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So you finally have your dream food truck ready to roll, though you feel like something is still missing…
Ah, yes! You need a POS system.
Food trucks are constantly on the move, serving up popular streets and events in major cities. To streamline the food process and automate all of the tasks on hand, it is necessary to have a solid POS system onboard.
With the right POS system, you'll be able to see which products are selling best, increase your efficiency, and make your inventory management easier. In this small guide, we are going to take you through some of our favorite POS systems for food trucks on the market today so that you can better understand what you need.
Free + Additional Hardware and Feature Fees
24/7 customer support with a paid plan
Email Marketing, loyalty programs, payroll, custom menus
$69 per month + Additional Quotes
Ingredient Tracking, Check Splitting, Kitchen Printing
$79 per month per terminal
Menu Costing, inventory tracking, custom menu items, real-time analytics
Best for self-ordering
$69 per month per terminal
Menu management, offline operation, remote reporting, self-order kiosks
Multiple food trucks
$99 per month per terminal
24/7 phone and web support
Food Trucks with Bluetooth
$29 per month starting
Discounts, employee management with built-in time clock, loyalty programs, remote reporting, and sales analytics.
The best thing about the Square POS system is that it is totally free to start out with.
The system comes complete with a card reader so that you can get started right away. All you will need to begin taking orders is an iPad.
Out of all of the POS systems on our list, Square is the easiest to set up and accept offline payments, making it one of the most practical systems as well.
Square comes with built-in payment processing, which is 2.6% + 10 cents at a flat-rate. There are no minimums either, which is great for a business just getting off its feet.
Some of the hardware that you might want to purchase includes the magstripe card reader, which costs only ten dollars, and a receipt printer, which costs around $350.
In terms of features, Square gives food truck owners pretty much everything they need to take orders, whether at the window or online. You can easily create customized menus, set options for tipping, and take payments offline. There is a large library of additional features as well, which allows you to implement things like email marketing, loyalty programs, and payroll.
Square is completely mobile, which makes it such a great contender for the best POS system. You can easily connect to receipt printers with Bluetooth. The interface is easy to use too. You simply enter each item manually and receive easy-to-digest analytics about how items are sold. You'll be able to take in real-time details regarding customer insights and menu items.
While Square is great for food trucks getting their feet off the ground due to the absence of a software fee, the payment processing rates are quite high compared to a few others. If your food truck is selling at incredibly high volumes, you may want to consider another option.
Overall, Square is one of our favorite point of sale systems around and is one of the most used POS systems for food trucks out there. As your business grows, you can continue to add marketing and payroll.
Shopkeep is one of the most robust POS systems around. If you're in the market for a full-featured solution, then this is a great choice.
Businesses can connect individual ingredients to keep track of sales data better.
At $69 per month, you essentially get access to some of the most accurate inventory management on the market.
The beauty of Shopkeep is that they offer built-in payment processing with pretty competitive rates, though you can choose your own processing if you'd like. As for hardware, the system utilizes iPads.
The robust feature list includes employee management, inventory management, order management, sales data, and more.
You can accept any of the major payment methods, print kitchen tickets, split checks, and take food orders with customizations. Depending on the payment processor that you use, you can also utilize offline payment capabilities.
With Shopkeep, you can easily create modifications for different menu items and create various menu items for different times throughout the day. The inventory management features are where Shopkeep truly shines. You can easily keep track of individual ingredients, which is great for food trucks that aren't rich in real estate.
Beyond the inventory management features, you get access to detailed analytics, which provide you with sales data. All of these reporting analytics can be viewed from mobile or desktop apps so that you can keep up with your business no matter where you are.
While Shopkeep is excellent for food trucks which are serious about ingredient tracking, the system can seem a bit overkill for those who just need simple, customer-facing displays with options for online ordering.
Overall, Shopkeep is a wonderful choice for businesses that need support and for business owners who want all of the necessary data to run their food trucks efficiently.
Moving into the advanced real, we have Toast.
Toast is a custom, cloud-based POS system that utilizes the Android operating system.
Some of the top features on Toast include customer profiles, inventory management, real-time analytics, menu costing, and more.
While it is a bit more expensive than most systems, it does offer some of the most detailed reporting around.
As for the price, you can expect to pay up to $79 per month per terminal and up to $899 for the most popular hardware package that they offer, which includes a ten-inch terminal, a magnetic card reader, and a flip stand.
Plus, you'll have to account for the $499 installation fee as well. If you run a food truck that is already well-established and has a large inventory list, the additional features are well worth it.
Toast is similar to Square in that it provides payment processing and POS system features in one package, though the reporting features are far more detailed. The system is configured to automatically accept payments offline.
