Point of sale (POS) systems include the hardware and software used in tandem to place orders, track sales, manage inventory and track revenue and profits.
The benefits small businesses gain from implementing POS restaurant software are numerous. POS software has the potential to simplify all essential restaurant tasks, from the back of the house to the front.
POS systems help small businesses save time and money by increasing efficiency and automating many essential tasks.
Managers can track volume, staff performance, inventory and sales in real time from any location. Accurate reporting helps managers analyze sales data, calculate revenue, profit and loss and forecast future inventory and sales.
With the aid of handheld POS systems, the FOH staff can increase time spent on the floor with customers. This improves efficiency, reduces human error, increases sales and improves the bottom line. Customer data can even be used to improve product and sales.
POS systems can support your company as it grows. Additional hardware can be purchased and added to terminals already in use, connecting to the software that’s already in place. Upkeep for POS systems includes purchasing new hardware, replacing broken parts and updating software.
Best restaurant POS systems
The best POS restaurant software is determined by combining G2 Crowd user reviews, market share, vendor size and social impact. High Performers are highly rated by users but do not have the highest market share. Meanwhile, contenders have significant market presence but have received below average user satisfaction ratings or have yet to receive a sufficient number of reviews.
According to the G2 Crowd Grid® for POS restaurant software, as of Nov. 25, 2017, the high performers and contenders for small businesses are:
List of best restaurant POS systems
Let’s let the reviewers do the talking.
TouchBistro Restaurant POS
TouchBistro Restaurant POS is an iPad restaurant POS solution made to ease all front- and back-of-house processes. Service staff can take table-side orders and payment while managers can focus on customer relations, staff management, inventory, reporting and analytics.
These are the five features that users most frequently cited in their reviews as their favorite aspects of TouchBistro Restaurant POS as of Nov. 25, 2017.
Reports (+ 45)
Time saving (+ 45)
User interface (+ 35)
Receipt printing (+ 30)
Sales statistics (+ 30)
What users say
“We have been using it for 5 years with zero issues. We recently upgraded to more terminals and a PRO Server and it has been the best investment the business has made. I can't recommend TouchBistro enough. As a small restaurant, it allows us to serve customers quickly and efficiently and the back end of this product makes it make very easy to implement menu changes. The cloud based reporting is a helpful tool that allows us to send out daily email reports to the whole upper management team along. A handy app allows us to monitor the restaurant in real time.
"We have added multiple iPads as POS terminals now and it has been a major upgrade from our previous POS System. TouchBistro does not require much technical knowledge, making it great for all restaurant owners that are looking for a simple solution that does not require assistance from support to set up. The user interface is very friendly, unlike older more mainstream systems. Our staff love it!” — TouchBistro Restaurant POS review by Susie J
Mobile payment processing
Floor plan, table and tableside order management
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Reporting and analytics
Staff, inventory and menu management
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year support
Choose between iPads, Apple Mac Mini computers, iMac computers, Mac Pros, Apple routers, impact printers, thermal printers, cash drawers, monitors and accessories.
Team includes up to five licenses for $249 per month
Unlimited includes unlimited licenses for $399 per month
Toast provides menu management, server ordering and payment receipt all from a handheld device. Hardware options include 10-, 15- and 22-inch counter terminals, kitchen display system (KDS) screens, etc. Toast specializes in solutions for full or quick service, bar or nightclub, pizzeria or enterprise.
These are the five features that users most frequently cited in their reviews as their favorite aspects of Toast as of Nov. 25, 2017.
Time saving (+ 10)
Reports (+ 10)
Analytical data (+ 5)
Touch screen sales (+ 5)
Multiple users Support (+ 8)
What users say
“Toast has developed, and continues to enhance, one of the best POS platforms we have encountered. Their support is top notch and they consistently treat our business as an extension of their own. Toast has consistently been a key partner for us and has helped us implement a POS solution that delivers all functionality that we were hoping for.
"Toast has given us a single integrated POS platform to tie all 37 of our North American restaurants together allowing us to remotely push different menus to different regions with different pricing structures. This has given us insights into our restaurants performances and reporting capabilities regardless of enterprise structure.” — Toast review by Eric K.
Inventory and employee management
Online ordering system
On-site installation, customer training and service and support
Choose between handheld tablets, hardwired terminals and kitchen display systems.
Breadcrumb offers a comprehensive view into your restaurant including POS reports and revenue numbers. Taking payments, streamline operations and manage your sales and costs in real time from any location.
