Best POS systems for restaurants and bars of 2023

Best Restaurant & Bar POS systems hero image, Point of sale systems for restaurants
The best POS systems for restaurants and restaurant bars work smoothly and help you manage inventory to reduce wastage. (Image credit: Future)

The best POS systems for restaurants, like Square POS, are feature-rich with restaurant-specific integrations and are designed for both back and front-of-house use. 

Beyond helping you manage inventory and staff, a restaurant POS system should champion swift, secure payment processing with flexibility to work online or offline. 

In our guide of the best POS systems for restaurants and bars, we look at how some of the most popular POS brands built for hospitality can help wow your customer and revolutionize your restaurant operations. 

This guide is helpful no matter what size your food or bar business is: from Quick Service Restaurants, Fine Dining and Hotel restaurants, cafes, diners, and clubs. 

We also have a separate guide on the best POS systems for food trucks (also ideal if you have a pop-up restaurant), and a round up of the very best POS systems market-wide

Reader Offer: Start for $0 with Quick Start Bundle

Reader Offer: Start for $0 with Quick Start Bundle
Toast is one of the best point-of-sale systems for restaurant owners. It makes it easy not just to accept payments but also to manage your restaurant operations. Start today for $0 with a Quick Start Bundle, or customize your own package. 

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Reader Offer: Free demo

Reader Offer: Free demo
Touch Bistro is an excellent POS restaurant solution with-rich software, competitive prices, and simple setup process. Book a free demo today

Preferred partner (What does this mean?

Reader Offer: Start for free

Reader Offer: Start for free
Square POS is well-suited to meet the needs of small business owners and vendors on the go. Techradar loves its wide range of hardware options, "offline mode" option, and no monthly fees. Start today for $0/month.

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What is a restaurant POS system?

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A fully integrated POS system for a restaurant or bar can help you run your business in the most efficient way possible, increasing customer satisfaction, employee welfare, and your bottom line.

Modern POS systems have long replaced old-fashioned POS cash registers as the physical point of sale where sales and other transactions take place. But that’s not all they do. 

These days, restaurant POS systems come with a slew of functions and capabilities, including employee shift management, order processing, reservations, table-side ordering for contactless dining, and much more.

With so many choices, finding an appropriate restaurant POS system can get confusing. That's where we come in. We've looked into the many competitors in the market with varied capabilities and specialties. 

Since providers bundle a whole host of features into various pricing tiers, it’s important to think of your restaurant’s specific requirements and long-term plans so you don’t end up paying for what you don’t need. Checkout our guide on How to choose a POS system for a restaurant and bar for help with that. 

In our list of the best POS systems for restaurants, we cover their basic features, pricing, and POS brand pros and cons to help you choose a great POS system that can take your restaurant business to the next level.

woman using an apple watch to make a payment on a pos terminal

Many restaurant POS systems enable payment to be taken directly at a table, and support payment systems such as Apple Pay. (Image credit: Getty)

How do restaurant POS systems work?

Like POS systems across any industry, restaurant point of sale systems can be on-site or cloud-based. At their core, POS systems work by processing secure, quick customer payments of all kinds. These transactions may include standard sales and refunds, sales tax calculation, gift card or store credit purchase, loyalty programme sign-ups and more. 

A modern restaurant POS system will use this transaction information to update stock and assist you with, say, ingredient inventory management or table management. These helpful digital systems can also assist you with others areas of your restaurant, such as keeping an eye on employee theft, and helping improve communication through real-time order updates between back and front of house staff. Aside from saving time, this will ensure your foodservice stays fast paced. 

For customers, restaurant POS systems should help simplify and speed up the sales process, and round off their dining experience without a hitch. In Quick Service Restaurants, this may be through self-serve POS kiosks, online ordering, or tableside ordering for contactless feasting in fine dining restaurants. 

All POS systems, restaurant or otherwise, are composed of POS software and POS hardware bundles. Examples of POS hardware include a POS display screen, barcode scanner, receipt printer, card payment terminal and cash drawer.

How much do restaurant POS systems cost? 

woman using a restaurant pos system

Modern restaurant POS systems clearly display your menu - with photos - so order mistakes are much less likely. (Image credit: Getty)

The cost of the restaurant POS system will vary by POS provider, and what you pay for will ultimately depend on your restaurant business' needs. It's also worth considering the ROI a POS system can add to your business. Working that figure out will help you see if the cost is expensive or justified in the long run, especially if the POS system will empower your business to save time and secure more sales. 

As Kadence Edmonds of Epos Now rightly points out, "Instead of making the decision based on cost alone, you will need to evaluate the value a modern, cloud-based restaurant POS system adds to your business." 

And given in 2020 there were more than 1 million restaurants in the US according to the National Restaurant Association, you'll want a restaurant POS system that helps your business stand out. In short, how much your restaurant POS system costs is up to you and your business priorities. 

