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Cheapest POS Systems For Restaurants
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Unlock Savings: Cheapest POS Systems for Restaurants

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what's the most affordable restaurant POS system?

Updated: January 17th, 2024

Running a restaurant business can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor. A key element of successful restaurant management is having a reliable and efficient point of sale (POS) system. However, many restaurant owners are concerned about the cost of working with one. The good news is that affordable POS systems catering to various needs are available today. This is true whether you are a small business owner or a large restaurant manager.

This blog post will discuss POS systems and how much they usually cost. We'll also list some features to look for when choosing a POS for your restaurant and provide a quick overview of some of the most affordable options. By the end of this post, you'll be equipped with all the information you need to find the most affordable POS system for your restaurant without compromising on quality or features.


Understanding POS Systems for Restaurants

POS systems are crucial in the restaurant industry because they enhance operational efficiency and improve customer experience. They keep good records of sales, cash flow, food supplies, and staff costs. The basic features they offer are payment processing and customer order management. With time, the system improved to provide advanced features like POS software updates, online shopping, and reward programs to boost customer satisfaction and help businesses grow. They also became vital for keeping things in order and managing restaurant staff.

The cheapest restaurant POS offers offline mode, fulfills specific business needs, and provides reliable customer support.

How Much Does a Restaurant POS System Usually Cost?

How Much Does a Restaurant POS System Usually Cost?

Determining the cost of POS systems depends on various factors, such as software, hardware, additional features, and subscription plans. Restaurant software systems generally cost between $60 and $250 per month, depending on the provider. Some hardware prices are fixed and start at $700, on top of the annual fees.

Naturally, the size and requirements of your restaurant's POS system will determine its cost, particularly the hardware. A small restaurant, such as a food truck, can function with a portable POS tablet package, but a more extensive, full-service company may require many terminals.

How Do You Choose the Best POS System for Your Restaurant?

How Do I Choose the Best POS System for My Restaurant?

Choosing the best restaurant POS system for your restaurant is not always about what features it packs but also the value you pay to get such features and the hardware that comes with it. Some features you should keep an eye out for include the following:

  • Tableside ordering: Tableside ordering increases your customer’s stratification levels and cuts down queue lines. When social distancing is in order, contactless payments and online orders are used for faster ordering of menu items and easier bill splitting. Portable tablet terminals work hand in hand with the tableside ordering feature, where you can take your customer’s orders from the table and let them pay using their preferred payment methods
  • Floor plan management: This feature in point-of-sale software is vital to providing your restaurant with the best seating plan for your customers. However, it is about how the tables and your staff are arranged across them. Table and floor plan management allows you to oversee which tables each staff member is serving and monitor their overall performance
  • Customer management: This is a vital aspect of every business, and it allows your point-of-sale system to keep a database of your customers that you can use to provide them with discounts, special promotions, and loyalty programs. This kind of customer care and management keeps your customers satisfied and makes them return for more
  • Inventory management: It keeps all your ingredient and stock levels in check; your system will also automatically update your inventory when orders are made and when ingredients are reordered, so you always know how many ingredient items are available for your kitchen. Moreover, you can set a reorder limit for ingredients so reorders are either automatically made or notified when you run out of ingredients
  • Menu management: This feature engages your customers with your restaurant’s brand. Updating your menu with the available or currently selling meals is essential. Menu management also allows you to set scheduled meals for different times of the day and have your menu available online through a scannable QR code
  • Hardware: Regarding hardware, there are some necessities that your restaurants will run better with, such as customer-facing displays, kitchen display systems, credit card readers, and portable tablet terminals. A good restaurant system should be user-friendly, with an intuitive interface that facilitates order taking, quick order placement, menu customization, integration with other critical tools, valuable insights into the restaurant's performance, and other key features.
    Customer-facing displays simplify the ordering process as customers pick up their meals or orders from the screen and check out with contactless payment or any other supported payment type, all of which can reduce wait times. In fact, the state of California mandates that all businesses use screen displays facing customers.
    Kitchen display systems connect the front-of-house operations with the back-of-house operations. As soon as an order is made, it will automatically appear in the kitchen’s display systems, and each part of the order will be routed to an empty station. There are so many hardware options that you can choose from according to your specific needs, such as tablets, cash drawers, receipt printers, and kitchen printers

Can I customize the software of a cheap POS system to suit my restaurant's needs?

