Coffee Shop POS System
In high-volume coffee establishments, getting the right POS system is necessary. Of course, the coffee shop POS system that you choose will depend on your particular needs.
For example, you might need a full-fledged POS system with dine-in table management features and integrated inventory management. On the other hand, you might just need a simple wireless POS system that can work with different forms of payment processing.
Regardless of what you're looking for, we're here to break down some of the best POS systems for coffee shops on the market today.
Continue reading to learn more.
Payment Proessing Fee
On-screen tipping, quick-serve mode, customizable floor plan, raw ingredient tracking
$39 per month
2.6% + $0.10
Inventory management, menu management, customer relationship management, reporting and analytics
$99 per month
2.49% + $0.10
Menu management, tableside ordering, app integrations, offline payments
$69 per month
Easiest to Use
Online ordering, on-screen tipping, menu management, mobile loyalty programs
$39.95 per month
2.3% + $0.10
24/7 customer support, menu management, customer-facing display, detailed analytics
$69 per month
2.49% + $0.15
Free online ordering, inventory management, employee management, QR code payments
2.6% + $0.10
The 5 Best Coffee Shop POS Systems
Lightspeed Restaurant - Best Overall
Lightspeed Main Features
The Lightspeed Restaurant POS system is one of the best coffee shop POS systems on the market today, with its innovative and easy-to-use software that delivers a unique bundle of top-tier foodservice features with competitive pricing.
The entry-level Lightspeed plan only costs $39 per month with an annual contract, perfect for both sit-down cafes and quick-serve coffee shops. While you can choose to use Lightspeed monthly, it costs $10 more per month to do so.
The cost of this iPad POS hardware is quote-based, though you can source the hardware yourself if you choose. As for the payment processing, you can choose to pay through Lightspeed Payments, which offers a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for in-store payments. While there is an additional fee, you can also choose to integrate a third-party payment processor.
Overall, with several customer loyalty programs, built-in inventory management, options for mobile ordering, and robust core functionality, it's one of the best coffee shop POS systems on the market today.
Revel - Best For Multi-Location Coffee Shops
Revel Main Features:
Revel is one of the most advanced iPad POS systems on the market today, working at a much faster pace than many other cafe POS systems.
Ethernet Connect, Revel's proprietary iPad-Ethernet connection, gives the system a more reliable and stable Internet connection.
Even when you're offline, you can process credit card payments and continue ringing up orders. The system uses a modular, scalable design, allowing you to tailor it to the needs of your shop.
The restaurant and retail POS costs $99 per month at the base per terminal, with a minimum of two terminals. As for the hardware, the cost is quote-based. However, you can source the hardware yourself, which is a major advantage of this developer.
Revel's integrated payment processing provides a flat rate of 2.49% + $0.15 for in-store transactions, though it also integrates with a number of third-party payment processors, including USAePay, Tyro, Aden, and Moneris.
One thing to note is that you must sign a long-term contract to use Revel's system. We recommend going with the multi-year processing contract if you want to spend the least amount of money.
TouchBistro - Best For Payment Processing
TouchBistro Main Features:
At a base fee of $69 per month, you get a number of unique features with TouchBistro's system at a surprisingly affordable price.
The focal point of TouchBistro is that it integrates with several payment processors in the case that you aren't looking to use its in-house processor.
Another great thing about TouchBistro is that you do not have to use Wi-Fi to operate TouchBistro. All you need is a single iPad terminal and a local Mac server for your iPad POS to sync up to.
The hardware, similar to Revel, is completely quote-based, though you have the option to purchase your own hardware if you choose.
Through TouchBistro Payments, which is powered through Chase Bank, is the integrated payment processing system. Again, like Revel, you can choose between several payment processing systems, including those from TSYS, Worldpay, Square, Moneris, EVO, and more.
Note that TouchBistro requires a single-year contract, though you can sign up for longer than a year if you choose a different processing agreement.
Clover - Easiest To Use
Clover Main Features:
The beauty of Clover is that it is plug-and-play in design, allowing you to set it up and start using it without having to go through any form of arduous training.
The Clover hardware is Android-based, delivering several features for quick service.
While you can get the free software, which provides minimal features, you'll likely want to upgrade to the Counter Service plan at $39.95 per month to get access to the best coffee shop POS features.
For the hardware, the system starts at around $99 for Clover's mobile reader. However, if your shop requires a full point of sale system, you'll need to purchase a Clover Station, which is anywhere from $1,300 to $1,600, or the Clover Mini, which is around $750.
One great thing is that you can purchase Clover Flex smart terminals for mobile payment processing, which are only $499.
The flat-fee processing rate from Clover is 2.3% + $0.10 for in-store transactions if you go with the Fiserv plan that is included with Clover.
