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Best POS systems for restaurants

These top POS systems for restaurants will help prepare your business for whatever the pandemic throws at it

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.

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Table service, takeouts, extra toilet cleaning – the coronavirus pandemic has changed the restaurant industry tenfold. 

The phrase ‘social distancing’ has undoubtedly become ingrained into working life. Once bustling restaurant floors are now running with reduced covers and limited menus. Restaurants have had to get online to keep the business ticking over with takeaways, while restaurant staff are having to man hand sanitiser stations, collect personal information, and step up cleaning as part of their new job specification. 

Restaurant managers are no longer just responsible for ensuring guests enjoy themselves. They’re also responsible for guest health and safety during a pandemic – which means purchasing a restaurant point of sale (POS) system that can help them to handle it all is essential. 

With table management systems, booking software, and remote payment taking just some of the advanced technology on offer, there’re lots of reasons why electronic POS systems have swiftly become the leading choice for restaurants looking to run safely and efficiently. 

But with plenty of POS companies jumping on the bandwagon, choosing the best restaurant POS system for your business can often seem daunting and confusing. Thankfully, startups.co.uk has been providing advice on restaurant EPOS systems for over 20 years.


We’ve even designed a quick quiz to help us match you with providers that fit your business requirements. The quiz is free to complete, and at the end, we’ll send you over a range of providers alongside zero obligation quotes for you to compare. Just click on the glass to the right to get started!




Compiling the best restaurant POS systems

Startups.co.uk has been supporting small businesses for over 20 years. In that time, we’ve built up a wealth of knowledge on point of sale systems, meaning we’re in a position to recommend some great point of sale products to our audience. 

Combining our expertise in small businesses and startups with our knowledge of the restrictions that restaurants face due to coronavirus, we’ve whittled down our favourite restaurant POS systems to ensure you’re covered during the pandemic. 

From table management to booking systems, these restaurant POS systems offer lots of features to help you through the current climate. Check out our deep dives into our top five to discover the best POS system for your restaurant business. 


Best POS systems for restaurants: an overview

Restaurants come in all shapes and sizes, which means their needs are not always the same. Some offer a dine and dash culture, while others are built around providing customers with a high end dining experience. The following systems offer businesses a combination of modern POS hardware and intelligent restaurant POS software, ensuring that no matter what type of restaurant you run, your needs will be met. 

 
Best for
Price
Table management
Booking system
Delivery app/ecommerce integration
EPOS Now
Large restaurants
£1,999 upfront
Shopify for Restaurants
Lightspeed for Restaurants
Growing restaurants
£59/month per location
Delivery apps
Square for Restaurants
Small restaurants
£69/month for unlimited devices
Delivery apps and ecommerce
TouchBistro
High end restaurants
From £49/month for one device
Delivery apps
iZettle Food and Drink
Cafes and small restaurants
£29/month per iPad
Х
Delivery apps
NoblyPOS
Simple setups
£39/month for first till
Х
Х

Picking the best restaurant POS system

By now, you’ll be aware of the extra measures you need to put in place to ensure your restaurant is a safe place to come for your customers and your staff, so bear these measures in mind when you’re picking out a suitable restaurant POS system. 

To help, we’ve made sure to pull out all the features that you’ll find useful in our deep dives below. 

If you do need help deciding, you can always opt to take our short quiz. It’ll ask you a few basic questions about your business to determine what you need, then send you over the best restaurant POS systems for your needs, alongside zero obligation quotes for you to compare.


1. EPOS Now

EPOS Now
4.7
Ease of use
Covid-friendly
Customer service
Features
Value for money

Thanks to its ease of use and integration capabilities, EPOS Now is one of the best POS systems for restaurants in the time of Covid-19. Not only does it help staff with things like tableside ordering, but it integrates with booking systems and delivery apps to help you make the most out of being out of lockdown, while still keeping customers and staff safe. 

If you’re running on tight margins, EPOS Now’s advanced stock-taking features will help you to keep track of your spending. Meanwhile, the ability to automate purchase orders will help keep your mind at ease while you’re concentrating on keeping your business Covid-secure. 

Staying in sync with what your customers are ordering and not ordering can be key to a restaurant’s success. With EPOS Now’s in-depth reporting features, you’ll be able to see what’s selling and what’s not, and also find out when the best times are to put on promotions, such as dedicating a day of the week to a certain dish. 

There's also its front and back of house synchronisation, its kitchen management features, and its workplace management system, Deputy. When you add all these to the above, you can see why EPOS Now has clinched the top spot in our list of the best restaurant POS systems.

