Best EPOS Systems for Takeaway Businesses

women taking payment using EPOS system for takeaway food goods packaged in brown bag

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Our thorough research says Square is the best EPOS system for takeaways, scoring a near-perfect score of 4.8/5. This is because it offers a free POS app, a wide-range of features, has a user-friendly interface, and more.

In such a fast-paced environment, you need a system that will be able to keep up with the demand. Our research team compared 12 different EPOS providers to find the best EPOS systems for takeaways and looked at various factors, such as price, hardware, usability, and customer score, to determine which one is best.

We know how important it is for takeaways to find an EPOS system that is within budget, easy to use, and provides sturdy hardware. With this in mind, you can use our comparison service to receive quotes from top EPOS suppliers. Simply provide us with a few details about your business, and the best suppliers for your requirements will be in touch with prices and more information.

What's the Best EPOS System for Takeaways?

These are the providers we recommend based on our research. Use our cost comparison tool to find the best value service for your business

  1. Square – Best overall
  2. Lightspeed – Best for multi-location takeaways
  3. TouchBistro – Best food industry knowledge
  4. Goodtill – Best for scaling takeaways
  5. Zettle – Best for startups
Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Lightspeed

TouchBistro

goodtill by SumUp

Zettle Go

Score
4.8
Score
4.3
Score
4.0
Score
3.8
Score
3.7
Best for

overall

Best for

Multi-location takeaways

Best for

food industry knowledge

Best for

businesses looking to scale

Best for

start-ups

Pricing
Pricing
Pricing

From £56/month

Pricing

From £29/month

Pricing

Free

Pros
  • Free POS app
  • Affordable hardware
  • Suited to small businesses
Pros
  • Multi-location management tools
  • Delivery app integrations
Pros
  • Designed for hospitality
  • Integrated CRM system
  • Add-on features
Pros
  • Free EPOS app
  • Simple and easy to use
Pros
  • Free POS app
  • Affordable hardware
  • Offers core restaurant features
Cons
  • Not as comprehensive as other POS systems
Cons
  •  Limited customer support
Cons
  • Difficult to get out of contract
  • Pricey
Cons
  • Lack of features
Cons
  • Not as comprehensive as other providers
Compare takeaway EPOS system quotes from leading suppliers
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What’s the best EPOS system for takeaways?

1. Square

Best overall 

Square
4.8
Pricing From £0
Quick overview

Square takes first place with a 4.8/5 score in our research. One of Square's biggest strengths is its free EPOS app, alongside affordable hardware starting from £16 for a card reader. With just these two, you have a fully-fledged EPOS system.

Although the software is free, you will need to pay fairly high transaction fees. These are 1.75% for in-person transactions and 2.5% for manual transactions. Other providers, such as SumUp, have a lower fee: 1.69% for each transaction.

Square scores a 4/5 for its hardware, as it's affordable and easy to use. A basic card reader is £16, which is fairly suitable for takeaways as you want to be able to take payments quickly and efficiently. This card reader takes chip and pin, contactless, and mobile payments.

If you want a meatier piece of hardware, you can opt for a Square terminal, which costs £149 +VAT. Square is also cloud based, so you can use it on any mobile device. It comes with an offline mode as well as 24/7 support.

Square scores a solid 5/5 for usability, which is important for takeaways because you need an easy-to-use system. The glitchier or slower a system, the more it will affect the quality and service your customers receive. Square also scores a 5/5 in the help and support area, as it offers multiple ways to get in contact for assistance. You can contact Square via phone, live chat, or social media.

Square includes features such as online ordering and delivery, which is necessary for takeaways. However, it doesn't have a large range of hospitality-specific features. If you want an EPOS system that includes these, you might be more suited to a system such as Lightspeed or TouchBistro.

Depending on the size and type of takeaway you have, you might not need all the features that are included, so Square is a good choice as it provides core functionalities such as employee, stock, and menu management.

