Cheapest POS Systems for Restaurants
Click here to skip down to the cheapest POS systems for restaurants.
Choosing the right point-of-sale system for your restaurant is not always about what features it packs but also the value amount you are paying for to get such features and the hardware that comes with it.
Some of the best features a point-of-sale restaurant system should have are tableside ordering, floor plan management, customer management, inventory, and menu management. Tableside ordering increases your customer’s stratification levels and cuts down queue lines, and in times where social distancing is in order, contactless payments are put to good use to proceed with a faster ordering process and easier bill splitting.
Floor plan management in point-of-sale software is vital in providing your restaurant with the best seating plan for your customers. However, it is about how the tables are arranged and how your staff is arranged across those tables. Table and floor plan management allow you to oversee which tables each staff member is serving and monitor their overall performance.
Customer management 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 come back for more.
Inventory management keeps all your ingredient and stock levels in check; your POS system will also automatically update your inventory when orders are made and when ingredients are reordered, so you always know how many ingredients items are available for your kitchen. Moreover, you can set a reorder limit for ingredients so reorders are either automatically made or you are notified when the limit hits so you can reorder yourself.
Lastly, menu management keeps your customers engaged with your restaurant’s brand. It is important to not only have your menu updated at all times with the available or currently selling meals. Menu management also allows you to set scheduled meals for different timings of the day, in addition to having your menu be available online through a scannable QR code.
On the other hand, when it comes to hardware, there are some necessities that your restaurants will run better with, such as customer-facing displays, kitchen display systems, and portable tablet terminals.
Customer-facing displays simplify the ordering process as customers pick their meals or orders from the screen and check out with contactless payment or any other supported payment type. 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.
Last but not least, 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 in their preferred payment methods.
So you might be wondering now what is the cheapest POS system for your restaurant, and which POS system give you the best value for your money. We have done the research, and to answer your questions, continue reading below.
1. Toast POS
Our best pick for one of the cheapest POS systems for restaurants goes for Toast POS. Toast POS offers two starter plan options with a two-year software subscription commitment:
- Pay-as-you-go plan with no monthly subscription, with a fixed payment transaction rate of 2.99% plus $0.15 per transaction.
- Pay a monthly fee of $69 per month and $799 for the hardware starter kit, which includes a POS terminal, card reader, and a router, with a lower transaction rate of 2.49% plus $0.15 for most in-person transactions.
Toast POS offers all the features you would need to make your restaurant run smoothly, including the features and hardware we mentioned above and more! To start with, you get menu, order, and inventory management, so your menu stays updated at all times, and your orders are automatically sent to the kitchen to start cooking. Inventory management, as we explained above, automatically deducts ingredient levels when an order is made, in addition to automatically reordering ingredients when the low target is hit.
Toast’s customer management tools allow you to send customized and digital receipts to your customers while allowing them to add the tip of their choice. In addition, you can save your customers’ names, emails, and numbers to your database, in addition to their order history which facilitates their future orders for you.
As for hardware, you get the basic starter kit we mentioned in the starter plan above, in addition to customer-facing displays, handheld android tablets, POS kiosks for customers to self-order, and finally, kitchen display screens.
TouchBistro POS is our second pick for one of the cheapest POS systems for restaurants. Its price value for the features and hardware you get will make it worthwhile your restaurant’s revenue.
TouchBistro’s pricing starts at $69 per month, and its payment processing plans are 1.99% plus $0.20 for terminal read transactions and 3.5% plus $0.30 for keyed-in transactions. Similar to Toast POS, TouchBistro offers basic hardware, including iPad, Mac Mini, router, cash drawer, and printers. At a custom quote, you can also get kitchen display systems and customer-facing displays, a digital board menu starting from $20/month, and finally, self-serving kiosks for $69/month.
As for features, TouchBistro provides the best. You get the following features:
- Tableside ordering
- Floor plan and table management
- Menu management + QR code menu
- Inventory management
- Staff management
TouchBistro also integrates with a ton of excellent third-party software that offers extra features and functionalities for accounting, payment processing, online ordering, inventory management, reporting, and more!
3. Square POS
Square POS is our third best option for one of the cheapest POS systems for restaurants. Square supports many restaurants types, including:
- Bars & breweries
- Coffee shops
Square offers three payment plans for its POS software, the first being the basic plan which comes with no monthly subscription but only a 2.6% plus $0.10 transaction rate for each transaction for swiped, tapped, or dipped card payments. However, when no cards are involved in payments, the transaction rate goes a little higher, up to 3.5% plus $0.15. Moreover, online payments’ transaction rates are 2.9% plus $0.15 for every online transaction.
Square POS restaurant upgraded plan costs $60/month. Its transaction fees are lowered to 1.75% for card-based transactions and 2.5% for manual keyed-in sales.
Square POS allows you to manage and oversee all your restaurants’ locations and data, including sales, inventory, and employees, from its intuitive dashboard. It can also provide your restaurant with a free ecommerce website, where customers can place their orders and get them delivered or have them picked up depending on the customer’s choice. In addition, its customer service tools will give you great insight into your customer’s favorite orders while tracking their order history, so you can use that data to send promotional deals or discounts.
Square’s hardware runs on Apple iPads, and all their hardware comes with a one-time fee or a monthly fee. Its hardware includes:
- Square Reader for Magstripe
- Square Reader for Contactless and Chip
- Square Terminal
- Square Register
The Square POS full register kit with Stand and receipt printer costs $1,329 per unit, and Square Register for iPad plus contactless card reader and receipt printer costs $646 per unit.
You also get a 30-day free trial with Square’s restaurant premium plan, and it comes with great extra features like the ones we mentioned above.