These are the five features that users most frequently cited in their reviews as their favorite aspects of Breadcrumb as of Nov. 25, 2017.
Receipt printing (+ 20)
Time saving (+ 15)
Batch processing (+ 15)
Advanced reporting (+ 15)
Payroll/HR modules (+ 10)
What users say
“Breadcrumb is extremely intuitive, easy to use and easy to train new staff members. It’s also easy to open or close tabs and add new terminals. Offline mode has been vital to us when we have ISP issues — everyone can keep moving and our business does not stop. Finding a nice looking interface with decent reporting that also kept open tabs (such a simple thing — but many systems are retail focused) was actually pretty difficult. Breadcrumb helped us become more efficient with our merchandise inventory. We are able to track comps effectively and eliminate giveaways and there is server accountability.” — Breadcrumb review by Melissa H.
Offline mode to continue creating checks, sending orders and running credit cards
Guest and service features to manage multiple menus, transcribe orders and more
Administration and operations for sales analytics, employee management and more
Menu management for inventory, customization, templates and more
Live reporting for sales reports, labor, payments and more
Simple setup for hardware and complimentary set-up assistance and updates
Choose between iPads, Meraki networking routers and extenders, iPad stands, printers, readers and swipers and kitchen display systems.
Enterprise is for large multiple location groups with 50-to-500 locations, contact for quote
Lavu is a POS solution designed for use by full-service, quick-service and franchise restaurants, from bars, nightclubs and lounges to food trucks and coffee shops.
These are the five features that users most frequently cited in their reviews as their favorite aspects of Lavu as of Nov. 25, 2017.
Time savings (+ 10)
Account management (+ 5)
User interface (+ 5)
Most things in one place (+ 5)
Advanced reporting (+ 5)
What users say
“The Lavu product is a great fit for our restaurant/cafe. We offer a QSR style ordering mixed with restaurant food/service. We can mix those that just want a coffee and cake with customers who want a three course meal. Lavu service options allow for this flexibility and fits into our existing methods. The additional add-ons (KDS pro, customer facing screens, etc) are also benefits. Additional reassurance of having the local server (LLS) also means we are not worried about broadband issue, and the install of this was carried out by Lavu overnight remotely from US. All together, I have managed to self install Lavu and I am (nearly) happy with the product; over time this will move up to 10 stars I am sure!” — Lavu review by Ian T.
Real-time sales and labor reporting
Comprehensive inventory system
Check reports with an app
24/7 customer care
Menu and layout customization
FOH and BOH management
Choose from terminals, printers, card readers, cash drawers, kitchen display systems
LoyalTree allows your customers to collect loyalty points and Mercury PayPal integrates PayPal into Lavu POS.
Single-terminal plan is $69 per month billed annually
Multiple-terminal plans: contact Lavu for quote
Enterprise plans: contact Lavu for quote
Free 14-day trial available
Aloha POS helps businesses increase sales, speed and accuracy of service. Aloha POS is ideal for quick service, fast casual, casual dining and fine dining tables service restaurants and can be used on fixed POS terminals, handheld and mobile devices.
These are the five features that users most frequently cited in their reviews as their favorite aspects of Aloha POS as of Nov. 25, 2017.
Receipt printing (+ 25)
User interface (+ 20)
Time savings (+ 19)
POS (+ 17)
Attendance tracking (+ 14)
What users say
“Finding a software with an all-in-one solution that can handle almost every aspect of the hospitality business is what you get with Aloha. From menu creation and editing, staff management tools, online ordering tools, special event tools, full customization of your touch screen terminal interface, absolutely endless options and results!” — Aloha POS review by an internal consultant.
Split checks and seats
Modify food orders
Manage multiple bar tabs
Access tip sharing and team sharing
Robust FOH reports and information to optimize product mix, manage labor and prevent theft
Choose from terminals, handheld devices and servers
According to the reviews for the best POS small restaurant software products on G2 Crowd, users agree that they most value easy-to-use, time-saving solutions. If you use any of these five POS systems, please share your experience at G2 Crowd. Your experiences will help potential users gain the insight they need to make an informed decision.
These POS systems are just a few of the many POS Restaurant software options reviewed on G2 Crowd. For additional help in choosing the right business solution, check out the POS restaurant software categories where you can compare products, available features, pricing and more.
Courtney is a former G2 senior research analyst for HR technologies, whose coverage areas include recruiting, employee engagement, and talent management. Her comprehensive research on employee engagement and HR trends has been quoted in TechRepublic, among other publications.