Restaurant POS System Buyer’s Guide

pos for restaurants

By Dan Barraclough

Running a restaurant isn’t easy. But you don’t need us to tell you that.

When you’re not busy managing menus or keeping your customers happy, you’ve got sales data to analyze, fridges to refill, and piles of invoicing to put off do.

A great restaurant point-of-sale (POS) system connects every part of your business to streamline these tasks and help you run a more efficient operation.

In fact, 79% of restaurant operators believe the key to addressing these challenges is with advanced technologies, such as point-of-sale systems.

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Staff serving customers in a busy restaurant

A great restaurant POS system will do wonders for your customer service

What is a Restaurant POS System?

Restaurant POS systems offer advanced features to help you manage your restaurant. You can use restaurant POS software to track stock levels for items on your menu and manage employees’ schedules for payroll reporting. It also lets you track customer behaviour data to inform your marketing and sales strategy.

Restaurant POS software can also assist with the reporting and analytics side of things. It’ll show you where your business performs well and where there might be room for operational improvements, enabling you to make better, data-driven decisions.

Why Use a Restaurant POS System?

The best restaurant POS systems offer tons of benefits, including:

  • Simplifying communications between the kitchen and the servers
  • Handling staffing and scheduling
  • Tracking employee activity and performance
  • Keeping tabs on inventory levels and reminding you when to restock
  • Accepting multiple payment methods
  • Integrating with guest reservation and online ordering systems
  • Creating detailed sales and expense reports
  • Eliminating human error in calculations
  • Enabling a faster billing process for your staff and customers
  • Simplifying office reporting and accounting

Typical Restaurant POS System Features

Common features of restaurant POS software include:

  • Order entry
  • Order tracking
  • Inventory tracking
  • Customer database management
  • Marketing tools
  • Sales reporting tools
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Top Five Restaurant POS Systems

Buying a restaurant POS system is a big decision, but the right POS system can help you and your staff manage your establishment. Because there are so many restaurant POS systems on the market, it can be difficult to decide which one would be the best fit for your business.

To help you choose, we’ve ranked the five restaurant POS suppliers that we believe offer the best value for your money in 2020:

1. TouchBistro

TouchBistro is an iPad POS system designed by and for restaurant service staff. It aims to meet the unique needs of the industry and offers round-the-clock expert support via email and phone from restaurant owners, managers and servers. With TouchBistro you can handle staff and scheduling, floor plans and tables, manage inventory and process payments right from the iPad.

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2. Cake

The Cake mobile POS system sports an intuitive touchscreen that lets you enter orders and accept faster payments. The Guest Manager app for iOS is an addon that lets you accept reservations online and also allows your staff members to make changes in real-time. It lets you better manage waitlists and connects the front of the house to the dining room to speed up seating. Cake offers 24/7 phone and email support.

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3. Breadcrumb

Breadcrumb is as close to a perfect hospitality POS system as you'll find. Setup and installation couldn't be simpler, and there's a surprisingly deep set of features to boot. There's also a powerful analytics module that syncs with your mobile for real-time updates on the go. Customer support – once a weak point – now stands out.

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4. Revel

The Revel iPad restaurant POS lets you track sales, manage employees and update your inventory in real time from one console. Using the Revel iPad POS, your staff can take orders and process sales anywhere in your restaurant. The system even functions as a self-serve terminal so your customers can check out right at their tables. Revel offers 24/7 phone and web support to help you with any issues you might have.

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5. Epos Now

Epos Now caters to both hospitality and retail customers, but its restaurant POS system boasts a host of specialized features. Simple inventory management, straightforward accounting software integrations and a slick touchscreen display make their software a dream to use. 24/7 chat support and friendly customer care agents can solve virtually any issue.

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▶ Now read: Top 10 Restaurant POS Systems Breakdown

How Much Does Restaurant POS Software Cost?

For legacy software, you can expect to pay anywhere from $600 to more than $1000 per station for the software. For modern cloud-based software, you can expect to pay around $59 to $300+ per station.

Some companies offer free restaurant POS software, although you’ll still have to buy or lease the hardware.

Here are the monthly prices for restaurant POS systems from our top five suppliers:

The Costs of Restaurant POS System Software
Monthly PriceIncludes
TouchBistroSolo plan: $69/month
Dual plan: $129/month
Team plan: $249/month
Unlimited plan: $399/month
Supports one iPad
Supports two iPads
Supports up to five iPads
Supports unlimited iPads
CakeStarts at $69/mo 2-year subscriptionAccess to cloud capabilities, automatic updates
BreadcrumbStarts at $65 per locationFour mobile Breadcrumb terminals
RevelRevel iPad POS’s enterprise pricing information is only available upon requestiPads can be included upon request
Epos NowHardware starts from $1,799
Quotes for software are available upon request
Epos Now Pro-C15 terminal, receipt printer, cash drawer, software and installation

Next Steps

Restaurant POS software can help you simplify all the essential elements of running a restaurant, from the back of the house to the front.

You’ve got several important considerations to keep in mind when deciding which system to get for your restaurant. Chief among them should be ease of use, customer support, and the ability to integrate a system with software your business already uses.

Of course, price should also factor into your decision. Request free quotes to make sure you get the possible the best deal.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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