Many cheap system providers offer customization options to tailor the software to your restaurant's specific needs. While they may not have as many advanced features as more expensive options, they can still be highly adaptable and provide the necessary functionality for your business.

Which POS Systems Are the Most Affordable for Restaurants? 

What's the Cheapest POS System for Restaurants?

While this is not the complete list of the most affordable options for restaurant POS providers, we have concluded that these may be the best.

1. Toast POS: Our best pick for one of the cheapest POS systems for restaurants goes for Toast POS because of their many options for restaurants of all sizes. Toast offers various plan levels to cater to diverse client needs, featuring transparent pricing that includes the following:

  • The Quick Start Bundle: This is their introductory plan, has no upfront fees, and starts at $0 monthly. While hardware and implementation fees apply, it includes one terminal with basic cloud-based POS functionality for order and table management, reporting, analytics, menu management, staff management, and invoicing. This plan, suitable for stand-alone cafes or fast food trucks, also provides mobile dining, payment processing, and customer care features but may not support additional features for delivery services or order and pay
  • Core: Starting at $69 per month, it encompasses everything in the Quick Start Bundle, allowing customization, more than two hardware terminals and devices, and additional optional add-ons
  • Growth: Priced at $165 a month, it includes Core features and adds online ordering, delivery services, and the Toast TakeOut app
  • New Restaurant Special Offer: Positioned between Core and Growth at $110 monthly plus $4 per employee. It includes Core features with moderate payroll and scheduling functions, business insurance, 401k plans, and Toast PayCard, making it an ideal solution for new restaurant openings
  • Build Your Own: Tailored for established and larger businesses or those with specific needs, this plan allows customization with a custom quote price. Core features are pre-included, and additional features for API integrations, payroll, profit optimization, team management, customer marketing and retention, and online orders and delivery can be added

2. Lightspeed POS: Lightspeed restaurant POS system offers plans catering to diverse needs and businesses. Their unique features include a free trial and a mobile POS system. Their plans include the following:

  • Starter plan: Priced at $69 per month, this basic plan includes a customizable POS, menu manager, advanced insights, takeout and delivery, CRM, and loyalty tools. Payment processing is at a flat rate of 2.6% + 10¢
  • Essential plan: At a $189 monthly fee, this plan retains the same payment processing rate as Starter but adds online and contactless ordering, order and pay at the table, the Lightspeed Live app, multi-location management, and advanced inventory management. Dedicated support and consultation services are available for an additional fee
  • Premium plan: Costing $399 a month, this plan features customizable processing rates and includes all Essential features. It also offers the ability to create multiple revenue and cost centers, API access for integrations, and the option for dedicated support and planning assistance
  • Enterprise plan: Tailored to individual hardware and software needs, this plan offers consultation and launch services, a loyal customer success manager, and a support team. For unique costs, customers need to contact Lightspeed for a personalized quote


To find the most affordable point-of-sale system for your restaurant, it's essential to understand the role of POS systems in restaurant management and how they can benefit your business. When choosing a system, look for features like ease of use, inventory management capabilities, customer management features, reporting and analysis tools, and integration possibilities.

Training your staff on the new point-of-sale system and utilizing POS data for business growth is also crucial. When transitioning to a new system, appropriately prepare and set up the new POS system. Consider additional fees, such as labor costs, when choosing your provider.

Address common concerns about data security and system breakdowns. Lastly, learn from the success stories of restaurants that have improved their bottom line with budget-friendly POS systems. With the right POS system, you can streamline operations and increase efficiency while keeping costs low.

Read our point-of-sale company reviews, blog posts, and comparisons to learn more about the various point-of-sale providers. 

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