POS Reviews

6 Best POS Systems for Food Trucks (2024)

Selecting the proper POS system is essential for the smooth operation of your food truck business.

With so many options available, it can be challenging to make an informed decision that suits your specific requirements.

To simplify your search, I’ve conducted thorough research on highly-rated POS systems tailored for food trucks.

This guide offers a balanced perspective, analyzing crucial factors to consider and presenting the top contenders in the industry.

The Top 5 Food Truck POS Systems In 2024

  • Toast – Best online ordering and takeout features
  • Square – Best for startups looking for a subscription-free system
  • Lightspeed – Best advanced analytics features for a food truck fleet
  • TouchBistro – Best for ease of use and integrated loyalty features
  • Table Needs – Best mobile POS system with a built-in KDS

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Why Use a Food Truck POS System?

A Food Truck POS (Point of Sale) system is an essential tool that combines software and hardware to help food trucks manage sales and operations easily.

Designed for the unique challenges of mobile food businesses, it covers order taking, payment processing, inventory control, and analyzing data.

Built with food trucks in mind, a modern cloud-based POS system tackles real-time inventory tracking in tight spaces, quick service management, and operations across different locations.

It’s more than just a mobile cash register; a food truck POS is a powerful management system that boosts efficiency and improves customer experience.


Toast

Toast POS for food trucks website

Over recent years, Toast has emerged as a significant player in the restaurant commerce industry by rapidly growing and gaining attention through notable acquisitions. In fact, one could say that Toast has become a game-changer. So, it’s no surprise that they have been named one of the most innovative companies of 2023 by Fast Company (Source).

Toast aims to become a comprehensive restaurant commerce system. It also positions itself as a one-stop shop for food trucks.

One of the best things about Toast is that even with its many awesome features, it still maintains a reasonable pricing structure. Indeed, it is one of the top Point of Sale (POS) systems for food trucks.

Toast Pricing & Hardware Options

Here is the pricing plan for the Quick Start Bundle, Core, and Growth plan:

Quick Start Bundle: Starting at $0/month

A great match for food trucks or single-location cafes, this shop-and-go option includes initial hardware and our basic POS software. Features include cloud-based point of sale and hardware setup including one terminal (additional charges apply for subsequent devices).

Core Plan: Subscription starting at $69/month

Ideal for any restaurant looking to streamline operations and provide faster service, with flexible options to meet your specific needs. This package includes powerful cloud-based point of sale with reporting and analytics, simple, flat rate payment processing with real-time fraud monitoring, mobile dining solutions, including digital menus and mobile payments, and 24/7/365 customer care, with installation support.

Growth Plan: Subscription starting at $165/month

A software bundle including online ordering and delivery software for restaurants looking to add more revenue streams. This plan includes everything in Core, plus Toast Online Ordering, Toast Delivery Services, and Toast TakeOut App.

Please note that additional features and software are available for each plan, and you can pair each plan with a hardware setup of your choosing.

Credit card processing fees: You cannot opt to use a third-party payment processor as Toast will handle all credit and debit card transactions for you.

Toast believes that customers should receive more than just transaction reports from their card processor. To achieve this goal, they combine their card processing service with technology that engages with customers.

The information gathered from customers can then be used by restaurants to understand them better and create more targeted marketing campaigns.

As for the fees, Toast customizes the rates for processing card transactions based on the specific needs of your restaurant. 

Toast is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland.

Toast Flex is a handheld device constructed for you to swiftly take orders and process payments. Its design is spill-resistant, allowing you to conveniently manage contactless payment types like swipe, dip, or tap.

Toast Go device

Designed for smaller establishments such as coffee shops and restaurants with minimal counter space, Toast Go is an all-in-one portable device. You can take orders, process payments, and print receipts without swapping gadgets.

Toast Kiosk offers your customers a self-ordering experience. They can pick their dishes using a large, interactive touchscreen display. Particularly beneficial for quick-service restaurants, this device plays a helpful role in reducing wait times and enhancing the customer experience.

The Toast Terminal is a comprehensive countertop setup, covering a touchscreen display, card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer, all ready to go.

Toast customer facing display

Toast Display, a customer-facing setup, supports you in managing restaurant orders. It gives you the ability to monitor orders in real-time and handle your inventory.

Bear in mind, that hardware costs differ based on the configuration you opt for, and some devices come included in certain plans. Should you require a tailored quote, you should reach out directly to the Toast team.

Toast hardware devices

Toast User Reviews

Here is a summary of my analysis of user reviews, testimonials, and complaints about Toast as seen on major review sites like Capterra, G2, and others.

