6 Best Quick Service Restaurant POS Systems (2024)

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Choosing the right QSR POS system is essential for the success of your fast food or quick-service restaurant business.

With numerous options available in the market, the decision-making process can be overwhelming.

To provide clarity, I have researched and reviewed the top-rated QSR POS systems, considering their features, capabilities, and user feedback.

In this updated 2024 overview, you’ll find a comprehensive guide to simplify your research process, including the pros, cons, and key factors of each system.

This will help you select the best QSR POS system for your business without feeling overwhelmed.

illustration of a quick service chef holding a POS device

The Top 6 QSR POS Systems In 2024

  • Toast – Best online ordering and delivery system
  • Lightspeed – Best advanced analytics features for multi-units
  • Square – Best for smaller QSRs looking for a subscription-free system
  • SpotOn – Best marketing automation and website creation tools
  • TouchBistro – Best for ease of use and integrated loyalty features
  • Truffle – Smart QSR and delivery management features

Why Use A Quick Service Restaurant POS System?

In a fast-paced food service environment, a Quick Serve Restaurant (QSR) POS system serves as an all-inclusive tech solution. 

It’s designed to make your operations smooth and efficient, going beyond just managing transactions. It integrates with different aspects of your restaurant operations, improving efficiency and amplifying customer experience.

A QSR POS system’s key features include managing orders, processing payments, tracking inventory, and analyzing data. An added benefit is its ability to sync with online ordering platforms, loyalty programs, and marketing tools. This gives you a centralized system for overseeing various facets of your business.


Toast

Over recent years, Toast has emerged as a significant player in the restaurant commerce industry by rapidly growing and gaining attention through notable acquisitions. 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).

What makes Toast a tough competitor among other POS systems is its feature-rich platform. Some of these functionalities include payment processing, online ordering, inventory, and menu management, marketing and customer loyalty programs, employee management, labor, and food cost control, and business reporting, among others.

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

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

Toast Pricing & Hardware

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 Quick-Service Restaurants

Toast POS is designed specifically for quick-service restaurants, offering many features that will help your operations and enhance the dining experience for your guests.

Integrated Online Ordering System: With this feature, you can allow guests to order whenever and wherever they want. This system also improves order accuracy and reduces inventory waste.

And, it’s commission-free for your restaurant, making it a cost-effective solution for expanding your sales channels. It’s easy to set up and fully integrated with your Toast POS, ensuring that online orders seamlessly fit into your workflow.

Toast online ordering screenshot

Durable Touchscreen POS Terminals: These terminals are built to handle the fast-paced environment of a quick-service restaurant. They support various payment methods, including credit card and mobile payments, ensuring a smooth transaction process for your guests.

Self-Service Kiosks: The kiosks simplify the guest experience by allowing them to customize their orders. These kiosks streamline front-of-house operations by freeing up staff to handle other tasks, improving overall efficiency.

Toast KDS

Kitchen Display System (KDS): The KDS is a key component of Toast. Designed to handle the heat and pace of a restaurant kitchen, the KDS integrates with Toast Go, ensuring that items are fired directly to the KDS as soon as the guest orders.

This means your kitchen can start preparing items seconds later, improving efficiency. The KDS also aggregates all orders from kiosks, online ordering, and third-party channels, providing a unified view of all incoming orders.

Toast Mobile Order and Pay: This feature allows your guests to browse the menu, order, and pay directly from their mobile devices. With a custom QR code, guests can scan and order, providing a contactless and convenient dining experience.

Toast email templates

Loyalty Programs, Email Marketing, and Reporting: The integrated loyalty programs allow guests to accrue points with each swipe of their card. Toast also supports email marketing directly integrated with the POS, driving customer engagement.

Additionally, the system provides integrated reporting and analytics, allowing you to keep track of your performance in real-time and make informed decisions about your offerings.

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

Toast Review Summary

In conclusion, Toast is a comprehensive solution that not only allows you to implement online ordering but also provides a range of features to streamline your operations, drive more revenue, improve order accuracy, and reduce inventory waste. It’s a powerful tool that enhances the dining experience for your guests and provides you with valuable insights and growth opportunities.

  • Description:

    The most innovative POS system on the market

    Best for QSRs that want advanced online ordering, take-out and delivery features.

  • Pros:
    • Rapid development of new features
    • Robust online ordering system
    • Includes a free starter plan
  • Cons:
    • Android only
    • Locked into Toast payment processing
Description:

The most innovative POS system on the market

Best for QSRs that want advanced online ordering, take-out and delivery features.

Pros:
  • Rapid development of new features
  • Robust online ordering system
  • Includes a free starter plan
Cons:
  • Android only
  • Locked into Toast payment processing

Lightspeed

Lightspeed QSR website

Lightspeed Restaurant is a popular choice when it comes to selecting a Point of Sale (POS) system for quick service restaurants.

Since its establishment in 2005, Lightspeed has become a prominent global provider of cloud-based POS and e-commerce solutions, serving businesses in over 100 countries across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

Lightspeed’s primary focus is on creating commerce platforms tailored for independent restaurants. The unified hospitality platform is designed specifically to cater to the distinct needs of quick-service restaurants.

Lightspeed quick serve mode

The platform efficiently merges point-of-sale capabilities, seamless payments, inventory management, and staff management tools, and provides potent reporting insights.

A unique aspect of Lightspeed is its integration of high-tech features. These include a blockchain-based technology platform, real-time analytics, customized workflows, and diverse integrations, all presented within an easy-to-use iOS-based interface. The platform’s ability to operate in offline mode further enhances its reliability across different situations.

Lightspeed Pricing & Hardware

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 QSRs

Real-time Insights and Data-driven Decision-making

Lightspeed unlocks real-time insights with every integrated transaction, empowering you to make faster, data-driven decisions. You can optimize your menu, track customer behavior, and identify top-performing staff.

