Best POS Systems for Restaurants 2022

We vetted and researched over 20 of the best restaurant POS systems and narrowed the field down to five top contenders that represent the best POS systems on the market for specific small business restaurant types.
Best overall
Square
Square POS
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starting at
$0.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Services that expand with your business
Best for full-service restaurants
Upserve
Upserve POS
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4
Starting at
$59.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Smart menu insights
Best for counter-service restaurants
Revel
Revel POS
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
Starting at
$99.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Smart customer display system
Best for bars
lightspeed logo
Lightspeed POS
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starting at
$39.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Self-order table menu
Best customer service
Toast
Toast POS
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
Starting at
$0.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Industry-leading customer service

Data as of 02/25/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

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The restaurant point-of-sale market grows more and more saturated with options every year. With so many different providers, it can be tricky for small businesses to find a product that is not only a good deal but also offers the best features and services.

This article is all about helping you narrow down your options. We’ve featured some of the best POS systems on the market today. One of those options is Square, an absolute beast in the POS game that offers flexible solutions for a multitude of business types. But Square isn’t the only great POS system on the market. Stay tuned to learn about Square’s top competitors as well.

Compare the best POS systems plans and pricing in 2022

Brand
Monthly fee$0.00$59.00$99.00$39.00$0.00
Processing fee2.6% + $0.10Not shownNot shown2.6% + $0.10Not shown
Online ordering tools
Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Inventory management
Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Employee management
Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Table management
Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Reporting tools
Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Menu optimization
Icon No  Dark

No

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

No

Ticket timers
Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Global compliance
Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon No  Dark

No

Upselling customer display
Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Order and pay at table
Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon No  Dark

No

Icon Yes  Dark

Yes

Learn more

Data as of 02/25/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

As you can see, each of our top POS providers offers quite a lot of baseline features. But then there are standout features from each—that’s because all of the picks in this article are the best in the business. The real difference comes down to price and subtle feature nuances.

We’ll get into more detail about what makes each POS provider unique in the individual review sections below. But before we do that, we should note that each provider will require you to purchase some kind of hardware. You’ll need to have some kind of smart device like an iPad or a proprietary POS computer to run your POS on.

Square Point of Sale: Best overall

Square Point of Sale
Square
Square
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starting at
$0.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Services that expand with your business

Data as of 02/25/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Square is an easy choice to put on top for the simple fact that it’s a viable POS system for many different types of restaurants. It can handle a wide range of food service sizes from food truck to full-service restaurant.

In fact, you can use Square to run a small food service operation without ever paying a single upfront cost. You could, for example, get one of Square’s free mobile card readers, plug it into your phone, and start accepting credit cards for orders using Square’s free POS software. That’s pretty amazing.

If you want to expand your usage of Square, you can invest in Square’s Plus plan. The Plus plan helps businesses expand their restaurant features and adds features for multi-location restaurants. The Plus plan is $60 per month and adds seat, course, and floor plan management tools in addition to ticket routing and ticket customization options. It also expands team management tools and reporting capabilities.

So whether you want to go simple or complex, Square has you covered and has put together a plan that can save you money. It’s hard to beat that kind of flexibility.

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Upserve POS: Best for full-service restaurants

Upserve
Upserve
Upserve
4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4
Starting at
$59.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Smart menu insights

Data as of 02/25/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Upserve is an absolute powerhouse of a restaurant management software. It can be a little more pricey than Square, but if you maximize usage of its awesome features, Upserve can both save you money and make you a pretty penny.

One of the coolest features from Upserve is its smart menu insights. These insights track the performance of each of your menu items to tell you which items are performing better than others. With this information, you can make data-informed decisions on how to tweak and update your menu in ways that keep the customers flooding in.

You can also track server performance with Upserve, helping you determine which employees may need additional help and training. By focusing on employees that need the most help, you can not only make your approach to training and leadership more personal, you can also expend your efforts more efficiently.

There’s so much about Upserve that we can’t get to in this short review, but know this: in our professional opinion, Upserve is one of the most powerful POS systems for full-service restaurants on the market today. It should definitely be on your radar.

Revel Systems: Best for counter-service restaurants

Square Point of Sale
Revel
Revel Systems
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
Starting at
$99.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Smart customer display system

Data as of 02/25/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Revel Systems has a high starting price and a $674 implementation fee right out the gate. It officially has the highest upfront costs of any provider on this list. While Revel’s upfront costs are steep, we do think they are worth it in the long run.

Simply put, once you’ve got the initial fees out of the way, Revel is a workhorse. You can do so much with a Revel POS system:

  • Online ordering tools
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Drive-thru management
  • Smart customer display system
  • Text to- pay
  • Delivery management
  • Employee management
  • Kitchen management
  • And more

As you can see, Revel can do a lot for your restaurant. One of its coolest features is the smart customer display system. This system engages customers, automatically upsells products, and creates opportunities for employees to get additional tip money. Automatically upselling your customers means more money in the bank for you. That’s how Revel offsets its costs.

