5 Best Food Truck POS Systems 2023

POS for food trucks

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If you’re looking for the best POS system to get your food truck moving, spoiler alert: we believe Zettle’s the one that can get you up to speed. Free software, no set up fees, and simple hardware make it a great choice for your on-the-move joint.

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In this article, we’ll detail more of Zettle’s perks, but also give you four other solid options for you to consider. You’ll find the tastiest bits of our research into POS systems spread throughout, covering the criteria we used to find our ranking, including features, price, and support.

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Zettle

Square

Clover

TouchBistro

Toast

Price

$0/month

Price

$0/month

Plus: $60/month

Price

Software: custom

Hardware: from $49

Price
Price
Best for

Overall

Best for

Ecommerce integration

Best for

New businesses

Best for

Multiple locations

Best for

Scalability

Key Features
  • Free software
  • No monthly fees
  • Simple setup
Key Features
  • Website building and hosting
  • Free online ordering page
  • Free software
Key Features
  • Speedy order processing
  • Merchant cash advance platform
  • Various integrations
Key Features
  • Best reporting among companies surveyed
  • 24/7 help and support
  • Based on add-ons
Key Features
  • Hardware allows for fast checkout
  • Advanced plans incorporate payroll and team scheduling tools
  • Offline mode

What's the Best POS Systems for Food Trucks?

1. Zettle – Best Overall

Zettle
4.4
Quick overview

Zettle is a triple threat, offering free software, no monthly fees, and simple setup, making it the best overall option for food trucks. It scores 4.4/5 in our research into POS systems for restaurants.

Its pricing, which scores 5/5, is Zettle’s main course when it comes to getting food trucks selling without a high, ongoing investment.

Its wide reporting on sales and staff performance helps it score 4.4/5 in restaurant features, despite not being as detailed as its competitors, like TouchBistro. It also lacks marketing and loyalty add-ons - something that Square offers.

Its help and support is comprehensive, nabbing 4/5 in our research. Its contact centre is available on weekdays, between 9am and 5pm (like Square’s), and it trumps Toast by including email and live chat options. That said, it lacks the automatic backup feature that Clover offers.

2. Square – Best for Ecommerce Integration

Square
4.7
Quick overview

Square’s the way to go if you’d like your food truck to claim a corner on the internet. It scores 4.7/5 overall in our research into POS systems for restaurants.

Square’s plethora of tools include ecommerce integration and a free online ordering page. This is a treat for food trucks that want in on the internet deal, but don’t want to invest in a full website. Unsurprisingly, it scores 4.8/5 in restaurant features.

Square boasts free software, and one of the cheapest readers among the ones we surveyed. This led to Square’s perfect 5/5 score for pricing - tying with Zettle and Clover.

Square’s help and support is offered via phone, email, live chat, and an extensive knowledge center. This puts it on par with TouchBistro, which also scores a 4/5 in this category.

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3. Clover – Best for New Businesses

clover logo
Clover
4.5
Quick overview

If your food truck is starting out, Clover is a great option for you. It scores an overall 4.5/5 in our research into POS systems for restaurants.

Clover’s speedy order processing, merchant cash advance platform, and various integrations see it score 4.6/5 for restaurant features.

Clover offers free software for payments only, though you’d have to shell out for the hardware first - the cheapest costs $49. This contributed to its perfect 5/5 score for pricing

Importantly, Clover only allows you to use its native payment processor. If you already have one but are browsing for a new POS system, you’ll be better served by providers that allow third-party payment integration, like TouchBistro.

Also, Clover lacks the live chat feature that competitors like Square offer, which sees  it score 3/5 for help and support.

4. TouchBistro – Best for Multiple Locations

TouchBistro
4.2
Quick overview

If you already run a couple of food trucks (or more), and are looking for a trusted way to manage them in one go, TouchBistro’s your best bet. It scores 4.2/5 overall in our research into POS systems for restaurants.

TouchBistro offers the best reporting among the providers we surveyed. These reports include inventory tracking by ingredient, for example, and are a convenient way for you to oversee your multi-location business. This helps it score 4.8/5 in restaurant features.

However, its pricing structure, based on chargeable add-ons and hardware subscriptions, makes it pricier than competitors like Clover and Zettle. Its 2.8/5 score for pricing reflects this.

TouchBistro’s help and support scores a high 4/5. Like Square, it runs a contact center via phone, email, and live chat. Crucially, it’s also available 24/7.

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5. Toast – Best for Scalability

Toast
4
Quick overview

Food truck owners who want to grow without worrying about scalability should definitely take a look at using Toast. It scores 4/5 overall in our research into POS systems for restaurants.

