These 5 Best Bakery POS Software Systems Are The Icing On The Cake For Small Businesses
Baking as a profession dates back to the Roman Empire in 300 B.C. when Romans started hiring people to provide baked goods at feasts and weddings. Back then, bakers needed to be part of the official Collegium Pistorum bakers’ guild, which had weird rules, such as the one forbidding you to “mix with comedians and gladiators.” Fortunately, modern baking is much easier. All you need to sell baked goods now is an iPad.
Okay, that might be an extreme oversimplification of what it takes to be a baker (I assume you also need flour and eggs and stuff). Still, the following cloud point of sales systems can get the front end of your bakery up and running with little more than a tablet, ensuring that you can spend more of your time baking delicious yummies and maybe even mixing with comedians (hey, it’s an option).
Let’s take a good look at how the top bakery POS systems stack up, go over some other types of bakery software, and discuss what important bakery POS features to look for.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
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What’s The Best Bakery POS System For Small Businesses?
Most bakeries have a whole bunch of things to sell besides bread and pastries — for example, cold and hot drinks, merchandise, and more. Customers may want to order ahead and pay with loyalty points, gift cards, or Apple Pay. Meanwhile, you also want a strong back end that has reports, customer profiles, and employee management. So you need a POS system that caters to those abilities. Your POS is going to be a workhorse that will make many aspects of running a bakery a lot easier…if you let it.
As follows are our top choices for bakery POS systems.
Bakery POS Systems
Bakery POS systems have important selling features for bakeries, from ingredient tracking and recipe management to contactless payments and online ordering. Cloud bakery POS software is easy to use, with all the features you need to run your bakery from an iPad, Android tablet, or internet browser.
1. Lightspeed Restaurant
Best for an advanced feature-set.
Lightspeed Restaurant was established in 2014, but that doesn’t mean Lightspeed is a new kid on the block — Lightspeed’s Retail POS product been around since 2005. With the cloud-based Restaurant version of Lightspeed, the POS runs on the iPad exclusively, and you can access your back end through the Lightspeed website or a mobile app. You can process payments via Lightspeed Payments (Lightspeed’s in-house flat-rate processing), or connect with an integrated third-party processor.
One of the many benefits Lightspeed Restaurant offers is the ability to tie in records of raw ingredients to specific products for real-time raw goods tracking. Some more of its strongest back-end features include employee management, product management, customer management, and reporting. Lightspeed also boasts many third-party software integrations as well as paid add-ons for advanced features, including loyalty, self-order kiosk, online ordering, delivery management, a customer-facing display, and advanced reporting. And we can’t help but love Lightspeed’s sleek, modern UI.
Lightspeed could be the right POS for your bakery if you want a cloud-based iPad POS that offers a lot of bells and whistles (available with paid add-ons). However, with a base price of just $59/month (billed annually), Lightspeed could also be a good choice if you want an affordable POS with robust core functionality.
- “Quick serve” mode for fast order-taking
- Self-order menu option
- Orders from third-party food delivery services sent directly to your POS
- Lite Server local server option provides strong offline functionality
- Advanced features cost extra
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Best for offline data storage.
Toronto-based TouchBistro, est. 2011, is an iPad point of sale solution that serves the POS needs of food-related businesses of all types, from food trucks to fine dining. Even Gordon Ramsey uses it (and we know how hard to please that guy is). We think TouchBistro is great for bakeries because it’s affordable, easy to use, and allows you to take complex bakery orders with ease. It’s for these reasons (and others) that TouchBistro is the Apple Store’s number-one grossing food and drink app in 37+ countries.
TouchBistro is an ideal iPad POS option for bakeries that want a modern tablet-based system but also want the security of onsite data storage. TouchBistro differs from most other “mobile” POS systems in that all of your data is stored onsite. Rather than syncing back to the cloud, POS app data is stored directly on your iPad or a local Mac server. For the Standard (1-iPad) subscription, your entire bakery will be run and managed directly from the iPad. For two or more registers, you will need to set up a local server on a Mac Mini, Macbook Pro, or iMac, which will sync data to and from your iPad registers. However, you will need an internet connection to process credit card payments.
At $69/month (for one register), TouchBistro includes a lot of functionality at a very reasonable price point. Online ordering, loyalty, delivery, and gift cards are extra. Most essential features, though, are included in the core package — menu management, table management, cloud-based reporting, unlimited users, software integrations, and 24/7 support. While the system may not be advanced enough for some full-service restaurants, TouchBistro can work great for quick-serve eateries, such as bakeries and cafes.
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Best for a free POS.
Square is a simple and easy-to-use POS software that provides everything you need to sell baked goods and manage your bakery. Square is super popular among all kinds of small businesses in the foodservice sector, as it conveniently combines payment processing with cloud POS functionality and can be used on any hardware, from iPads to Android smartphones, to Square’s custom-built POS hardware solutions, such as Square Terminal and Square Register.
