September 14, 2023
Devn Ratz

Popular Restaurant POS Systems: Seeking Excellence for Eateries

Just last year, experts estimated that the worldwide POS software market would reach $12 billion in value. It's also expected to grow at the rate of 10 percent annually. Why does this matter for restaurant POS systems in particular?

Currently, 97 percent of restaurants use one of the POS systems in these expert analyses and predictions. In other words, this concerns your business. Since the market is so heavily penetrated, delis, cafes, and eateries find themselves wedded to their restaurant POS systems, but not without hope for imminent innovation. 

As POS partners for restaurants strive to compete, they will no doubt turn to the more precise, sophisticated needs of their consumers‒enterprise restaurants included. To put a special twist on things, most of the market relies solely on on-premise restaurant POS systems (roughly 70 percent of the total). 

This spells promise for restaurants who want the best possible payment solutions without sacrificing their needs, goals, and functionality needed as companies. In the end, there is money to be made by making restaurant POS systems better, faster, more secure, and above all intelligent for the restaurant owner. 

But, how should restaurants venture into contracts with new restaurant POS systems when so many are too general to offer exceptional service? Which will include online ordering, loyalty programs, inventory control, cost reduction, or labor optimization? Get the facts below.

Key Takeaway: In the 97%-captured market of restaurant POS systems, owners and operators should reclaim choice by seeking tailored, innovative tech solutions to grow their brand.
Demo Revolution Ordering, an integrated online ordering system to bring your POS system into alignment with your restaurant goals.

Prized Features for Restaurant POS Systems

Some of the top solutions for restaurant POS systems are a good place to start if you want to see the things that make restaurant sale systems succeed for businesses like yours. For instance, Square, Clover, and Toast tend to offer the essential basics‒a great place to begin, but not always ideal.

These systems usually include table service options, online ordering (to varying degrees), and mobile apps for remote management of accounts, reporting and analytics, or order monitoring. If you consider our reviews of each above, you'll see they can add (wanted or unwanted) structures to "assist" restaurant leadership as they train employees and deliver an exceptional experience across multiple locations.  

Few more, like our parent company BlueCart or BinWise, bundle inventory management functions. Others attempt this, but most have room for improvement, especially when they don't cater specifically to the enterprise restaurant, hotel, or bar.

Restaurant POS Systems: Missing the Mark?

Since 97 percent of restaurants use these solutions, and 70 percent of those include online ordering, let's look at how restaurant POS systems compare in their best possible light:

  • Square (or now, "Block") is one of the most well-known POS software solutions for restaurants, but customers in the industry often find its solutions lacking outside of e-commerce.
  • TouchBistro is usually reported with higher marks for restaurant clients simply because it offers specific table service solutions alongside its online ordering functions. 
  • Lightspeed, on the other hand, is also recognized because it handles staff optimization through clock-ins and -outs, giving management reports on restaurant labor, scheduling, and so forth.
  • Others, such as Toast or Aloha, are more focused in approach, giving restaurants promises of better customer engagement and operational efficiency as a result of eatery-centric features.

None of these, however, really offer the complete business management and total picture necessary for restaurant owners and operators to manage every aspect of business with an uncompromised grip. 

Until you work with a POS partner specifically oriented to the restaurant and hospitality industry, it's hard to say what it costs to sacrifice engagement for payment processing or online ordering for labor reporting.

Priorities for Enterprise Restaurant POS Systems

Some of the top concerns of large restaurants‒which are many in this multi-faceted, ever-evolving sector‒include:

And, as a result, many of these restaurants are catching onto the notion that they could advance their business further through POS optimization alone. This is to either save on unexpected, rising fees or by using their customer data in ways that add robust help to the work of running a successful restaurant. 

Rather endlessly switching expensive systems with varying fees and installation costs, POS technology integration options present themselves as a way to augment the gaps in the current menu of popular POS systems for the enterprise restaurant. 

This is especially helpful as enterprise plans continue to shift with trends in what a captured market can effectively and easily protest. While the cost of subscribing to POS payment processing may seem low for multi-location brands‒anywhere from $79 to $3,000 per month and up to $1,000 per device‒the same is not true of fees.

It's important that restaurant owners and operators carefully compare their POS provider before jumping into difficult-to-amend relationships with such generalizing companies. In fact, alternative, integrated solutions may be a better fit in terms of function and fees.

Investing in Integration for Restaurant POS Systems

For the enterprising restaurant, POS integrations help to bring together, synergize, and strategize restaurant data intelligence. This puts operators and owners in the driver's seat of business operations for maximum profitability

The key is to find the right partner to integrate existing POS systems, CRM software, inventory management tools, and more while ensuring stability, discovery, and exporting. Since, fewer restaurants use online ordering (around 70 percent) through their POS system, many POS systems focus in this area when it comes to integration. This means you'll find plenty of POS systems ready to export information to a spreadsheet or easily pair with third-party delivery apps. 

More rare are platforms ready to form those increasingly valuable connections between customer data‒like order histories‒and your customer experience‒such as personalized online menus that upsell, cross-sell, and move goal posts for corporate sales.

And, even fewer will pair this offer with multi-location restaurant management or group ordering functionality. Unfortunately, this means most restaurants must improvise or test their own, alternative solutions to problems overseeing sprawling territories or accommodating valuable catering orders.

If you are reading this post, however, you're not far from finally "fixing the leaks" in existing POS system features. Even if you want to keep the platform, we help elevate your restaurant’s efficiency, profitability, and momentum for the modern era of dining‒digitally and on-premise. 

Learn to navigate the restaurant software maze with Revolution Ordering’s free guide to popular platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant POS Systems

Find out how to choose between popular restaurant POS systems and those specifically designed to optimize menus, schedules, inventory, and more. Read our quick FAQ on restaurant POS solutions to see where you can grow as a business seeking the right tool for your market.

Is Square, Clover, or Toast free for restaurants?

In truth, no restaurant POS system will be completely free. If you're not charged a subscription, you and your customers will likely get payment and ordering services at the cost of experience.  

For the enterprise restaurant, the best way to manage costs for your POS partner is to choose one who can maximize profitability, streamline operations, and protect your bottom line with the most critical features for restaurants:

  • Open, available, and helpful support
  • Intelligent inventory management
  • Remote, cloud-ready structure
  • Loyalty program construction
  • Digital menu ordering
  • Advanced reporting

Why do restaurants need integrated POS systems?

Nearly all payments (except cash) run through your POS system's processing features, and when they don't, the system still records the order. But, these systems aren't often specifically devoted to the business needs of modern restaurants. Instead, they leave customers wanting more. 

Through integrated connections between POS order details and customer data, inventory levels, staff scheduling, and so on‒restaurants can maximize revenue through simple, sometimes subtle changes that will impact operations, marketing, management, and more.

How do I choose between POS systems for my restaurant?

Once you've identified your needs‒especially considering any frustration you've had with unworkable solutions‒get clear on your restaurants growth goals. Choose your POS system to support these hallmarks of success for your business.  

Then, demo your next solution, and bring the questions relevant to your restaurant's mission for growth. Whether it's sustainability, restaurant intelligence, or menu management‒there's a solution for your brand.

Dive into restaurant operations and optimization with free resources on restaurant tech, food trends, and business needs.