6 Free Restaurant POS Software Systems At The Top In 2023
These great free restaurant POS systems all have solid feature sets, easy-to-use interfaces, plenty of report options, and good customer service.
Matt ShermanA former sports editor and journalist, Matt Sherman has been writing about and researching small business software since 2015, with a special emphasis on retail and restaurant sales. Matt's expert opinions are cited in various industry publications, including Fox Business. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon.
Expert Analyst & Reviewer
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Free restaurant POS software should still come with a strong feature set that helps you run your small to mid-sized food-service establishment.
Free POS systems for restaurants should include basics like inventory management, tipping functionality, and employee management despite the low-cost entry point. It should also be scalable, giving you the option to tap into more advanced features like online ordering and eCommerce.
When choosing the best free POS software for a restaurant, you’ll want to compare each company’s feature set and prioritize which ones are most important for your business. Below we’ve reviewed six of the best free restaurant POS options on the market.
1. Square: Best Overall Free POS System For Restaurants
Why We Chose Square For Free Restaurant POS Software
When it comes to free POS software, it’s hard to beat Square.
Square POS tops “best of” lists across Merchant Maverick and the web for good reason. The app is completely free, and it’s easy to get started. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to accept payments in your restaurant and access other features, such as basic POS inventory management, employee management, and reports.
You’ll also get many other nice features you won’t find with other free POS software, including a basic eCommerce site, digital gift cards, and a Square kitchen display stand.
You can visit the Square App Marketplace to explore numerous integrations covering everything from accounting software to loyalty programs and employee management. And when you’re ready for a more robust restaurant POS system, you can upgrade to Square for Restaurants, which has additional restaurant-specific features, such as menu creation, table management, tableside ordering, and delivery integration.
Square Pricing For Common Add-Ons
There are multiple ways to add to your Square system and tailor it to your individual needs if you need more features or are looking to expand.
Square For Restaurants Paid Plan: $60/month
Square Payroll: $35/month + $5/employee
Square Loyalty: $45/month
Online Store: Free-$72/month
Email Marketing: $15/month
Square POS Features
Square’s free POS app is just that… free, and its popular Square For Restaurants app also starts with a free plan with some expanded offerings just for restaurant owners.
Here are some of the standout features Square offers:
Here are some of the prices for Square’s hardware extras:
Square Stand: $149
Square Terminal: $299
Square Reader for contactless and chip: $49
Square Register: $799
Square has its own payment processor, and its card-present fees are 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction. Card not present transactions are 3.5% + $0.15, and Square Online purchases are 2.9% + $0.10.
Square allows you to purchase its services and use its payment processing plans on a month-to-month basis with no long-term contracts.
Why We Chose Toast For Free Restaurant POS Software
With the free Starter plan, you’ll receive built-in payment processing and customer support. Toast has a very user-friendly interface, and representatives can help you get set up quickly. Toast has hardware and bundled packages that offer everything you need to get started, from tablets and card readers to kitchen displays and kiosks. Its mobile ordering devices and online ordering functionality also set it apart from most competitors.
If you need more than basic POS features, you can upgrade to a paid plan or purchase one (or more) of Toast’s add-ons. Additional modules include payroll, loyalty programs, online ordering, takeout, and more. Many third-party integrations are available, such as Grubhub, Bevspot, PayTronix, Shogo, and Restaurant365.
Toast Pricing For Common Add-Ons
Toast has multiple add-ons, but you will have to all for a quote to get accurate pricing on specific features. Here’s what’s available:
Toast Mobile Order & Pay
Partner Connect integrations
Marketing & loyalty
Payroll & team management
Toast Free Restaurant POS Features
Toast is tailor-made for the restaurant industry with excellent mobile ordering options and a generous free plan. Here are some of the features included:
Toast offers a variety of hardware options, and you can purchase through its website or through third-party vendors. Terminal bundles generally run for around $1400, and bundles for its handheld tablet run for around $450.
You must use Toast’s own payment processor, and the fee for the free plan is 2.99% +$0.15 per transaction. That fee comes down slightly if you sign up for their paid plans.
Toast has started to develop a somewhat unsavory reputation for locking customers into long-term processing contracts. You’ll want to read your user agreement carefully to make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for, although this appears to be less frequent when using Toast’s free plan.