When all is said and done, it's hard to beat Clover's affordable monthly pricing, quality customer engagement features, attractive hardware options, and an intuitive user interface.
Toast POS - Best For Digital Ordering
Toast Main Features:
This Android-based point of sale system provides basic POS functionality with its free Starter Package, including kitchen operations, menu management, and cloud-based reporting.
However, most coffee shop owners end up upgrading to paid plans, which start at around $69 per month. Toast is one of the most tech-forward options on this list and has plenty of unique online ordering options. The customer-facing online ordering app is very intuitive and allows diners to order and pay using their mobile devices.
Toast has a 2.49% + $0.15 payment processing rate for in-store transactions. However, if you pay-as-you-go on the Standard plan, that rate bumps up to 2.99% + $.015. One thing to note is that this payment processing system processes American Express cards at a higher rate of 3.29% + $0.15.
Unfortunately, you cannot use a different payment processing system with Toast.
It's important to note that Toast also requires a two-year contract. You will have to dish out a pretty substantial early termination fee if you need to get out of the contract before the two years are up.
However, if you're looking for a point of sale system that has advanced digital ordering options, top-notch customer service, and a suite of high-end features, Toast is the best choice.
Square - Most Affordable
There's no doubt you've heard of Square before. It's one of the most popular POS systems for coffee shops out there today, combining simplicity with affordability. There aren't any other free point of sale systems that we know of that provide as robust as a feature set at Square.
The Square for Restaurants and Square Point of Sale flagship systems are completely free, though the Restaurant system offers more restaurant-focused features. When you sign up with Square, the company throws in a free card reader. However, for quick service, we recommend going with the Square Register and the iPad Square Stand, which have an NFC-capable payment reader and a built-in customer-facing display.
It's an ideal choice for any restauranteur in the quick-service realm.
The Square Register, which comes with a built-in payment processor and a customer-facing screen, costs $799. However, you can also purchase a Square Stand, which comes with a child card reader and swivel stand, for $498.
The flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 comes with the free Square option, which is for all in-store transactions. Unfortunately, you can not integrate with another payment processing system when using Square. However, the great thing about Square is that they have a monthly contract, which you can cancel at any time without being penalized.
There is no other free POS system like Square. It provides excellent quick-serve hardware, an intuitive setup, and several app integrations.
Important Criteria To Consider Before Selecting A POS System For Your Coffee Shop
Consider the types of hardware features that your coffee shop business needs. For example, many new coffee shops are integrating customer-facing displays, which allow the customers to tip and sign with ease.
You might also want to consider POS systems that offer mobile ordering, which can be helpful for customers that are standing in line. Some other pieces of hardware that you might consider include:
Lastly, you might want to check and see if the POS systems you're looking at have an offline mode. If the Wi-Fi goes out, which it inevitably will during your time as a business, will you have something else that kicks in?
There are many different fees to look at when trying to find the best POS systems for coffee shops. For starters, you'll need to look at the payment processor fees.
Are there specific flat rates when you go with the integrated payment processor, and do those fees change when you go with a third-party payment processor?
Does the company even allow for a third-party payment processor?
Is the agreement for the POS software monthly or annually? If you break your contract, is there a fee for doing so?
Though fees can look small when you see them on their own, multiple fees can quickly add up. Make sure to get a good idea as to how much you can expect to spend for the various POS features found on your chosen system.
Loyalty Program Options
Having a loyalty program for your coffee shop is extremely important to get returning customers. Many coffee shops have regular customers, many of which would use a loyalty program to get free or discounted products.
Having a system in place for regulars is also a great way to speed up lines. Many regulars will order the same drinks over and over again. If your loyalty program can tell your cashiers what drinks customers will order ahead of time, you can begin making them before they ever reach the register!
The best cafe POS systems provide order-ahead and online ordering options. They also allow customers to take advantage of contactless payment options.
If your system doesn't allow you to accept contactless payments, especially after COVID, you might consider finding a different system.
Can employees easily clock in and out before and after a shift? Can they tip out when their shifts are over?
Time-tracking is an important employee management feature that not only makes your employees' lives easier but also your management's lives easier too.
Depending on the size and complexity of your coffee shop's inventory, having an integrated inventory tracking system can be very helpful. A great inventory management system can help you keep track of items that are low in stock.
Some go as far as putting in automatic orders when things are running low. Inventory management is one of the most integral POS features, no matter the type of cafe business.
The Final Verdict
There are clearly many high-quality POS systems for coffee shops on the market for you to pick from, though you don't have to spend tons of money to get access to high-functioning hardware and top-tier software.
While all of these POS systems have their own pros and cons, the best coffee POS system, in our opinion, is Lightspeed. With tons of unique coffee POS system features and a surprisingly affordable price, it checks off all of the boxes.