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Best Tablet POS Systems For Restaurants

These top picks for restaurant tablet-based POS systems for restaurants can do everything from taking payments to helping with inventory.

    Kymberlin Bush
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

The best tablet POS systems for restaurants are affordable, user-friendly, helpful, and save you precious time and money!

We’ve analyzed dozens of the best restaurant POS systems based on price, usability, features, and more to bring you our favorite POS tablets for restaurants.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext StepsBest For
Revel POS

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  • Highly customizable, lots of software integrations, extensive inventory management, excellent restaurant management dashboard
  • $198+/month
  • Custom contract, early termination fees
  • Highly customizable, lots of software integrations, extensive inventory management, excellent restaurant management dashboard
  • $198+/month
  • Custom contract, early termination fees

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Lightspeed Restaurant

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  • Loyalty program on all plans, great inventory management, lots of tablet ordering capabilities
  • $69+/month
  • Custom contract, early termination fee
  • Loyalty program on all plans, great inventory management, lots of tablet ordering capabilities
  • $69+/month
  • Custom contract, early termination fee

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Square For Restaurants

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  • Free plan available, easy to use, affordable tablet hardware, low-commitment contracts
  • $0-$60/month/location
  • Monthly contracts, no early termination fees
  • Free plan available, easy to use, affordable tablet hardware, low-commitment contracts
  • $0-$60/month/location
  • Monthly contracts, no early termination fees

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Clover POS

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  • Easy to use, huge app market, mix-and-match POS hardware, merchant account included
  • $44.95-$94.95/month or custom pricing plan
  • Custom contract
  • Easy to use, huge app market, mix-and-match POS hardware, merchant account included
  • $44.95-$94.95/month or custom pricing plan
  • Custom contract

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Toast POS

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  • Heat and spill-resistant tablets, complete suite of restaurant management products, great loyalty program
  • $0+/month
  • Custom contracts, early termination fee
  • Heat and spill-resistant tablets, complete suite of restaurant management products, great loyalty program
  • $0+/month
  • Custom contracts, early termination fee

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TouchBistro

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  • Very customizable, easy to use, great catering management, offline mode
  • $69+/month
  • Custom contracts, early cancellation fee
  • Very customizable, easy to use, great catering management, offline mode
  • $69+/month
  • Custom contracts, early cancellation fee

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MYR POS

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  • Built for quick-serve restaurants, drive-through mode, franchise management portal, excellent kitchen display systems
  • $80/month-$240+/month
  • Custom contracts, no early termination fee
  • Built for quick-serve restaurants, drive-through mode, franchise management portal, excellent kitchen display systems
  • $80/month-$240+/month
  • Custom contracts, no early termination fee

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Table of Contents

Compare The Best Tablet POS Systems For Restaurants

Self-Ordering Kiosk Online Ordering Loyalty Program Early Termination Fees Payment Processor Android or iPad
Revel Paid third-party Optional built-in Both
Lightspeed Built-in Mandatory built-in iPad
Square Paid add-on Mandatory built-in Both
Clover Built-in Optional built-in Android
Toast Paid add-on Mandatory built-in Android
TouchBistro Paid add-on Optional built-in iPad
MYR Paid add-on Third-party iPad

Why You Should Consider A Tablet-Based POS For Your Restaurant

While you certainly aren’t limited to a tablet-based restaurant POS, it’s easy to see why they have become so popular.

Here are some of the main benefits of choosing a POS tablet system for your restaurant:

  • Convenience
  • Ease of use
  • Easy setup
  • Affordability
  • POS reporting
  • Back-end management tools
  • Options to add POS hardware (registers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, etc.)

As always, do your research and make sure you don’t settle for a system that doesn’t completely suit your needs.

How Much Does A Restaurant POS System Cost?

Your restaurant POS system cost is going to vary based on hardware costs, features, software licenses, and payment processing fees.

Add-ons will also increase your out-of-pocket expenses each month when it comes to certain POS systems.

7 Best POS Tablets For Restaurants

The best tablet POS for your restaurant will balance customization, inventory tracking, ease-of-use, and affordable pricing.