Lightspeed reports

Ordering Options

Lightspeed offers various ordering options to provide more convenience for your guests and open up additional revenue streams. Whether it’s online ordering, tableside ordering, or QR code ordering. These options allow guests to order in the way that suits them best, enhancing their overall dining experience.

Lightspeed Payments

Lightspeed 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.

Multi-location Management

If you operate multiple restaurant locations, Lightspeed allows you to manage all of them from one platform. You can easily keep track of guest data and reports across locations and make changes to all menus. Lightspeed POS ensures that you have centralized control and real-time visibility across all your locations.

Self-Order Menu and Self-Ordering Kiosks

With Lightspeed, you can offer a Self-Order Menu feature that allows customers to place their own orders. This feature can increase order size and improves customer service. It can be used at tables or as a self-ordering kiosk, and setting it up with your existing Lightspeed Restaurant menu is easy.

Customer Facing Display (CFD)

Lightspeed includes a Customer Facing Display (CFD) feature, providing 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 paying for the right order. It displays item details, subtotal price, tax percentage and total, and order number for takeaway mode.

Lightspeed order screen

Delivery Feature

Lightspeed has a delivery feature designed specifically for quick-service restaurants. With the rise of food delivery apps, Lightspeed allows you to adapt to the changing behavior of customers.

The delivery service consolidates online orders from platforms like UberEats, Skip The Dishes, or DoorDash onto one screen, making it easier for you to manage orders and deliver to customers wherever they dine.

Order Anywhere Feature

Lightspeed’s Order Anywhere feature provides a safe and streamlined service for quick-service restaurants. Whether customers are dining in or ordering to go, this feature allows guests to pay via QR code, eliminating wait times for the bill and the need to download apps. Customers can order straight from their phones, simplifying the ordering process for takeout.

Lightspeed KDS

Kitchen Display System (KDS)

Lightspeed’s Kitchen Display System (KDS) improves staff communication and simplifies your workflow. The KDS displays ticket times, color-coded orders, and real-time updates to keep track of turnaround and ensure a seamless workflow. It digitizes your production centers, reducing mistakes and gathering data on production times. The KDS brings clarity and efficiency 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 restaurant 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.

Lightspeed Review Summary

In conclusion, Lightspeed Restaurant is a powerful tool that enhances the dining experience for your guests and provides you with valuable insights and growth opportunities. With its customizable features, real-time data insights, and streamlined ordering options, Lightspeed can help your quick-service restaurant thrive.

  • Description:

    Cleverly crafted POS with exceptional design

    Best for QSRs seeking powerful inventory, data insights, and retail features.

  • Starts at $69/month
  • Pros:
    • Ease of use & interface design
    • Reporting & analytics
    • E-commerce capabilities
  • Cons:
    • Limited offline functionality
    • Not the cheapest option
Description:

Cleverly crafted POS with exceptional design

Best for QSRs seeking powerful inventory, data insights, and retail features.

Starts at $69/month
Pros:
  • Ease of use & interface design
  • Reporting & analytics
  • E-commerce capabilities
Cons:
  • Limited offline functionality
  • Not the cheapest option

Square

Square for Quick Service restaurants website

Square for Restaurants provides a tailor-made POS solution for quick-service restaurants, facilitating every aspect of running and expanding your business.

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

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

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

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 QSRs

Square for Restaurants provides a speedy and efficient Point of Sale system that is designed specifically for quick-service restaurants like yours. With conversational modifiers and real-time menu updates, you can quickly enter orders and stay on top of a busy service. Repeat orders can be done in just a few taps, ensuring that you can keep up with the demands of your fast-paced environment.

Square KDS

The Square Kitchen Display System (KDS) keeps your entire restaurant in sync, managing the rush and reducing costs with digital tickets. It allows you to handle all your orders from one screen, ensuring that food is prepared and packaged correctly. By eliminating unnecessary communication between the table and the kitchen, your waitstaff can focus more on providing excellent customer service.

Multiple Ordering Options: Square has a variety of ordering options to provide convenience for both you and your customers. With integrated online ordering, you can take orders on your restaurant’s website without paying commissions.

The system supports delivery, curbside pickup, and self-serve ordering, seamlessly integrating with the restaurant POS and Square KDS. These options simplify the ordering process and open up additional revenue streams for your business.

The Order Manager tool consolidates all your online and mobile orders in one place. It eliminates the need to swipe through multiple tablets to organize your orders manually, saving you time and reducing errors.

Whether the orders come through your Square Online site or third-party delivery partners, they are pushed directly to your POS and KDS, ensuring smooth order management.

Square has excellent marketing tools to help you engage with your customers and promote your offerings. You can create, send, and track email and social media campaigns, tailor messaging to target specific groups and get real-time reports to see the performance of your promotions.

These tools can help you drive traffic to your online and physical stores and build a loyal customer base.

Where Square Can Improve

  • Limited Advanced Features: Square for Restaurants may lack some advanced features offered by other POS systems, such as in-depth inventory management and comprehensive reporting tools
  • Complex Reporting: The reporting features are causing concerns because they lack sufficient detail and are complex, making it difficult to search for specific information. Additionally, the process of reconciling sales to receivables is lengthy.
  • Lack of On-Site Support: Square for Restaurants does not provide on-site support, which may not be suitable for businesses that rely on in-person assistance.

Square Review Summary

In conclusion, Square for Restaurants is a great solution for fast-paced quick-service restaurants.

With its efficient POS system, syncing of the front and back of the house, multiple ordering options, marketing tools, detailed data and reporting, loyalty program, and integrated payroll, Square provides many necessary tools to help your business succeed.

  • Description:

    Best for smaller QSRs looking for a subscription free system

    Take orders on a free Square Online website and manage them directly from the Square KDS while organizing curbside pickup and delivery.

