The list of tasks that you have to do as a restaurant owner is seemingly never-ending. From tracking inventory to managing staff, running a restaurant can be incredibly demanding. One of the best ways to automate some of these jobs is through a point of sale (POS) system.
A POS system is a necessity in any restaurant. Depending on the type of technology that you purchase, your POS system can take on any number of assignments. This can then free up your time to focus on other aspects of your business, like developing a strategy to attract new customers.
At Budget Branders, we know how challenging it can be to run a small business. That is why we are dedicated to helping our fellow entrepreneurs maximize their marketing efforts with a line of custom-branded disposable products. Read on to learn more about the best restaurant POS systems for 2023 – and beyond.
Why Do You Need a POS System?
Running a restaurant is hard work. Not only do you have to serve great food and provide outstanding service, but you also have to keep track of all sorts of things, from employee hours to inventory to cash flow. One way to streamline the process is through a POS system.
A POS system is more than just a fancy cash register. Yes, a POS system can and will track sales. But it can also do a whole lot more, including:
- Processing credit cards
- Taking tableside orders
- Linking sales to employees to reduce theft
- Sending orders to the kitchen
- Reducing order errors
- Tracking most popular menu items and food usage
- Serving as a time clock
- Organizing profit and loss statements
- Calculating sales tax
- Assisting in the preparation of payroll
- Calculating menu prices based on food cost percentage
- Offering upsell prompts
- Creating customer loyalty programs
- Developing targeted marketing campaigns
- Managing your floor in real time
- Taking online orders
Ultimately, a POS system is one of the most important pieces of technology that you can purchase for your restaurant. It can serve as the hub of your operations, making your business run more smoothly and efficiently.
Top 10 Restaurant POS Systems for 2023
There are lots of POS systems available, including ones that can work for many types of businesses. While it is possible to utilize a retail POS system for your restaurant, we recommend purchasing a system that is specifically designed for a restaurant. Doing so allows you to take advantage of certain features, like menu management, specialized reporting, inventory tracking, floor plan management, and tableside ordering, that simply won’t be available in a standard retail POS system.
Below, we outline our top picks for restaurant POS systems for 2023.
Toast is often considered one of the best restaurant POS systems, and for good reason. Unlike many other POS systems, Toast is designed for restaurants – not for retail stores. It’s easy to use, with an Android-based operating system that is intuitive for most smartphone users.
Top Toast features include:
- Spill-proof hardware
- Tableside payment support
- Online delivery module
- Contactless payment options
- Ability to close out multiple parties at once
- Mobile app order options
- Pay As You Go plan
Toast’s starter plan begins at $0 per month, with its highest level plan (the growth plan) set at $340 per month. These prices factor in hardware costs, with a starter kit costing $799. The exact price will depend on which hardware you choose and the add-on features you select.
Like Toast, TouchBistro is designed for restaurants. One of its most important features is that this POS system can fully operate while offline, which means that your business can keep going even if the internet is down.
The TouchBistro POS system allows you to promote your most popular menu items to customers, use a mobile app to process transactions tableside, manage your inventory, track costs, and monitor staff activity. The system is user-friendly, with a modern design. However, it does not include a credit processor, so you will need to integrate a third party processor with the system
Pricing starts at $69 per month for a bare-bones system. There are a number of add-ons, such as a reservations module ($229/month), that increase the cost significantly. TouchBistro offers a payment basis that can be set up after negotiating a final price.
Revel offers a cloud-based POS system that allows you to manage employees, track sales, check table vacancy, and update inventory in real time through a single console. It is incredibly easy to set up and use, which is a huge benefit for business owners who may be overwhelmed by technology.
Revel’s payment plans start at $99 per month for an annual plan. Beyond this basic price, you will need to contact Revel directly to get a customized quote for the hardware and software that you want for your restaurant.