These are our top picks for tablet systems:

Revel POS: Best For (Most) Restaurants

Total Rating 3.9
Pricing3.6

Ease Of Use3.9

Features4.3

Customer Service4.2

User Reviews3.8

Pricing

Quote-based

Online Ordering

Yes

Equipment Cost

Call for quote

Pros

  • Retail, restaurant, and service software features
  • Lots of pre-built third-party integrations
  • Open API for customization capabilities
  • iPads are multifunctional and highly adaptable

Cons

  • Huge early termination fee
  • Expensive for smaller businesses
  • Some users report poor customer service

Photo of Revel tablet POS interface ordering system for restaurants

Why Revel Systems Is The Best Choice For (Most) Restaurants

We appreciate that Revel's tablet restaurant POS system offers restaurant, retail, and service management.

This means that hybrid businesses and businesses with complex needs don't have to compromise in terms of inventory management, types of product sales, and service listings. Revel also offers an open API (Application Programming Interface), which allows restaurant owners to build custom connections between Revel software and third-party software.

Despite the multitude of positives, smaller businesses may find Revel's software to be too overwhelming and expensive.

Revel Pricing

Revel POS Plans Price  When To Use
Revel plan Quote-based: three-year commitment for cheapest plan Use if you are committed to the product and have a need for high-end features.

Revel’s only advertised software plan applies to business owners who sign up for Revel’s standard three-year contract, agree to use Revel’s in-house payment processor, and use a minimum of two POS terminals.

Most businesses will need a custom quote since many add-ons, like online ordering or the system’s holistic driver delivery solution, cost an extra monthly fee.

Also, Revel’s onboarding service starts at a one-time $674 fee and includes software setup plus on-site installation. It’s a good investment for less tech-savvy restaurant owners.

Revel Features

Revel POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Revel’s iPad software customization and hardware integrations make it a perfect fit for cafes, bubble tea shops, and other businesses that sell a significant amount of non-food retail items.

  • Kitchen Display System: You can customize different ordering sources by color and workflow, sending certain order types to different kitchen stations. You can also include an expo screen to make sure all orders are correct before passing them to a customer’s car window, handing them to takeout customers, and third-party delivery drivers.
  • Ordering & Delivery Management Software: You can create your own branded online ordering web-based app and a delivery experience that matches delivery platforms like DoorDash, without paying third-party fees. Customers get order status updates, real-time driver location, and accurate arrival estimates, while business owners can monitor drivers and order statuses on their end. Revel’s online ordering and delivery management software makes it one of the best POS for pizza shops and other delivery-heavy restaurants.
  • Order-Ready Display Screen Software: This display can show customers the status of their orders and when their orders are ready. This saves your servers the time and energy of answering order-related questions keeping your lines moving smoothly.
  • Retail Item Sales Capabilities: This customization allows users to sell items by weight (perfect for buffets and large bakeries), merch, event tickets, and offer subscriptions for services.

Some other features we love that Revel’s customers appreciate:

  • Appointment booking
  • Waitlist and reservation system
  • Floor planning modifications
  • Digital signage integrations
  • Drive-thru hardware integrations
  • Third-party security software options

Many of Revel’s customers, including Cinnabon and Kung Fu Tea, appreciate the open platform that allows companies to create custom integrations with software providers that Revel doesn’t currently offer.

Revel Hardware Cost

Most Revel restaurant tablet ordering system software runs on iPads. You can use iPads as cash registers, customer-facing displays, self-serve kiosks, tableside ordering screens, and kitchen display systems.

Revel kitchen display system software also works on Android tablets, while the company’s customer order-ready monitors only work with Android TVs.

A Revel representative can give you a custom hardware quote, or you may purchase Revel-compatible hardware with express written permission from the company.

Revel Payment Processing

Revel has an in-house payment processing system, Revel Advantage. All restaurant owners will get a custom payment processing fee quote.

If you want to work with a third-party payment processor such as Heartland, TSYS, Elavon, or Chase Payment Solutions, you will pay an additional monthly fee.