Strengths

Free software

Easy to use

Weaknesses

Not many hospitality specific features

2. Lightspeed

Best for multi-location takeaways 

Lightspeed Logo
Lightspeed
4.3
Pricing From £39/month
Quick overview

With a 4.3/5 score in our expert research, Lightspeed comes with specialised features for the hospitality industry. Lightspeed offers a platform called Lightspeed Restaurant - which is designed for restaurants as well as pubs and bars - and it comes with features suitable for takeaways. Some of the advanced restaurant features are paid add-ons so you won't find yourself with tons of unnecessary features.

You can manage various online ordering platforms from your EPOS system, even across multiple locations. You can give customers the option to order hours or days in advance. Managing your online orders and deliveries is a often a huge component of managing a takeaway efficiently, so having them all sent to your EPOS system makes it easier to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Lightspeed offers 24/7 support, so it's no surprise it scores a 4/5 in the help and support area. As takeaways typically tend to be open outside of business hours, this is especially helpful.

It scores a 3/5 for pricing as it's expensive compared to other EPOS systems. Pricing starts from £39 a month, although this is only when you choose to pay annually. The same package costs £59 per month. This pricing includes one terminal and any extra terminals will cost £29 each. This can add up, depending on how many terminals you need and whether or not you choose to pay monthly. The pricing can definitely be quite limiting, especially for small businesses or businesses that don't want to invest upfront. A cheaper alternative would be Square, as its software is free and the hardware is more affordable.

We recommend Lightspeed for takeaways with multiple locations as Lightspeed offers tools to make this easy and efficient. You can generate multi-location reports and edit all your menus, no matter where you are in the world.

Strengths

Multi-location management tools

Delivery app integration

Weaknesses

Limited customer support

Pricing
Package Price
Essentials £39 (annually) £59 (monthly)
Plus £79 (annually) £99 (monthly)
Enterprise Custom

3. TouchBistro

Best food industry knowledge

TouchBistro
4
Pricing From £49 +VAT
Quick overview

Built by food industry experts with specialist knowledge, TouchBistro scores a 4/5 overall in our research, providing some good features. However, this score is brought down by how poorly it performs in the pricing and hardware categories. For hardware, TouchBistro scores a 3.1/5. Be aware that this is an iPad-based system, which means it doesn't run on Android. This can be a problem if you currently don't own any iPads, plus the more iPad licenses you want, the more pricey it gets.

Pricing typically starts at around £49 +VAT for the first iPad, for iPad two and three, its £45 +VAT, and for iPads four to nine, it costs £40 +VAT, per license. For 10 iPad licenses or more, you'll need to get a custom quote. Compared to other providers, this is on the steeper side and is the reason why its pricing scores 1.4/5.

In the business development category, TouchBistro scores a 3/5 because it doesn't support multi-location takeaways. If you have multiple locations, a better option would be Lightspeed as it offers multi-location management tools. However, it does provide a sales dashboard, offline capabilities, and a 24/7 helpline. This is helpful for takeaways as many operate outside of typical business hours.

We recommend TouchBistro for single-location takeaways that want to operate on an iPad. It's worth noting that you do have to commit to a 12-month minimum contract, which can be difficult to get out if you fail to send a 30-day written notice prior to the end of your contract. This can be challenging for small businesses and cause unnecessary confusion. If you'd prefer a rolling monthly contract, a better provider would be Square.

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4. goodtill by SumUp

Best for takeaways looking to scale 

SumUp logo
goodtill by SumUp
3.8
Pricing From £29/month
Quick overview

SumUp scores a 3.8/5 overall in our research. SumUp performs well for its features, scoring a 5/5 or business management and 4/5 for business development. The core EPOS system offers stock management, multi-user access, and staff clock in/out function. All helpful features for takeaway businesses.

SumUp scores 3.4/5 for pricing, while its starting price is £29 per month for the core EPOS system, you do need to purchase add-on features. The core system is fairly suited to takeaways as you generally don't need an extensive amount of features. However, if you do want these add-ons, it can mean your monthly cost is fairly expensive. Business analytics is £29 per month, a Kitchen Display Screen is £9 per month, and a loyalty program is £18 per month.