Lightspeed POS shown as flat lay with sushi

(Image credit: Lightspeed)
Best for small and medium-sized restaurants with an online e-commerce store

Reasons to buy

Affordable for small operations and scalable for future growth
24/7 support
Made especially for restaurants

Reasons to avoid

Not compatible with Android
Add-ons can substantially increase costs

Lightspeed is a well-known POS system for restaurants. 

Table management

With robust table-management and restaurant-layout capabilities, Lightspeed POS lets you build the perfect restaurant model on your iPad. These features help servers manage orders listed against a table layout the reflects your restaurant's custom dining seating plan. 

With so much for waiters to remember already, this is an excellent tool that can ensure special dietary and allergy requests are never missed out. Lightspeed POS helps you take the pressure off your staff and ensure customers receive a personalized service. Plus, your front of house greeters can quickly check for free tables in a large establishment where blind spots are inevitable. 

Reporting & Inventory Management

Lightspeed’s advanced reporting function enables operations managers to track inventory, supervisors to monitor team performance, and empowers accountants to sum up restaurant financials with ease. Lightspeed POS system is cloud-based, so if your restaurant has multiple branches, you can manage them easily from a central location. 

Best POS systems for restaurants 1

Plan your restaurant’s layout with this awesome POS system (Image credit: Lightspeed)

Order Management 

Lightspeed point of sale's interface is easy to use, making it ideal for restaurant employees of all technical abilities. It even allows you to display images of menu items to customers to keep them informed at every step of ordering and payment. 

Offline mode

It's slowly becoming the norm for POS providers to have an offline mode in case internet cuts out and payments still need to be processed. Lightspeed POS is no exception and has a fully functional offline mode. In the event of an internet outage, the POS system will continue to work and eventually sync all transaction data to the cloud when connection resumes. 

Payment & Support

Lightspeed works with its own payment interface and charges a flat fee of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction. It also integrates with third-party payment processors for an additional fee. Lightspeed also syncs with all major delivery providers and offers contactless ordering and payments. With 24/7 customer support, it’s hard to go wrong with this popular POS system.

Read our full Lightspeed POS review.

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Inventory management from Toast POS

(Image credit: Toast)
Best for android-based businesses in need of a fully integrated restaurant POS system

Reasons to buy

Plenty of features
Advanced employee management
Free customer care

Reasons to avoid

Two-year contract commitment for Toast Payments
High processing fees for online ordering

Toast is an all-in-one POS system designed especially for restaurants. As opposed to the usual iPad-based alternatives, Toast is an Android-based POS solution. 

Payment & Support

Toast offer excellent 24/7 aftercare once you've purchase a POS system from them. Contact them by email, phone or live chat no matter which restaurant POS package you purchase. They also go above and beyond with Toast Classroom and University, a brilliant educational resource that offers unlimited Toast POS training to new users in English and Spanish.  

Toast POS’ free plan is great for new restaurants. There’s also a paid package that starts at $165/month and includes the Toast takeout app and online ordering facility. 

Payment processing rates start at a reasonable 2.49% + $0.15 for in-person card transactions. However, the Toast Payments contract locks you into a two-year commitment with an early termination fee. Also, the processing fee for online orders is currently at 3.5% + $0.15. 

If you’d rather not pay upfront for the standard package, there’s also a pay-as-you-go option with a 2.99% + $0.15 charge per transaction. Under this option, there are no separate costs for the starter kit POS software subscription, the Toast starter kit hardware bundle, or card payment processing (card present or not present).

Best POS systems for restaurants 2

State-of-the-art mobile POS payment solutions from Toast  (Image credit: Toast)

Order, Inventory & Shift Management

Toast has all the functions you can expect from a modern restaurant POS system. We’re talking mobile POS capabilities for table-side orders, contactless ordering, detailed inventory tracking, server and shift management, mobile payment processing, and customer support at no extra charge.

Reporting & Data analytics

Get the insight you crave from customer sales with Toast POS' intuitive real-time performance analytics. One of their best reporting features is an automated nightly email. The email summarises sales and other KPIs from the day, helping you assess areas for sales growth and where to remove restaurant operation bottlenecks. 

The best part? Their reporting tools work around your business schedule. You can view the reports on your mobile, tablet or desktop and access report data anywhere at anytime.

Read our full Toast POS system review.

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The TouchBistro POS system

The TouchBistro POS system works with all types of food-service businesses (Image credit: Touch bistro)

3. TouchBistro POS

Best for restaurant customization and restaurant-specific features

Reasons to buy

Great training and support
On-site POS
Integrates with third-party delivery apps and payment processors

Reasons to avoid

Expensive add-ons

What makes TouchBistro another excellent restaurant POS provider? Many things, from onboarding and setup assistance all the way to their kitchen display systems, stylish digital menu boards and handy customer-facing digital displays. 

Reporting & Inventory Management

TouchBistro is a secure, on-site, iPad-based POS system that prides itself on its versatility and making it's users lives easier. One feature that helps with this is the recipe logging tool, which allows you to track ingredient costs and quantities so the system can match this against your existing inventory and see where you may be running low on ingredients for popular dishes. 