What To Watch Out For

Revel’s standard contract lasts three years and comes with substantial early termination fees (up to $15,000.) Test out the software, question your Revel representative about everything, and try to negotiate a merchant agreement that includes a monthly contract until you’re sure Revel is the right tablet POS system for your restaurant.

Do not feel pressured to sign right away; take the time to consider your options, read the fine print of your contract, ask about anything you don’t understand (in terms of the software and the contract), and make sure to get any “deals” or “waivers” in writing.

When To Choose Revel Systems

  • You want a restaurant POS that offers an open API
  • You prefer an iPad and Android-compatible system
  • You have a hybrid restaurant that does more than serve food

Get Started With Revel POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Lightspeed Restaurant: Best For Growing Restaurants & Hotels

Lightspeed Restaurant

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing3.1

Ease Of Use3.8

Features5.0

Customer Service4.3

User Reviews4.7

Pricing

$69-$399+/month

Online Ordering

Essential plan and up

Equipment Cost

$129-$519

Pros

  • Self-ordering menu at kiosk, table, or anywhere on property
  • Lots of third-party integrations
  • Loyalty program on all plans
  • Excellent inventory and menu management

Cons

  • Add-ons get expensive
  • Early termination fees
  • Must use Lightspeed Payments

Screenshot of Lightspeed Restaurant tablet ordering user interfaceWhy Lightspeed Restaurant Is The Best Choice For Growing Restaurants & Hotels

We love that Lightspeed offers features for quick-serve and full-service restaurants on all plan levels.

Lightspeed also has great menu and inventory management features to help restaurant owners optimize their offerings, an eCommerce integration, and lots of software integrations that can help any restaurant looking to grow.

We're especially impressed with the number of hospitality reservation software and room service integrations for hotels and inns.

Lightspeed Restaurant Pricing

Lightspeed Restaurant Plans Price  When To Use
Starter $69/month Single-location restaurants looking to start a loyalty program
Essential $189/month Restaurants with one or more locations looking for online ordering capabilities
Premium $399/month Larger restaurants & hotels looking for custom payment processing rates

All Lightspeed plans come with one restaurant POS tablet software license. Additional tablet register software licenses cost $34/register/month.

Popular Lightspeed add-ons, such as KDS — kitchen display systems — ($12+/month) and self-ordering kiosks ($39+/month) depend on the number of tablet software licenses you need.

Lightspeed integrations, such as liquid inventory management software, cost a separate monthly fee.

Lightspeed Restaurant Features

Lightspeed Restaurant Features Availability
Multi-Store Support Essential plan and up
Contactless Payments Essential plan and up
Multi-Channel Selling Online and third-party delivery platform orders
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering Essential plan and up
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management Paid add-on
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Lightspeed works well for both quick-serve and full-service establishments, as well as niche establishments such as wine bars and hotels.

  • Built-In Loyalty Program: Available on all plans. Restaurants can make tiers and groups of loyalty members, creating fine dining experiences or weekly brunch specials for groups like senior citizens.
  • Built-In Discounts: Coffee shops and bakeries can offer custom discounts or free items (like a free croissant after five coffee orders).
  • Text & Email Campaigns: All restaurants can benefit from email and text campaigns to help get both their most loyal and least active customers back to their location.

Lightspeed Restaurant tablet POS

Lightspeed Restaurant loyalty program customer group discounts.

From a single iPad, restaurant owners and managers can make use of the software’s best inventory and menu management features, including:

  • Detailed Inventory Management: Assign ingredients to preferred vendors, add multiple menu items, and alert both servers and managers alike about low-stock items.
  • Menu & Inventory Sync: Prevent the sale of out-of-stock items with auto disabling of the item/modifier that is no longer available.
  • Reports: Reports make it easy to identify everything from spoilage, wastage, and theft to your highest-performing menu items.

Lightspeed also allows you to create one master restaurant account to manage multiple locations. This allows you to receive master reports and apply settings across all locations with ease.

  • Duplicate POS & KDS Settings: Making these settings consistent across locations makes it easier to train new employees and fill empty shifts.
  • Other Duplication Features: Own a chain restaurant? With one iPad, you can duplicate and change menu ingredients/items, apply your loyalty program, and sell/redeem gift cards from any of your locations.