  • User-Friendly Interface: Many Toast users express satisfaction with the system’s user-friendly interface. They find that the software is easy to navigate, and training new employees is straightforward due to its intuitive design.
  • Customization and Flexibility: Users appreciate the high level of customization available with Toast POS. The system allows them to tailor the POS to their specific business needs, from table layouts to menu configurations.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: The reporting features of Toast POS are praised by several users. They find the reports easy to tailor to their needs and are pleased with the ability to download them into different formats for further analysis.
  • Effective Tableside Ordering: The handheld devices for tableside ordering receive high marks for their ease of use and ability to increase efficiency for service staff, allowing them to spend more time with guests.
  • Mobile and Cloud-Based: Toast’s mobile compatibility and cloud-based platform are highlighted as beneficial, enabling business owners to manage their operations and access real-time data from anywhere.
  • Technical Problems and Outages: Some reviewers report experiencing technical issues with the system, including network-wide crashes and offline payment processing errors, which occasionally cause entry errors and disrupt operations.
  • Additional Costs and Fees: Fees associated with certain features and payment processing rates are a point of contention for some users, who believe these fees can be excessive and not fully transparent.
  • Limited Quick Service Features: Toast POS is criticized by some quick service restaurants for its limited feature set tailored to their business model, suggesting improvements in order management and throttling.
  • Problematic Payroll Service: There are some complaints specifically about Toast’s payroll service, with users advising others to avoid it due to errors in tax reporting and other difficulties.
  • Installation and Setup Challenges: A few users find the self-install process to be complicated, noting that initial setup could be smoother and sometimes requires intervention from company representatives.
  • Issues with Customer Service: A common theme among the negative reviews is dissatisfaction with customer service. Users complain about receiving minimal support from customer service representatives, stating they often follow scripts with limited product knowledge.

Where Toast Stands Out for Food Trucks

Mobility and Flexibility: Toast has a handheld device, the Toast Go, which is ideal for the limited space in food trucks. This mobile POS system allows you to easily take orders, process payments, and print receipts, all from the palm of your hand.

Mobile Dining Solutions and QR Code Capabilities: Implement a custom QR code with Toast to scan to order, allowing guests to effectively serve themselves and keep staff focused on meal prep.

Hardware that Fits Your Business: Toast hardware is restaurant grade, IP54 spill-proof rated, designed to withstand the rigors of a food truck environment in a small, mobile space.

Online Ordering: Toast POS allows food trucks to offer online ordering, improving customer experience and increasing sales.

Customer Engagement and Loyalty Programs: Toast integrates with customer engagement programs like customer loyalty and email marketing, to build a loyal customer base and keep them coming back.

Inventory Management: Toast has integrated food inventory management tools, helping you keep track of stock and reduce costs.

Toast POS reporting dashboard

Detailed Customer and Sales Reporting: Toast includes integrated reporting and analytics, letting you keep pace with performance in real time and make informed decisions to improve your business.

Cost-Effective Plans: Toast fits your budget. The Pay as You Go plan keeps startup costs low by providing Starter Kit Hardware for $0 (just pay shipping and taxes) and eliminating monthly POS software subscription fees. The payment processing fee covers all costs, meaning Toast only gets paid when you do.

Toast POS menu builder

Easy Menu Customization and Management: With Toast, you can quickly update your menu or prices wherever you are, particularly useful for food trucks with frequently changing menus.

Reliable Internet Connection and Offline Mode: Toast POS can be used on the road with a third-party 4G modem. In case of internet issues, it offers an offline mode, allowing you to place orders, print tickets, and take credit card payments until the connection is re-established.

Where Toast Falls Short

  • Locked into Toast Payment Processing: Users are required to use Toast’s in-house credit card processing solution, restricting their ability to shop around for potentially better or more affordable alternatives.
  • Add-ons Can Get Expensive: While Toast POS offers a range of valuable add-ons to help restaurants enhance their operations, these extra features often come with additional costs. These expenses might be prohibitive, especially for small or start-up establishments looking to maintain a low-budget operation.
  • Not Very Transparent Pricing: Another downside of Toast POS is the lack of transparent pricing information on the website, including the various hardware bundles and add-on features. This can make it difficult for potential clients to compare Toast POS with other providers.
  • Only Available in a Few English-speaking Countries: Toast is only available in a select few English-speaking countries, limiting access for restaurants operating outside these markets. This geographical restriction may make Toast POS less desirable for global or multi-national brands looking for a comprehensive solution across all their locations

Square

Square restaurants POS website

Square for Restaurants provides an excellent POS solution for food trucks, facilitating every aspect of running and expanding your business.

With Square Online, you can accept orders on your free personalized website and manage them seamlessly using the Kitchen Display System (KDS), enabling pickup and delivery.

You can simultaneously manage multiple food trucks, unifying operations, payroll, and staffing. And, benefit from the intelligent routing and reporting capabilities to enhance order accuracy and minimize errors.

Furthermore, Square offers marketing tools to connect with customers and heighten sales. Effortlessly design, send, and monitor email and social media campaigns while implementing a loyalty program to reward your regulars.

Square Pricing & Hardware Options

Free plan: There’s no monthly fee, but there is a transaction fee for each in-person sale. 2.6% + 10¢ for swiped or tapped card transactions. 3.5% + 15¢ when the card number is keyed in. Online payment: 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

Plus: Includes more advanced features designed specifically for restaurants. $60/month for one device per location. +$40/month per added countertop POS device. (+ processing fees).

Premium subscribers get everything in the Plus subscription and custom pricing for add-ons like Square Payroll, Square Marketing, and Square Loyalty.

Example pricing of some add-ons:

Square Payroll +$35/mo then $5/mo per employee
Square Loyalty From $45/mo per location
Square Marketing From $15/mo per location

(Hardware is not included in the subscription. See hardware costs in the section below).

