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7 Best POS Systems For A Coffee Shop Or Cafe In 2022

Coffee shops are busy places, and you need a POS that can keep up. These point of sale software options have all the features you need for your cafe or coffee shop.

    Shannon Vissers
  • UPDATED

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cafe pos systems

The best POS system for your coffee shop or cafe depends on your individual needs. For example, you might be primarily looking for a free coffee POS, a POS that can work without reliable internet, or a system that includes table management features for dine-in. Whatever your specific feature needs, you should be able to find them in at least one of the cafe point of sale systems on this list. As follows are the best coffee POS systems for every type of coffee shop and cafe business.

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  • $0+/month
  • Free online ordering
  • Affordable POS hardware
  • Affordable KDS
  • $0+/month
  • Free online ordering
  • Affordable POS hardware
  • Affordable KDS

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  • $59+ a month
  • Excellent employee management
  • Raw ingredient tracking
  • Deep reporting
  • $59+ a month
  • Excellent employee management
  • Raw ingredient tracking
  • Deep reporting

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  • $0+ a month
  • Digital ordering suite
  • Tableside ordering devices
  • Strong customer service
  • $0+ a month
  • Digital ordering suite
  • Tableside ordering devices
  • Strong customer service

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  • $99+ a month
  • Strong offline mode
  • Good for multilocation cafes
  • Open API
  • $99+ a month
  • Strong offline mode
  • Good for multilocation cafes
  • Open API

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  • $69+ a month
  • Locally installed system
  • Multiple processing options
  • Integrates with Square
  • $69+ a month
  • Locally installed system
  • Multiple processing options
  • Integrates with Square

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  • $0+/month
  • Counter-service plan
  • Plug-and-play system
  • Simple to use and set up
  • $0+/month
  • Counter-service plan
  • Plug-and-play system
  • Simple to use and set up

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  • $99+ a month
  • Strong inventory management
  • Payment processing options
  • Use on any device
  • $99+ a month
  • Strong inventory management
  • Payment processing options
  • Use on any device

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

7 Top Coffee POS Systems

A coffee shop pos system includes a range of features to help your run your cafe. Look for a system that’s easy to use and train new staff, has online ordering options, loyalty, insightful reporting, inventory management, tipping options, and even marketing tools.

1. Square: Best For Affordability

Square


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Pros

  • Free POS system
  • Simple setup
  • Hardware built for quick-serve
  • Numerous app integrations

Cons

  • Occasional fund holds
  • Customer support lacking

Square is one of the most popular coffee shop POS systems, as it combines affordability with simplicity. In fact, no other free POS provides as many features as Square.

Square Coffee POS System Cost

Square’s flagship Square Point of Sale is free, as is Square for Restaurants, which offers more restaurant-centric features. Square will even throw in a free card reader when you sign up, though its Square Stand for iPad and Square’s proprietary Square Register — which has a built-in customer-facing screen with an integrated NFC-capable payment reader — are ideal for quick-serve.

Notable Square Coffee POS Features

  • Free online ordering website
  • Onscreen tipping
  • Employee management
  • Inventory management
  • Delivery app integration
  • QR code payments
  • eGift cards
  • Reporting
  • Integrated Square KDS (add-on)
  • Loyalty (add-on)
  • Marketing (add-on)
  • Payroll (add-on)
coffee pos system features

Square.com Capture POS Equipment

Hardware Cost

You can purchase an all-in-one Square Register with a POS screen and customer-facing screen with built-in payment acceptance for $799. Or you can buy a Square Stand with a 10.2″ iPad, swivel stand, and contactless and chip card reader for $498.

Payment Processing

Payment processing is included at a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for all in-person transactions. There is no option to integrate another payment processor to use with Square.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Square has a month-to-month contract that you can cancel at any time with no penalty.

Get Started With Square

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2. Lightspeed Restaurant: Best All-Around

Lightspeed Restaurant POS


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Pros

  • Strong core functionality
  • Excellent loyalty features
  • Built-in employee and inventory management
  • Online and mobile ordering options

Cons

  • Offline mode lacking
  • It can get pricey with add-ons

Lightspeed coffee pos system

Lightspeed Restaurant is an innovative yet easy-to-use iPad POS that offers plenty of advanced foodservice features at a competitive price.

