Restaurant POS System Cost Comparison
With so many restaurant POS systems available on the market today, it can be difficult to get a sense of how they price their offerings and how their offerings compare.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of how 11 modern POS systems designed for restaurants approach their pricing, from charging a set rate per station to creating completely custom quotes that include hardware for every one of their customers’ unique needs.
Most POS systems include the ability to take orders, accept payments, and see reports of interactions, so we try to focus on the features that go beyond the basic ones. Other factors that influence the value of each of these systems include the quality of support you can expect for each one, and the price of payment processing — and you’ll definitely want to get more details on those factors before you make a final decision.
Read on to get a sense of what you can expect to get for various prices when you invest in a restaurant POS system.
Truffle POS comes standard with all the features that a restaurant of any size needs to be successful in today’s market landscape, including online ordering, delivery management, online reservations, cloud kitchen management — and even special features like contactless food locker pickup.
Unlike other POS systems, Truffle POS can also run on any hardware platform, Windows, iOS & Android, which can be a serious advantage for restaurant owners looking to save money by using their current equipment.
In addition to core POS features, Truffle POS makes it simple for franchise owners to manage restaurants across their city, state, region, or country.
- BASIC – $39.99*/Mo. (billed annually) includes sales dashboards, split checks, till management, gift cards, email marketing, integrated credit card processing.
- PRO – $69.99*/Mo. (billed annually) includes all the features in the basic plan, plus delivery management, customer surveys, inventory & recipe management, table side ordering, and employee management.
- ENTERPRISE – We provide custom quotes for large businesses that want industry-leading tools to ensure their brand and customer experience is consistently impressive for each location. The enterprise plan includes everything in Basic & Pro plans, plus royalty/ACH reporting, multi store management, multi store gift cards, consolidated reporting, and enterprise menu management.
Want to learn more about Truffle POS? Book a 30-minute demo to see Truffle POS in action.
TouchBistro Inc. was founded in 2010 specifically to “support the passion of restaurateurs through cutting-edge technology.”
Touchbistro is a really popular, cloud-based POS choice for restaurants, and it powers thousands of restaurants worldwide.
Touchbistro was developed for Apple products, and it still only runs on iOS — specifically, iPad tablets. You can get a special checkout stand for an iPad for workstations and checkout, and servers can input orders in tableside with iPads, as well.
One thing that sets Touchbistro apart is the fact that most of its features are in-house, meaning they come as a direct part of the software and aren’t connected to other vendors. For example, they have an integrated reservations system, customer loyalty system, and inventory system.
However, Touchbistro doesn’t have a lot of options for managing food delivery, which is increasingly crucial for restaurants in light of COVID-19. You’ll also have to pay for a separate email marketing system, and you’re required to get both front- and back-of-house software together. Finally, Touchbistro doesn’t come equipped for multiple restaurant locations, which might be an issue if you plan to expand or start a franchise.
- Base Monthly Cost – $69/month
- Basic features included in base price – Menu management, floor plan & table management, reporting & analytics, staff management, tableside ordering, app integrations
- Installation cost – None
- Additional software features (Additional costs required) – Reservations starting at $229/month, online ordering $50/month, gift cards starting at $25/month, loyalty $99/month.
- Hardware Cost – iOS products required, Self-Serve Kiosk (also costs $69/month), Digital Menu Board (Starting at $20/mo.*), Kitchen Display System, Customer Facing Display
Lightspeed POS was founded in 2005 and was designed especially for retailers, but it launched its hospitality branch to cater to restaurants (Lightspeed Restaurant) in 2014. Today it still caters to these two industries, and it also has a product for golf courses.
Lightspeed was founded in Montreal and has since expanded significantly internationally, with offices throughout the world. It’s also one of the most commonly used POS systems for restaurants.
Just like TouchBistro, Lightspeed runs on iOS and Apple iPad tablets. Its biggest difference from TouchBistro is its reliance on third-party integration partners. Lightspeed restaurant integrates with other programs to manage inventory, online ordering, marketing, and scheduling, while these features are part of TouchBistro’s core software.
One special feature that Lightspeed has over other systems is its retail feature for restaurants (which makes sense, as Lightspeed began as a retail product). So, if your restaurant has a strong retail presence, such as selling a signature sauce or other products, you may be particularly interested in Lightspeed.