Contract length

A key advantage of Square’s payment processing is the absence of long-term subscriptions, providing flexibility in the usage of its services. You can opt for month-to-month payments and easily cancel your subscription anytime without penalties.

As a result, you can experiment with different business strategies while staying agile and adaptable to changing market conditions.

The Square app is available worldwide. Card payment acceptance is available in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, France and Spain (Source).

Square terminal

The Square Terminal can read all types of cards. You can use it for everything from taking payments to accessing your Square POS system to printing receipts to using all the features of Square’s app. The price for the terminal is $299.

Square contactless card reader

Square Reader for Contactless and Chip: Restaurants can now process payments more easily with the new Square Reader, which has improved Bluetooth connectivity, enhanced security, and longer battery life.

Square Stand Restaurant Station with cash drawer, receipt printer, and kitchen printer.

Square restaurant POS mobile kit device

Restaurant Mobile POS Kit for Square for Restaurants. Includes a Square Reader for contactless and chip (2nd generation), a phone case, and a Samsung Galaxy A32.

The Square Register is a countertop setup and a fully integrated point-of-sale system. No extra tablets or apps are required. Includes a touchscreen card terminal facing the customer and a built-in card reader. Costs $799.

Square POS hardware

Square User Reviews

Here is a summary of my analysis of user reviews, testimonials, and complaints about Square for Restaurants as seen on major review sites like Capterra, G2, and others.

  • Ease of Setup and Use: Many users commend Square for its user-friendly setup process and intuitive design. The system is easy to configure, adaptable for various devices including iPads and smartphones, and provides quick access to online market tools.
  • Cost-Effective: Business owners appreciate the affordability of Square for Restaurants. The pricing is competitive, and the system offers a variety of financial management tools such as integrated payment processing which contributes to a low-stress financial experience.
  • Efficient Sales Tracking and Payment Processing: The app has been highlighted for its capabilities in sales monitoring and secure payment processing, with immediate transaction fees rather than monthly billing.
  • CRM and Website Integration: Users appreciate the CRM tools provided by Square and find the website creation services particularly beneficial for enhancing their online presence, which is especially notable for quick transitions to online ordering during events like the pandemic.
  • Resourceful Features: Square for Restaurants POS is valued for its many features that assist in business operations, including inventory tracking, promotional offers, loyalty rewards, customer feedback collection, and seamless QuickBooks integration.
  • Complex Restaurant Issues: Some users report that Square for Restaurants is not ideal for complex restaurant operations. Glitches have led to crashes, with systems becoming unresponsive during busy times, causing major distress for restaurant owners. The system is also criticized for being unable to handle the intricacies of a full-service restaurant setting.
  • Customization Limits: Certain users find it tedious to customize menus and loyalty programs. Adjustments to the system may require excessive steps, which can be frustrating, especially for businesses with frequently changing offerings.
  • Technical Support Concerns: There have been complaints regarding the level of technical support provided by Square. Troubleshooting complex issues has sometimes proven difficult, with tech support struggling to resolve problems effectively. Furthermore, the lack of on-site support from Square when compared to competing products is a significant drawback for some users.
  • Inadequate Reporting: Users have mentioned that the reporting feature for Square for Restaurants POS could be improved. Detailed drill-down reports are lacking, making it cumbersome for business owners to analyze sales and inventory effectively.
  • Hardware Problems: Issues with the card reader have also been mentioned, with it occasionally rotating during a swipe and causing a read error, although solutions like anchoring the reader have been used to fix it.

Where Square Stands Out For Food Trucks

Square for Restaurants stands out as a great food truck point-of-sale (POS) system choice, due to its robust features catering to unique food truck needs. Here’s why Square is worth your consideration:

Mobility: Your food truck is always on the move, and you need a POS system that moves with you. Designed for mobility, Square is easy to set up and use, no matter where you park.

Ease of Use: Benefit from the user-friendly interface of Square. Quickly customize the items grid and categories page to align with your changing menu—a key consideration given your likely rotating or varying menu.

Payment Flexibility: Never miss a sale due to payment restrictions. Square accepts all kinds of payments, cash, credit cards, and mobile payments.

Fast Transactions: Thrive in your fast-paced environment with a system designed for quick transactions. It also offers a tab-splitting feature if your customers wish to spread their payment across multiple credit cards.

Square online checkout

Inventory Management: Enjoy free inventory management software that comes with Square’s POS system. This allows you to manage your inventory in real time, even receiving custom alerts when you’re running low on a specific ingredient.

Employee Management: Square’s integrated employee management software lets your team clock in and out directly from the POS system. This helps optimize scheduling and keeps overtime hours in check.

Business Insights: Discover smarter business decisions with real-time insights. After processing payments, check out your sales, get real-time business data, and find useful insights on the Square Dashboard.

Where Square Can Improve

Limited Advanced Features: Square for Restaurants may lack some advanced features found in other POS systems, such as in-depth inventory management and comprehensive reporting tools.

Complex Reporting: The reporting features can be difficult to navigate due to their complexity and the insufficient detail they provide. Reconciling sales to receivables is also a lengthy process.