While many restaurant tablet ordering systems offer standing self-serve kiosks, Lightspeed offers a unique self-ordering iPad solution for sit-down restaurants.

  • Self-Ordering Table Mode: Customers can order multiple items over multiple courses at their own pace and pay for the entire meal at the end.
  • Payment Methods: Customers can pay with a contactless method, at a register, or pay a server with a card reader
  • Additional Features: Along with the basics, customers can also use the tableside ordering tablet to request help from a server, add modifiers and notes, and view the status of their order

Unfortunately for busy sit-down restaurants and fine-dining establishments, Lightspeed doesn’t have its own reservation/waitlist system. However, there are several affordable and well-designed integrations for sit-down establishments and hotels. Many of these integrations are cheaper than built-in reservation systems that competitors offer.

Lightspeed Restaurant Hardware Cost

You can use iPads as tablet POS registers, customer-facing displays, kitchen display screens, self-serve kiosks, tableside ordering screens, and delivery managers.

You can contact Lightspeed about pricing for iPad bundles as well as individual iPad stands, card readers, cash drawers, and other POS accessories.

Alternatively, you may purchase your own Lightspeed-compatible hardware. Lightspeed has a support page listing all your hardware options, but you may want to check with a representative to make sure that your hardware choices are all still compatible.

Lightspeed Restaurant Payment Processing

You are required to use Lightspeed Payments, Lightspeed’s payment processor (powered by Stripe), which charges the following per-transaction fees for those on the Starter and Essential plans:

  • In-Person Payments: 2.6% + $0.10
  • Online/QR Code Payments: 2.9% + $0.30

Note: With tableside QR code ordering and payments, you will get a higher fee than if you add a tableside self-ordering menu that allows customers to order from an iPad and pay with a physical card later. This is because a QR code order is essentially an online order.

While QR code ordering can be a great tool to take orders in places like pools or hotel rooms, consider using a tableside kiosk instead of an online ordering menu if your patrons are still physically sitting in your restaurant.

What To Watch Out For

Lightspeed requires you to fill out a custom order form, which will detail your contract length. Lightspeed Restaurant’s pricing page lists only monthly fees, meaning that you can get a monthly contract to start with.

While longer contracts cost less in the long run, Lightspeed does charge an early termination fee, and hardware return windows are short (14 days for Apple products, and 30 days for accessories). Consider starting on the monthly plan until you’re sure Lightspeed is the tablet POS for your restaurant.

When To Choose Lightspeed Restaurant POS

  • Your business needs hospitality reservation software and restaurant POS features
  • You have multiple restaurants with different concepts but still want to duplicate your settings across all locations
  • You can handle a higher monthly payment

Get Started With Lightspeed Restaurant

Read our in-depth review

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Square For Restaurants: Best Budget Option

Square For Restaurants

Total Rating 4.8
Pricing4.8

Ease Of Use4.9

Features4.9

Customer Service4.6

User Reviews4.5

Pricing

$0-$60/month/location + custom option

Online Ordering

Yes

Equipment Cost

$0-$799

Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • All-in-one restaurant management software
  • Completely free plan available
  • Affordable tablet hardware
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • Average inventory management
  • Occasional fund holds

Screenshot of Square For Restaurants online ordering site.

Why Square For Restaurants Is The Best Choice For Budget-Conscious Restaurants

Square For Restaurants is a great free restaurant POS software that includes in-person POS software, an online ordering page, and basic employee management.

We especially love that Square's hardware options are all very affordable, and there are no early termination penalties for their monthly plans.

Square For Restaurants Pricing

Square For Restaurants Plans Price  When To Use
Free $0/month Use if you need the basics in restaurant POS software plus simple processing
Plus $60/month/location Use if you need advanced inventory and 24/7 customer service
Premium Custom Use if you process more than $250,000 a year

Popular Square add-ons that will increase your monthly fees:

  • Square Loyalty: $45+/month
  • Square Marketing: $15+/month
  • Square Team Plus: $35/month/location

If you want to use the Square KDS (Kitchen Display System) on the Free plan, you’ll need to factor in an extra $20/license/month.