However, Lightspeed does lack some of the newest features that other restaurant POS systems have, such as a table reservation feature, a smart food locker system for contactless pickup, and delivery driver tracking.
Lightspeed’s pricing, as listed on its website, is as follows:
- Base monthly cost: Starts at $69/mo (billed monthly for one register). Additional registers +$34/mo
- Additional Software Features (Additional Costs Required) – Customer facing display, kitchen display system, advanced reporting, self order table menu, ecom for restaurant, accounting, loyalty, loyalty app, self order kiosk, delivery integration, order ahead
- Hardware Cost – Not included in base price. You’ll need to order LAN receipt printer, Cash drawer, Lite Server, Lightspeed iPad stand, Kitchen printer
- Multiple locations – Requires an enterprise quote.
Micros / Oracle
Oracle’s Micros POS has been on the market for more than 40 years and is used by businesses all over the world. It offers both cloud-based and on-site software installations. The primary industries served by Micros POS are restaurants, hotels, resorts, casinos, stadiums, arenas, cruise ships, transportation hubs, and retail stores.
If you’re uncomfortable with cloud-based systems for whatever reason, you might be looking into Micros POS, which touts features such as security and reliability as some of its main advantages due to its local installation (Newer programs store most of their information in the cloud) and specialized hardware.
However, having locally installed hardware also generally means that owners will be on the line to pay for a full suite of Oracle hardware, including workstations and tablets.
For example, Micros POS doesn’t have a suite of driver/delivery features that have become more important to restaurateurs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also lacks modern features such as integrations with food lockers for contactless pickup.
- Pricing details: Micros POS requires any interested party to contact them and request a quote.
Aloha POS is a part of NCR Corporation, which was previously known as National Cash Register and established in 1884. NCR is an American company that produces both software and hardware, and Aloha POS caters mostly to restaurants.
Aloha is similar to Micros POS in both its advantages and disadvantages. Because the software is installed on local hardware instead of running on the cloud, Aloha touts the fact that there’s no chance of ever losing a transaction to something like an internet outage or power outage.
And, of course, with so many years in the industry, Aloha touts a lot of experience and plenty of customers all over the globe.
Just like with Micros, though, if you use Aloha POS, you’ll be locked into using specialized hardware and may need to pay a little more upfront for it. More traditional programs may not have some of the latest integrations that restaurants have embraced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as driver delivery apps and apps that connect to food storage lockers for completely contactless pickup.
- Pricing details: Aloha POS requires any interested party to contact them and request a quote.
Clover is another fully-featured POS system whose various software programs are bundled in with various types of proprietary hardware, including these options (via their various industry-specific web pages):
- Clover Go – This mobile attachment for iOS or Android devices is $69.
- Clover Flex – This all-in-one handheld POS system costs $499 and provides real-time updates of floor plans. With the Flex, you can take table-side orders and payments, even if the WiFi is down.
- Clover Mini (for counter-service restaurants) – This Compact countertop POS system starts at $749. Clover’s counter service restaurant software is $39.95/month and includes features such as online ordering, employee management, and apps to handle tips, shifts, discounts, and happy hour.
- Clover Station (for full-service restaurants) – This full countertop POS system starts at $1,349 and includes the station, a cash drawer, and printer. Table Service Restaurant software is $69.95/month.
- Clover Station Pro – Another full countertop POS system that includes a consumer-facing display so that customers can enroll in marketing programs and review their orders starts at $1,649.
Here are some considerations before purchasing Clover: You should expect to pay high transaction fees, limited support and not built for multiple locations, missing online ordering, mobile app ordering and delivery management.
Revel Systems’ Restaurant POS System was among the first cloud-based POS to be designed for the iPad. This startup was founded in 2010, is headquartered in Atlanta, and serves some of the largest restaurant franchises in the world.
Revel offers specialty POS systems for restaurants, with specialty offerings for pizza, cafes, and quick-service restaurants. It also has a retail POS system.
It has both standard and advanced POS features, including loyalty, gift cards, online ordering, and customer relationship management. The program also integrates with plenty of third party apps to add even more functionality to the program.
