Written by Lucas Pistilli Reviewed by Ruairi Shirlow Updated on 24 October 2022 On this page 1. Square for Restaurants - Best overall 2. Zettle - Best for small businesses 3. TouchBistro Restaurants - Best for scaling 4. Epos Now - Best for chains 5. Lightspeed Restaurants - Best for advanced features Our methodology Verdict Best pub & bar EPOS Systems FAQs Expand Our site is reader-supported – by clicking our links, we can match you with a potential supplier, and we may earn a small commission for this referral. After a thorough research deep dive, we’ve found Square for Restaurants to be the best EPOS system for pubs and bars. It achieves this top spot by combining helpful features – such as a kitchen display system, and table management tools – alongside a killer price.We have pretty good runner-ups as well, which may serve you better, depending on your specific needs. We cover them in this article, so feel free to read on.If you feel like cutting to the chase, you can find the EPOS system best suited to you by having a look below: What's the Best EPOS System for Bars & Pubs? These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our cost comparison tool to find the best value service for your businessSquare – Best overallZettle – Best for small businessesTouchBistro – Best for scaling businessesEpos Now – Best for chainsLightspeed – Best for advanced features Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Best Overall Square for Restaurants Zettle TouchBistro Epos Now Lightspeed Restaurants Score 4.7 Score 4.4 Score 4.2 Score 4.2 Score 4.2 Best for Overall Best for Small businesses Best for Scaling Best for Chains Best for Advanced features Pricing From £0/month Pricing £0/month Pricing From £69/month Pricing From £17/month Pricing From £59/month Free Trial/Plan Free Trial/Plan Free Trial/Plan Free Trial/Plan Free Trial/Plan Pros Cheap hardwareEcommerce integration Pros Free Accepts 13 card types Pros Easy to useOffers self-service kiosk Pros Insightful reportingGreat CRM system Pros Highly customisableEasy to use Cons Transaction fee build upLimited CRM platform Cons Transaction fee buildupFew business development tools Cons 12-month minimum commitmentPricing structure makes it pricey Cons CostlyCan get glitchy Cons Only runs on Mac devicesDoesn't offer training mode Thirsty for a price comparison? Get free quotes 1. Square for Restaurants – Best overall Square for Restaurants 4.7 Quick overview Square for Restaurants is the hospitality version of the EPOS system, Square. It offers a free plan, but its middle-tier steals the show because it is packed with a plethora of features for a cheaper price than Lightspeed and TouchBistro. This grants it a high 4.7/5 in our research.You can also access its impressive data crunch through granular, daily reports as well as summaries on sales and payment trends. The level of detail in its reports beats the ones provided by Epos Now and Lightspeed.Square for Restaurants also comes with a free and customisable online store, which syncs online orders with the EPOS system. This native ecommerce integration puts Square in a better position than Zettle, but is similar to the one Epos Now offers.In its paid versions, you can link an unlimited number of devices to the Square Kitchen Display System, which manages orders via digital back-of-house tickets.These versions also give you access to the advanced version of Square’s team management platform, allowing you to track your staff’s activity and performance. Read more + Read less - Strengths Cheap hardware Ecommerce integration Weaknesses Transaction fee build up Limited CRM platform Square pricingHardware: starts at £16.Software: free, £69, or custom. 2. Zettle – Best for small businesses Zettle 4.4 Quick overview Zettle is an EPOS system that is best suited to roadside eateries. For starters, it’s free and its reader is cheap. Granted, Zettle’s reader is not as cheap as Square’s, but it’s still the way to go if you need a quick and simple solution. Led by its pricing, it scores 4.4/5 in our research.Zettle offers plenty of till hardware options. In addition to a reader, you can complete your setup with a cash drawer, a tablet stand, and a printer, for example.If peace of mind is what you're after, you'll love that Zettle accepts payments from 13 card types - which is seven more than Square.It produces reports on sales and staff performance, though they are not as detailed as the ones offered by Square and TouchBistro. It also lacks marketing and loyalty add-ons - something that Square offers.Its contact centre is available on weekdays, between 9am and 5pm (like Square’s), but it lacks the backup feature that is offered by TouchBistro. Read more + Read less - Strengths Free Accepts 13 card types Weaknesses Transaction fee buildup Few business development tools Zettle pricingHardware: starts at £29.Software: free. 3. TouchBistro – Best for scaling businesses TouchBistro 4.2 Quick overview TouchBistro is the EPOS system for pub or bar owners looking to scale. Fully cloud based, it was designed to cater to the hospitality industry. Its restaurant features help it score 4.2/5 in our research - tying with Epos Now - and become one of the best EPOS providers in the UKTouchBistro's crowning jewel is its reporting system, which is the most thorough among the companies we researched. It provides over 50 detailed reports, including average spending, inventory tracking, and sales per item or category - a comprehensive offering when compared with Square for Restaurants and Lightspeed Restaurants.It also lets you opt for extra accessories, such as a self-service kiosk and a customer-facing display, which can be customised to align with your branding.That said, its pricing structure is based on chargeable add-ons and hardware subscriptions, which makes it pricier than competitors like Clover and Zettle.It offers no free plan and it requires you to commit a minimum one-year contract. If you don’t already own an iPad, you will also need to purchase one (or more) because it only runs on those devices. Read more + Read less - Strengths Easy to use Offers self-service kiosk Weaknesses 12-month minimum commitment Pricing structure makes it pricey TouchBistro