EPOS Now pricing: One off payment of £1,199 or £47/month


Pros


Table management and advanced booking functionality

Integrates with delivery apps like Deliveroo

Relatively easy to train staff

Includes sophisticated employee management


Cons


No free customer service

Only compatible with iPads

Limited integrations compared with other restaurant POS systems


What the users said:

“The EPOS system has been so easy to use, and support has been great – unlike other software providers we have used before. We decided to upgrade and get two systems whilst using an old till system.”



2. Lightspeed for Restaurants

lightspeed logo
4.6
Ease of use
Covid-friendly
Customer service
Features
Value for money

With several tiers to choose from, Lightspeed grows alongside your restaurant business, so you never pay out for more features than you need. Better still, Lightspeed has a range of features available for casual dining, quick service, and fine dining restaurants, meaning it can meet your requirements, whichever direction you choose to take your business. 

Lightspeed for Restaurants gives you the ability to create separate menus for separate devices, enabling you to streamline your restaurant setup for lunch and dinner services. And with the ability to take orders in minimal taps, servers don’t have to be at the table any longer than absolutely necessary, minimising Covid-19 transmission risk. 

One of the most common pain points for restaurants is customers splitting the bill. Instead of hasty mental math calculations at the table, Lightspeed for Restaurants enables waiting staff to automatically split the bill by seat, so customers only pay for what they’ve ordered. 

Restaurant owners have the option to integrate Lightspeed’s restaurant POS software with ordering apps, delivery software, customer loyalty software, and even supplier management software, meaning restaurant managers have all the tools they need to maximise their profits as the UK leaves lockdown. 

Lightspeed for Restaurants pricing: Most popular package £59/month


Pros


Grows with your restaurant

Features for different types of restaurants

Lots of integratable apps

Compatible with lots of payment companies

Good offline functionality (with server)


Cons


Upgrade your whole package to benefit from the best reporting

Initial setup is a little tricky, especially for bigger menus


What the users said:

“I've been using Lightspeed Restaurant POS at my cafe for over three years now, and it continues to be an excellent system. All of our sales numbers are easily tracked and sorted. The programing interface is highly customizable to individual needs.”



3. Square for Restaurants

Square logo
4.3
Ease of use
Covid-friendly
Customer service
Features
Value for money

Square is offering 20% off contactless POS hardware until 9th November 2020. Contactless equipment can help keep your staff and customers safe during the pandemic. Take a look at the POS hardware Square has on offer, and simply use SQUARE20UK at checkout.


For a relatively simple piece of kit, Square for Restaurants packs a lot of punch. Armed with an iPad, the Square Terminal, and the Square Card Reader, you could have all the equipment you need to get your restaurant business off the ground. 

Square’s restaurant POS software is fairly basic on its own, but with lots of possible integrations, you can create a package that best suits your restaurant business. One of our favourite integrations is Squarespace, a website builder that enables restaurants to create beautiful websites with built-in booking systems. 

Square is also compatible with a huge range of third party apps and POS accessories, meaning you can expand your system’s software and hardware as your restaurant grows. 

Not to be dismissed by ambitious restaurateurs, Square for Restaurants offers all the tools you need to help run a relatively Covid-secure business. It offers sophisticated table management features, and the option to integrate booking tools and delivery apps. Its Square Terminal and Card Reader also facilitate table service. 

Square doesn’t require you to have a merchant account, which means you can start serving customers as soon as you’ve received the Square Card Reader and downloaded the Square for Restaurants software onto your iPad. Instead, Square changes 1.75% per transaction, and usually pays into your business bank account in 1-2 business days. Check out our full Square review for more information.

Square for Restaurants pricing: Free, £69/month, or bespoke, all for an unlimited number of devices. Plus, Square is offering 20% off contactless hardware until 9th November 2020. Visit Square and use offer code SQUARE20UK at checkout.


Pros


Free version is pretty good for new restaurants

Good table management

Very easy to use

Integrates with delivery, booking, and ecommerce software


Cons


Reporting is more basic than other restaurant POS software products

Only compatible with iPad

Customer service can be a bit hit and miss


What the users said:

“We chose Square because the Square Terminal provides the freedom we need to take payments on and offsite, but also because we love the elegance of the design and the promise of a system that is faster and more straightforward for the business.”



4. TouchBistro

touchbistro logo
4.1
Ease of use
Covid-friendly
Customer service
Features
Value for money

TouchBistro is a fairly expensive restaurant POS system. But, as the saying goes, ‘you get what you pay for’. TouchBistro’s restaurant POS software is rammed full of features to help you run and manage your business, including sophisticated tableside ordering, in-depth back end reporting, and the ability to integrate with plenty of third party apps.  

For high end restaurants with cocktail bars, staff can process orders in just two taps, giving them more time to make customers feel welcome. At the table, naturally placed menu prompts enable servers to upsell on the spot, or inform customers of any allergy information. 