Additional Plus plan fees:

  • Added Countertop POS Device: $40+/month
  • Locations Using Mobile POS: $50/location/month

Square For Restaurants Features

Square For Restaurants Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty Add-on
Marketing Tools Add-on
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Square’s selling point isn’t necessarily its feature set, but the price of Square’s offerings.

For example, Square uniquely offers these features at a low cost (or even for free):

  • Free Online Ordering Site: This free builder allows you to create a website for pickup or delivery.
  • Free Google Business Profile: This free integration helps potential customers looking for food near them and order directly from your business.
  • On-Demand Delivery With DoorDash: This paid integration allows you to offer delivery without having to hire your own drivers.
  • Unlimited POS Software Licenses: The Free plan allows you to have an unlimited number of free software licenses which can be used as self-ordering kiosks and customer-facing displays.
  • Intuitive KDS: This free (unless you are on the lowest plan) system allows you to take all order types, including third-party delivery platform orders.
  • Low-Cost Integrations: These affordable integrations allow small restaurants to rely on third-party apps for exposure to save some money while growing their customer base.
  • Menu & Inventory Sync: With this low-cost integration, you can be sure your servers won’t be able to sell out-of-stock items/modifiers when you run out of an ingredient.

Square KDS systems

Square KDS screen self-serve order ticket.

Square’s Plus plan gives you access to order coursing, more employee management features such as user roles and permissions, and 24/7 support in case something goes wrong with your tablet POS system.

Square For Restaurants Hardware Costs

To take payments using Square, you’ll need at least the $49 Square contactless card reader.

You can run Square software on iPads and Androids. Most models are compatible with Square, so you can source any hardware you’d like. However, we’ve found that in general, this software and hardware is more geared towards Apple products.

Square For Restaurants Payment Processing

Payment processing is provided by Square Payments at the following rates:

  • Card-present Transactions: 2.6% + $0.10
  • Card-not-present Transactions: 2.9% + $0.30 (includes Square Online orders and QR code orders)

What To Watch Out For

Square contracts are all month-to-month with no early termination fees.

Square hardware is sold upfront but also offers no-interest financing. The company also has a great hardware warranty that applies whether you purchase your POS hardware from Square or a third-party retailer.

When To Choose Square For Restaurants

  • You want a low-cost, low-risk POS tablet system for your restaurant
  • You don’t need overly detailed/comprehensive inventory management
  • You need an easy-to-use and set-up POS software

Get Started With Square For Restaurants

Read our in-depth review

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Clover POS: Best For Customization

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing4.0

Ease Of Use4.8

Features4.5

Customer Service4.4

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

Starts at $0/month

Contract

Depends on merchant services provider

Equipment Cost

$49-$1,799 per device

Pros

  • Lots of sleek tablet hardware and accessories to choose from
  • Easy to use
  • Lots of third-party apps available
  • Free online ordering page

Cons

  • Some resellers have poor contract terms
  • Must purchase proprietary Clover hardware
  • Add-ons can get expensive

Photo of Clover Station Solo full-sized POS register, Clover Mini customer-facing display tablet, receipt printer, cash drawer.

Why Clover Is The Best Choice For A Fully Customizable Tablet POS System For Restaurants

We like that Clover allows you to purchase your tablet hardware, POS software, and payment processor from one place. Having the freedom to choose your payment processor means that you can shop around for the lowest payment processing fees for your business.

You also get access to Clover's extensive app market of 400+ apps, allowing you to build a fully customized POS solution that meets all of your needs.

Clover Pricing

Clover POS Plans Price  When To Use
Clover Payments $0/month If you only need to process payments and don’t need any POS hardware
Clover Essentials $14.95/month If you have a small retail/service-based business and don’t take returns
Clover Register $49.95/month If you have a small to mid-size retail/service-based business and need more POS features
Clover Counter Service Restaurant $54.95/month If you have a quick-serve restaurant, cafeteria, or mobile food service business
Clover Table Service Restaurant $84.95/month If you have a full-service restaurant or bar

The listed pricing is for businesses that purchase Clover hardware upfront.