You should note that Revel cannot handle multiple restaurant locations, so it’s not the best choice for franchises or growing restaurants. And, if you want to track online reservations or manage a smart locker for food with your POS system, Revel doesn’t have those features.
Revel’s pricing details, as listed on its website, are as follows:
- Base price: $99/monthly fee per terminal
- Features included in base price: Point of sale, inventory management, employee management, customer relationship management, and reporting & analytics
- Additional features (Additional costs required): Account management, delivery management, kiosks & mobile order takers, online ordering, multi-location management, integrated partners
- Onboarding: The onboarding fee for Revel starts at $674
Square for Restaurants
Most people recognize the POS system Square because it was one of the first POS systems to make it super easy for small businesses to accept credit card payments with little more than a smartphone.
The square-shaped card readers plugged directly into an iPhone’s audio jack to make accepting payments super simple.
Square has evolved a lot since that time to become a fully featured POS system for both retailers and restaurants. Square POS aims to serve restaurants of all types, always with a primary focus on speed and efficiency.
Square POS has robust features for online ordering, kitchen display systems, team management, and payroll. It also integrates with plenty of third-party apps.
The main benefit of Square POS is that it can accept any type of payment quickly and securely, whether you want to collect orders online, at customers’ tables, or at the checkout counter.
It doesn’t have any delivery features, though, which can be a dealbreaker for some types of restaurants. expect to pay high transaction fees, limited support and not built for multiple locations, missing online ordering, mobile app ordering, and delivery management.
Square has individual options for Quick Service, Full Service, Fast Casual, Bars & Breweries, and Ghost kitchens.
Square’s pricing for restaurants, as detailed on their website, are as follows:
- Free – This plan, which can be used for unlimited devices and unlimited locations, includes point of sale, team management, and support on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time
- Plus – $60 Per month per location, plus $40/month per added POS device. Includes all the features in the free plan, plus advanced POS features, the Square kitchen display system, Square’s “Team Plus” feature for scheduling and team management, and 24/7 support.
- Premium – Custom pricing for restaurants that process more than $250,000 per year. (Other exclusions apply.) This plan includes everything in the Plus plan, plus the features Square Payroll, Square Loyalty, and Square Marketing.
Silverware POS is based in Canada, and caters to global, hospitality-focused brands.
Their POS features include table and seat management, tableside ordering, specialized ordering features for the bar, inventory management, kitchen display system compatibility, and plenty of advanced reporting features. Silverware also integrates directly with OpenTable for reservations.
Silverware’s pricing, as listed on its website, is as follows:
- Standard – $49 per license per month. Includes unlimited users, real-time cloud dashboards, and alerts & analytics.
- Premium – $69 per license per month. Includes features in the previous package plus real-time cloud reporting, real-time cloud backup, real-time system failover, and local CRM (gift card and loyalty).
- Enterprise – $89 per license per month. Includes all the features in the previous packages, but the CRM features (gift card and loyalty) are accessible on the cloud.
Squirrel Systems sums up its history this way on its website: “In the mid-1980s, we were the first in the world to offer a touchscreen point-of-sale system. We were the first to build on an open architecture, and the first to meet the challenge of EMV compliance. We were the first truly multi-platform system, giving our world-class customers the choice to bring iOS, Android, or Windows devices onto the floor.”
Squirrel Systems is another legacy system, which means that it primarily runs on local hardware and you get an official license to use the program — and that generally comes with a higher upfront price tag.
The Squirrel Systems starter bundle currently includes:
- Online Ordering (5% per online order transaction)
- Time and attendance (Basic labor)
- Takeout module
- Seat management
- Reporting for both front and back of house
- Customer portal
- Cloud-based backups
- Anti-virus protection
Pricing details: Squirrel Systems builds a custom bundle with a custom price for every customer, and interested parties can contact them to request a quote. However, Capterra lists the starting price at $5,000, and Squirrel Systems lists the hardware costs of their starter bundle at around $2,300 for 15” Windows hospitality-grade host hardware, network router, cash drawer, receipt printer, kitchen printer, and a 1-year next-business-day Squirrel terminal replacement. If you want tablets for tableside ordering, you can expect to pay extra for them.