Lightspeed Cafe POS Pricing

Lightspeed’s entry-level plan starts at $39/month if billed annually, and it can do pretty much anything you want it to, whether you have a quick-serve coffee shop or a sit-down cafe.

Notable Lightspeed Coffee POS Features

  • Quick-serve mode
  • Onscreen tipping
  • Customizable floor plan
  • Employee management
  • Raw ingredient tracking
  • Reporting
  • Customer-facing display (add-on)
  • Loyalty program (add-on)
  • Customer-facing loyalty app (add-on)
  • Kitchen display system (add-on)
  • Delivery app integration (add-on)
  • Self-order menu (add-on)
  • Order ahead (add-on)

Hardware Cost

Lightspeed’s iPad POS hardware is quote-based; you can also source your Lightspeed hardware yourself.

Payment Processing

Payment processing is provided via Lightspeed Payments at a flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 for all in-person transactions. You also have the option to integrate an outside payment processor, but there is an additional fee to do so.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

You can use Lightspeed Restaurant on a month-to-month basis, though your base price will increase by $10/month to $69/month if your plan is billed monthly. Otherwise, Lightspeed is an annual commitment.

Get Started With Lightspeed Restaurant POS

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3. Toast: Best For Digital Ordering Options

Toast POS


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Pros

  • Full-service restaurant POS
  • Excellent customer service
  • Advanced digital ordering options

Cons

  • Somewhat confusing pricing
  • Long-term processing contract

Toast Coffee Shop POS Pricing

Toast POS was created with small cafes and coffee shops in mind, though it can also handle full-service cafes. Android-based Toast POS offers a free Starter package that includes basic POS functionality, cloud-based reporting, menu management, and kitchen operations; paid plans start at $69/month. Notably, Toast is very tech-forward and offers numerous mobile and online ordering options. These include handheld POS devices, a customer-facing online ordering app, a mobile-optimized online ordering website, and the ability for dine-in customers to both order and pay from their own phone.

Notable Toast Coffee POS Features

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Customer-facing screen
  • Onscreen tipping
  • Menu management
  • Employee management
  • Raw ingredient tracking
  • Detailed analytics
  • Toast Go handheld ordering devices
  • Toast Takeout online ordering app (add-on)
  • In-house and third-party delivery (add-on)
  • Order and Pay mobile ordering and payment for dine-in (add-on)
  • Gift cards (add-on)
  • Loyalty (add-on)
  • Marketing (add-on)
  • Payroll (add-on)

toast coffee pos for quick serve

Hardware Cost

You can purchase a Toast Starter Kit that includes the basics you need to get up and selling for $799 or add a guest display for another $200. Under the pay-as-you-go plan, the Starter Kit is free (minus the guest display), but you’ll pay a higher processing fee.

Payment Processing

Payment processing is included at a flat rate of 2.49% + $0.15 for all in-person transactions on the Standard plan or 2.99% + $0.15 on the pay-as-you-go plan. American Express cards are processed at a higher rate of 3.29% + $0.15. There is no option to integrate another payment processor to use with Toast.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Toast requires a two-year contract and processing agreement. If you want to terminate your contract before the two years are up, you’ll pay a hefty early termination fee to do so.

Get Started With Toast POS

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4. Revel: Best For Multilocation Management

Revel POS Systems


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Pros

  • Capable of handling large, multilocation businesses
  • Fast, stable connection
  • Open API capabilities

Cons

  • High cost
  • Long-term contract

revel pos for coffee shop

Revel is an advanced iPad POS that is exceptionally powerful and wonderfully fast. Revel has a proprietary iPad-Ethernet connection option, Revel Ethernet Connect™, making for a faster and more stable internet connection than Wi-Fi. If your internet connection fails, Revel’s Always On mode lets you continue to ring up orders and even process credit card payments offline. With its scalable, modular design and open API, Revel can be tailored and expanded to meet the needs of any business size.

Revel Coffee POS System Pricing

The retail and restaurant POS starts at $99/month per terminal, with a two-terminal minimum.