If you decide to pay for your Clover hardware over time, you’ll be charged one monthly fee for your Clover hardware/software package. Monthly pricing for both your software and hardware is the following:

  • Counter Service Restaurant: $90/month-$175/month
  • Table Service Restaurant: $150/month-$290/month

If you choose to purchase Clover hardware from another merchant services provider, you may pay different monthly software fees.

Clover Features

Clover POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments Depends on hardware choice
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering Depends on software plan
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance Add-on app
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Clover’s best built-in features include:

  • Loyalty Program: As part of Clover’s guest engagement tools, offer a loyalty program that customers can use in-person and online. Choose how customers earn and redeem points, allow customers to check in at your restaurant to earn points, and create loyalty campaigns.
  • Online Ordering Page: Create a personalized online ordering page that syncs to your Google business profile to generate sales from people looking for dining options near them. Allow customers to schedule orders for pickup or delivery.
  • QR Code Ordering: Customers can scan to order or scan to pay using QR codes, uniquely available on all Clover plans.
  • Third-Party Menu Integrations: Create menus for third-party apps like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats. Funnel all order types to kitchen printers or kitchen display screens.

Most restaurant owners will need to install some apps from Clover’s app market to give their software all the features restaurants need to thrive. These include affordable kitchen display software, such as Fresh KDS, that can run on tablets, perishable inventory apps, and reservation management software.

You can take advantage of new revenue opportunities such as event hosting and food/drink subscriptions with Clover third-party software apps. There are also niche apps that help restaurant owners, such as a free ID scanner app that makes Clover one of the best POS systems for bars and nightclubs.

Clover POS Hardware Costs

Clover’s restaurant hardware options include the following (pricing is for merchants who purchase their hardware upfront and in full through Clover.com):

  • Clover Go: $49; Bluetooth card reader to accept swipe, chip, tap, and mobile wallet payments
  • Clover Flex: $599; handheld POS terminal for servers to take orders, accept payments, and print receipts
  • Clover Mini: $799; compact countertop POS device for restaurants with little space to take orders, payments, and print receipts
  • Clover Station: $1,699 (Clover Station Solo) or $1,799 (Clover Station Duo); full-size countertop POS system and optional customer-facing display to take orders, payments, print receipts, fire orders, and more

Clover also offers a variety of hardware accessories, such as kitchen printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers. Pricing for additional hardware may vary depending on your current Clover hardware setup.

If you purchase your Clover hardware, software, and merchant services from a Clover reseller, your hardware costs may vary dramatically from the pricing listed above.

Clover Payment Processing

If you use Clover’s parent company, Fiserv, for payment processing, you’ll get the following flat-rate payment processing:

  • Card-Present Transactions: 2.3% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Card-Not-Present Transactions: 3.5% + $0.10 per transaction

Card-not-present transactions include any phone order, third-party ordering platform order (e.g., Grubhub and Order With Google), invoice payment, online order on a Clover-hosted website, manually-keyed-in card payment, and any form of payment that is not a swipe/chip/tap card payment, cash, or check.

If a large amount of your revenue comes from online or phone orders, choose a different payment processor or POS provider for your restaurant.

What To Watch Out For

Clover offers 36-month and 48-month contracts, with early termination fees if you cancel your Clover subscription early.

Also, you can’t use your Clover hardware with any other POS software, sell your Clover hardware, or transfer ownership of your hardware in any way, making your Clover devices useless if you want to stop using Clover POS software.

We recommend you really consider whether Clover is the right POS system for you before committing to getting any hardware and that you get a better merchant contract with one of the best Clover resellers if you decide that Clover is a good fit for your restaurant.