  • Pros:
    • Subscription free plan
    • No long term contracts
    • Integrates with the Square ecosystem
  • Cons:
    • Lacks some advanced features
    • No on-site support
  • Includes free plan. Plus plan starts at $60/month
Description:

Best for smaller QSRs looking for a subscription free system

Take orders on a free Square Online website and manage them directly from the Square KDS while organizing curbside pickup and delivery.

Pros:
  • Subscription free plan
  • No long term contracts
  • Integrates with the Square ecosystem
Cons:
  • Lacks some advanced features
  • No on-site support
Includes free plan. Plus plan starts at $60/month

SpotOn

SpotOn QSR POS website screenshot

SpotOn has emerged as a contender worth considering for quick-service restaurant owners.

Established in 2017, SpotOn is a relatively new player in the POS landscape, based in San Francisco. Despite being a newcomer, SpotOn has rapidly established a notable market presence with its adaptable solutions.

SpotOn is a cloud-based POS system for restaurants, designed with the objective of boosting sales and efficiency for owners of quick-service restaurants. The system provides straightforward, user-friendly POS and handheld devices catered to the fast-paced environment of quick-service establishments.

SpotOn menu order screen

Alongside its essential POS features, SpotOn has invested in bolstering its team management capabilities. The implementation of a two-way sync feature aims to eliminate the necessity for dealing with multiple systems and duplicating processes, thereby enhancing operational efficiency for quick-service restaurants.

A unique characteristic that sets SpotOn apart from some competitors is the incorporation of promotional features directly within the POS. This feature enables easier management of promotions and deals, which could prove beneficial for fostering customer loyalty and ensuring frequent return visits to the quick-service restaurant.

SpotOn Pricing & Hardware

SpotOn offers three main pricing plans for restaurants, each with different features and costs. Here’s a simple breakdown of each plan:

Quick Start

  • Ideal for: Small counter-service restaurants or cafes.
  • Subscription Cost: $0 per month.
  • Transaction Fees: 2.89% + 25 cents per transaction. (There are processing minimums that apply.)
  • Included Hardware:
    • 15” Station hardware bundle with a guest-facing display, among other items.
  • Software:
    • Cloud-based Restaurant POS software.
    • Access to a powerful dashboard for marketing, reporting, review management, and SpotOn Capital.

Counter-Service

  • Ideal for: Counter-service restaurants needing essential employee and guest engagement features.
  • Subscription Cost: $99 per month plus $3 per employee each month.
  • Initial Hardware Cost: $850 outright or available through financing.
  • Transaction Fees: 1.99% + 25 cents for most card transactions.
  • Included Hardware:
    • 10″ Counter hardware bundle with a guest-facing display, among other items.
  • Software:
    • Cloud-based Restaurant POS software with added employee management features.
    • Commission-free online ordering system.
  • Additional Features:
    • More features and software options are available upon request.

Full-Service

  • Ideal for: Full-service restaurants looking for a fully integrated system with tools to boost revenue.
  • Subscription Cost: $135 per month plus $3 per employee each month.
  • Initial Hardware Cost: $1,350 for a Station and Kitchen Display System (KDS) hardware bundle or available through financing.
  • Transaction Fees: 1.99% + 25 cents for most card transactions.
  • Included Hardware:
    • 15″ Station hardware bundle.
    • Kitchen Display System (KDS) touchscreen monitor with Fresh KDS software.
  • Software:
    • Cloud-based Restaurant POS software with employee management.
    • Online ordering and QR order & pay functionalities.

Considering all of the features offered by SpotOn POS, the price is worth it. SpotOn Payments has very low commission rates on the Counter-service and Full-service plans, so for many types of restaurants, this is a good deal.

At the moment SpotOn is only available in the US.

Your restaurant’s success is deeply intertwined with your choice of hardware. I believe that SpotOn’s hardware, a cornerstone of the complete solution it provides, could be a transformative asset to your operations.

Handhelds: Experience the advantage of speed and simplicity with SpotOn’s handheld point-of-sale (POS) systems. Compatible with your iOS and Android devices, these handheld systems also support peripherals like barcode scanners, cases, and Bluetooth printers.

SpotOn handheld POS devices

These handheld devices come with two functionalities – order only or full payment, enabling your staff to process orders or payments swiftly, from any location within your establishment. Tailored for ease of use, they are available in various sizes, and include cases, belt hooks, and hand straps.

Kiosks: Invest in enhancing customer experience with SpotOn’s self-service kiosks. These tools are engineered to eliminate long queues and serve more customers, offering personalized interactions. Quick add buttons, favorites, add-to-cart button scrolls are only some of the features that expedite the ordering process.

There is an added benefit: the kiosks suggest combos, add-ons, and upsell items, stimulating revenue increment. You can select from different models – countertop, freestanding, and outdoor – with screen sizes of 15″ and 22″.

SpotOn KDS

Kitchen Displays: SpotOn’s Kitchen Display System (KDS) augments your operations, presenting real-time order tracking. As soon as an order is placed, it heads directly to the kitchen, paving the way for customization. Your orders or individual items are also efficiently routed to dedicated stations.

Payment Devices and Accessories: SpotOn offers a variety of accessories like cash drawers, payment devices, barcode scanners, scales, and customer-facing displays. What makes it better is the ability to integrate them easily with leading payment providers, without overhauling your existing workflows.

To sum up, SpotOn’s arsenal of hardware devices offers an all-encompassing suite to meet any restaurant’s requirements. If you’re considering a POS solution tailored precisely for the food and beverage sector, SpotOn can become your ideal partner.

New SpotOn Hardware Devices for 2023

new SpotOn hardware

Announced in May 2023, SpotOn’s latest line of restaurant POS hardware includes devices such as the 15.6” Station, the 10” Counter, and the 6.5” Handheld.