Revel Coffee POS Features

  • Inventory management
  • Menu management
  • Employee management
  • Customer relationship management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Always On mode
  • 24/7 support
  • Online ordering (add-on)
  • Delivery management (add-on)
  • App integration (add-on)
  • Self-order kiosks (add-on)
  • Digital menu board (add-on)
  • KDS (add-on)
  • Loyalty (add-on)
  • Gift cards (add-on)
  • Mobile order takers (add-on)
  • Multilocation and enterprise management (add-on)

Hardware Cost

Revel’s iPad POS hardware is quote-based. You also have the option to source your hardware yourself.

Payment Processing

Revel offers integrated payment processing through Revel Advantage at a flat rate of 2.49% + $0.15 for in-person transactions. Revel also integrates with several other payment processors and gateways, including Moneris, Adyen, Tyro, USAePay, and FreedomPay (though you’ll pay a higher monthly price if you use an outside processor).

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Revel requires a long-term contract. To get the lowest price, you’ll also need to sign a multi-year processing contract. At the $99/month/terminal level, Revel requires a three-year contract with Revel Advantage.

Get Started With Revel POS Systems

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5. TouchBistro: Best For Processing Options

TouchBistro


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Save up to $2000 off restaurant tech bundles from TouchBistro from now until December 31st. Learn More

Pros

  • Built for restaurants
  • Many features included in the base price
  • Multiple payment processing options
  • This locally-installed system doesn’t require Wi-Fi

Cons

  • Features not overly deep
  • Requires one+ year contract

coffee pos system Touchbistro

TouchBistro Coffee POS Pricing

The TouchBistro iPad POS for restaurants starts at $69/month. The system includes numerous features at an affordable price point and integrates with multiple processors and gateways in case you don’t want to use TouchBistro’s in-house processor. TouchBistro is a locally-installed software that does not require Wi-Fi to operate; if you have more than one iPad terminal, your iPad POS data syncs to a local Mac server.

TouchBistro Coffee POS Features

  • Menu management
  • Floor plan and table management
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Tableside ordering
  • Staff management
  • App integrations
  • Offline payments
  • Kitchen display system
  • Customer-facing display
  • 24/7 support
  • QR code menu
  • Digital menu board (add-on)
  • Online ordering (add-on)
  • Gift cards (add-on)
  • Loyalty (add-on)
  • Reservations (add-on)
  • Self-serve kiosk (add-on)

Hardware Cost

TouchBistro’s iPad POS hardware is quote-based. You also have the option to source your hardware yourself.

Payment Processing

TouchBistro offers integrated payment processing through TouchBistro Payments (powered by Chase) with cost-plus pricing. TouchBistro integrates with multiple other payment processors and gateways, including EVO, Moneris, Square, Worldpay, TSYS, etc.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

TouchBistro requires a minimum one-year contract. However, contracts may be longer than one year, depending on your processing agreement. For example, TouchBistro is currently offering a discounted hardware bundle that requires a two-year contract with TouchBistro as well as a two-year processing agreement with TouchBistro Payments.

Get Started With TouchBistro

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6. Clover: Best For Ease Of Use

Clover POS


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Pros

  • Attractive hardware
  • Affordable monthly pricing
  • Free online ordering module
  • Customer engagement features

Cons

  • Can’t purchase hardware separate from merchant account
  • Hardware is expensive

Clover is a unique plug-and-play system that’s incredibly easy to set up and start using with minimal training. Clover uses proprietary Android-based hardware, with features designed for quick-serve.

Clover Coffee POS Pricing

Though plans start at $0/month for minimal POS features, to access the coffee shop POS features, you’ll need the $39.95/month Counter Service plan.

Notable Clover Coffee POS Features

  • Menu and order management
  • Customer-facing hardware options
  • Onscreen tipping and auto-tipping
  • Order ahead
  • Online ordering (included in Counter Service Plan)
  • Third-party delivery app integration
  • Discounts and promos
  • Mobile loyalty
  • Digital and physical gift cards
  • Clover App Market
  • Mobile ordering devices (Clover Flex)
  • Advanced customer engagement (add-on)

clover coffee pos system

Hardware Cost

Clover hardware starts at $99 for a mobile reader, but coffee shops that want a full POS setup will need a Clover Station ($1,349 to $1,649) or at least a Clover Mini ($749). Clover also sells handheld Clover Flex smart terminals ($499) for mobile payments.