Lack of On-Site Support: Square for Restaurants doesn’t offer on-site support, which may not be suitable for businesses needing in-person assistance.

More information on Square:

Square for Restaurants: Setting a New Course for the Future

How Square’s New AI Features Can Benefit Your Restaurant


Lightspeed

Lightspeed-POS-website

Lightspeed Restaurant: When it comes to selecting a Point of Sale (POS) system for food truck businesses, Lightspeed is among the quite frequently considered options. Founded in 2005, Lightspeed has grown into a leading global provider of cloud-based POS and e-commerce solutions serving businesses in over 100 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Lightspeed ecom

Lightspeed has a distinct focus on building commerce platforms for independent restaurants. Its unified hospitality platform is designed to meet the specific needs of food and beverage establishments, including food trucks.

The platform ties together point-of-sale capabilities, integrated payments, inventory management, staff management tools, and provides powerful reporting insights.

An interesting factor about Lightspeed is the incorporation of advanced technology features. This includes a blockchain-based technology platform, real-time analytics, tailored workflows and various integrations, all in an intuitive iOS-based interface. Moreover, the platform can operate in offline mode, making it a reliable option in various situations.

Lightspeed Pricing & Hardware Options

Lightspeed Restaurant Essentials: $90/month (annual plan $69/month)

Features include: Menu manager, Mobile access, Takeout and delivery orders, Integrated payment processing, Reporting and analytics, Inventory, 24/7 support, Dedicated account management, Table Mode. 1 register.

Lightspeed Restaurant Plus: $246/month (annual plan $189/month)

All Essentials features, Loyalty program, Gift cards

Lightspeed Restaurant Pro: $516/month (annual plan $399/month)

All Plus features and Advanced insights, Advanced inventory. 1 register.

Additional registers +$34/mo
Add-on pricing starting at $12/month
Premium add-ons starting at $39/month

Transaction fees: 2.6% plus 10 cents per card-present transaction with Lightspeed Payments. Third-party payment processors are also available.

*Pricing at the time of publishing this guide. For the most current pricing, contact Lightspeed.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS is currently available in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Australia.

Lightspeed hardware

There are several hardware options available for restaurants. These include an iPad hardware kit that includes a receipt printer, cash drawer, and kitchen printer but does not include an iPad or payment terminal.

There is also a Lightspeed iPad Stand by Vault, which is a restaurant-grade stand designed to mount an iPad securely.

Lightspeed restaurant examples of handheld hardware

In addition, there are several payment terminals available, including the Verifone e285, Verifone P400, and Verifone 400m, which all support tap, swipe, and dip payments and the e285 also supports tip entry and signature capture.

For a full list of supported hardware options, Lightspeed provides more information.

Lightspeed customer order dashboard

Lightspeed User Reviews

Where Lightspeed Stands Out for Food Trucks

Flexible and Customizable System: Lightspeed is a comprehensive solution crafted for food trucks like yours. It allows you to customize your menus, screens, and layouts to match your unique needs.

Lightspeed reports

Data-Driven Decision Making and Real-Time Insights: Lightspeed integrates real-time insights with each transaction, enabling you to make swift, data-driven decisions. You can fine-tune your menu, track your customers’ habits, and identify your top-performing staff.

Lightspeed Payments: Payment processing that integrates AI and blockchain technology for a single, universal sign-on at any point of purchase globally. Each transaction is recorded on a private blockchain, potentially enhancing security and traceability.

Multiple Ordering Options: Lightspeed caters to your guests’ convenience by offering diverse ordering options. These include online ordering, or QR code ordering, enabling guests to order in a manner that suits them best, enhancing their overall dining experience.

Management Across Multiple Locations: If you operate multiple food trucks, Lightspeed enables you to manage all of them from a single platform. It allows you to easily track guest data and reports across different locations and implement changes to all menus. Lightspeed POS gives you centralized control and real-time visibility across all your food truck locations.

Self-Order Menu and Self-Ordering Kiosks: Lightspeed offers a Self-Order Menu feature that allows customers to place their own orders. This feature can increase order size and improve customer service. It can be used at tables or as a self-ordering kiosk, and it’s convenient to set it up with your existing Lightspeed menu.

Customer Facing Display (CFD): Lightspeed includes a Customer Facing Display (CFD) feature, offering transparency to your customers during the checkout process. The CFD visually presents the full breakdown of their order, ensuring that guests can be confident they are being correctly charged. It displays item details, subtotal price, tax rate, total, and order number for takeaway orders.

Lightspeed order screen

Delivery Feature: Lightspeed introduces a delivery feature tailored for food trucks. With the increasing popularity of food delivery apps, Lightspeed facilitates your adaptation to changing customer behaviors.

This delivery service centralizes online orders from platforms like UberEats, Skip The Dishes, or DoorDash onto a single screen, making it easier for you to manage and deliver orders to customers wherever they are.

Order Anywhere Feature: Lightspeed’s Order Anywhere feature provides a streamlined service for food trucks. Whether customers are eating at your food truck or ordering to-go, this feature allows guests to pay via QR code, cutting down wait times for the bill and eliminating the need for app downloads. Customers can order straight from their phones, simplifying the takeout ordering process.