User-friendliness is built into these devices: the updated software and larger screens on the Station and Handheld simplify menu and modifier navigation. For easy navigation, the Handheld’s user interface now clusters menu items, enables search, illustrates floor plans, and provides table status updates.

The new lineup of SpotOn’s hardware devices, set to launch later this year, promises to boost SpotOn’s standing in the restaurant POS market. Here’s a sneak peek into why:

Customization and Flexibility: The new devices offer multiple configurations, adjusting to the evolving needs of your restaurant. Choose the Station with an option of an attached or detached guest-facing display, a base payment reader, or a side-mounted payment reader. This customization ensures you select a setup that ensures streamlined operations.

Efficiency and Speed: Sporting an 18% larger touchscreen display and an easy-to-hold leather strap, the Handheld empowers seamless tableside payment. The Counter, specifically designed for quick-service restaurants and cafes, accommodates contactless and dip payments and includes an optional guest-facing display for enhanced speed and precision.

Durability and Reliability: Equipped with high-definition touch screens, these are IP54-rated devices, ensuring protection against dust and drink spills, making them reliable and durable.

Enhanced Customer Experience: These devices are primed to augment customer satisfaction. To illustrate, the Handheld’s screen rotates to face the customer during payment, whilst the Station and Counter’s customer-facing displays boost order accuracy and speed up checkout.

Future-Proofing: SpotOn has collaborated with FIS to evolve into a payment facilitator for its customers, offering improved control over payment processing. Furthermore, this partnership enables tokenization, facilitating SpotOn customers to understand their patrons’ preferences and buying habits for highly personalized experiences.

In conclusion, these new additions promise to strengthen SpotOn’s hardware portfolio with their superior customization, efficiency, durability, and user experience. Backed by robust support and service, the new devices are future-proof, making SpotOn an even more competitive player in the restaurant POS market.

SpotOn KDS dashboard view

SpotOn User Reviews

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

  • Ease of Use & Training: SpotOn POS is frequently recognized for its user-friendly interface, even among those who are not tech-savvy. Users report a smooth learning curve and find the system highly functional. Training sessions are lauded for their effectiveness and SpotOn’s local tech support is often highlighted for their friendliness and help with system modifications.
  • Customer Support & Responsiveness: Local customer support is consistently praised, with many users expressing satisfaction regarding the attentiveness and helpfulness of their local representatives. The team’s dedication to resolving issues and guiding clients through challenges is appreciated, alongside their hands-on assistance during setup.
  • Flexibility and Customization: The flexibility of SpotOn’s hardware and the ability to customize the software is a strong point. Many restaurants benefit from handheld devices and the multitude of functions offered, which contribute to improved service speed and order accuracy.
  • Increased Efficiency & Savings: The system is credited with helping businesses increase revenue and save costs. Positive impacts include a boost in online orders, enhanced workflow through devices and integrations, and cost savings from features like cash discount programs.
  • Integration and Real-time Reporting: SpotOn users are pleased with the software’s integration capabilities, especially with online ordering. Real-time reporting with detailed insights is also frequently mentioned as a vital tool for business operations.
  • Implementation Challenges: Some users experienced rocky initial launches with aspects such as gift card processing and loyalty programs presenting hurdles. Reporting also required adjustments for specific business needs.
  • Credit Card Processing Issues: Users have encountered difficulties with credit card reader functions and card payment processing, including fees charged to gift card payments. Issues like these have been a source of frustration that required technical assistance to resolve.
  • Hardware and Software Quirks: A few reports indicated glitches with the occasional technical quirk, like sensitive screens or cumbersome steps on handheld devices. Device limitations, such as the inability to scan UPCs or process offline payments, were also noted.
  • Learning Curve & Complexity: Although overall user-friendly, some accountants and management staff found the array of options and reports slightly overwhelming at first, highlighting a learning curve mainly for back-office functionalities.

Where SpotOn Stands Out For Quick-Service Restaurants

Online Ordering and Delivery Services: For quick-service restaurants looking to expand their online presence, SpotOn has an online ordering system that eliminates costly commissions from third-party apps. SpotOn Delivery, powered by DoorDash, gives you access to the DoorDash delivery network for a low flat fee, allowing you to offer delivery services without the need to hire and manage your own drivers.

SpotOn Teamwork: This feature helps employee onboarding, management, and compliance with instant two-way sync for data updates. Additionally, with SpotOn Reserve’s VIP tag sync, restaurant staff can swiftly identify VIPs and access their preference notes upon arrival.

Loyalty Rewards Program: SpotOn’s POS system includes an integrated digital loyalty rewards program that drives repeat visits and increases sales. By offering loyalty rewards, you can encourage your guests to visit more often and build a loyal customer base.

Comprehensive Reporting: SpotOn comes with over 90 fully interactive reports. These reports provide you with comprehensive data on sales and labor by hour, product mix, employee sales, station sales, and transactions. This enables you to make smarter decisions for your business based on data-driven insights.

new SpotOn hardware

SpotOn has a wide variety of hardware options suitable for the needs of quick-service restaurants. These options include touchscreen stations, handheld devices, customer-facing displays, self-service kiosks, and kitchen display systems. The hardware is designed to be robust and reliable in a restaurant environment.

SpotOn Serve is a handheld POS device that can be used to take orders curbside, tableside, or anywhere else you want to interact with guests. It sends orders to the kitchen in real-time and accepts payments on-the-spot with an EMV, Apple Pay, and Android Pay card reader.

SpotOn’s Kitchen Display System (KDS) improves kitchen productivity by funneling orders from your POS stations directly to your KDS. It features real-time order tracking and efficient order routing, boosting the number of orders your kitchen can fulfill and improving your kitchen’s workflow.

SpotOn offers self-service kiosks that eliminate lines, serve more guests, and maximize labor efficiency. These kiosks provide a highly customizable and intuitive ordering experience that makes ordering fast and easy for your guests.

