Best POS Systems For Pizza Parlors
Pizza is the ultimate food; I’d be perfectly content subsisting entirely on pizza, forever. Alas, my loved ones would probably get on my case big-time if I did this, so I must content myself with eating pizza only part-time, while doing all I can to better the lives of those who make this ultimate Food of the Gods — I’m talking about you, pizza parlors!
In lieu of consuming a large stuffed-crust pizza, alone, my pizza-related activity for today is writing this blog post on the best cloud-based POS software systems for pizzerias.
Pizza POS’s typically come loaded with must-have features like EMV compliance, raw ingredient tracking, and the ability to input complicated pizza orders with ease. Some cloud pizza POS systems (mmm, “cloud pizza” … that sounds good) also offer some sweet extras like online ordering and delivery options.
In this article, I’ll go over the merits and shortcomings of four pizza-friendly POS’s — Shopkeep, Clover Station, Toast, and Revel — to help you figure out which one is the best for your pizza business.
If you have any thoughts on my choices, we can talk about those in the comments. Or we could just chat about pizza, that would be cool too.
Table of Contents
- Runs on iOS 8.2 or higher and uses iPads and iPad minis
- Web-based with limited offline functionality (can queue credit card payments if internet goes out)
- Integrates with most payment processors; also offers its own integrated Shopkeep Payments processing
- Raw ingredient tracking
- Onscreen tipping
- EMV-compliant register accepts chip cards and Apple Pay
- Optional peripheral hardware for purchase
- Excellent customer support
The extra toppings (some nifty extras this POS offers):
- Open check functionality
- “Tip later” feature and other tipping options
- Tableside ordering — Waiters can take orders at tables and send them electronically to the kitchen
- Customer management with email marketing
- Employee management
- ShopKeep recently acquired online order and delivery system ChowBot and hopes to make the integration available to its users later this year.
ShopKeep (see our review), est. 2010, is a solid all-around iPad POS for both retail and restaurants. This POS is very affordable at $69/register/month, and is quite advanced for a mobile POS. ShopKeep has an intuitive, easy-to-use interface with a short learning curve, so it’s easy to set it up and start using.
EMV-compliant ShopKeep is one of the best POS systems for small and medium businesses, and while it wasn’t made specifically for pizza, it has useful pizza features, such as raw ingredient tracking. The system is highly scaleable and customizable. Pizzerias can set their system up so that they can, for example, add different toppings and calculate those into the total price of a pizza.
In addition to its versatility, reliability is another benefit of ShopKeep. Its offline functionality ensures that you’ll still be able to run credit card transactions even if your internet connection goes down, and in the event you do have a problem, ShopKeep will work hard to fix it for you, thanks to their top-notch customer support.
Another advantage is that ShopKeep integrates with numerous payment processors, allowing you to work with your preferred merchant services provider (or you can use their own in-house payment processing, which offers decent, fair rates).
While ShopKeep is a perfectly suitable POS for most pizza parlors, in a perfect world, ShopKeep would include a few more features for pizza. For example, you can manage inventory at the ingredient level, but you can’t specify the unit of measure. And while the system can be customized for a pizzeria, it doesn’t have a pre-built “pizza module” with features like delivery tracking and online ordering. However, ShopKeep recently acquired ChowBot and will likely have online ordering and delivery features available later this year.
All in all, most pizzerias will find this to be a high-quality POS, whether you’re a takeout pizza shop or a full-fledged bar and restaurant. You also get some cool back-office functionalities like customer tracking and email marketing integration.
Find out more about ShopKeep in our ShopKeep review.
2. Clover Station
- Cloud-based POS with offline functionality
- Robust proprietary POS hardware retails for about $1,000. You can also lease a Clover Station but we do not recommend this.
- Vertically integrated payment processing — Must be sold with First Data merchant account
- Credit card processing fees and monthly service fees vary depending on vendor
- EMV-compliant if you purchase a Clover-enabled FD40 PIN Pad (along with companion app) to accept EMV and mobile payments
- Raw ingredient inventory tracking
- Employee management — Workers can clock in and out using the system
- Display that swivels around so customers can sign off on the screen (and add tips there too)
- Pizza Builder app ($18.95/month) allows you to add toppings to quarters, halves or the whole pizza; easily select double, triple and light toppings; add pickup or delivery options — Note Clover’s disclaimer, though: This app is designed for Quick Service Restaurant Applications, it is currently not recommended for fine dining or table service.
- Option to have an additional kitchen printer
Clover Station (see our review) is another cloud-based POS, though its model is unique. Clover doesn’t use iPads — or any other type of consumer tablet, for that matter. Clover Station uses Clover’s streamlined, proprietary POS hardware. The display looks and functions similarly to an iPad or tablet, but being made solely for POS purposes, it has the advantage of being impervious to OS updates that can potentially interfere with business-critical functions of other tablet-based POSes.
Clover must be sold with a First Data merchant account, though there are thousands of different entities that sell First Data merchant services, and each bank or merchant services provider who sells Clover might offer different swipe fees and hardware costs. This means you can potentially negotiate competitive pricing. However, it also means that your level of customer service and support will vary based on which Clover reseller you choose. Currently, the only Clover resellers we endorse are Dharma Merchant Services and Payment Depot. We also strongly recommend you do not buy a Clover Station off eBay or from any other untrusted seller.