Lightspeed KDS

Kitchen Display System (KDS): Lightspeed’s Kitchen Display System (KDS) enhances staff communication and optimizes your workflow. The KDS displays ticket times, color-coded orders, and real-time updates to elevate your service turnaround and ensure a unified workflow. Digitizing your kitchen operations reduces errors and collects data on production times, bringing clarity and efficacy to your kitchen operations.

Where Lightspeed Falls Short

  • Price: Lightspeed Restaurant POS is more expensive than some other POS systems on the market. While the system offers a range of features and benefits, the cost may be a barrier for some restaurant owners, especially those who are just starting out.
  • Limited Customization: While Lightspeed’s interface is user-friendly, it may not offer as much customization as some coffee shop owners would like. For example, some users have reported that it’s difficult to customize the layout of the order screen, which can impact efficiency during peak hours.

TouchBistro

TouchBistro POS for food trucks website

TouchBistro is an excellent choice for food trucks. Not only does it offer a visually appealing and intuitive design, but it also has an abundance of features. It further offers the convenience of a hybrid cloud/server system, giving you peace of mind knowing that your data is always accessible and secure.

Ease of use: TouchBistro is one of the easiest POS systems to use. It is easy to use and you can learn it in a short time. TouchBistro is great for people who want something quick and easy to work with.

New employees don’t have to waste precious time going through an extensive tutorial – if they are familiar with an iPad, then they can easily figure out TouchBistro. You can customize your menus and interface with this tool which will help you speed up your processes in the long run.

TouchBistro Pricing & Hardware Options

I like the modularity of the TouchBistro pricing structure. You get a good deal at a low price and can choose from the selection of add-on options as your business grows.

Here is the pricing plan for TouchBistro and its add-ons:

Monthly subscription fee: Starts at $69/month for up to two setups

Add-on pricing (starting at):

  • Online ordering: $50/month
  • Reservations: $229/month
  • Gift cards: $25/month
  • Marketing: $99/month
  • Loyalty: $99/month

TouchBistro Payments (US only)is powered by Chase and provides pricing through an innovative cost plus pricing model. The solution supports all major credit and debit cards, as well as swipe, dip, tap, and digital wallet payments from Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

TouchBistro Payments also offers an offline payments mode, allowing you to continue taking payments even when their internet is down.

Payment processing fees depend on if you use TouchBistro Payments (US only) or one of the available payment processing partners like Square. You’ll be able to use different payment processors depending on which one offers the lowest rate.

For example, Square charges the following: 2.6% +10¢ per transaction.

Please note that hardware and additional fees may apply to these prices. It’s recommended to contact TouchBistro directly for a custom quote.

TouchBistro is available in the US, Canada, the UK, Mexico, and over 100 other countries. (TouchBistro Payments is only available in the US).

TouchBistro supports iPads, iPad Pro, or the iPad Mini and runs best on devices from 2018 or later. These tablets are used to take orders and process payments table-side.

A TouchBistro setup can include an iPad stand, receipt printer, card reader, router, and modem.

TouchBistro also sells accessories, such as a Self-Service Kiosk, customer-facing display, KDS, and Digital Menu Boards. TouchBistro may also make use of third-party hardware such as cash drawers, card readers, and receipt printers.

TouchBistro hardware devices

Customizable Additional Hardware: Depending on the unique needs of your restaurant, you can mix and match different POS equipment such as cash drawers and receipt printers.

Hardware Setups for Different Venue Sizes: TouchBistro offers tailored hardware configurations based on the venue size and type of your restaurant. Whether you have a small or large venue, they have hardware solutions designed to fit your specific needs.

Integrated Hardware Support: TouchBistro also offers dedicated implementation specialists to provide round-the-clock support for your hardware.

TouchBistro suggests always purchasing the latest iPad models for the best experience and longevity of support. While they provide iPad stands, they also offer the flexibility for you to use your own. Their iPads are compatible with any iPad stands, allowing you to choose a stand style that aligns best with your restaurant’s look and feel.

TouchBistro sales reports

TouchBistro User Reviews

Here is a summary of my analysis of user reviews, testimonials, and complaints about TouchBistro as seen on major review sites like Capterra, G2, and others.

  • Ease of Use: The user interface is generally praised as user-friendly and easily navigable, making it simple for staff to manage tasks and learn the system.
  • Robust Features: TouchBistro offers comprehensive features for managing a wide range of restaurant operations, from room charges to extensive menus.
  • Menu Management: Users enjoy the intuitive platform for updating pricing, adding and removing items, and overall menu customization.
  • Self-Ordering Kiosk and Offline Functionality: The self-ordering kiosk feature for customer upgrades and the ability to operate without internet are well-received.
  • Quick and Efficient Order Taking: Utilizing iPads, the TouchBistro POS allows for efficient order taking directly at the table, enhancing the guest experience.
  • Inventory Tracking: Although it requires extensive setup, the inventory tracking capabilities are detailed and offer significant benefits once in place.
  • Responsive Customer Service: Some reviewers cite the customer service team as being quick to respond and helpful, often implementing suggested features.
  • Ongoing Software Improvements: The company is recognized for continuously rolling out new features and for being supportive during the challenges faced by the restaurant industry.