Where SpotOn Falls Short

SpotOn has some limitations that may make it less attractive to specific businesses.

  • It only works with SpotOn’s hardware, which could disadvantage businesses that have already invested in other POS hardware or prefer a different hardware provider.
  • Using payment processing services other than SpotOn’s can be expensive. SpotOn charges a commission of 1.99% + $0.25 for regular transactions, which is quite low, but 2.99% + $0.25 for reward, corporate, international, and keyed-in card transactions.
  • The POS system of SpotOn is dependent on the cloud and the offline functionality is not as robust as for example that of TouchBistro
  • SpotOn offers various add-on features such as loyalty programs and website building, these add-ons can make the overall cost of the system high.

SpotOn Review Summary

In conclusion, SpotOn offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to meet the unique needs of quick-service restaurants. From personalized setup and training to integrated loyalty rewards, robust hardware and software solutions, online ordering and delivery services, efficient kitchen display systems, comprehensive reporting, handheld POS devices, and self-service kiosks.

  • Description:

    Feature rich all-in-one POS solution with modern QSR-specific features

    Best marketing automation and website creation tools.

  • Pros:
    • Wide selection of hardware devices
    • Low credit-card processing fees*
    • No long term contracts
  • Cons:
    • Limited offline functionality
    • Requires SpotOn devices
    • *Requires SpotOn Payment for low fees
Description:

Feature rich all-in-one POS solution with modern QSR-specific features

Best marketing automation and website creation tools.

Pros:
  • Wide selection of hardware devices
  • Low credit-card processing fees*
  • No long term contracts
Cons:
  • Limited offline functionality
  • Requires SpotOn devices
  • *Requires SpotOn Payment for low fees

TouchBistro

TouchBistro website for quick-service restaurants

TouchBistro is designed to accommodate the bustling environment of quick-service restaurants.

A key feature of TouchBistro is its marketing platform. This integration provides the capability for you to craft custom promotions, launch targeted marketing campaigns automatically, and organize customer information using an embedded CRM.

TouchBistro loyalty marketing screen
TouchBistro loyalty marketing screen

TouchBistro aims to unify several customer interaction technologies, promoting better communication and comprehension of customer habits and patterns.

Additionally, TouchBistro offers the functionality to create a custom website that reflects your brand.

With its visually appealing, logically structured design, TouchBistro comes filled with diverse features. To ensure data availability and safety, it operates on a hybrid model, incorporating both cloud and server systems.

Due to its intuitive design, TouchBistro is easy to learn and operate, a characteristic that can be valuable for restaurants requiring a straightforward, easy-to-master system.

TouchBistro Pricing & Hardware

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 QSRs

Online Ordering and Customer Engagement: TouchBistro simplifies the process of accepting pickup and delivery orders through its Online Ordering System. You’re able to take orders directly from your own website or order.tbdine.com without the worry of commission fees.

The orders go directly from your website to your POS in real time, eliminating the hassle of manual order entry. The POS system notifies you instantly when an order arrives online, helping you accept orders without delay.

The integrated Marketing and Loyalty tool assists you in launching compelling, value-centric campaigns that encourage customers to return. This unified platform gives you the power to use guest data for targeted online promotions and advanced email marketing.

Acting as a robust customer relationship management (CRM) platform, the Loyalty Program captures valuable data such as visit frequency, average spend, order history, and birthdays. This data opens the door to deeper insights into your customers’ preferences, allowing a more personalized dining experience.

The Customer Web App enables your customers to earn, redeem, and monitor their rewards using their own devices. Additionally, you can tailor your loyalty program based on guest spending habits and purchased items, helping shape a rewards system that aligns with your business model and customer base.

The system automatically assigns loyalty points and rewards according to purchase details. Moreover, it gives you valuable insights via detailed reports on your rewards and loyalty programs, helping you make informed, data-driven decisions.

Where TouchBistro Falls Short

While it is a highly regarded system, there are some areas for improvement and potential drawbacks to consider.

  • Limited integrations: While TouchBistro has some integrations available, it may not have as many options as other POS systems. This could be a limiting factor for businesses that require more extensive integrations with other software and platforms.
  • Limited reporting: There are certain areas where the reporting features need improvement to generate more useful sales, employee performance, and inventory reports.
  • Description:

    Designed by restaurant industry veterans

    Best for independent QSRs looking for a well designed, easy-to-use, and feature-rich POS with integrated loyalty features.

  • Pros:
    • Fast & easy-to-use
    • Tab management, bill splitting & table transfers
    • Excellent offline functionality
  • Cons:
    • Fewer integrations than competition
    • Somewhat limited reporting features
  • Price starts at $69/month
Description:

Designed by restaurant industry veterans

Best for independent QSRs looking for a well designed, easy-to-use, and feature-rich POS with integrated loyalty features.

Pros:
  • Fast & easy-to-use
  • Tab management, bill splitting & table transfers
  • Excellent offline functionality
Cons:
  • Fewer integrations than competition
  • Somewhat limited reporting features
Price starts at $69/month

Truffle

Truffle QSR POS website

Truffle Systems is a company specializing in food service point-of-sale systems. Established in 2010, Truffle has its headquarters in Canada. They have solutions tailored for various food and beverage establishments, ranging from restaurants and cafes to pizzerias, bars, and nightclubs.

One of Truffle’s standout offerings that may interest you is the “GoBox,” a contactless food locker system that simplifies the pickup process for your customers and drivers. This feature helps in reducing crowding in front-of-house areas and prevents confusion during deliveries.

Truffle’s platform also offers you a unified dashboard, giving you control over operations ranging from front-of-house to back-office. This includes ordering, fulfillment, pickup, delivery, inventory management, and customer loyalty programs.