The restaurant POS system also offers restaurant owners a way to increase customer loyalty, which is particularly important in current times. Thanks to a built-in loyalty functionality, you can collect information on what your members are ordering and send them targeted marketing material, such as offers on their favourite dishes or wines. 

While TouchBistro’s restaurant POS system has lots of features for you to take advantage of, it is expensive, so you may want to think about going for this system if you’re sure that you’ll make full use out of it. 

TouchBistro pricing: First license £49/month, 2nd and 3rd license £45/month, 4-9 licenses £40/month


Pros


Sophisticated table ordering with menu prompts

Intuitive to use

Great customer loyalty functionality

Integrates with booking and delivery software


Cons


Only compatible with iPads

Expensive

Customer service can be a bit hit and miss


What the users said:

“Easiest system I've ever worked with, and my staff also agree. The amount of features you get for the price is excellent (stock and staff management etc.). Had one issue last year which they solved within 10 minutes. Would 10/10 recommend.”



5. iZettle Food and Drink

4.1
Ease of use
Covid-friendly
Customer service
Features
Value for money

iZettle Food and Drink has replaced iZettle Pro as iZettle's point of sale offering for restaurant businesses. It's far more sophisticated than its predecessor, offering more features and integrations such as delivery app integration and payment options. iZettle is also offering businesses iZettle Food and Drink free for three months if you sign up by the end of September. 

iZettle Food and Drink is very similar to Square for Restaurants when it comes to features, although Square does offer restaurant business owners more freedom when it comes to integrating things like customer relationship management and employee management software.

However, the great thing about iZettle Food and Drink is it's a decent product in its own right, and should offer restaurant businesses most of what they need without having to worry about paying extra for third party apps. While iZettle has pushed up its payment processing fee from 1.25% to 1.75%, the software is much cheaper than Square for Restaurants, coming in at just £29/month per iPad.

Read our full iZettle review for more information.

Price: £29/month per iPad


Pros


Sophisticated table management

Intuitive to use and easy to set up

Bill management features

Integrates with booking and delivery software


Cons


Only compatible with iPads

Doesn't much in the way of customer loyalty management

Gets expensive when you have more than two iPads


What the users said:

“Great app for new companies setting up on a budget but robust enough to support a mid-size organisation. Simple, programmable interface with a high degree of functionality.”



The best of the rest

Right now, restaurants need a point of sale system that’ll ensure they’re as pandemic-proof as possible – and that doesn’t just mean enabling servers to carry out tableside ordering and take card payments. It also means they need a booking system to ensure they know how many covers they can expect per service, and the option to offer a delivery and takeout service if the country goes into lockdown again. 

The following restaurant POS system is great for restaurant owners who need a cost-effective way to get their business up and running, enabling servers to take orders at the table and carry out an efficient service. However, at this time, it doesn't integrate with booking or delivery apps.

Nobly POS

Nobly POSWith several awards under its belt, Nobly is certainly worthy of featuring in our list of best POS systems for restaurants. One of its most impressive features is its ingredients tracking function, which ensures restaurants are well informed about stock levels and dish availability.

If we were to summarise NoblyPOS in a sentence, we would say it’s cost-effective, easy to use, and offers restaurant owners lots of handy features to run an efficient, error-free service. Read our full Nobly review for more information.


The best restaurant POS systems: final verdict

According to our research, the best POS systems for restaurants are:

  1. EPOS Now
  2. Lightspeed for Restaurants
  3. Square for Restaurants
  4. TouchBistro
  5. NoblyPOS
  6. iZettle Food and Drink
  7. Nobly POS

The top four restaurants on our list offer all the features restaurants need to operate effectively during a pandemic, including delivery app integration, booking system integration, and table service facilitation. 

EPOS Now is a great all-rounder, offering businesses solid restaurant POS software features for a reasonable price. For those looking to grow their business, Lightspeed offers a range of tiered packages to choose from, while Square for Restaurants enables you to add third party apps and integrations as and when you need them. 

For a serious point of sale system from the offset, choose TouchBistro. And if you’re looking for a simple yet effective POS system to get your restaurant business off the ground,  iZettle Food and Drink offers everything you need.


We’ve designed a quick quiz to help us match you with providers that fit your business requirements. The quiz is free to complete, and at the end, we’ll send you over a range of providers alongside zero obligation quotes for you to compare. Just click on the glass to the right to get started!


Aimee Bradshaw
Aimee Bradshaw

Writer and researcher

Aimee recently joined Startups as resident expert in business tech, products, and services. Having ran her own egg delivery business from the age of 12, she is an advocate of self starters and small businesses.

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