Payment Processing

Clover systems are always sold with a Fiserv (formerly First Data) merchant account. We recommend buying your Clover hardware and plan through Clover directly, which offers month-to-month flat-rate processing at a rate of 2.3% + $0.10 for in-person transactions (with the Counter Service Plan).

Contract Requirements/Warnings

Not all Clover retailers offer month-to-month pricing; many entities that sell Clover require long-term contracts with ETFs. Since you can’t purchase hardware on its own, it’s important that you purchase Clover hardware from a reputable Clover merchant services provider.

Get Started With Clover POS

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7. Vend: Best For Retail Features

Vend by Lightspeed


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Pros

  • Excellent inventory management
  • Easy to use
  • Choice of payment processors
  • Choice of hardware

Cons

  • No restaurant management features
  • No built-in online ordering module

Vend by Lightspeed is primarily a retail POS, but it can also work for coffee shops, particularly those that also sell merch or grab-and-go items and need inventory management features.

Vend Coffee POS Pricing

Vend plans start at $99/month and can be run from any device with a web browser, so you don’t have to buy any expensive hardware. Another thing to like about Vend is that it integrates with your choice of a payment processor at no extra charge. The system is also super easy to use and train new employees on.

Notable Vend Coffee POS Features

  • Advanced inventory management
  • Composite products feature into a group and sell items and services together
  • Customer profiles
  • Employee management
  • Returns, refunds, and exchanges
  • Free barcode scanner app
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Unlimited products and users
  • Loyalty program (add-on)
  • Promotions and gift cards (add-on)
  • App integrations, including eComm apps (add-on)
  • Multilocation inventory management (add-on)
  • API access (add-on)

coffee shop pos

Hardware Cost

You can use Vend on hardware you already own or purchase an iPad or PC bundle from Vend. The Pro Hardware bundle includes an iPad, iPad stand, barcode scanner, receipt printer, and cash drawer for $1,036.49. Vend also sells Star Micronics mPOP All-In-One Printer and Cash Drawer with Scanner bundles (iPad not included) for $600 and a PC Starter Kit (PC not included) for $495.

Payment Processing

Vend integrates with a number of payment processing options, including Square, PayPal, Chase, BLUEDOG, EVO, TSYS, and others.

Contract Requirements/Warnings

You will need to commit for one year to get Vend’s lowest pricing — $99/month on the Lite Plan or $129/month on the Pro plan. You can use Vend on a month-to-month basis, but it will cost you. Month-to-month billing costs an additional $20/month on the Lite plan and another $30/month on the Pro plan.

Get Started With Vend by Lightspeed

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How We Chose The Best Cafe POS Systems

Our best POS systems for coffee shops have a lot going for them, including a 4-star or higher rating on Merchant Maverick. These coffee shop point of sale systems all feature good customer support, affordable pricing, integrated payment processing (either in-house or via third-party integration), and the ability to scale up as your business grows. They also include some level of inventory, customer, and employee management, as well as an online ordering module and built-in loyalty program (in most cases). Finally, most of these coffee POS systems also have optional add-ons for advanced restaurant features, such as touchscreen kiosks and kitchen display systems.

Like many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, the point of sale industry had to quickly and dramatically make changes to accommodate its customers’ needs. These tech-forward POS systems all exceed in areas that have become necessities since businesses had to shift on a dime. These include contactless payment options, electronic ordering systems, socially distanced dining features, and an intuitive user interface to easily train new employees during this time of staffing shortages and high restaurant employee turnover. If you can use an iPad, you can learn any of these POS systems in an afternoon.

How To Use Your Coffee POS System To Manage Your Cafe

Having a coffee POS with inventory management is incredibly important in an industry that thrives on getting people in and out and selling large quantities of your product. If you have a busy establishment with multiple employees working rapidly and going through stock, it’s difficult to keep tabs on everything you have, and the amounts used from day to day can be unpredictable.