The SumUp Solo Bundle, which consists of a card reader and stand is £99 +VAT, is a tad more expensive than similar EPOS systems like Zettle, which costs £59 +VAT for a card reader. The most inexpensive option would be Square, costing £16 for a card reader. Out of all these though, SumUp offers the lowest transaction fee (1.69%) when compared to Zettle's 1.75% for card transactions, and Square's 1.75% for in-person transaction and 2.5% for manual transactions.

Its usability has been rated a 5/5, thanks to its easy-to-use interface. However, its help and support score is 2/5, with customers reporting that it's difficult to get in touch with them and it's not easy to get issues resolved quickly.

SumUp provides a fairly inexpensive and easy-to-use EPOS system, provided you don't want to opt for the add-on features. Its core features are suitable for takeaway businesses, so we would recommend it for small businesses. The add-on features do allow you to scale the system as your business grows and you want to include advanced features to better service your business and customers.

Strengths

Low transaction fee

Easy to use

Core features are suitable for takeaways

Weaknesses

Add-ons can get expensive

Poor customer service

5. Zettle by PayPal

Best for start-ups 

Zettle by PayPal
3.7
Pricing From £0
Quick overview

Although it has the lowest score at 3.7/5, Zettle is a good choice for mobile takeaways or takeaways with limited menus. Its overall score is brought down by the fact that it lacks more in-depth features found in other EPOS systems. However, it does offer a free EPOS app, a specialised 'food and drinks' platform, and affordable hardware. Which is why it scores a 5/5 for pricing.

The Zettle card reader costs £59 +VAT and a Zettle terminal starts from £149 +VAT, fairly inexpensive for EPOS hardware. However, this is not as low-cost as Square's card reader, which is £16. Zettle's transaction fees are 1.75% for card transactions, the same as Square's but more expensive than SumUp, which is 1.69% per transaction. Zettle's hardware is fairly low-cost and easy to use, which is why it scores a 4.5/5 for hardware.

Zettle scores a 5/5 for usability, which is one of its main attractions as it has been designed to be simple and user-friendly. This makes it especially useful for takeaways where service should be fast and efficient. Although it lacks business development features, scoring 2.5/5, Zettle is suitable for takeaways that simply want to process payments, organise inventory, and access real-time reporting.

For a more comprehensive EPOS systems with hospitality-focused features, a better alternative would be Lightspeed or TouchBistro, although these are significantly more expensive. Another alternative is Square because it offers more features than Zettle and its EPOS software is free.

Strengths

Free EPOS app

Simple and easy to use

Weaknesses

Lack of features

Alternative takeaway POS systems

This EPOS system delivers an above-average experience, with built-in reservations, marketing tools, management tools and loyalty programs. You’ll be able to develop a complete system that caters to various aspects of your business, such as an EPOS system for pubs.

You can opt for a customer mobile app that’s aligned to your branding, so your customers can carry out activities such as checking the menu, ordering, paying, accessing loyalty programs, and even giving feedback. The app can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.

This system provides you with management solutions for communicating with customers and suppliers, tracking inventory and even organising your calendar.

Pros

  • Strong marketing tools
  • Customer app
  • Fast software

Cons

  • Not supported on mobile devices
  • No training

takepaymentsplus is aimed at small, independent businesses. For some small businesses, the current EPOS systems on the market are too complex, but traditional cash registers were too simple. This is where takepayments comes in, giving you: the card machine that does more. 

Although it’s not a fully-fledged EPOS system, it does offer features such as real-time reporting, receipts, and employee tracking.

Priced at £25 per month, takepayments is affordable and easy to use. As it’s mobile, it’s easy to transport and especially useful for businesses that don’t have a fixed location, or want the flexibility of a handheld.

Pros

  • Mobile
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Lacks EPOS features

What is the most cost effective POS system?