Oh yeah, and it’s free! Besides your hardware costs, all you pay is Square’s in-house payment processing fees. You even get a free card reader, a free eCommerce store, and a free Square Online Checkout link to sell online without setting up an online store. Inventory management, team management, menu management, reporting, invoicing, eGift cards, and unlimited devices all come with the free plan as well. All in all, Square is probably the most feature-rich free POS available — while also being the easiest to use.
Square does have several paid add-ons that extend its basic POS functionality, such as Square Loyalty, Square Payroll, and others. The POS also integrates with an extensive list of third-party software extensions, including advanced inventory management solutions, such as Shopventory. Square additionally has a restaurant-centric version of its POS called Square for Restaurants that is $60/month. However, most bakeries that do not need sit-down restaurant features such as floor planning and table management will be fine with the free version of Square. You’ll need Square for Restaurants if you want to integrate third-party food delivery services, or you can use your free Square Online Store to set up in-person pickup and local delivery options.
At 2.6% + $0.10, Square’s flat-fee payment processing is well-priced for low-volume businesses (processing less than $10 to $15K/month) with small ticket sizes. However, higher-volume, established businesses will likely be better off getting their own dedicated merchant account.
- Unlimited devices
- Free online store
- Free digital gift cards
- Can use on any hardware setup
- Not for high-volume businesses
- Limited live customer support
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Best for restaurant-grade POS hardware.
While there are several iPad-based POS systems for cafes and bakeries, Toast is the top Android-based POS solution for restaurants. Toast offers numerous features and hardware options, all specifically designed for restaurant use. Couple its advanced functionality with best-in-class customer support, and you get a highly capable POS for any sized bakery, including even franchises and multilocation eateries. With a base price of $75/month and features such as inventory management and team management costing extra, Toast is definitely on the pricier side. However, high-volume or quickly-growing eateries will be hard-pressed to find a more capable cloud-based restaurant POS system.
Toast is a complete all-in-one POS and payment processing solution. It’s meant to be used with Toast’s custom-built Android hardware, which includes options, such as the Toast Go handheld ordering device, the Toast Flex POS monitor and customer-facing screen, and the Toast Tap contactless payment terminal. All of the hardware is built for restaurants, so it’s spill-proof and drop-resistant, with more RAM and longer battery life than consumer tablets. You’ll also have to use Toast’s in-house, flat-rate payment processing. So Toast is probably not the best choice if you want to use your own hardware or merchant account.
An interesting option Toast has added recently is digital ordering options, which can be purchased separately from the Toast POS offering. That means even bakeries that use a different POS can still use Toast to set up an online ordering website, a mobile ordering app, eGift cards, and contactless delivery options. Toast charges $75/month for its full suite of digital ordering solutions, and the first three months are free during COVID-19. In addition to socially-distanced online ordering and delivery options, Toast allows for socially-distanced guest experiences in your restaurant as well — Toast’s Pay at the Table feature allows guests to scan a QR code on their receipt and pay on their own device, no credit card handling or screen-touching required.
- Restaurant-grade hardware
- Excellent customer support
- Contactless ordering and payment options
- Must use with Toast payment processing
- Must use with Toast hardware
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Best for ease of use.
ShopKeep is one of the best all-around POS systems for small businesses, food-related or not. For bakeries, this affordable, easy-to-use iPad POS provides some handy features, such as raw ingredient tracking, employee management, integrated in-house payment processing, and email marketing (via integration with Mailchimp) to stay in touch with your customers, and a loyalty program to encourage repeat business. Since it can also support retail and integrates with barcode scanners, ShopKeep is also a good POS for small businesses that sell merchandise in addition to food items.
ShopKeep features an attractive and intuitive register interface with the option of tableside ordering, allowing you to move down your busy bakery line and take orders with your iPad to send back to the kitchen or main register. While sleek and uncluttered, ShopKeep’s ultra-customizable interface is also really enjoyable to use, with animations and sound effects (which you can turn off if you’re not into that kinda thing). The register can host 3,000 item buttons and makes it easy to ring up items, add modifiers, take payments, split tenders, apply quick discounting (item and order level), and issue returns and refunds.
Another cool bakery-related feature of the ShopKeep POS is its raw goods tracking function: Every time you sell a pastry or cupcake, ShopKeep will track the amount of sugar/eggs/flour/etc., that was used and let you know when ingredients are running low.
ShopKeep has a free plan with a pared-down feature-set; paid plans are quote-based, but most merchants are somewhere in the neighborhood of $60-$80/month.
- Free plan available
- Runs on iPad, Android, and Clover hardware
- Multiple payment processing options (in-house or your own merchant account)
- eCommerce add-on with online ordering
- Lacking in advanced features
- Occasional bugs and glitches
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Looking For One Of These Names? 3 Honorable Mentions For Bakery POS Systems
Here, I’d like to highlight some systems we haven’t reviewed previously but are relevant because of their specialized features for bakeries, including features for wholesale bakeries and bakeries that fill custom orders.
