December 23, 2020

Best Restaurant POS Software for 2021

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The hospitality industry has gone through many changes in the past year, but the software that restaurants use to run their businesses has kept pace. Many restaurant point of sale (POS) systems now offer online menus and ordering as standard features, for example. These tools keep restaurants of all sizes running despite the challenges of the last year.

This list has a restaurant POS for every business size and type. But if you’re ready to start talking to vendors, our Technology Advisors can help. Enter your requirements in the point of sale Product Selection Tool, and one of our unbiased Technology Advisors will reach out with a short list of vendors who meet your needs.

Compare the best restaurant point of sale software

We compared the top restaurant POS systems for both front of house and back of house features. Some of the features listed below may not be available at all pricing tiers or available at an extra charge.

Toast NCR Aloha ShopKeep TouchBistro Lightspeed Clover Square Maitre’D
Customer loyalty yes  yes yes yes yes yes yes no
Floor plan no no no yes yes yes yes yes
Reservations no no no yes yes no no no
Inventory yes yes yes yes yes no no yes
Online orders yes yes yes yes yes yes yes no

Toast

toast POS reporting

Toast is a full-service restaurant software designed to manage both front of house and back of house functions seamlessly. Manage inventory, online orders, and employee time clocks in a single interface. The cloud-based software can be used on your own tablet, or you can rent hardware directly from Toast.

Best for: Restaurants adding online ordering options to a full service menu.

NCR Aloha POS

Aloha NCR reporting

According to Aloha, more employees know how to use their software than any other restaurant POS—which is a plus for restaurants with high turnover. Aloha POS comes as a standalone software, a mobile POS, or with the purchase of kiosks. Restaurants get management tools for front of house and back of house, with menu, inventory, delivery, and loyalty. Aloha software does not include seating charts or reservations.

Best for: Franchise and multi-site table service restaurants with separate reservation solutions.

ShopKeep

shopkeep pos dashboard.

The ShopKeep POS helps restaurants of all types manage their inventory, improve their profits, and sell items online. The POS includes register, back office, and mobile software. Use a tablet as a register, and take payments in person or online. ShopKeep offers payments tools, so you can reduce your overhead and manage financials in a single interface from employee hours to revenue and invoicing.

Best for: Coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and bakeries with counter service.

TouchBistro

Touchbistro reporting tools.

TouchBistro is a restaurant point of sale software for counter service shops, full service restaurants, and everything in between. Purchase the base POS to manage your menu and service, and choose from several add-ons to customize the package. Use the tableside tablet ordering tool to get orders to the kitchen quickly. Display the current menu with digital signage. There’s even a kiosk feature for self-service in busy fast casual restaurants.

Best for: High volume fast casual restaurants.

Lightspeed

Lightspeed pos

Lightspeed is a full-service restaurant point of sale system that has menus, customer loyalty, inventory, and online ordering features for single and multi-site restaurants. The software can handle online reservations and employees can plan the night’s turns with the flexible floorplan tool. Connected cash register, inventory, and employee management tools keep all major management tasks in a single interface.

Best for: Full service franchise restaurants.

Clover

clover pos dashboard.

Clover POS works for counter service and full service restaurants. There are no extra fees for additional users, so it’s a good software for growing businesses. You can purchase hardware for a cash register or use a tablet at your counter. The customer loyalty tools are built right in, so you can follow up for reviews, send coupons, and communicate changes quickly. Clover may be light on features, but they integrate with a lot of marketing and accounting tools.

Best for: Growing restaurants with established marketing or accounting tools.

Square

Square POS sales reporting.

Square started out as a credit card reader company, but has since expanded into making software for business owners of all types. The Square POS tool for restaurants manages orders, processes payments, and drives customer loyalty programs. Use the tools for counter service or full service restaurants. Inventory and some other back of house features are not included with Square.

Best for: Mixed service establishments with food, beverage, and services all in one place.

Posera Maitre’D

maitre'd pos tools.

Posera Maitre’D is a point of sale software for the hospitality industry. It’s designed for full service restaurants, multi-site companies, and hotels, and can manage casual to fine dining. The tools extend from online ordering to back of house management, kitchen solutions, and signage. Choose from specialized bar and nightclub features like fast close tender keys to direct integrations with your current property management system (PMS).

Best for: Franchise hospitality and enterprise restaurant chains.

Choosing the best restaurant point of sale system

In addition to finding the restaurant POS software with all the right features, you’ll want to consider your current technology stack. Do you need an inventory tool, bar features, or customer loyalty systems? Does your current accounting software meet your back of house needs, or should you find a software with integrated accounting?

Use our point of sale Product Selection Tool to find the perfect solution for your restaurant. Enter your requirements and one of our unbiased Technology Advisors will contact you with a list of restaurant POS tools that meet your needs.