pricingSoftware: starts at £69. Would you like to save on EPOS Systems? Compare quotes now 4. Epos Now – Best for chains Epos Now 4.2 Quick overview Epos Now is a customisable EPOS system that is best suited to serve chain pubs and bars. It includes features, such as inventory management, trends tracking, floorplan customisation, and a touchscreen display that is easy to use. Due to this, it scores 4.2/5 in our research - tying with TouchBistro.A unique feature of EPOS Now is that it has a built-in customer relationship management (CRM) system. With it, you can build a customer base and create loyalty programs and special offers. This is a key tool to engage regulars.Epos Now offers sales reporting, such as employee performance and end-of-day summaries, though, overall, it does generate fewer reports than Square for Restaurants and TouchBistro.Epos Now integrates with 19 third-party providers that expand on its capabilities - 10 more than Zettle.However, Epos Now is more expensive than Square and Zettle. One of the reasons why is that these two providers offer their software for free. Their hardware starts at £16 and £29, respectively, which is a far cry from Epos Now’s cheapest hardware, which costs £29 per month on a yearly contract. Read more + Read less - Strengths Insightful reporting Great CRM system Weaknesses Costly Can get glitchy Epos Now pricingPackagePriceHandheld£29/month (plus £0 upfront), or £15/month (plus £149 upfront)Complete£47/monthTablet£549/year 5. Lightspeed Restaurants – Best for advanced features Lightspeed Restaurants 4.2 Quick overview From Lightspeed Inventory to Lightspeed Live, Lightspeed has a number of features to help you seamlessly manage your bar. This includes real-time reporting, managing suppliers from one place, and quick menu editing. Overall, it scores 4.1/5 in our research.The provider is the hospitality variation of the EPOS system, Lightspeed, and offers a highly customisable solution. If you don’t need an extensive level of customisation, you can opt for one of its ready-made packages. Plus, Lightspeed Restaurants packs the largest amount of restaurant features among the EPOS systems in this ranking.Besides its own Lightspeed Delivery platform (powered by third-party provider, Deliverect), it offers integration with 10 other online ordering platforms, which means you have plenty of choice to find one that suits your workflow.Lightspeed Restaurants comes with extensive inventory management tools, and you can access useful analytics related to employee performance, marketing, and sales.That said, it’s worth noting that, like Epos Now, Lightspeed Restaurants generates less report types than Square for Restaurants and TouchBistro. Read more + Read less - Strengths Highly customisable Easy to use Weaknesses Only runs on Mac devices Doesn't offer training mode Lightspeed Restaurants pricingPackagePriceEssentials£59/monthPlus£109/monthPro£339/monthEnterpriseCustom Drinks and some chips could cost you but here, you can… Get free quotes Our methodologyTo find out the best POS systems for pubs and bars, we doubled down on the nitty-gritty in our thorough research on the best POS systems for restaurants.The initial research highlights restaurant features, such as reporting, inventory tools, and menu management, but it also takes price and support into account. These results were then consolidated into the scores featured in this article.We then reviewed our findings and favoured providers based on criteria that is specific to pubs and bars.Ultimately, EPOS systems with competitive pricing and focused on reports and online ordering integration made the ranking. Verdict Combining low price and detailed reporting, it should come as no surprise that Square tops our ranking for the best EPOS systems for pubs and bars. For the punch it packs, it scores a high 4.7/5 in our research.To support our findings, we also gathered feedback from Square’s users. Its scores average an impressive 4.1/5 across five major review aggregators.If you’re still unsure about the right EPOS system for your business, use our quick and free comparison tool. We’ll match you with the providers most suited to your needs, and they’ll be in touch with tailored, obligation-free quotes! Best pub & bar EPOS Systems FAQs What is an EPOS system? EPOS stands for Electronic Point of Sale, and these systems are used by retailers to process customer transactions, keep track of inventory levels, access sales reporting and much more.EPOS covers both the software and hardware that make up a complete system, so this term includes the card readers and software used to take payments. What should I look for in an EPOS system? Alongside their primary function of taking and processing payments, many EPOS systems can help with a whole bunch of other processes. These include loyalty programs, marketing, employee management, stock management, and more.Your requirements will depend on your business, so get clear on what you need – for example, you may want to ramp up your marketing or create clear, flexible table plans. Whatever your requirements, there’s an EPOS system for you. How much do EPOS systems cost? EPOS systems cost, on average, between £90-£180 for starting businesses and more than £800 for multi-location behemoths. The price tag relates to the sum of software and hardware costs (some of which can come as monthly subscriptions), plus setup and transaction fees. Which is the best free EPOS system? Square is the best free EPOS system according to our research, due to its offer of solid reporting and ecommerce integration in its free plan. Which EPOS system is best for small businesses? Square is the best free EPOS system according to our research. Its lack of monthly fees and flat rate pricing benefits startups and new businesses. Which EPOS system is best for retail? Square is the best EPOS system for retail according to our research, scoring high points in each category we tested, such as stock management and ease of use. Its retail-specific variation offers a great amount of features for a low price. Written by: Lucas Pistilli Business Services Expert 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. 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.