Clover is best-known for its retail POS system. However, it also provides a great restaurant POS system. One of its key features is the ability to set up online ordering and curbside pickup through DoorDash, UberEats and Chowly. It also allows restaurants to set up scannable QR codes so that dine-in guests can access digital menus, contactless payments, and customizable business web pages.
Clover has two payment plans for restaurants, based on the type of establishment. For quick service, the cost is $39.95 per month, plus a transaction fee. For table service restaurants, the cost is $69.95 per month (plus transaction fees). Equipment costs range from $99 to $1,649, depending on what items you purchase.
Lightspeed Restaurant is a good option for a range of establishments, from fast-casual restaurants to food trucks to bars and nightclubs. Its plans include customizable reports, floor plan designs, inventory management, and integration with accounting software.
The basic plan for Lightspeed Restaurant starts at $69 per month. Each regular add-on costs $12 per month, while premium add-ons (like customer loyalty programs) cost $39 per month.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably seen or used a Square POS terminal at some point in the past several years. Square is incredibly popular among all types of businesses, including restaurants. It offers great features such as menu management, bulk additions, third-party integration, table management, ticket routing, sales reports, and more.
Square is free to get started, and serves businesses of all sizes. For restaurants, a basic plan starts at $60 per month, plus transaction fees. Extras like a loyalty program will cost more per month.
For larger restaurants, Epos Now is a great option. One of its best features is its employee management tools, such as access code pins, clock-in and clock-out functions, and comprehensive training sessions. It also has detailed inventory and stock management functions, take-out, delivery and in-store pick-up options, and third-party integrations for reservations, ecommerce, accounting and more.
Epos Now has a simple interface that makes it simple for anyone to use, and it’s quick and easy to set up. Its plans start at $39 per month, plus hardware bundles (such as the full Epos Now POS system for $999). Pricing will vary based on the add-ons and hardware selected.
For smaller restaurants, Upserve POS systems are a solid choice. It offers personalized onboarding, an offline mode, 24/7 support, tableside ordering, and bill-splitting. With its platform, you can also set up online ordering and delivery and access reporting and analytics.
The basic Core plan costs $59 per month, with each terminal costing an additional $60 per month. Advanced features like inventory management will cost more each month. The Pro and Enterprise plans ($199 and $359 per month, respectively) offer more features, and may be a better option based on your restaurant’s needs.
One of the biggest challenges that many restaurants face in the COVID-19 era is near-constant staff turnover. Lavu’s POS systems offer a solution, with options for onboarding and training new employees. It also provides a centralized menu, metrics on inventory and sales, employee scheduling, and open API so that you can integrate it with any number of apps.
Lavu has one pricing plan for software: $69 per month when billed annually, or $79 per month when billed monthly. This only includes on terminal, so if you need more than one, you’ll have to contact Lavu directly for a customized quote.
Cake is a restaurant POS system that has some good features, like a dedicated training money, multiple payment processing options, bill-splitting, a guest manager system, texting for reservations, table management, and reporting features. It also works offline.
Pricing starts at $69 per month, plus $49 for each extra terminal. However, this basic plan does not include the Guest Manager service. To take advantage of these features, you will need to add it as a bundle with the POS software for $79 per month.
How Budget Branders Can Help Your Business Soar
For nearly two years, restaurants, bars and other service businesses have struggled through the COVID-19 pandemic – with seemingly no end in sight. A good POS system can help you navigate these difficult times, allowing you to set up take-out, curbside pickup, and even manage your tables to allow for social distancing.
Budget Branders is here to help small businesses stay profitable throughout the pandemic. We work hard to help restaurants like yours get the custom printed supplies that you need, at prices and in quantities that work for the average restaurant owner. We offer a full range of branded cups, bowls, and bags to help you expand your brand’s reach and increase marketing efforts.
To learn more about our products, give us a call at 888-373-4880, or submit a quote request for one or more of our products. Our branding experts are always available to answer questions. Simply press the live chat button to get started.