We love Toast because it is specifically designed for the foodservice industry. You can see this reflected in many of the Toast features, including inventory tracking and customized menu items. Of course, you also get access to real-time analytics with a dashboard that is completely customizable. You'll be able to digest data around different menu items, times of day, and sales. As time goes on, you'll be able to get a better idea of the order history of your customers, the frequency of their visits, and more. You can even implement loyalty programs, online ordering, and gift cards.
The one downside to Toast is that you cannot use a third-party payment processor. If you're in the market for a system that allows you to do so, you may want to go with a system like TouchBistro or Shopkeep. On the bright side, Toast is a very intuitive system and was made for the foodservice industry. While it can be expensive, all of the restaurant-specific features make it well worth the cost.
TouchBistro is quite unique as it was designed by people who worked as restaurant staff.
It is one of the most intuitive and efficient POS systems out there for food trucks. One of the biggest benefits of TouchBistro is that it utilizes self-serve kiosk, which are great for busy food trucks.There are four different pricing levels with TouchBistro, which depend on how many people you have taking orders at once.
All of the TouchBistro plans have the same features and you can purchase their hardware with 0% interest. For the Solo plan, you'll end up spending $69 per month for software and $105 for hardware. On the higher end Unlimited Plan, you'll end up spending $399 per month on software and $539 on hardware.
The TouchBistro plans include menu management, offline operation, remote reporting, and unlimited users. The self-order kiosks are extremely helpful, as they allow lines to move faster so that employees can focus on cooking instead of having to take a thousand orders. Beyond that, the features are very similar to the other systems we mentioned above.
TouchBistro provides full offline support so that you can process orders no matter where you are. You can use your own payment provider as well, which gives you the option to shop around until you find the best rates. The system integrates well with Moneris, Chase, Square, and Worldpay.
As for inventory tracking, TouchBistro tracks ingredients with a basis on sales. It is very similar to Toast in a way, as you can run menu costing and create recipes through the POS software. Plus, you'll get to enjoy automated inventory tracking so that you never have to worry about manually importing sales.
The software offers customizable templates with over 50 reports and allows you to create customer profiles so that you can get a better idea of how your customers purchase. In the long run, this can help you to see which items are selling best so that you can make optimum business decisions.
On the downside, TouchBistro takes a little more effort to set up compared to a cloud-based solution like Square. If you choose to use multiple terminals, you will need to include a mini-server so that they can communicate with one another. Of course, you can't beat having that self-serve feature to cut down on lines.
High-end food truck business owners often look to the cloud-based Revel system for their POS needs.
Revel is stocked with a wide variety of hardware configurations, which allow owners to integrate with social media, conduct offline business, and utilized advanced tax features to stay up to date with tax laws in various states.
The cost for Revel is $99 per month for a single terminal, which comes with customer management, inventory management, and analytics.
The system comes with a built-in payment processor that has fairly affordable flat fees and a wonderful dedicated support team. You will have to account for the installation fee, which starts at $649.
This comes with menu consultation, console training, payment setup, and hardware installation. You can also choose to purchase additional hardware if you want, including self-service kiosks, iPads, cash drawers, stands, and more.
It is important to note that Revel requires you to sign a three-year contract with them as well, meaning you have to be committed to their system.
When it comes to features, Revel has just about everything you could think of in a food truck POS system. From inventory tracking to payment processing to order taking tool to menu design, we can't really think of anything that is missing. It even has some additional features, such as social media integration, credit card pre-authorization, and tax adjustments based on location. Revel even has an "Always On" setting, which allows you to operate without an internet connection.
The menu management software is incredibly detailed and comes with ingredient-level tracking, similar to ShopKeep and Toast. You can add a recipe alongside a menu item so that you can accurately track ingredient amounts with each recipe. Once your ingredients are running low, Revel will send you an automatic stock alert for a particular item. The included inventory app that comes with Revel allows you to take manual inventory counts, view inventory levels, scan barcodes, and receive purchase orders.
The detailed reporting with the Revel system is a winner. You'll get access to daily total, inventory analytics, popular menu items, and more. With this data, you can see which menu items are the most popular, how much food you are wasting, and profits vs. costs. Setting up multiple tax types is great for making accurate sales depending on the region your truck is in.
On the downside, you can't shop for third-party payment processing with Revel, so you will have to stick with the company's payment processing service. However, with the detailed reporting tools, effective tools, and incredible management software, Revel is one of the best POS food truck systems around, especially for those who are running multiple trucks at once.
Harbortouch is another robust food truck system that focuses on delivering efficient features to clear long lines as quickly as possible.
The main benefit of the Harbortouch POS system is that the processing times are incredibly fast.
The system also includes powerful reporting features that they have perfected over the years, which allows users to utilize data in order to perform better out on the road.
As for pricing, there are a couple of different Harbortouch pricing plans.
The most popular plan is the Harbortouch Elite plan, which starts at $49 per month. You will also have to pay an additional $20 per month for support. These prices are specific to food trucks, as they are underneath the retail umbrella category.
