How to Choose the Best Restaurant POS Software 

Angela Keen
November 8, 2021

If you are a restaurant owner, having the best restaurant POS software is a top priority to help you run your restaurant operations. You may be using one already, but perhaps it’s time for a change. In this article, we share our top 4 favorite restaurant POS systems to consider for your store. 

What is restaurant POS software anyway?

A point-of-sale (POS) system is a crucial element of all successful retail operations, and especially for restaurants in today’s market. Simply put, the POS system is where transactions are made in your restaurant. Historically, this would have been a cash register, but with today’s technology,  POS systems allow restaurant owners to have mobility with cloud-based networks.

In addition to handling basic transactions, restaurant POS software can also aid restaurant owners with other essential business functions, such as:

  • Reporting
  • Accounting
  • Inventory
  • Invoicing

Why is POS software important for restaurants?

Because of the high volume of credit card transactions and cash flow passing through a restaurant on a regular basis, a POS system is not just a good idea for a business—it’s a necessity. POS systems can strategically track every sales transaction within your restaurant. 

In addition to monitoring transactions, POS systems can also serve as credit card processors, making transactions safer and more secure for both your restaurant and your customers. 

Computerizing these processes helps you to have a better handle on your bookkeeping, cash flow, and inventory all at once. As a business owner, you can also help to minimize employee theft as your employees will not be able to alter any of their computerized checks in the system without your approval.

the best restaurant pos software


What should restaurant POS software include?

When it comes to finding and choosing the best POS system for a restaurant, it’s going to come down to three fundamental things—what you want, what you are looking for, and what you need. The best restaurant POS system should not only cover all of the things you are looking for but also provide you with these basic benefits:


  • Efficient management of sales
  • Hassle-free transactions
  • Better-kept inventory
  • Higher levels of security
  • Improved business reporting
  • Smoother flow with your kitchen
  • Improved customer loyalty
  • Better labor management
  • Clearer menu display
  • Streamlined accounting

Efficient management of sales

Restaurant ownership of the past involved using a cash register system that required you to manage your sales manually each day. Thankfully, those days are now behind us with the help of restaurant technology in POS systems that can track your sales quickly and easily to help you make better business decisions.

Hassle-free transactions

As a restaurant owner, it might be easy to overlook the transaction process, but as a customer that can play a big role in your overall dining experience. A POS system can help you handle your debit and credit card processing, eliminating your need for multiple systems.

Better-kept inventory

Inventory is a challenge for every restaurant owner, but a POS system can help you keep better track of it all without having to do so manually. Some POS systems can even track menu items at the ingredient level, notifying you the moment your inventory begins to run low.

Higher levels of security

POS systems help prevent employees from giving out discounts that might not necessarily have been approved. While we always want to think the best of everyone, it’s also helpful to eliminate any temptation that could potentially arise.


Improved business reporting

Because everything is automated, POS systems help you keep better-detailed reports that you can pull up instantaneously.

Smoother flow with your kitchen

Eliminate the need for servers to run back and forth from the kitchen by having a POS system that sends tickets directly to your back of the house.

Improved customer loyalty

POS systems can help provide incentives and discounts to returning customers, improving the likelihood of developing loyal customers.

Better labor management

Some POS systems have clock in and clock out capabilities for your employees directly from their terminals. 

Clearer menu display

If you have an easy menu display with your POS system, your servers save time putting in their orders. In the end, your customers receive a smoother dining experience and a faster transaction at the end of their meal.

Streamlined accounting

Your accounting requirements will be readily available at your fingertips through your POS system, making reporting more accessible than ever.

Choose best POS system

How do you choose the best restaurant POS software for your store?

As you can see, a POS system  is a critical tool for a restaurant, which is why finding the best POS system is so crucial for your business. With so many different features available, it can be tricky to narrow down your options. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you focus your priorities when choosing a POS system of your own.


  • Do you have a credit card processor?
  • Will your restaurant accept mobile payments?
  • Is online ordering a feature your restaurant needs?
  • Do you want to allow customers to tip on screen?
  • Will you need the ability to split checks or keep tabs open?
  • Does your inventory management need to be on an ingredient level?
  • Will you need to be able to accept online reservations?
  • Do you need Quickbooks integration?
  • Is table or floor management a feature you will require?
  • Do you need to be able to print to your kitchen?
  • Are you looking for employee time card management functions?
  • Will you need to sell items by weight?
  • Are there any other features you’d need from your POS system?

How much does a POS system cost?

The best restaurant POS system will typically come with a one-time fixed cost starting at around $800. Additionally, you can anticipate your software costing you anywhere from $80 to $150 every month. The breakdown of fees associated with a POS system include:


  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Additional features

Hardware

Your hardware fees will typically come as a fixed, one-time charge. The things you will be paying for in your hardware fees will range but typically include your guest-facing display, printers, kitchen display systems, card readers, handheld devices, kiosks terminals, and routers.

Software

Your POS system will run on restaurant-based software, which is why you will incur monthly costs to keep it updated as needed. The software in your POS system will cover things like your reporting, analytics, payment processing, and the ability to place orders.

Additional Features

Depending on what features you are looking for in your POS system, you can find a wide range of additional features, such as rewards program hosting, payroll management, online ordering and delivery, gift card programs, and software integrations.

What else do I need to know? 

Ultimately, as a restaurant owner, you need to prioritize finding a high-quality POS system to run your operation. Whether you are new to the industry or looking to improve your services, finding the best restaurant POS system for your restaurant will be a critical decision sure to play a critical role in the success of your restaurant.
To learn about the top 4 best restaurant POS systems we recommend, check out our article here.

Want to learn more about what type of restaurant software you need to succeed? Download our free guide to the ultimate restaurant tech stack below!


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