Having a point of sale system with real-time inventory tracking can be extremely important in ensuring you don’t run out of a crucial ingredient during a rush. Good coffee shop inventory systems will also provide analysis, tracking (e.g., item cost efficiency), and sales patterns.

Here are a few other things that many POS inventory management systems have that could really help out your cafe or coffee shop:

  • Easy CSV spreadsheets
  • Downloadable reports
  • Daily stock alerts
  • Barcode labels
  • Item categories
  • Vendor management
  • Purchase orders
  • Multilocation inventory management (for stores with more than one location)
  • Multichannel inventory management (for stores that also sell online)

To learn more about managing your coffee shop’s inventory, I recommend reading Your Complete Guide To Restaurant Inventory Management: How To Control Costs, Reduce Waste, & More.

Which Coffee POS System Is Best For You?

As you can see, there are many quality point of sale systems for cafes to choose from, and you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to get all of the functions you need. While all of the above POS systems are strong and highly rated, they all shine in different areas. Hopefully, this article has helped simplify the process of choosing the best POS for your unique coffee shop needs, whether you operate a simple coffee cart, a sit-down cafe that also fulfills orders from third-party delivery apps, or a hybrid business that sells both coffee and merchandise.

Be sure to also check out our post on coffee shop loans if you need help financing your POS or other aspects of your coffee shop business.

FAQs: Best Coffee POS Systems

What is the best cafe or coffee POS system?

The best POS system for a coffee shop or cafe depends on your business’s unique needs and budget. For example, Lightspeed for Restaurants, TouchBistro, Revel, and Toast are excellent systems for full-service cafes; Square and Clover work best for counter service; retail-oriented Vend POS is best for coffee shops that also sell merchandise.

What’s the best POS for a small cafe?

The best POS for most small cafes is Square. This system is geared toward small businesses with small budgets, as it is super affordable and easy to use, with features designed for quick-serve and no long-term commitment. Lightspeed is another great all-around system for small businesses that can afford to pay at least $59/month.

How much is a coffee POS system?

Coffee POS software can range anywhere from $0/month to more than $300/month, depending on how many features and registers you need. As for hardware, you can usually expect to pay about $1,000 per terminal for a complete iPad POS setup or around $800 if you don’t need a cash register. Proprietary hardware such as Clover is more expensive and can cost as much as $1,649 per terminal.

Which coffee pos systems have online ordering?

Coffee pos systems with online ordering features include Touchbistro, Clover, Square, Toast, and Revel (with an add-on).

Which coffee pos system has the best loyalty features?

We think Lightspeed has some of the best built-in loyalty features for a coffee shop. This coffee point of sale system includes marketing tools, a rewards program, customer insights, and more.

In Summary: 7 Top Coffee POS Systems

  1. Square:
    • $0+/month
    • Free online ordering
    • Affordable POS hardware
    • Affordable KDS
  2. Lightspeed Restaurant POS:
    • $59+ a month
    • Excellent employee management
    • Raw ingredient tracking
    • Deep reporting
  3. Toast POS:
    • $0+ a month
    • Digital ordering suite
    • Tableside ordering devices
    • Strong customer service
  4. Revel POS Systems:
    • $99+ a month
    • Strong offline mode
    • Good for multilocation cafes
    • Open API
  5. TouchBistro:
    • $69+ a month
    • Locally installed system
    • Multiple processing options
    • Integrates with Square
  6. Clover POS:
    • $0+/month
    • Counter-service plan
    • Plug-and-play system
    • Simple to use and set up
  7. Vend by Lightspeed:
    • $99+ a month
    • Strong inventory management
    • Payment processing options
    • Use on any device
Shannon Vissers

Shannon Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
The former editor-in-chief of SteelOrbis, Shannon has been researching and writing about small business software and financing since 2015. Her shopping and retail expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including Reader's Digest, MSN, Yahoo Finance, and GOBankingRates . She has also published articles for LIVESTRONG.COM, eHow, Life'd, and other websites. Shannon attended San Diego State University, graduating in 2005 with a BA in English.
Shannon Vissers
View Shannon Vissers's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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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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