Technology Issues During Updates: Users experience significant technology issues when updates to TouchBistro are required, leading to potential downtime that businesses cannot afford.
Difficulties with Customer Support: Reaching customer support can be time-consuming, and some users face lengthy wait times and get passed from one representative to another.
Challenges with Reporting: Obtaining comprehensive reports is cumbersome, and the analytics provided are found to be lacking in depth by some users.
Onboarding and Training Challenges: Users noted the onboarding process could be difficult, and the lack of user-friendly support materials led to some businesses having to create their own training manuals.
Wi-Fi Connection Problems: Some users reported intermittent Wi-Fi connection issues, which occasionally require modem resets.
System Stability and Bugs: Instances of the system disconnecting daily, causing significant operational burdens and frustrations.
Limited Remote Management: Managing multiple restaurants or making substantial changes remotely is problematic due to limitations of the system’s infrastructure.

Where TouchBistro Stands Out for Food Trucks

TouchBistro is a great food truck POS system with a user-friendly interface and robust features tailor-made for high-turnover food and beverage businesses. It’s built to match the pace of your mobile business, streamlining the processing of long lines swiftly and efficiently.

Sales Enhancement Features: One of the distinguishing features of TouchBistro is its sales enhancement capability. It leverages pop-up prompts to remind staff to upsell, and optimizes your menu and promotions using comprehensive sales reports. This feature aligns with the crucial need for POS systems to deliver analytics and reporting for informed business decisions.

TouchBistro loyalty marketing screen
TouchBistro loyalty marketing screen

Outstanding Guest Experience: TouchBistro not only enhances sales but also the guest experience. It boasts quick register buttons for swift order processing. A customer-facing display guarantees customers receive the correct order. Plus, integrated mobile payment processing enables various payment methods—swipe, dip, or tap—for customer convenience.

Tailored Hardware Solutions: TouchBistro offers hardware solutions that fit your business. It efficiently utilizes counter space with stow-away mobile credit card processing terminals when not in use—a particular benefit for spatially limited food trucks.

TouchBistro menu management screen
TouchBistro menu management screen

Menu Customization and Management: In terms of menu customization and management, TouchBistro allows time savings with pre-scheduled menus and promotions. An intuitive iOS system proves easy for staff to learn and use, cutting down training time.

Comprehensive Reporting: TouchBistro meets the POS system requirement of comprehensive analytics and reporting features by providing access to over 50 powerful reports on-the-go. These reports range from payment processing and financial data to a breakdown of customer orders.

Multiple Payment Processors Integration: TouchBistro shines with its capacity to integrate with various payment processors, offering flexibility and convenience for food truck owners. Its support for multiple terminals also makes it a cost-effective solution for businesses requiring more than one POS terminal.

Offline Functionality: TouchBistro ensures business continuity with its offline functionality—critical for food trucks that may occasionally lack a reliable internet connection. Uniquely, TouchBistro’s hybrid POS accepts orders and payments without internet access, assuring unbroken service.

Where TouchBistro Falls Short

  • Limited integrations: TouchBistro doesn’t offer as many integrations as some other POS systems, potentially limiting businesses requiring extensive software/platform integration.
  • Limited reporting: Reporting features need improvement for more comprehensive sales, employee performance, and inventory reports.

More information on TouchBistro:

TouchBistro’s New Cutting-Edge Back-of-House Solutions


Table Needs

Table Needs is a point-of-sale company that specifically targets the food service industry, with a particular emphasis on quick service restaurants, cafes, and food trucks. Its offerings include innovative and simplified products and services designed to augment business proficiency and profitability.

Table Needs was founded by individuals who have substantial experience in the food service industry and are well-versed in the specific needs of restaurateurs.

The company’s vision is to foster a world where locally-owned quick service restaurants, cafes, and food trucks are stable, profitable businesses that contribute to their communities and promote local growth.

Where Table Needs Stands Out for Food Trucks

All-in-One System: The Table Needs POS system is a comprehensive platform allowing you to manage your entire business seamlessly. The full package includes a kitchen display system (KDS), QR code ordering, online ordering, and menu management, all at no extra cost.

Ease of Use: Designed with simplicity and speed in mind, this POS system runs on standard mobile devices, thereby saving you the expense of investing in proprietary hardware.

Ordering Options: Your customers are presented with a variety of ways to place an order. They can Scan to Order & Pay via their mobile device after scanning a provided QR code, place an order for a future time using the commission-free online ordering system, or make traditional counter orders. All these orders are routed through the POS system, allowing for easy tracking and reporting.

Built-in Kitchen Display System (KDS): The in-built KDS feature aids you in streamlining order management. This tool simplifies kitchen operations, helping you manage orders, prioritize tasks, and reduce confusion during busy periods. Additionally, the KDS will automatically send text messages to your customers to let them know when their orders are ready for pick-up.

No Contracts, No Hidden Fees: Table Needs operates with total transparency. There are no contracts or hidden fees to worry about. Besides, no proprietary hardware is imposed on you, making it a more economical choice compared to some other systems out there.