As with the other pizza POS systems on our list, Clover Station is a complete restaurant POS with lots of useful functions for quick-serve and full-fledged restaurants, including various options for tipping, tabs, and toppings. For example, new items can be created with or without variants and be sold by a fixed or variable price, or priced per unit (oz, g, kg, lb).
The Clover POS is ultra-customizable — it comes out-of-the-box with basic POS functionality, and you use apps, typically purchased via a monthly fee, from Clover’s app market to add the specific features you need. Clover’s “Pizza Builder” app offers several useful functions for quick-serve pizzerias (see list above).
Clover Station has an intuitive design and is very easy to set up and start using. People generally seem to like the Clover software/hardware product, but as mentioned, the quality of Clover merchant services may vary. This promotional video features a testimonial from a pizza shop who uses Clover Station might be helpful if you’re considering this POS.
For more information, you can refer to our Clover Station POS review. You might also want to check out Clover Mini, a lighter-weight, portable version of Clover Station that also gives you the option to accept mobile payments and runs on 3G/4G in addition to WiFi.
One more thing to consider is that ShopKeep recently announced a partnership with Clover, which means you’ll soon be able to use the ShopKeep POS on your Clover hardware if you bought the Clover Station but aren’t crazy about the Clover software/service.
- Runs on Samsung Android devices
- Pricing starts at $79/month/terminal
- Web-based with offline functionality
- In-house payment processing (can’t use an outside merchant account)
- EMV-compliant terminals accept cash, check, gift cards, credit cards and mobile payments
- Includes 24/7 customer support from a US-based tech support team
The extra toppings:
- Online ordering and delivery (extra $50/mn)
- Mobile loyalty rewards program (extra $25/mn)
- Digital and physical gift cards (extra $50/mn)
- Real-time menu management
- Robust sales reports
- Employee management system
- Digital menu board
- Kitchen display system
- Hardwired terminals (don’t need WiFi)
- Self-order kiosks
Toast (see our review) is yet another excellent cloud POS that works well for pizza parlors of all sizes, from takeout/delivery to full-service restaurants. Unlike the other pizza POS software systems on our list, Toast was built specifically for food service. This POS and restaurant management system runs exclusively on Android devices, which gives Toast a little more versatility compared to its iPad-based counterparts, and makes the hardware more affordable, too—hardware bundles start at $899. Toast POS uses hardwired terminals with handheld tableside ordering tablets and kitchen display screens.
Some cool functions of this POS include the ability to update your menu online, offer digital or printed receipts, and provide customized tip percentage options during customer transactions. Online ordering is another big perk if you want that functionality. The system is feature-rich but easy enough to learn, with a straightforward, intuitive interface.
Toast offers its own in-house, integrated payment processing, which means you can’t use your own merchant services provider. Toast promises to match rates of your current merchant services provider, but if you want to use a specific outside payment processor, this isn’t the POS for you. Toast is also a little pricier than some of the other options on our list.
What really sets this system apart from other similar POS systems is Toast’s unbeatable, fully US-based customer support. We’re confident recommending Toast based on their phenomenal support, in addition to their robust feature set.
Yet another upside to using Toast is that you have the option to set your credit card authorization to always process as if it were offline, so that you can print customer receipts without waiting around for official authorization. This is a little risky, of course, but saves time when you have a line of hungry customers.
You can learn more about Toast by reading our Toast POS review.
4. Revel Systems
- Web-based with offline functionality
- Pricing is flexible (depending on your industry and set-up) and is broken down per terminal
- Integrates with multiple payment processors — Includes gateways USAePay, FreedomPay, NewTek, and Index, and payment processors Mercury Payment Systems, LevelUp, FirstData, and others
- Advanced ingredient-level inventory tracking
- Integrates with a wide variety of peripheral POS hardware
The extra toppings:
- Pizza POS module with delivery management and more
- Online and mobile ordering
- Digital menu board
- Kitchen display system
- Cashiers can set orders to-go or for delivery
- Tableside ordering
- Open API
- Customer-facing display
- Customer relationship management
- Employee management
Finally, we have Revel Systems (see our review), a comprehensive cloud-based POS with a truly exhaustive set of features. Revel has a ton of slick features and integrations, and might be your POS of choice if you want options like delivery management and online pizza ordering. You can even track your delivery drivers like you would an Uber driver.
Revel has been around since 2010 and it has many satisfied customers in the food industry thanks to features ranging from a digital menu board to an open API. You can build on Revel’s functionality with its app marketplace — Revel also builds branded mobile apps for merchants. Highly-scaleable Revel can even work for enterprise-level food service businesses and counts Popeyes Chicken and Arby’s among its customers.
If it were only for their tricked-out feature set, I might be able to say this is definitively the “best POS for pizza parlors.” It’s important to note, though, that Revel can have a somewhat lengthy setup process and a steep learning curve. Some customers also report glitches with QuickBooks integration. Though these experiences don’t necessarily reflect the average user experience, customer reviews are definitely something to keep in mind when choosing a pizza POS.
You can find out more about the Revel POS in our Revel Systems review.
Which Pizza POS Should You Choose?
Here’s a little recap of which one will work best for your pizzeria, depending on your needs:
- ShopKeep: Affordable iPad POS; can use your choice of payment processor or use in-house payment processing
- Clover Station: Ultra-customizable all-in-one POS with pizza “app” for quick-serve; locked into First Data merchant account
- Toast: Restaurant-specific, feature-packed Android POS with online ordering and delivery options; must use their in-house payment processing
- Revel Systems: Complete iPad POS with online ordering and delivery options; choice of payment processors