Why We Chose Loyverse For Free Restaurant POS Software
Loyverse has multilocation management, inventory tracking, customer loyalty, a kitchen display system app, a customer display app, and more, which is a pretty impressive suite for a free app. Loyverse is extremely easy to use, so it’s a great choice for businesses with no prior POS experience.
It’s one of the more popular free POS software companies in the country and is also scalable, with options to buy some of its more advanced features. However, Loyverse really is best suited for smaller establishments that don’t need a ton of those extra features, as they can add up and become less affordable than other POS systems. If you’re really looking to keep your POS costs to a minimum, Loyverse is one of the best options around.
Pricing For Common Add-Ons
Here are things are you can add to your Loyverse POS:
Employee Management: $25/month per store
Advanced Inventory: $25/month per store
Loyverse Free Restaurant POS Features
Loyverse was created as an entirely free product for small businesses. As such, it packs a lot of features into its easy-to-use software. Here are some highlights:
Loyverse does not have its own proprietary hardware, but it offers just about every piece of equipment you might need on its website, from printers to tablets, to scanners, to cash drawers, and has them all available for both Android and iOS devices.
Loyverse integrates with a handful of third-party processors like WorldPay, SumUp, CardConnect, and a few others so you can shop for the best rate for your business.
Loyverse’s free plan is truly free, and there are no long-term contracts you have to worry about. If you choose any of its add-on features, they can be purchased on a month-to-month basis.
Why We Chose eHopper For Free Restaurant POS Software
eHopper’s free POS plan won’t break the bank and has the features you’d expect from POS software, including inventory management, customer management, tip management, split payments, and basic reporting.
It’s a solid option for smaller vendors and ones that can easily pass on processing fees to customers. You get a solid set of features and truly don’t have to shell out a penny for the services if you don’t need anything beyond the free package. For businesses just starting out that will likely stay small, eHopper is definitely worth checking out.
Pricing For Common Add-Ons
Here is what you can add to eHopper:
Advanced pricing plans: $29.99-$49.99
eHopper Free Restaurant POS Features
eHopper has a limited free plan that includes processing that is technically free as well. It includes a good number of the basics within its free plan as well. Here’s what to expect:
Access to apps
eHopper offers tablets and bundles on its website, along with individual items like printers and card terminals.
This is where eHopper is a bit unique. They offer free processing for users, which is technically true, but those fees still exist, and they simply get passed on to customers. This will save you money but may not ingratiate yourself to your customers and may not be the best option for high-volume sellers. eHopper also integrates with a handful of third-party processors as well.
eHopper has you sign up for contracts anywhere from one year to three years with discount fees the longer you sign up. But you’ll want to make sure you’ve read your contract agreement first and are happy with the product before signing anything.
Why We Chose Floreant For Free Restaurant POS Software
Floreant is a bit of an odd duck in today’s POS world in that it is open-concept and locally installed. But one of the main problems with traditional locally installed systems is that it is cost prohibitive.
Floreant is free, so go figure.
You also get the benefit of having offline functionality and a decent feature set if you’re a small company just getting started. You’ll be on your own a bit in terms of customer service, setting up processing, and purchasing hardware, but if you like the freedom to make those decisions, Floreant is worth a look.
Floreant is pretty easy to use and learn, although its interface is pretty basic. There are also no customer management tools, and you won’t find round-the-clock customer support like some of the other software options on this list. However, if you want locally-installed software that gives you basic POS features for a low cost, give Floreant a try.
Pricing For Common Add-Ons
Floreant also has a paid subscription service that gives you access to advanced features. This starts at $19.99 and gives you access to the following features:
Multiple user roles
Barcode label printing
KDS with bump bar
If you use Authorize.net as your gateway, there is also a $25/month fee.
Floreant Free Restaurant POS Features
Floreant is a unique locally-installed POS system that is free and open-sourced, running on Android, Windows, and iOS devices. It may be a bit old-school in today’s cloud-dominated industry, but it still has a solid feature set. Here’s what you can expect:
Kitchen display options
Floreant does not provide any specific hardware for users, but one of its perks is that it’s compatible with just about any common restaurant hardware, giving you the option to search and purchase what works for you. It runs in any Java-supported platform.
Floreant doesn’t give you many options here, but it doesn’t integrate with Authorize.net for processing. They can also provide you with a card reader if necessary when you set up an account with them. There is a $25/month fee to use its services.
Floreant is free and open-sourced, and its software can be used free of charge with no long-term contracts. If you upgrade to its paid service, you also have the option of paying month-to-month.