Oout of all the providers we’ve compared, both Square and Zettle offer free POS software. Square’s app is more advanced in terms of the number of features it offers, whereas Zettle offers a simpler system which allows for core POS functionality.

Square’s card reader is £16, cheaper than Zettle’s £59 option.

Zettle does have a ‘Food and Drink’ POS app that is designed specifically for the hospitality industry. It allows for a long list of integrations so you can create a system suited to the needs of your business. These integrations include Lightspeed, Revel, and goodtill.

Square has built-in features suitable for the food industry, such as delivery app integrations, and a Kitchen Display System to consolidate orders and improve efficiency.

Overall, Square is the most cost-effective POS system as it’s the cheapest and has many more features.

What are the benefits of a takeaway EPOS system?

The figures above show how important it is to have a system that allows you to tap into your online audience as much as your footfall – and a takeaway EPOS system allows you to do just that.

But this is just the start. Here are some other reasons to invest in an EPOS system for your takeaway business:

  • You and your customers can easily input and select menu items
  • You’ll be able to send orders straight through to the kitchen
  • Customers can self-order with front of house hardware
  • You can integrate your business with delivery apps, such as Deliveroo and UberEats
  • Customer loyalty schemes can encourage customers to return
  • You’ll be able to purchase additional tablets for waiting staff, both for eat-in and takeout businesses

What is the cost of an EPOS system?

The cost of an EPOS system fully depends on the hardware you require, and the number of employees that will need an account on the software. This makes it slightly difficult to work out an accurate cost of an EPOS system for your takeaway shop.

We’ve put together an article which will give you a rough idea of how much an EPOS system costs but, for an accurate quote that includes any setup and installation fees, it’s best to talk to suppliers. 

Expert Market’s quote-finding service makes it easy for you to discover the total amount you’ll need to pay for an EPOS system. Simply tell us a little bit about your business, and the suppliers that match your requirements will be in touch with you shortly. 

Verdict

Square is our number one EPOS system for takeaways. Square offers a free POS app, an easy to user interface, and good customer service. It includes useful features such as integration with delivery apps, and stock management.

Our research team carefully compared 12 EPOS systems to determine which is best for your takeaway business. The team looked at several factors, including price, usability, features, and customer support.

While we recommend Square as our best overall, it may not be the best fit for your business, which is why we’ve included other EPOS systems on this list. If you’re still unsure, you can make use our free comparison tool.

Just fill in our form with a few details about your takeaway business, and the best suppliers will be in touch with quotes for you to compare.

How We Test EPOS Systems for Businesses

We tested 16 market-leading EPOS systems to evaluate them in terms of functionality, usability, price, features, and more so we can make the most useful recommendations to UK 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 EPOS systems are:

Till: the core functionality of the EPOS 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 EPOS system to support various aspects of running a business, such as employee management, shift scheduling, and customer management.

Stock Management: the EPOS 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 EPOS 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 EPOS 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 EPOS 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 EPOS system, including documentation, tutorials, or knowledge bases.

Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the EPOS product. This can include dedicated restaurant and retail functionality like KDS, loyalty management, and multi employee login.

 

FAQs

What is the best EPOS System for restaurants?
The best EPOS system for restaurants is Square. Square scores highly in our research, has a free EPOS app, affordable hardware and the system is easy to use. It also offers integration with delivery apps, stock management, and employee management.
What should I look for in an EPOS system?
You should look for an EPOS system that is within your budget, has the features you need, and is user-friendly. Some EPOS systems offer add-on features, which is great because it means you don’t need to pay for features you don’t need and only pay for them when you want them. It does, however, also mean that your monthly billing can go up quite significantly.
Written by:
Zara Chechi
Zara is a Payments Expert, specialising in writing about Point of Sale systems. With a Law Degree from City University of London, she has used her legally-honed research and analytical skills to develop expertise in the Business Services world. Featured in FinTech Magazine, she quickly became an expert in payroll, POS systems, and merchant accounts.
Reviewed by:
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.