It is worth noting that Harbortouch also has a three-year contract, which is automatically renewed unless you cancel within thirty days.
Harbortouch comes with a sleek register interface that allows users to customize buttons and ring up customers quickly, especially during rush times. The included calculator helps you whip up quick calculations as well. There are plenty of modules on the interface too, though the ones that aren't in use can be hidden. You can easily set up food item categories and add modifications as well.
Beyond the sleek interface, we love the fact that you can search up items in stock by keyword, allowing you to keep track of inventory in a far more efficient manner. Beyond that, some of the other top features include discounts, employee management with built-in time clock, loyalty programs, remote reporting, and sales analytics. You can even enjoy access to your HarborTouch system 24/7 no matter where you are!
If you're looking for an easy-to-use POS for food truck operations, Harbortouch is a top contender.
Price is usually the first thing that many owners look at. Not only do you want to look at what it costs to run the software monthly, but also what it will cost for payment processing fees, hardware costs, setup and installation fees, and any additional features that you might need.
It is important that food truck owners feel mobile with their food truck POS systems. Having a system that can move with you as you are on the road is incredibly important. This means having access to compact hardware. Having a solution that uses an iPad or tablet is very helpful, as your employees can stay on the move at all times.
Food trucks are extremely fast-paced. The last thing you want is a ton of angry customers who have been waiting an hour in line to get their food. You need an interface that is easy to use so that your employees can take orders quickly and communicate with each other.
The last thing that you want is to stick with a cash-only mentality. While it may work for some businesses, it deters hungry customers from visiting. Ideally, you want your customers to be able to process mobile payments and credit card payments.
Make sure to ask a few questions. Does this particular system come with its own payment processing platform? If so, what are the fees? Are you able to use third-party payment processing platforms if you want? If you are a high volume food truck, the last thing you want is to rack up high fees.
You should also check to see the offline capabilities for your payment processing platform in the case that you want to serve in a place where Wi-Fi is unreliable.
Is the food truck POS system able to track your inventory levels? How in-depth does the inventory feature go? Some systems can track standard inventory levels while some can pair up ingredients with recipes and track quantity. If you have a massive inventory of ingredients, you may want to consider putting this first on your list of priorities.
Order management comes in many different forms. For some food truck owners, simply having the ability to take orders in-person is more than enough. However, some food truck owners require the ability to use online ordering or delivery features as well. In some cases, having self-order kiosks is a must too.
There are plenty of different features that go hand in hand with menu management features. For starters, you want to be able to input various menu items with prices and information. In some cases, you'll want to be able to allow for substitutions and customizations. Some menu management features allow you to make notes when customers want things that are very specific. Having the right menu management features helps to optimize communication as well.
Your food truck POS system should have basic reporting at the least. Having analytics provides you with insight into what your customers like or don't like, what items are selling best, what items are working at different times throughout the day, which neighborhoods make for the best sales, etc.
Having a food truck POS system with these types of features can enhance the checkout process for many customers and helps to cut back on paper waste. Plus, customers will find it much easier to give tips, which will likely entice them to give more than they would have. Having the ability to email receipts is helpful too. Plus, you won't have to worry about spending money on an external printer or paper, let alone make space for a printer on your truck too.
Problems arise in the foodservice business. It is unavoidable. If any problems arise with your POS system, you are going to want to have some support. Many food truck POS system providers provide their customers with support, though the amount of support that they provide can vary. There are many POS providers that offer this support for free once you have the software, though some require you to pay extra.
While the features above are essential in our eyes, there are a few features that you can look for in addition to those. It is important to note that not all food truck owners will necessarily need these features, though they can be helpful in certain situations.
Rather than using a standard kitchen printer, you may want to consider using a kitchen display system. Having a kitchen display system provides better communication between those who are working face to face with customers and those who are cooking. These can be especially helpful if you have someone outside taking order while the chefs are cooking inside.
Some POS solutions come with integrated loyalty programs. Loyalty programs are helpful for bringing customers back to your truck once they have already come. You can offer them free menu items or discounts for repeat visits, as well as offer discounts or promotions.
If you have a fleet of food trucks, having multi-location support is extremely helpful. With multi-location support, you can see all of your sales data, change up your menu, and access all of your inventory, all from one place.
While all of these Food Truck POS systems are great in their own right, our favorite is still Square. With robust mobile food service features and a no-cost entry fee, it is one of the best around for newer food trucks and food trucks with lower volumes. Of course, you can pay extra to Square to get access to some of their higher-end features when you need them too, which allows the system to scale as your business grows.
Food truck owners need the best tools to operate at an efficient level within the bustling food truck business. Operating efficiently means increasing revenue and bringing in more customers. Your food truck POS system should provide you with real-time analytics, offer intuitive orders, and create efficient payment flow. While almost every food truck POS system requires a little bit of customization to make it work for your business, all of the food truck POS systems on this list work well right off the bat.