Additionally, Revel is one of the few POS systems on the market that lets patrons pay over text. It’s a great tool for those moments where customers forgot to bring their plastic and also a way to keep customers coming back for the convenience of paying.

Revel makes life easier for your customers and makes life more profitable for you. That’s a pretty good deal.

Lightspeed: Best for bars

Lightspeed
lightspeed logo
Lightspeed
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Starting at
$39.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Self-order table menu

Data as of 02/25/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Lightspeed is a surprisingly powerful restaurant POS system with a reasonable monthly price tag. One of the coolest things about Lightspeed is that they offer POS services in over 100 countries around the world. So, if you’re planning on starting an international restaurant chain, Lightspeed can help.

Lightspeed is also good at a smaller scale. For bar owners, Lightspeed’s POS system has a quick-service mode for swiftly opening and closing tabs. You can also create combinations of top menu items to speed up ordering at the bar.

It’s also easy to split and manage tabs with Lightspeed. Sometimes patrons want to pay separately, but then one person in the group forgets their card. With Lightspeed, a quick change in tab isn’t a big hassle.

You can also create as many versions of the menu as you want. You can have menus depending on the time or on where people are seated, giving you ultimate flexibility over what customers see.

There’s so much more to say about Lightspeed. For now, we’ll say this: if you own a bar, give Lightspeed a look. It could just make your life a lot simpler.

Toast: Best customer service

Toast
Toast
Toast POS
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
Starting at
$0.00/mo.
  • pro
    Online ordering tools
  • pro
    Industry-leading customer service

Data as of 02/25/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Toast is a POS provider that has been growing over the past five years. It’s a cloud-based POS solution with a focus on restaurants. On the restaurant front, Toast has all the necessary tools to help you automate your restaurant operations, but one of its best features has nothing to do with its hardware or software.

Toast offers fantastic customer service. This may not seem too important at first, but it’s actually a crucial part of POS because POS systems can be hard to fully utilize and may occasionally lose connection or have technical issues. When these situations arise, it’s a relief to know a capable team has your back.

Beyond customer service, Toast also has some cool features for restaurants. One such feature is the ability for customers to view the menu, order, and pay from their phones. This allows customers to complete the most important POS tasks when it’s most convenient for them. It also allows your employees to be more focused on service.

If you want the peace of mind that comes with great customer service and a capable restaurant POS solution to boot, give Toast a look.

Ready for a better point-of-sale system?

Square is the best free point-of-sale system on the market. From invoicing to inventory tracking, Square gives you all the features you need to boost your POS experience.

The takeaway

We’ve spelled out some of the best restaurant brands in the business, so let’s take one more look at what we covered:

  • Square is king of the hill if you want something simple to implement and easy to expand.
  • Upserve takes the concept of restaurant POS to a new level with tons of great features for automating and optimizing your full-service restaurant.
  • Revel Systems makes it easy to build a perfect counter-service POS system.
  • Lightspeed can be big or small and is perfect for both bars and international restaurant chains.
  • Toast is the underdog with a lot to offer in the way of customer service and convenient features.

Any of these recommendations will be a great addition to your restaurant small business. You just have to take the plunge.

If you’re interested in looking at POS systems that have a more general appeal, check out our top POS systems on the market today.

Point-of-sale FAQs

What is the best POS system for a small restaurant?

Square is one of the best POS systems for small restaurants. This is because of a combination of low starting costs and solid built-in restaurant features.

Also, if you ever want to expand your POS system, Square makes that extremely easy. You can get more hardware, expanded software features, and more without having to switch providers.

What POS systems do fast food restaurants use?

We recommend using Revel Systems. That said, most classic fast food restaurants like McDonald’s or Burger King use older POS systems they have had partnerships with for a long time. Franchise-level POS systems are often not the best for small businesses.

That’s why we brought up Revel Systems. It’s a POS system that caters to small businesses and has drive-thru management tools, so you can make that perfect fast food restaurant without spending a fortune on POS.

Best POS Systems for Small Businesses
Square POS
Best POS system overall
Shopify POS
Best POS for retail
Revel Systems
Best loyalty program POS
Lightspeed
Best POS for inventory
Quickbooks POS
Easiest accounting POS
Learn more about our top brands.

What does POS mean in restaurants?

POS always means point of sale. That said, restaurant POS systems are generally more complicated than simple credit card processing systems. With restaurant POS systems, you need to manage tables, tickets, a kitchen, and much more. So if you need a POS system, be sure it has the restaurant tools you need.

Methodology

We vetted and researched over 20 of the top POS brands on the current market. We then examined stand-out companies looking for how well they served specific use cases common in small businesses. We also took into account user review data and other professional reviews, narrowing the field down to five top brands.

Andrew Mosteller
Written by
Andrew Mosteller
For four years, Andrew has been writing copy to help business owners expand, manage, and advertise their unique brands. His upbringing in an entrepreneurial family nurtured a passion for small business at a young age. Andrew’s father, an equity fund manager, taught him the ins and outs of investment financing and owning and operating a successful business. Now he brings his expertise and experience to entrepreneurs as a regular contributor on Business.org.
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