Mobile App: Initiate your journey with Table Needs simply by downloading their mobile app. As a food truck owner, this sets you up with a cost-effective, highly portable, and efficient solution right at the tip of your fingers.

Mobile Point of Sale (POS) system specifically designed for food trucks and food carts. This robust system provides a full suite of features that lets you manage your entire business right from the palm of your hand, eliminating the need for bulky hardware.

Ease of operation: The mobile POS system can run your entire food truck business from a phone or tablet, managing everything from taking orders and managing tickets to updating menus and accessing reports.
Kitchen Display System (KDS): The system comes with a built-in KDS that enhances operational efficiency, enabling quick-glance status updates and synchronization across multiple devices.
Menu management: The mobile POS app allows you to create and manage enticing menus quickly and efficiently, improving customer experience with current, updated menus.
Improved customer experience: The system ensures swift, accurate orders and enables automatic text notifications to notify customers when their orders are ready, enhancing overall customer experience.
Steady Internet connection: With the mobile POS system, you’re no longer bound by constant internet connectivity issues. The system allows you to connect to Wi-Fi or 5G networks and process orders and payments from anywhere.
Cost-effective and flexible: Without any required proprietary hardware, monthly subscriptions, or start-up fees, Table Needs Mobile POS system remains an affordable option for food truck operations.

Table Needs Pricing

Table Needs operates on a flexible pricing model designed to cater to different sizes and scales of food service businesses.

  1. Snack-Sized ($139 per month): This plan is suitable for small operations and comes with an array of services including point of sale (POS), commission-free online ordering, kitchen display system (KDS), and digital menus. It also includes sales tax automation, cash discount program, inventory management, and dynamic reporting. The subscription includes a lease of up to $2500 worth of hardware e.g. a POS station, KDS, printer, cash drawer, and card reader.
  2. Balanced Lunch ($239 per month): This slightly larger plan includes all the benefits of the snack-sized plan plus the ability to lease up to $5000 worth of hardware. Examples could include two POS stations, two KDS stations, two printers, a cash drawer, and a card reader.
  3. Full Entree ($339 per month): Their largest plan includes everything the previous plans offer but allows you to lease up to $10,000 worth of hardware. You could get three POS stations, two KDS stations, two printers, a cash drawer, and a card reader, for example.

All these monthly plans also cover installation and onboarding, 1-to-1 training for you and your staff, and on-demand customer support.

Apart from these, they also offer a $99 per month subscription-only option. More details can be obtained by directly contacting them.

Additionally, Table Needs offers a flat rate for all credit card charges, including AMEX – 2.69% + 10¢ when the card is present and 2.9% + 30¢ when the card is not present.

For taxes, they also offer sales tax automation in partnership with DAVO by Alavara to automatically collect, file, and pay your state tax so you can stay focused on your restaurant management.

Lastly, Table Needs promises a hassle-free setup process and free training for you and your staff. If you aren’t satisfied after 90 days, they pledge to pay up to $1500 to help you switch to another POS company.


Food Truck POS System Recommendations

Based on the features of each POS system, here are my recommendations for different types of food trucks.

Toast: For newcomers to the food truck business or those functioning on a restrictive budget, Toast’s economical plans and robust features make for an ideal fit. Its offline mode and mobile compatibility establish Toast as a reliable option for food trucks navigating areas with inconsistent internet connectivity. The system’s ability to split tabs and rapidly process transactions proves advantageous for food trucks catering to larger groups.

TouchBistro: For food trucks dealing with high staff turnover or keen on reducing the training period, TouchBistro meets the unique requirements with its user-friendly interface and robust features. With offline functionality, the system guarantees uninterrupted service making it perfect for food trucks operating in areas with unreliable internet connection.

Square for Restaurants: If you’re kicking off your food truck business or seeking a simple, uncomplicated system, Square’s mobile design and easy setup offer an effortless solution. The provision of free inventory management software and real-time business insights makes Square particularly appealing for food truck owners desiring to monitor their business performance and inventory closely.

Lightspeed: Lightspeed’s customizable system and cloud-based solution serve food trucks looking for a flexible, adaptable system. The system’s capacity to function offline makes it a good choice for food trucks functioning in areas with intermittent internet connectivity. Food trucks operating on limited space can benefit from a wide range of hardware options, including an iPad cash register.

Review Conclusion

In the food truck industry, a powerful POS system with diverse features plays a vital role. It drastically improves business proficiency and profitability by offering mobile compatibility and optimizing inventory management in limited spaces.

The significance of flexible menu management, financial integrations, and analytics to streamline operations and guide strategy is noteworthy. The system should enhance payment conveniences, provide insights, and enable quick menu adjustments to changing demands.

The POS system should also align with the changing industry trends by integrating online ordering, delivery services, and digital marketing. A loyal customer base can be established through customer loyalty programs. Importantly, select a durable, user-friendly POS system hardware that fits the food truck’s space limitations.

A carefully chosen POS system significantly contributes to the food truck’s success. Therefore, every food truck owner must assess their specific needs before selecting a system, ensuring it is intuitive, reliable, and provides excellent customer support.

In conclusion, a good POS system is not just for processing transactions, but it is a strategic partner for advancing your food truck business.