This helps with kitchen management and is especially useful when you have large party bookings and need to see which menu items you need to stock up on. More importantly, it can also help you save money by not over-ordering and reduce waste for business efficiency. 

Table & Order Management

TouchBistro POS software and hardware prides itself on providing a fully integrated payment and order system that is rapid, reliable, and ready to handle all customer dining or payment requests. 

As part of this, they offer a tableside ordering system that benefits customers and businesses to help minimize payment queuing and increase table turnover so you can make more sales per day. Accompanying the tableside ordering system are features that upsell restaurant-chosen menu items, and allow waiters to split the bill for guests without the need for mental arithmetic gymnastics. 

Separately TouchBistro offer a floor plan and table management feature to help your POS system mirror your real-life restaurant layout.

Payment & Support

Prices start at $69/month with functions like reporting and analytics, and menu, staff, and table management. Add-on options include reservations management for $229/month, online ordering at $50/month, gift cards for $25/month, and a loyalty program for $99/month. Self-serve kiosks and digital menu boards are also available at a price.

By way of support, TouchBistro offer live workshops with step-by-step instructions and have an online help archive resource too. 

Read our full TouchBistro POS system review.

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Best POS systems for restaurants

Easily manage orders with The Square Kitchen Display System (Image credit: Square)
Best all-round POS system for restaurants and POS system newbies

Reasons to buy

Native integration with Square services
Free plan to get you started

Reasons to avoid

Clunky hardware design

Square POS hardware

Square's point of sale hardware (Image credit: Square)

Best known for its mobile payment processing services, Square also offers complete POS solutions for restaurants and other businesses. If you’ve already used other Square services, like their website builder, or if you’re familiar with Square hardware, then it’ll be easy to get used to Square POS for your restaurant. 


Square makes payment processing easy. There is a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for mobile, chip cards, and swiped payments, and 2.9% + $0.30 for online payments. Square POS systems easily integrate with their payment processing service, and you can get PCI compliance, chargeback assistance, and real-time reporting for no extra fees.

There are three plans available for restaurant customers. The free plan includes menu, order and table management, open checks, and auto gratuity. The Plus plan costs $60/month and provides auto 86ing and item counts, the ability to reopen closed checks, seat and course management, floor plan customization, and advanced reports. There is also a premium plan with custom pricing designed to scale alongside your expanding business.

Customer Support

Customer service is available from 6 am to 6 pm for the free plan, and there is a comprehensive troubleshooting database on the Square website to help solve common issues. The Plus plan, however, comes with 24/7 support. 

Read our full Square POS system review.

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Best POS systems for restaurants

An iPad-based and ultra-powerful POS solution (Image credit: Revel systems)

5. Revel POS Systems

Best premium solution for larger restaurants and fine dining establishments

Reasons to buy

Advanced features
Stable offline functionality

Reasons to avoid

Expensive and based on a three-year contract
No Android option

The Revel POS system has got it all. 

The first-ever iPad-based POS system, Revel is fully scalable and straightforward to use. This cloud-based POS also has excellent offline functionality and allows you to process payments even when your internet is unavailable. Pricier than most, the Revel POS system starts at $99/month with a three-year contract. 

Analytics and Inventory & Employee Management

Features include inventory management, employee management, and complete reporting and analytics. You can also add on other services like delivery management, online ordering, kiosks, mobile- ordering capabilities, and more.

Payment & Support

Payment processing is offered through Revel Advantage, but the processing rate is not available on the Revel Systems website. However, the TouchBistro website has a comparison table where Revel’s processing rate is shown to be 2.49% + $0.15.

Revel have a dedicated Revel POS support website, FAQ section and full onboarding support. Plus, with a dedicated account manager you'll get one on one support at any time. 

All-in-all, the Revel POS system is a solid choice for restaurant brands that don’t mind paying a little extra for top-of-the-line features and service.

Read our full Revel point of sale (POS) system review.

The best restaurant POS system for your business is your choice

Only you can say which PCI and EMV compliant POS system works best for your restaurant, but with our guidance, your options should be slightly clearer. We'd also recommend looking at our round-up of the best POS system for food trucks as many as the point of sale systems listed share features that are high in demand from restaurant owners. 

Other restaurant POS systems to consider are Adyen POS and Helcim POS who make money from their transactions fees, saving you the cost of having to pay the monthly fee you have with most POS providers. 

More on POS systems

If you're looking to learn more about POS systems, then you might want to check out our articles: how to choose the right POS system for your business or what does the future of POS look like?

Which POS system is best for you?

When deciding which POS system to use, first consider what your actual needs are, as different platforms can offer differing features fee rates. Additionally, you may need a POS with specific tools for your business, so make sure you look carefully at both features and costs to ensure you can get the POS system your business needs.

How we tested the best POS systems for restaurants and bars

To test for the best POS systems for restaurants and bars we first set up an account with the relevant platform, then we tested the service to see how the POS system could be used for different purposes and how it performed in different situations. The aim was to push each POS system to see how useful its basic tools were and also how easy it was to get to grips with any more advanced tools.

Read how we test, rate, and review products on TechRadar.