Written by Dan Barraclough Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 7 December 2018 On this page Square Touchbistro Toast Revel Lightspeed Next steps How We Test POS Systems FAQs Expand 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:Best POS systems for coffee shopsThe best POS systems for coffee shops are: Square, Touchbistro, Toast, Revel and Lightspeed. 1Square★★★★★Best free POS softwareRead Review2Touchbistro★★★★★Best iPad coffee shop POSRead Review3Toast★★★★★Best for easy menu managementRead Review4Revel★★★★★Best for ease of useRead Review5Lightspeed★★★★★Best for customer support and satisfactionRead Review Find the best POS for your coffee shop COMPARE QUOTES 1. SquareBest free POS softwareThe 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. Pros 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 Cons 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 2. TouchbistroBest iPad coffee shop POSTouchbistro 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. Pros Get up and running with just an iPad Excellent round-the-clock support over phone and email Cons Does occasionally suffer glitches Hardware is more expensive than with other providers, such as Square 3. ToastBest for easy menu managementThe 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. Pros 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 Cons Basic software plan is more expensive than that of other POS systems Find the best POS for your coffee shop COMPARE QUOTES 4. RevelBest for ease of useEven 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. Pros 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 Cons 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 5. LightspeedBest for customer support and satisfactionWith 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. Pros 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 Cons 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 Next stepsAll 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.Pop a few details about your coffee shop in this form and we’ll match you with the top suppliers for your area, so you can see all your options and get quotes before making your decision. How We Test POS Systems for BusinessesWe tested 16 market-leading POS systems to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, price, features, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to Canadian businesses.Our rigorous testing process means these products have been scored and rated in eight main categories of investigation and 45 subcategories – in fact, we covered 61 areas of investigation in total. We then gave each category score a ‘relevance weighting' to ensure the product's final score perfectly reflects the needs and requirements of Expert Market readers – and that's our product testing algorithm in a nutshell!Our main testing categories for POS systems are:Till: the core functionality of the POS system, which includes the processing of sales transactions. It involves features such as item scanning, item look-up, and price calculation.Business Management: the features and tools provided by the POS system to support various aspects of running a business, such as employee management, shift scheduling, and customer management.Stock Management: the POS system's capabilities to manage inventory and track stock levels, including inventory tracking, stock alerts and transfers, and purchase order management.Business Development: the features and tools provided by the POS system to help businesses grow and improve their operations, e.g. customer relationship management, marketing integrations, and sales forecasting.Usability: how easily and intuitively the POS system can be used by the staff, including the user interface design, navigation, ease of training, and overall user experience during setup.Price: the cost associated with acquiring and using the POS system, such as the initial purchase cost, licensing fees, subscription plans, and any additional charges or ongoing costs.Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using the POS system including documentation, tutorials, or knowledge bases.Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the POS product. This can include dedicated restaurant and retail functionality including KDS, loyalty management, and multi employee login. FAQsHow 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. Written by: Dan Barraclough Dan’s a Senior Writer at Expert Market, specialising in digital marketing, web design, and photocopiers, amongst other topics. Reviewed by: Ruairi Shirlow Business Services Researcher Ruairi uses his 3+ years of research experience to uncover insights which can help Expert Market provide the best business solutions for their users. He has done this by meeting with business owners to find out what is important to them and what challenges they face on a daily basis. Ruairi specialises in tools that can be used to grow your business and has done research for a wide range of categories on Expert Market, such as EPOS, Website Builders, and Merchant Accounts.