Why We Chose Chromis For Free Restaurant POS Software
A customizable POS solution often comes with a hefty price tag, but not when you download Chromis, a free, open-source POS software. Chromis works with Linux or Windows and is compatible with a wide range of POS hardware.
Some Chromis features include a customer database, built-in reporting, remote kitchen printing, kitchen display screens, reporting, and built-in scripting language that allows for user customization along with loyalty programs and gift cards.
While Chromis isn’t as sleek and modern as other options on the market, it’s easy to learn and use. And while there aren’t as many support options as you’ll find with larger POS companies, there is a user forum to help you get the software up and running and overcome any major problems.
You’ll be on your own for things like hardware and payment processing. However, if you want truly free locally-installed software that is customizable to the needs of your business, you won’t have anything to lose by giving Chromis a try.
Chromis Pricing For Common Add-Ons
Chromis is an entirely free, open-sourced POS platform without a paid plan or paid add-ons currently.
Chromis Free Restaurant POS Features
Chromis is another open-source POS system with a surprisingly generous feature set. It is also routinely updating its services. Here’s a bit of what they currently provide:
Remote kitchen printing
Similarly to Foreant, Chromis does not provide hardware to its users. Chromis can run on Windows and Linux devices and has USB printing capabilities. This gives you some flexibility in the hardware you choose to run your restaurant but could add to your upfront cost.
You don’t have a ton of options when it comes to payment processing, but Chromis does integrate with Paymentauthorize and you will need to contact them for rates.
Chromis is completely free and can be used without any long-term contracts. Just make sure you check with Paymentauthorize to see if they have contract requirements.
Our Methodology For Choosing The Best Free Restaurant POS Systems
In searching for the best free restaurant point of sale systems, we went back through our own reviews and researched other top-rated free systems, compared their feature sets, costs for add-ons, and processing fees to determine the best first for a variety of small business owners. We explored over 15 different free POS options to determine which one was right for restaurants, specifically.
When possible, we used or demoed the software firsthand and also contacted each company’s customer service department to assess how quickly and efficiently they were able to answer our questions. We also took into account user reviews on multiple sites across the internet.
Why We Don't Recommend These Free Restaurant POS Options
Looking for Harbortouch? Here is why this particular point of sale system didn’t make our list.
On the surface, Harbortouch looks like the ideal free POS system. It boasts plenty of features, has solid inventory management, and robust reporting. With Harbortouch, you’ll get reservations, employee management, and customer loyalty without having to upgrade or purchase add-ons. In addition to its free software, Harbortouch also frequently offers free hardware. So what’s the catch?
Harbortouch’s POS software and hardware may require you to sign a Merchant Transaction Processing Agreement and a service agreement. Terminating your contract early may result in hundreds of dollars in fees. You can also only use Harbortouch’s credit card processing. If you decide to negotiate a contract with Harbortouch, make sure that you read your contract carefully and watch out for any hidden fees.
Harbortouch isn’t the most modern or intuitive POS system, and it may take some time to learn and get used to the system. If you’re not willing to sign a contract or are new to POS systems and want something a little more user-friendly, consider one of the other options on this list.
Which Free POS System Is Right For Your Business?
Free point of sale software will almost always have more limited features than you’ll get with paid plans, but there are plenty of free options available that may have exactly what you’re looking for. Feel free to check out our small business resources for bars and restaurants as well.
If you’re a restaurant that is just starting out, you may only need a payment processor and some basic menu and inventory management. If that’s the case, an expensive monthly plan probably isn’t worth it. Many of these companies with free offerings also offer add-ons or paid tiers as well so if your restaurant grows, you can easily tap into them.
There are many companies that offer free POS software, and each comes with a variety of feature sets. These companies may also offer paid plans that you can purchase if you need advanced features.
What is the best free restaurant POS?
While there are many companies that offer free point of sale software, the best have basic inventory management, menu management, and reporting. Square, Toast, and Loyverse are among the best options for free restaurant POS software.
What do free POS systems for restaurants include?
The best free POS systems for restaurants should have features like menu management, inventory management, reporting, and marketing options.
Is Square for Restaurants free?
Square for Restaurants does offer a free plan that includes unlimited devices and locations along with online ordering and other features.
A former sports editor and journalist, Matt Sherman has been writing about and researching small business software since 2015, with a special emphasis on retail and restaurant sales. Matt's expert opinions are cited in various industry publications, including Fox Business. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon.
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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.
Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.
Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone.
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