Change is coming to the restaurant industry, where the majority of businesses are still using legacy point-of-sale systems that don’t integrate with many of the mobile marketing and operational technologies that owners would like to implement. Forty-three percent of restaurant industry professionals say they plan to upgrade their restaurant technology within the next year, and 22% say they will in the next six months, meaning this could be a major period of growth for POS solutions focused on the restaurant industry.
Many of the biggest hurdles to adoption — such as high upgrade costs and security fears — have been overcome by cloud-based POS vendors, and restaurant owners are primed and ready to learn more about what solutions are available. Here are six POS systems that restaurant industry professionals can check out right now.
1. Toast: Improved guest experiences through the POS
Toast is a POS system that benefits restaurants by giving them access to tools designed to improve the guest experience and promote business growth. An all-in-one solution, the Toast system includes modules for loyalty programs, gift cards, online ordering, and customer data management, in addition to basic transaction processing. Toast also tracks menu sales, inventory, and labor costs, and uses the data to generate reports for its users. Toast’s Core software starts at $100 per month. Toast also sells hardware bundles, which include receipt printers, cash drawers, tablets, and credit card readers.
2. TouchBistro: iPad POS system for restaurants
TouchBistro is a POS system for full service and quick service restaurants. Designed exclusively for food service businesses, TouchBistro is a mobile system that gives restaurant staffers the ability to split checks, manage orders, join tables, combine bar tabs, and accept payments from iPads. Managers can create separate profiles for each member of their waitstaff teams. They can also manage product inventory, change menu items, and input floor plans to track how changes in table assignments impact daily sales figures. TouchBistro analyzes the number of times each menu item is ordered, and compares that to inventory data. It then notifies managers when they’re about to be low on certain ingredients. Monthly pricing for TouchBistro ranges from $69 to $399.
3. Breadcrumb: Modern POS software for restaurants
A cloud-based POS system designed for restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightclubs, Breadcrumb puts a heavy emphasis on flexibility and affordability. The company was acquired by the restaurant software vendor Upserve (formerly known as Swipely) earlier this year. Breadcrumb’s iPad-based platform already included features for splitting checks, changing menu items, tracking guest counts, and managing open tabs from mobile devices. With the new acquisition, restaurants using Breadcrumb have even better access to Upserve’s advanced business management tools. Although most users access Breadcrumb through iPads, managers can also access restaurant sales from their iPhones using Breadcrumb Live. Pricing starts at $99 per month for a single POS terminal license and an Upserve Core subscription.
4. Dinerware: POS solution that supports open hardware
Unlike most other POS systems on this list, Dinerware is a Microsoft-based POS system that can be used on Windows tablets for tableside ordering. The company was acquired by the payment processing and technology firm Heartland last year, and it works with a number of processors, including Heartland, First Data, and HarborTouch. Users have the option to add menu items, manage discounts, and adjust employee schedules through desktop computers using Dinerware Home Office. Although the POS system is used most frequently by full service restaurants, it’s also suitable for smaller cafes, wineries, golf clubs, casinos, and hotels. Dinerware is available through authorized dealers and white label brand partners.
5. CAKE: Smarter POS solutions for restaurants
CAKE is working to differentiate itself from competing POS systems by focusing on the complete integration of all restaurant technologies within its cloud-based platform. Although a mobile POS system sits at its core, CAKE also includes modules for guest management and online marketing. Managers can make edits to menus on the fly, cutting down on ordering errors, they can make table adjustments in real-time based on crowd counts, and they can use the platform’s free basic timecard tools to automatically clock-in employees and track breaks. CAKE OrderPad is an iPad app that restaurants, bars, and coffee shops can use to take orders directly at the table or counter. CAKE also sells its own hardware. Pricing for the software and service starts at $49 per month.
6. Restaurant Manager: Tools to improve table turnover and increase revenue
Just as the name suggests, Restaurant Manager is a POS system created to help independent restaurants improve operations and decrease technology costs. Restaurant Manager gives businesses the option to use traditional touchscreens or tablets. Using the iPad POS, waiters can process orders, send kitchen tickets, and accept credit card payments through their back office servers, even when the internet is down. Managers can add menu items and access detailed reports in real-time, as well. Restaurant Manager has some unique features, like price scheduling (calculating the right prices for meals), advanced ordering, and digital displays. Restaurant Manager is sold by local authorized resellers.
Know of other modern POS solutions for restaurants? Leave a description in the comments.
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.