Why You Should Choose Truffle POS for Your QSR

Truffle’s Point of Sale (POS) system is uniquely tailored to meet the specific needs of QSRs. It offers a unique blend of innovation, custom solutions, and ground-breaking features.

Efficient Management: With Truffle’s system, you can efficiently manage multiple locations and franchises, saving precious time when generating reports.

Timely Delivery: Using a mobile driver app, Truffle ensures on-time delivery of your orders, enhancing customer satisfaction.

Larger Online Orders: Truffle’s platform encourages your customers to place larger online orders, compared to traditional over-the-phone orders.

Labor Savings: Truffle significantly reduces labor costs through streamlined kitchen and order management.

Customized for QSRs: Truffle has solutions that simplify the scaling of your business, whether it’s a single-location or multi-location operation.

Revolutionary Features

GoBox: Truffle’s GoBox is a game-changer, offering a scan, grab & go system that streamlines the pickup process, enhancing guest experience, and freeing up your staff.

Driver App: The driver management tools provide a comprehensive view of your delivery force, complete with live order tracking for customers.

Real-Time Reporting: Truffle’s single dashboard with real-time data illustrates the success of your pizzeria, a vital tool for attracting potential franchisees.

In summary, Truffle POS stands out for quick-service restaurants by offering a specialized, comprehensive solution that combines efficiency, customization, and cutting-edge features, all aimed at enhancing your operations and growth.

Where Truffle Falls Short

  • Pricing Structure: While Truffle Systems is affordable, their pricing model is dependent on a variety of factors which might make it less predictable and potentially more expensive for some businesses.
  • Integration Challenges: The system may face difficulties in sharing information with other systems such as inventory management, complicating the accounting process.
  • Software Complexity: As a multi-platform software that allows customization of restaurant layout, menu, etc., users may find it complex and challenging to use without proper training.

Truffle Payment Processing and Pricing

Truffle works with major payment processors such as Stripe, Global Payments, and Moneris, and also offers recommended hardware configurations that work seamlessly with their POS software.

Truffle POS’s pricing model is based on the size of the business. The pricing plans start at $79.99 and can vary depending on the specific needs of the business.

Appetizer: Priced at $79.99 per month. Features include:

  • 1 POS License
  • Menu Management
  • Modifiers
  • QSR Mode
  • Pizza Mode
  • Real-Time Reporting
  • Customer Support (Online & Email)
  • Optional Add-Ons

In addition to these monthly fees, there may be add-on costs depending on the specific needs of your business.

Grow & Engage Add-on for $19.99/month

Features include:

  • Online Ordering
  • Mobile Ordering App
  • QR Self Ordering
  • Customer Display
  • Gift Cards
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Customer Management
  • Marketing
  • Table Reservations & Waitlist

Do More With Less Add-on for $19.99/month

Features include:

  • Food Pickup Locker
  • Kitchen Display System
  • QR Self Ordering
  • QR Order & Pay
  • Driver App
  • Driver Management

Key takeaways:

  • Truffle POS offers innovative and efficient tools for managing your pizza shop.
  • It provides tailored solutions to help you grow your business.
  • Its revolutionary features, such as GoBox and the Driver App, streamline operations and enhance customer experience.
  • Truffle POS focuses on empowering local pizzerias with sustainable, affordable tools.
  • Truffle’s all-in-one management software includes menu management, customer loyalty programs, real-time reporting, and more.

Truffle is a top choice for pizza shops looking to take their operations to the next level. Whether you own a single store or multiple franchises, Truffle’s features and customizable solutions can help you reach your goals.

Truffle Systems

Truffle POS enhances eateries with innovative tools like GoBox and the Driver App.

This all-in-one software empowers local restaurants with menu management, customer loyalty programs, and real-time reporting.


Pros:
  • All-in-One Management Software
  • Fast pickup process
  • Includes driver management app
Cons:
  • Limited integrations
  • Sparse help section on website
Try Now

Summary: Choosing the Right POS System for Your QSR

Toast POS shines with its unique design tailor-made for quick-service restaurants. It provides durable touchscreen terminals essential for fast-paced settings. Designed to make operations more efficient, Toast POS features an integrated online ordering system, self-service kiosks, and mobile dining solutions.

These are all meant to enhance the customer experience. Its Kitchen Display System (KDS) consolidates orders from various sources, thereby helping improve kitchen productivity.

  • Description:

    The most innovative POS system on the market

    Best for QSRs that want advanced online ordering, take-out and delivery features.

  • Pros:
    • Rapid development of new features
    • Robust online ordering system
    • Includes a free starter plan
  • Cons:
    • Android only
    • Locked into Toast payment processing
Description:

The most innovative POS system on the market

Best for QSRs that want advanced online ordering, take-out and delivery features.

Pros:
  • Rapid development of new features
  • Robust online ordering system
  • Includes a free starter plan
Cons:
  • Android only
  • Locked into Toast payment processing

Lightspeed offers a highly customizable POS system, allowing you to modify menus, workflows, and floor plans according to your needs. This system empowers you with data-driven capabilities, providing real-time insights for smart decision making.

This feature assists in refining operations and fostering business growth. The integration of Lightspeed with delivery services, multiple ordering options, and KDS helps boost customer experience and kitchen efficiency.

  • Description:

    Cleverly crafted POS with exceptional design

    Best for QSRs seeking powerful inventory, data insights, and retail features.

  • Starts at $69/month
  • Pros:
    • Ease of use & interface design
    • Reporting & analytics
    • E-commerce capabilities
  • Cons:
    • Limited offline functionality
    • Not the cheapest option
Description:

Cleverly crafted POS with exceptional design

Best for QSRs seeking powerful inventory, data insights, and retail features.

Starts at $69/month
Pros:
  • Ease of use & interface design
  • Reporting & analytics
  • E-commerce capabilities
Cons:
  • Limited offline functionality
  • Not the cheapest option

The POS system from Square emphasizes seamless transactions and operational coordination between the front and back of the house. This coordination is facilitated by the Square Kitchen Display System (KDS).