Toast’s features are hospitality-focused. For food trucks, its Toast Flex for Guest hardware allows for a faster checkout with a customer-facing screen. Conveniently, the advanced plans incorporate payroll and team scheduling tools. These lead to its near-perfect score of 4.9/5 for restaurant features.

Despite offering a free tier, plans like the Restaurant Basic ($110/month) and Essentials ($165/month) are pricey. This contributes to its 3/5 score for pricing.

However, help and support is Toast’s Achilles’ heel. Its only contact option is via phone, and it lacks the backup feature that Square and TouchBistro offer. This is why it only scores a low 1/5 in this category.

Alternative Food Truck POS Systems

Talech and Lightspeed Restaurants (Lightspeed’s hospitality-focused variation) offer good alternative POS systems for food trucks, even though they’re not strictly tailored for them.

They both score 4.1/5 in our research, though we consider Talech to be slightly better because it scores higher in pricing and help and support.

Talech

Talech comes with reporting and analytic functions, as well as inventory management. It also integrates with third-party accounting and KDS partners. Due to that, it scores 4.6/5 in restaurant features.

Talech offers a free (albeit limited) plan, and its pricing plan is on the cheap side overall. The bespoke option aside, all of its plans are under $100/month. For that, it scores 4/5 for pricing.

Talech runs a contact centre via email, live chat, and phone – the latter option is available 24/7. It also hosts a knowledge center and has a backup feature, which helps it score 4/5 for help and support.

Lightspeed Restaurants

Lightspeed Restaurants offers highly detailed reports. Coupled with an integration (powered by third-party aggregator, Deliverect), you’ll be able to integrate online ordering with major platforms.

These tools drive it to the highest score in restaurant features in our research (4.9/5, tied with Toast). That said, it also includes floorplan management, which isn’t of much use to food trucks.

It doesn’t offer a free plan, and its hardware is offered in custom price bundles. This sees it score a low 2.3/5 for pricing.

Lightspeed Restaurants offers a backup feature and a knowledge center. It can be contacted via email, live chat, and phone in English, French and Dutch, but is only available 24/7 in English. It scores an above average 3/5 for help and support.

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What’s the Most Cost Effective Food Truck POS System?

Square is the most cost effective food truck POS system among the ones we surveyed. Like Zettle, it also offers free software but Square’s reader is cheaper. Square also allows you to sell online for free and offers powerful add-ons that allow you to build upon it.

Even considering its paid tiers and services, Square offers good value for money. For example, Square for Restaurants’ paid middle-tier, which comes with a kitchen display system, costs $60 per month. This is cheaper than similar plans from Toast and TouchBistro.

How Did We Research Food Truck POS Systems?

To find out the best POS systems for food trucks, we doubled down on the nitty gritty of our broader research into POS systems for restaurants.

The initial research highlights restaurant features, such as reporting, inventory tools, and menu management, but also takes price and support into account. These results were then consolidated into scores out of five, which we discuss across the article.

We then review our findings and favour providers based on criteria that are specific to food trucks. Ultimately, POS systems with competitive pricing and focused on the checkout experience made the top of the ranking.

Long Story Short…

Zettle is the provider that is best suited to cater to the needs of food trucks. Its low price, lack of setup charges, ease of use, and predictable transaction fees make it a great choice to kickstart your streetside take-away.

It’s worth noting Zettle lacks advanced business development tools, like marketing and loyalty programmes, and its support centre isn’t available 24/7.

If you’re still in doubt though, give our free comparison tool a test drive. Just fill in our super quick form and you will receive custom quotes in no time!

Best Food Truck POS Systems FAQs

What are the benefits of a POS system for food trucks?
POS systems fasten and streamline the sales process – which is crucial for a time-sensitive service, such as a food truck. It also allows for data gathering that you can use to track sales, staff performance, and manage stock.
What's the best POS system for restaurants?
Square is the best POS system for restaurants. It scores 4.8/5 in our research into this field. This result was largely due to its combination of hospitality-focused features and cheap price.
What should I look for in a POS system?
You should look for a POS system that’s scalable, easy to use, and offers reliable help and support. It should also come with solid reporting, so you can better manage your business.
How much does a POS system cost?
POS systems cost on average $100 – $200 for startups, and more than $1,000 for multi-location behemoths. Their price tag relates to the sum of software and hardware costs, plus setup and transaction fees.
Written by:

Lucas is a Brazilian-born journalist and Expert Market’s go-to writer for all things EPOS systems, merchant accounts, and franking machines. Having covered business, politics and technology for many years, he’s driven by his passion for the written word and his goal to help people make well-informed decisions.