose the Best Restaurant POS Systems

Choosing the right restaurant POS system can be difficult due to the number of options available. Here are our criteria for choosing the best POS systems.

Payment processing

While there are a number of features to consider when choosing a restaurant point-of-sale system, we picked companies with multiple payment methods. We also looked at companies that have a variety of pricing structures and packages.

Features

Many POS systems come with new and modern features like contactless payments and table management. We focused on companies that have these cutting-edge features for those who want to make their business run more efficiently.

Cost

For entry-level and small restaurants with limited budgets, we chose companies that have a free or low barrier for entry but still offer quality features. We also included some of the best value POS systems for restaurants with more complex or customized needs.

Ease-of-use

We picked systems that are easy to use and train employees on to ensure you’re saving time and maximizing the value of your POS system investment.

Integrations

We picked companies with tons of integration options so you can continue using the apps and software that you rely on most to keep your restaurant thriving.

Summary of Money’s Best Restaurant POS Systems of 2023