Offering many ordering options adds to customer convenience, and the Order Manager tool makes order management easier. Additionally, Square’s marketing tools can engage customers more effectively, drive more traffic, and increase sales.

  • Description:

    Best for smaller QSRs looking for a subscription free system

    Take orders on a free Square Online website and manage them directly from the Square KDS while organizing curbside pickup and delivery.

  • Pros:
    • Subscription free plan
    • No long term contracts
    • Integrates with the Square ecosystem
  • Cons:
    • Lacks some advanced features
    • No on-site support
  • Includes free plan. Plus plan starts at $60/month
Description:

Best for smaller QSRs looking for a subscription free system

Take orders on a free Square Online website and manage them directly from the Square KDS while organizing curbside pickup and delivery.

Pros:
  • Subscription free plan
  • No long term contracts
  • Integrates with the Square ecosystem
Cons:
  • Lacks some advanced features
  • No on-site support
Includes free plan. Plus plan starts at $60/month

The strength of SpotOn lies in its personalized setup and training. This ensures that the system suits each restaurant’s unique needs. It offers an integrated digital loyalty rewards program to encourage customer retention.

SpotOn’s robust hardware/software solution streamlines operations, while its online ordering, delivery services, and Kitchen Display System promote revenue growth and enhance productivity.

  • Description:

    Feature rich all-in-one POS solution with modern QSR-specific features

    Best marketing automation and website creation tools.

  • Pros:
    • Wide selection of hardware devices
    • Low credit-card processing fees*
    • No long term contracts
  • Cons:
    • Limited offline functionality
    • Requires SpotOn devices
    • *Requires SpotOn Payment for low fees
Description:

Feature rich all-in-one POS solution with modern QSR-specific features

Best marketing automation and website creation tools.

Pros:
  • Wide selection of hardware devices
  • Low credit-card processing fees*
  • No long term contracts
Cons:
  • Limited offline functionality
  • Requires SpotOn devices
  • *Requires SpotOn Payment for low fees

TouchBistro places a strong emphasis on ease-of-use. Key features include online ordering capabilities, marketing tools for better customer engagement, and loyalty programs to encourage repeat visits. The integration with the POS system simplifies order processing and promotes efficiency.

  • Description:

    Designed by restaurant industry veterans

    Best for independent QSRs looking for a well designed, easy-to-use, and feature-rich POS with integrated loyalty features.

  • Pros:
    • Fast & easy-to-use
    • Tab management, bill splitting & table transfers
    • Excellent offline functionality
  • Cons:
    • Fewer integrations than competition
    • Somewhat limited reporting features
  • Price starts at $69/month
Description:

Designed by restaurant industry veterans

Best for independent QSRs looking for a well designed, easy-to-use, and feature-rich POS with integrated loyalty features.

Pros:
  • Fast & easy-to-use
  • Tab management, bill splitting & table transfers
  • Excellent offline functionality
Cons:
  • Fewer integrations than competition
  • Somewhat limited reporting features
Price starts at $69/month

You might also like these POS comparisons:

FAQ

A quick service restaurant (QSR) POS system refers to point-of-sale software and hardware optimized for fast food restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and other operations focused on speedy order taking and fulfillment. Here are some of the key features that set a QSR POS system apart:

  • Highly responsive interface for rapid order entry to keep up with customer volume. Pre-programmed buttons and menu templates accelerate the process.
  • Drive-thru specialized features like automated ticket sequencing, order timers, and license plate recognition.
  • Robust kitchen printer/display integration to quickly and accurately communicate orders to the back-of-house.
  • Options for counter, kiosk, mobile, and other self-service ordering to increase throughput.
  • Advanced features for managing and fulfilling delivery orders, online/app orders, curbside pickup, etc.
  • Integrations with digital menu boards, customer pagers, and other QSR tech.
  • Detailed reporting on service times, order volumes, labor metrics, and more to identify areas for increased speed and efficiency.
  • Inventory tracking and waste monitoring focused on high-volume ingredients like proteins, buns, cheeses, etc.
  • Floor plan management capabilities for optimizing kitchen workflows.
  • Rigorous stability and reliability standards to support high-volume, continuous quick service environments.

By combining specialized capabilities to facilitate speed with the core order, payment, reporting, and inventory features of a POS system, QSR POS solutions provide the technology framework to maximize customer service and efficiency for fast food success.

Simplifying order-taking: Your cloud-based POS system simplifies the order-taking process by providing an intuitive interface, enabling your team to input orders quickly and accurately. This minimizes errors, enhances efficiency, and ultimately increases customer satisfaction.

Your POS system often comes with customizable menus, making updates and changes a breeze. It also facilitates effortless modifications to orders, accommodating customer preferences with ease. Additionally, orders are automatically transmitted to the kitchen, reducing the chances of miscommunication and improving service speed.

Enhancing the dining experience: Your POS system can significantly elevate the overall dining experience. Faster service, accurate orders, and personalized customer interactions all contribute to a more enjoyable dining experience for your customers.

Features such as self-ordering kiosks and mobile ordering provide your customers with more control and convenience, while real-time order tracking for delivery or takeout keeps them informed and reduces uncertainty.

Real-time inventory tracking: Your POS system offers real-time inventory management, allowing for accurate tracking of stock levels and helping to prevent shortages or excesses.

Automated stock alerts notify you when it’s time to reorder, ingredient level tracking helps manage food costs and waste, and historical data analysis can provide insights into sales trends and help with forecasting.

Simplified employee scheduling: Your POS system streamlines employee scheduling, making it easy to create and adjust schedules, track hours worked, and manage labor costs.

Tools such as clock-in/out functionality provide accurate labor data, shift management tools ensure coverage during peak times, and labor cost analysis capabilities assist in optimizing staffing levels.

