The market is being flooded with a hundred different cloud-based POS systems that both retailers and restaurants are quickly adopting. There are many benefits to using a cloud-based POS system, from low cost to quick implementation, but choosing the right one can be challenging.
Standard features that the majority of cloud-based POS systems offer are: ability to take credit cards, access to sales reports from anywhere, software installation on any smart phone or tablet, hardware like cash drawers, sleek stands and automatic remote software updates.
We’ve outlined for you the top cloud-based POS systems and their features so that you can decide which is best for your restaurant.
Square is one of the top companies in the space and made the idea of cloud-based POS systems mainstream. It’s been around since 2013 and is used by over 2 million businesses. Square software is free to download to any Apple or Android device and the company distributes the “squares” used for payment processing for free. For a Square Stand it’s $99 and a flat 2.75 percent processing fee for all credit card swipes, taps, and dips (more for manual input).
Also, if you’ve ever been rung up with Square, you’ll notice a feature where the system recognizes your card and automatically generates your email address for your email receipt.
This is one of the highest rated cloud POS systems because of its cost (on average $120/month) and support team. Having been around since 2010, Revel systems can be found in popular restaurants such as Popeye’s, Shell, Dairy Queen, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
Pre-authorization and the ability to make changes from anywhere are just two reasons this cloud-based POS system is a winner. The digital menu board is another. The system allows you to open digital tabs using credit card pre-authorization, tracks inventory by ingredients in each item on your menu, and customer management systems.
Revel does have a partnership with Apple, so the system only runs on Apple iPads. But, they are specialized so there are different POS systems for every business type like bars, coffee shops, salons, drive-thrus and wineries.
Built-in loyalty program and split checks by dragging and dropping individual items on each customer’s bill makes your staff’s job a piece of, well, toast (and yours at an average of $50 a month). You’ll also be able to see which menu items are most popular and generate digital gift cards.
To maximize customer contact, Toast lets your staff place orders at the table (or from anywhere on premise) and fire orders immediately. Payments happen at the table and at the same time customers can rate your business and sign up for your loyalty program. To make switching over easy, Toast supports both electronic and physical gift cards.
Toast is built for Android systems, but the company does seem to have good reviews on customer support. Also, they have a team who works to customize the operating system just for your venue.
This New York based, international company launched in 2008 and now boasts 23,000 businesses on its system. At approximately $50 a month, ShopKeep’s standout features include a clear order modification system and wireless ordering. You can also use their partners like Google for email and Mailchimp for email newsletters.
ShopKeep is another one that uses only iPads, but is geared towards small shop and business owners. They also have integrated payment processing and the company guarantees the lowest processing rates (although they vary by customer) and includes EMV chip cards and ApplePay.
Kounta is Australian based restaurant POS that can be used from any device. Founded in 2012, the company offers cashless (and card less) Apple Pay and PayPal as payment methods. Pricing starts at $50 a month and it works on any device from an easy download in the App or Play Store.
A key feature is recipe creation that also allows for ingredient tracking as well as custom table layouts. This is in addition to the standard employee management and reports. The design and image focused interface seems to get a lot of positive feedback from users and they do have product integration with MYOB.
Posterita works on any hardware and they have a number of options direct from their sources, including an external card terminal to process payments from anywhere. Their systems are more marketed for retail shops, keeping accurate inventory and managing employees, but they also specialize in small cafes. Pricing starts at $77 per store for retail and their system allows you to track everything, like how many drinking cups are used, and capture customer information on check out.
One of the neat features is that Posterita has a system for becoming a reseller of the Posterita POS system.
Focused on usability and helping your kitchen staff and getting rid of paper dock tickets is Hike’s stand out feature. In addition to all the regular features like working offline, real-time updates, and loyalty programs, Hike also has a reservation booking component and 24/7 support. Their system is useful if you have a retail side to your business (with variable inventory tracking) or if you do a high volume of takeaways. Pricing starts at $49 a month and can be used with any hardware.
The business overall seems to be focused more on retail versus restaurants, but if you run a café/Pilates studio or a furniture store/restaurant, could be perfect for you.
From the Latin roots of “to like” or “pleasure,” Gusto is all about prompts that are in line with the customer experience. They’ve geared towards fast casual and bars with multiple locations. Gusto can also help you analyze data from individual locations. Customers can also order ahead online using their laptop or smart phone. Terminals are priced out on annual plans and include support and maintenance.
These eight cloud POS systems are just some of the few on the market. Bluebird, Lightspeed, Fooditter, etc are some others you can check out. If you want advice on all the systems available and would like to read real user reviews, check out Software Advice’s website. There are nearly 80 different POS systems specifically targeted to restaurants reviewed on this site by real restaurant and business owners.