Learn how technology can help your restaurant survive the COVID-19 crisis in this Complete Restaurant Reopening Guide.
A Point-Of-Sell system (POS) is the main hub of any restaurant. It basically governs any and all transactions made at your restaurant. This means you want a POS system that is seamless and faultless and lets you focus on the day-to-day aspects of running a restaurant.
It was hard enough to choose a POS system provider that’s right for your restaurant before Covid-19. Now, with the foodservice industry turned on its head, restaurateurs need to take more factors into account.
In an old article, we looked at two big POS players on the market. This time, we compare the 5 major POS system providers: Square, Upserve, Revel, Toast and SpotOn. We look at pricing, ease-of-use, special features and everything else you need to know before choosing the one that’s right for you.
Table of Contents
All POS Systems Overview
|In-Person: 2.6% + $0.10
Remote: 2.9% + $0.30
Individual: 3.5% + $0.15
|✅||Flat + installation: |
|❌||Optional: 1.99% + $0.20
2.99% + $0.20
Pro Plus: $359/m
|Per terminal: |
|Per station: |
|Online store |
|“Your Menu Here” |
|❌||“Toast Now” |
|Online ordering |
Square: A Comprehensive Solution
Square is a great, one-size-fits-all POS system for restaurants that need a more comprehensive solution. It has some pretty extensive features under its buckle like building an online presence and offering full support for every popular delivery app. Square is known for offering each restaurant, bar, cafe and lounge a unique POS solution that’s tailored to the niche needs of the business.
For restaurants, this POS system offers anything from full display registers to simple dongle-like card readers. This lets you pick what features you need from a variety of options. Square’s fees are pretty standard, ranging from 2.6%+10¢ for in-person payments to 3.5%+15¢ for virtual transactions. Overall, this is a very strong competitor in the POS market.
- Built to integrate front- and back-of-house
- New software designed specifically for restaurants
- Includes employee management and timecards
- Ability to assign and transfer checks between staff
- Sleek look
- Easy and convenient integration
- Intuitive interface
- Fully customizable layout
Run POS software on an iPad
Comes with advanced analytics and reporting
- Contacting support can be difficult
- Payments and payouts can be terminated or frozen (more on this below)
$250 a month maximum for disputed payments and chargebacks
Upserve: For Lasting Business Growth
More than a POS system, Upserve is a full-fledged restaurant management software with the promise to streamline your entire operation into a simple, integral and unified interface.
Upserve basically handles everything, from the reception in the front to the back office. It has features like a built-in CRM system, a workforce schedule interface, a menu manager and even a marketing ROI analyzer.
It has three subscription plans, varying from very basic POS system and managing tools to highly sophisticated programmable clients and APIs for the tech-savvys. The upside is that the subscriptions fees are set – meaning you won’t come across unexpected transaction-fees, which could end up saving money in the long-run.
Upserve has the potential to make a small restaurant flourish, or make a large business bigger.
- Credit card transactions while offline
- Search function
- Full visual of tables/bar seats.
- Easy to split items onto new checks and to apply multiple payments on one table
- Customer service
- Menu options as a POS
- Tracking sales & expenses
- Slightly less bang for your buck
- Occasional issues with outages
Revel: One-On-One Account Management
Revel is a unique POS system in the sense that it works together with you to make a POS solution that is tailored to your business, with professional service providers that are dedicated to the process of integrating their system into your business.
Feature-wise Revel offers most of what’s considered “industry-standard”, from basic POS systems, tablets and scanners to management tools, kitchen and logistics aids to streamline your business as much as possible.
While introducing both processing and monthly subscription for their software, Revel claims to have “industry leading rates” that seem more flexible than Square or Upserve. And for Revel’s unique account management approach, offering one-on-one meetings and counseling on marketing, investments and business development, it looks like you’d be getting a bang for your buck.
- Management solutions
- Financial tools
- POS processes (cash management to delivery management)
- In-depth reporting for sales and inventory tracking
- Intuitive and easy-to-use
- Fairly easy to create APIs to other systems
- Always improving
- Quoted-based processing fees, hardware, and additional services
- Expensive monthly software price and installation costs
iPad only and no smartphone capability
- Three-year commitment required
Toast: Flexible Solutions
Toast is one of the stronger competitors in the restaurant POS market for its impressive list of features, services and pricing. Built specifically for the restaurant business, Toast has customizing features based on restaurant types.
Toast uses Android tablets as its medium instead of iOS’s iPad, which means there’s a wide catalogue of different system devices to choose from. Toast is offering its “all-in-one” platform as a subscription service with a single installation fee, but lately it also added “Toast Now” – its unique Digital Ordering solution as a stand-alone feature you can use for a monthly fee as well, no special hardware required.
- A dedicated POS system with robust back-office integrations
- Easy-to-use interface
- Amazing customer service
- Constant improvements and upgrades (nearly every month)
- Can keep processing cards even if the internet goes down
- Makes time-consuming tasks like splitting checks easier
- Back-end makes entering menu items easy
- Have to use Toast credit card processing (although they do have a “meet or beat” policy, where they will reduce fees based on a formal quote from a competitor)
- Can’t track individual sales (e.g. for bartenders)
SpotOn Restaurant: Reserved Success
SpotOn is a cloud-based POS and management solution that integrates with leading companies like QSR, SafeSurv, Itsacheckmate and more. SpotOn wants to connect you to your customers by helping you build a custom website and integrating it with your menu and their own consumer-oriented app. SpotOn also offers management tools such as integrated reservations and waitlists, table managers and a loyalty program.
Overall, SpotOn takes a more business-like approach, seeing as it’s usually oriented towards mercantile and retail. Even so, SpotOn offers uncompromising results when it comes to POS management, and their competitive pricing makes them a real alternative.
- Custom menu modifiers
- Easy-to-use UX/UI
- Great payment processing rates for large orders
- Restaurant-specific platform
- Extensive data reporting features
- Cloud-based storage and control system
- 24/7 customer support
- Can get pricey
- Reports of hidden fees
- Prices increase if you don’t use SpotOn payment processing
- Must use SpotOn hardware
Compare All POS Systems Product Features
|Gift card |
|Data and reports||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅|
Which POS System Is Right for Your Restaurant?
Whichever payments system you choose, it’s a decision you’ll only want to make once. Most POS system providers try to lock you in as a customer for the lifetime of your business. The costs and distraction of switching POS systems while you’re operating your business can be draining, especially these days.
The right POS system can reduce the cost and hassle associated with taking payments from Whether it’s your POS system or ordering supplies, the right partner can make all the difference.
It’s the same with choosing the right platform for ordering your wholesale groceries and supplies. That’s why restaurant owners turn to Cheetah. Whether they’re at home or in the kitchen, they can use a mobile app to order and receive all their quality supplies, quickly and at transparent, affordable prices.
Ordering with Cheetah can help boost your restaurant’s efficiency and profitability – two massive advantages over your competitors and a huge help in the success of your restaurant.
Talk to us to learn how we can improve your business.