Powerful reporting capabilities: Your POS system delivers vital insights into your business, from sales trends to customer behavior, helping inform decision-making and strategy.

Detailed sales reports, customer analytics, and performance tracking offerings allow for a deep dive into various aspects of your business, helping identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for growth.

Long-term cost benefits: While there is an upfront cost to implementing a POS system, the potential for cost savings and increased ROI over the long term is significant.

Reduced labor costs, minimized errors, and improved inventory management all contribute to cost savings. Additionally, the increased efficiency and enhanced customer experience provided by your POS system can drive sales and improve profitability.

  • Speed – The system should be extremely fast and responsive when taking orders, to keep up with high volume and prevent long lines. Look for automation features like pre-programmed buttons.
  • Reliability – Choose a stable, robust system that can operate nonstop during peak periods without crashing or freezing. Redundancy features help minimize downtime.
  • Order Accuracy – Options like custom menu programming, visual order confirmation, and kitchen display systems help ensure orders are captured and communicated correctly.
  • Hardware – Durability to withstand a busy QSR environment is crucial. Make sure terminals, tablets, etc. have spill-resistant cases, shock-proof builds, and other protections.
  • Drive-Thru Features -Specialized options like drive-thru timing, automated ticket numbering, and license plate recognition optimize drive-thru workflows.
  • Reporting – Robust reporting on sales, labor, inventory, and other metrics provides visibility into operations and profitability.
  • Support – Look for 24/7 customer support and local service technicians to minimize potential downtime. Extended warranties are also ideal.
  • Scalability – Choose a system that can expand with your business by adding terminals and capabilities. Cloud-based systems typically scale best.
  • Budget – Weigh cost against long-term value when investing in a POS. Think total cost of ownership beyond just hardware and software costs.

Prioritizing these factors will help you select a reliable, high-performing POS optimized for the fast pace and specialized needs of quick-service restaurants.

A Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) Point of Sale (POS) system requires several key features to effectively manage the high-volume and dynamic nature of your business.

Performance and Usability

  • Speed and Efficiency: Your POS system should process transactions swiftly and efficiently, aligning with the fast-paced environment of a QSR.
  • Ease of Use: The system should be user-friendly, allowing your staff to take orders and process payments with minimal training.
  • Offline Mode: Ensuring the POS system functions even without the internet ensures uninterrupted sales.

Order and Inventory Management

  • Order Management: Your POS system should come with robust order management capabilities, including the capacity to handle online orders, delivery orders, and in-person orders seamlessly.
  • Inventory Management: Real-time inventory tracking is crucial to avoid stock-outs and wastage, ensuring that your kitchen is always ready to respond to customer demands.
  • Integration with Delivery Platforms: As food delivery apps rise in popularity, it’s vital that your POS system integrates with these platforms to streamline the order management process.

Customer Engagement

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Your POS system should include CRM capabilities to monitor customer preferences, order history, and other data used to personalize the experience and build loyalty.
  • Loyalty Program Management: Managing loyalty programs, gift cards, and promotional offers can help to attract repeat customers and raise sales.

Security and Support

  • Payment Processing: Your POS system should support multiple payment methods, including credit/debit cards, mobile payments, and contactless payments, providing convenience to your customers.
  • Security: Features like end-to-end encryption and compliance with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) are vital to protect customer payment information.
  • Reliability and Support: The system should be dependable, with minimal downtime, and deliver robust customer support to resolve any issues rapidly.

Business Growth

  • Reporting and Analytics: Your POS system should offer comprehensive reports and analytics supporting data-driven decisions about menu alterations, staffing, peak hours, and other operational considerations.
  • Marketing Features: An excellent POS system should offer integrated marketing tools to promote your business and draw more customers.
  • Multi-Unit Features: Operating multiple locations requires a POS system capable of handling multi-unit management.

Additional Operational Features

  • Kitchen Display System (KDS): A KDS can streamline communication between front of house and the kitchen, reducing errors and improving efficiency.
  • Self-Service Kiosks: These can decrease queues and waiting times. Often they also enhance order accuracy as customers place their orders.
  • Tablet/Mobile Ordering: Enabling staff to take orders directly at the table or anywhere in the restaurant using a tablet can boost service speed and precision.
  • Drive-Thru Management: For a QSR with a drive-thru, a POS system capable of handling this unique service model is a necessity.
  • Employee Management: Features like time tracking, scheduling, and tip management can simplify labor management.
  • Customizability: Customizing the POS interface, receipts, reports, etc., can benefit many businesses.

Read more: 14 Restaurant POS Features That Are Essential in 2023

  • Learning Curve – The staff will need proper training and time to adjust to new workflows and software features. Complex systems have a steeper learning curve.
  • Customization Needs – Overly rigid, cookie-cutter systems may require custom programming to support unique menu, promotion, or process needs.
  • Integration Issues – Getting disparate systems like online ordering, payment processors, etc. to sync reliably with the POS can involve technical hurdles.
  • Upfront Costs – While modern systems save long-term, high initial hardware, software, and installation costs can strain budgets.
  • Ongoing Support – Insufficient vendor support during and after implementation can impede adoption and optimization.
  • Backup Planning – Not having contingency plans for potential malfunctions, connectivity loss, or other issues can lead to major disruptions.
  • Workflow Disruption – A new system can temporarily slow down operations as employees adjust. Extra staffing may help cushion the transition.
  • Data Migration – Transferring key data like sales histories and customer information from old systems requires meticulous planning.

Avoiding these pitfalls requires careful planning, robust staff training, system testing, and a phased rollout strategy. But once successfully deployed, the right QSR POS pays dividends in elevated customer service, sales, and labor efficiencies.

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Jan Lundvik
Jan is a writer and content creator at KitchenBusiness.com with a keen 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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