BakeSmart is a bakery point of sale software specifically for bakeries that make custom cakes. The software claims to cover every aspect of running a bakery, from order-taking to production to product costing. Unlike the web-based POS software we’ve reviewed above, BakeSmart is an on-premise POS solution that is locally-installed at your business. However, the software does allow you to sell online. This software is a bit pricey, but if you specialize in custom cakes and like what you see in the demo, it could be the right choice for your bakery.
BakeSmart plans start at $199/month, plus a $999 installation fee.
Cake Boss is a bakery software made specifically for home bakery businesses. You can use the software to manage recipes, determine production costs, generate quotes, add sketches or photos of finished products, and send customized invoices with your logo. However, CakeBoss doesn’t have an actual POS component, so it’s more for small home businesses that accept payments via check, cash, PayPal, etc. CakeBoss is web-based (runs from your internet browser) and affordably priced at $149 for the first year and then $20 annually after that. The company also offers a 30-day free trial.
Mountain Stream is a delivery management software geared toward the wholesale bakery industry. In addition to wholesale distribution, Mountain Stream also has features for bakeries offering home and retail delivery. The software is well-received by online reviewers and includes various features, such as online ordering, production planning, CRM, inventory management, and more. To accept online payments, you can use PayPal or Stripe payment gateways. Note that Mountain Stream is an eCommerce platform for wholesale and home delivery and not a POS for in-person selling.
Mountain Steam has two separate products called Streamline (for wholesale distribution) and Boomerang (for home and retail delivery). The pricing for Streamline starts at $249/month, plus a $499 installation fee; the pricing for Boomerang isn’t listed.
What Do You Really Need In Bakery Software?
Though specific needs can vary depending on what type of bakery you operate, most businesses will be best served by a POS system with the following capabilities. I’ve also linked some of the features in the list below to some of our articles with more information on those topics, as they relate to POS:
- Inventory management with raw ingredient tracking
- Reporting features
- Loyalty program
- Menu management
- Customer profiles
- Digital marketing (text, email, social media)
- Employee management
- Gift cards
- QuickBooks integration
- Offline mode
- 24/7 customer support
- Competitive payment processing rates
- Month-to-month pricing
- Multilocation support (even if you only have one bakery currently, you may need to scale up later)
- Socially-distanced restaurant features — i.e., contactless payments, online ordering for pickup, local delivery, third-party delivery service integration, digital gift cards, and self-ordering kiosk
The list above includes all the basics, but you may also need other specific features, such as the ability to handle catering and custom orders, or support for prepackaged goods or non-food retail bits and bobs (branded merchandise, coffee mugs, tumblers, etc.). Some smaller bakeries might opt to go cash-only since credit card processing can get expensive for small transaction sizes. If this is the case for your business, you’ll want a POS with good cash-handling features and no payment processing requirements.
You should be able to get all the POS features you need either as part of your POS’s starter/base plan, from your POS’s higher-tier package (for example, their “Pro” plan), as paid add-ons offered by your POS company, or via integrations with third-party business software. Ideally, core POS features, such as basic inventory management, basic employee management, basic reports, and customer support, should be included in the base package.
Which Bakery POS Is Right For My Business?
So, in case you stopped paying attention somewhere over the past 2,500 words (what, do I bore you?), here’s the CliffsNotes version:
All of the vendors in this article have reasonable price points that make them suitable for small- to medium-sized bakeries. With their affordable monthly pricing structure, they are equally suited for an established business that wants to cut their POS overhead or a brand-new bakery that wants to start selling confections without a sizable investment or commitment. However, different systems are better for different needs; Toast and Lightspeed Restaurant are better for advanced requirements, while Shopkeep, Square, and TouchBistro are better for a bakery with more modest POS needs.
It’s not a bad idea to test drive some POS systems before you settle on one; you can request a free trial or demo of all the above systems, or you can leave a comment with a question, and we’ll be happy to help you choose a bakery POS that meets your specific needs. You might also want to check out our post on the best POS systems for cafes.
Have you already decided on a bakery POS? Great! Here are some resources for what to do next — secure a loan, decide on kitchen equipment, implement delivery options, and more:
- The 8 Best Loans For Restaurants (Plus Tips To Improve Your Chances Of Being Approved)
- Get The Commercial Kitchen Equipment You Need With The Help Of One Of These Equipment Lessors
- The Complete Restaurant Guide To Kitchen Printers & Kitchen Printing Setups
- What Is A Kitchen Display System & Do You Need One For Your Restaurant?
- Restaurant Delivery Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Implementing In-House Delivery
- The Complete Guide To Restaurant Credit Card Processing & The 5 Best Companies For Your Small Business
- Should You Implement A COVID Surcharge? 4 Ways To Manage Your Profitability During The Pandemic
- How To Calculate Food Cost For Your Restaurant
In Summary: Bakery POS Systems
- Lightspeed POS: Best for an advanced feature-set
- TouchBistro: Best for offline data storage
- Square POS: Best for a free POS
- Toast POS: Best for restaurant-grade POS hardware
- ShopKeep POS: Best for ease of use