In any business, it’s important to turn customers into regulars. As a coffee shop? It’s really important.
You might think you make the best coffee in town, and maybe you do – but the truth is that to most people, a cup of coffee is basically the same product from one shop to another. And with so many outlets available, one poor service experience is all it takes to send a customer to a new place the next morning.
The right POS system can make all the difference.
We’ve chosen softwares that are affordable, and prioritize speed (so you can keep that line down) and ease of use (so new staff can get up and running as soon as possible).
Let’s take a look at which models came out on top:
What’s on this page?
Best POS systems for coffee shops
The best POS systems for coffee shops are: Square, Touchbistro, Toast, Revel and Lightspeed.
|Square||Best free POS software||Read Review|
|Touchbistro||Best iPad coffee shop POS||Read Review|
|Toast||Best for easy menu management||Read Review|
|Revel||Best for ease of use||Read Review|
|Lightspeed||Best for customer support and satisfaction||Read Review|
Best free POS software
The first thing worth noting about the Square POS? It’s a free software. Yep, you heard us right. All you need to buy is the Square hardware (between $49 for a contactless chip reader and $999 for the complete register). You’re then charged a transaction fee of between 2.75% and 2.5% + 10c, depending on the hardware you choose.
Square is very affordable, but that isn’t its only selling point – in fact, it more than holds its own against pricier competitors. No monthly license fee.
- No monthly software payments
- Sleek hardware with tiny, portable options for just $49
- Advanced analytics help you track staff hours, what's selling best, and your new vs returning customer ratio, among other functions
- Must use Square as a merchant account provider in order to use its POS system
- No ingredient inventory functionality
- Transaction fees will make this a less cost-effective option for larger businesses
Best iPad coffee shop POS
Touchbistro is a great POS system for any coffee shop, but if you suffer from long lines, or need multiple licenses, it will really come into its own. Take payments using just an iPad, allowing staff to take orders along the line as it forms.
Upselling prompts make sure you’re always selling more than just a cup of joe, while clever analytics show you where you’re best spending your time. Licences start at $89/month.
- Get up and running with just an iPad
- Excellent round-the-clock support over phone and email
- Self-ordering setting to speed up service
- Does occasionally suffer glitches
- Hardware is more expensive than with other providers, such as Square
Best for easy menu management
The Toast POS system has a number of handy features for coffee shop owners. You know that one guy who orders an extra hot soy latte with an extra ¾ shot of espresso and a sprinkling of cinnamon? Keep that guy happy with easy menu management, which lets you add modifiers with ease.
And keep your regulars… well, regulars, with easy-to-implement loyalty programs that are proven to increase visitation frequency and average ticket size. Licences start at $105/month.
- Customer-facing terminals with branded interfaces, for service that’s both speedy and sleek
- Mobile loyalty program to turn customers into regulars
- Detailed reporting and CRM to gain valuable insights into what makes your customers tick
- Basic software plan is more expensive than that of other POS systems
Best for ease of use
Even the flashiest POS system is useless if it’ll crash when the WiFi dips, or if the customer support team are nowhere to be seen. Revel POS systems can all run without internet, and its customer service team aim to answer your call within a minute.
The Revel software is compatible with most hardware types, so you can get up and running quickly. The simple interface is a win-win for both employees and customers. Licences start at $100/month.
- Compatible with most hardware types
- Integrates easily with Quickbooks and other softwares for easy accounting
- Inventory management, down to the last bean
- Dedicated phone line, with rapid customer service
- Again, one of the pricier POS systems on the market
- Not the most intuitive to setup, but very easy to use once it’s up and running
Best for customer support and satisfaction
With Lightspeed POS, the clue’s kind of in the name. Coffee shops tend to have a lot of staff on the go at once, and it’s important they can all get to grips with new software quickly. It’s also important that they can move customers along quickly, while still giving them the experience that’ll bring them back to your coffee shop rather than one of the other 10 on the block.
Lightspeed is quick, and it’s intuitive. Plus, you get one-on-one onboarding sessions, 24/7 support, webinars, demos and videos – all free of charge. It’s no wonder that 72% of people rate them as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot. Licenses start at $133/month.
- Rated 8.1/10 on Trustpilot: Lightspeed customers believe that the software adds real value to their business
- Great training and ongoing support offered
- Sleek hardware available, or simply use your own
- 14-day free trial available
- Most expensive POS featured
- The cheapest package only has quite scaled back analytics, meaning you’ll need to spend a bit more to feel the full benefit
All the coffee shop POS systems featured on this page have a whole host of features specific to the industry, and they all have many happy customers.
If you run a coffee shop and are looking for a new POS system, you might still be wondering which is the best option for you. Without comparing your own business’ needs and budgets with the option available, it’s hard to give a definitive answer of which software will suit your needs best.
How much does a POS system cost?
POS software can cost anywhere from $0/month to $200+/month, depending on the software and number of licenses needed. Check out our POS cost guide for information about total costs, including hardware.