Read more:
How Much Does a Restaurant POS System Cost?
Restaurant Payment & Credit Card Processing Simplified
14 Restaurant POS Features That Are Essential

FAQ

A food truck POS (point-of-sale) system consists of specialized hardware and software designed to manage transactions, operations, and inventory specifically for a mobile food truck environment. Key features include mobility through tablets or smartphones, integration with online ordering, offline capability, battery power sources, Bluetooth receipt printing, and robust reporting on sales, inventory, and labor across multiple trucks and locations. A POS system built for food truck mobility provides owners and staff the technology to quickly handle orders and payments anywhere around the truck while optimizing back-end inventory management and gaining insights into their mobile business.

Here are some key features that characterize a food truck POS system:

  • Mobility – The POS is optimized to run on tablets or smartphones to facilitate orders and payment collection from anywhere in or around the truck.
  • Online ordering integration – Allow customers to order and pay online and sync orders to the POS. Critical for enabling pickup/walkup customers.
  • Inventory tracking – Robust tools for managing inventory across multiple trucks and locations including food costs and real-time stock counts.
  • Menu/item modifiers – Easily create mobile menus and allow customizations to menu items.
  • Customer database – Collect customer data and order history to activate loyalty programs.
  • Offline mode – POS can continue operating without internet connectivity and sync data when connection is regained.
  • Power source – Ability to power the POS through battery packs, generators, or truck batteries to avoid losing power.
  • Receipt printing – Compatibility with wireless/Bluetooth printers to provide receipts.
  • Reporting – Sales reports, labor reports, customer reports, and inventory controls tailored for food trucks.

The right food truck POS addresses the unique operational and sales needs that come with running a mobile food business across multiple locations.

  • Mobility – The system needs to be optimized for tablets or smartphones to allow taking orders anywhere around the truck.
  • Online ordering integration – Allow customers to order and pay online for walkup pickup. This increases sales.
  • Offline mode – Ability to operate without internet connectivity and sync data when connection is regained.
  • Inventory management – Tools to track stock across multiple trucks and locations and manage recipes.
  • Custom menu creation – Easy to build out a specialized menu and set item modifiers.
  • Order management – Handling various order types like in-person, online, preorder, etc.
  • Flexible payment – Process credit cards, debit cards, mobile payments, cash, and more.
  • Receipt printing – Compatible with Bluetooth mobile printers for handing customers receipts.
  • Reporting – Sales reports, labor reports, and inventory reports tailored to a food truck’s needs.
  • Portable hardware – Durable, lightweight terminals, tablets, or kiosks that are easy to set up.

The right POS balances robust order, inventory, and reporting features with the portability and flexibility needed for mobile food service. This allows trucks to operate efficiently anywhere.

A Point of Sale (POS) system brings numerous benefits to food truck businesses. Here are some of the vital advantages:

Efficiency: A POS system streamlines operations, making order-taking, payment processing, and customer service quicker and easier. It allows effective handling of peak times and increases turnover.

Inventory Management: The system automatically tracks inventory in real-time, assisting with supply management, waste reduction, and avoiding the depletion of key ingredients. Especially crucial for food trucks with limited storage space.

Sales Reporting and Analytics: A POS system supplies detailed reports and analytics about sales, customer behavior, and business performance. This data empowers informed decisions to enhance the business.

Improved Customer Service: It can boost customer service by accelerating transactions, providing versatile payment options, and enabling loyalty programs and promotions. It also assists in managing online orders and deliveries, offering extra convenience for customers.

Menu Management: A POS system simplifies updating and customizing menus, invaluable for food trucks that frequently adjust their offerings based on location, season, or customer preference.

Reduced Errors: Automating many tasks reduces errors in order taking, payment processing, and inventory management. Such efficiency can lead to time and cost savings and ensures customer satisfaction.

Mobility: Many POS systems are mobile-friendly and can run on a tablet or smartphone, perfect for food trucks operating in various locations.

Increased Profits: By improving efficiency, reducing errors, and providing business insights, a POS system can boost profits. It also helps identify and exploit growth opportunities.

Here are some additional important features and considerations when selecting a POS system for a food truck:

  • Durability – The hardware needs to withstand vibrations, drops, spills etc. Look for ruggedized or waterproof options.
  • Portability – Compact, lightweight hardware is easier to set up and break down at locations.
  • Power-saving – POS hardware should be optimized for low energy consumption to preserve the truck battery.
  • Integration – The system should easily pair with any printers, cash drawers, scanners, and other peripherals you need.
  • Mounting options – Ability to securely mount/dock tablets or kiosks in the truck service area.
  • Order-taking options – Consider terminal, tablet, and kiosk modes to fit your truck layout and workflow.
  • Staff management – Tools for managing employee hours, assignments, and payroll across one or multiple trucks.
  • Menu display options – Digital display compatibility to showcase the menu to customers from the truck.
  • LTE/cellular connectivity – For stable connectivity to access online orders and process payments.
  • Cost – Factor in not just software and hardware costs but also LTE data plans if needed.
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Jan is a writer and content creator at KitchenBusiness.com with a focus on the restaurant and food service industry. Drawing from his background in tech and UX design, Jan breaks down complex systems into digestible, actionable insights.

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