When To Choose Clover

  • You want the ability to customize both the POS tablet software and hardware
  • You’re interested in third-party app integrations that other POS systems don’t offer
  • You don’t mind purchasing proprietary hardware

Get Started With Clover POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

Toast POS: Best For Busy Restaurants

Total Rating 4.0
Pricing2.6

Ease Of Use4.7

Features5.0

Customer Service5.0

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

$0-$69 plus custom plan

Online Ordering

Yes

Equipment Cost

$0+

Pros

  • Best built-in loyalty program for restaurants
  • Free to start out for some restaurants
  • Durable Android-based hardware
  • Management, accounting, and delivery integrations

Cons

  • Early termination fee
  • Add-ons can get expensive
  • No payment processor flexibility

Toast restaurant tablet ordering system

Toast countertop POS tablet.

Why Toast Is The Best Choice For Busy Restaurants

We love that Toast takes a unique approach to restaurant management by providing software for every facet of running your restaurant. Toast allows you to build a personalized restaurant ecosystem, with software like Toast Payroll and Toast Delivery syncing with your core POS system to create a seamless restaurant management experience.

After some initial investment and setup, your Toast-powered tablet POS system makes it easy to train new employees and handle your busiest rushes.

Toast Pricing

Toast POS Plans Price  When To Use
Quick Start Bundle $0/month You have a small, single-location restaurant with basic feature needs
Core $69/month You need a full point of sale suite with processing and custom hardware
Custom Custom Larger businesses looking to access the entirety of Toast’s features

Quick Start Bundle

  • Best for food trucks or single-location cafes
  • Pay-as-you-go plan
  • Costs $0 upfront for Toast tablet POS systems
  • No monthly fees
  • Limited to 1-2 POS terminals
  • 2nd (optional) terminal has a one-time fee and an extra monthly software license fee
  • Higher processing fees
  • A good place to start before upgrading to a plan with better processing rates

Core

  • Best for growing restaurants that want to provide faster, more streamlined service
  • Includes core restaurant tablet POS functions
  • Mobile dining solutions like QR code ordering and digital menus
  • Online ordering and delivery management available for an extra monthly fee
  • Reporting and analytics

Growth

  • Best for restaurants looking to add new revenue streams
  • Includes all of the features of Core
  • Includes Toast Online Ordering at no added price
  • Includes Toast Delivery Services at no added price
  • Includes Toast TakeOut App at no added price

Build Your Own

  • Best for restaurants with multiple locations or those wanting a truly custom mix-and-match solution from Toast
  • Features can be chosen to fit your restaurant’s needs perfectly
  • Quote-based pricing

Restaurant Basics Package

  • Exclusively offered to new restaurants
  • Limited-time software bundle designed to help new restaurants get off the ground
  • Includes everything in the Core plan
  • Includes lite versions of Toast Payroll and Scheduling
  • $110/month + $4/employee/month

Most of Toast’s best features, such as its loyalty program, kitchen displays, multilocation, and third-party delivery integrations, come as paid add-ons. You’ll get a custom quote for these add-ons and usually, a bulk discount if you sign up for several at once, but these are the base prices of some add-ons:

  • Ordering & Delivery Platform Integrations: Get DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub integrations for $30/month each, or bundle all three for $75/month
  • Self-Ordering Kiosk: $799 (hardware purchase) plus $90/month for software license
  • Loyalty: $50/month
  • Digital Ordering: $75/month
  • Email Marketing: $75/month

Toast Features

Toast POS Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards
Customer Loyalty
Marketing Tools
Online Ordering
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

Toast’s best features are built into its loyalty program, online ordering platform, employee management, multi-location management, and accounting capabilities.

  • Loyalty Program: Automatically prompts customers to sign up or use their current loyalty account on all ordering platforms, creates customer loyalty accounts, collects and saves card data, and allows customers to earn and redeem points at any of your locations.
  • Online Ordering Platform: Allows you to sell eGift cards, provide dynamic upselling suggestions, set order limits during peak hours so your staff won’t get overwhelmed, and customize a branded ordering and delivery experience like Revel offers, but arguably sleeker-looking.
  • Employee Scheduling: A great solution to shift gaps and call-outs with a formal submission request system for changing/shifting ships. Employees will receive text notifications about shift updates and available shifts that they can pick up.
  • Multi-Location Support: Toast makes it easy to duplicate your setting across all locations including small details like your KDS workflow. Templates can be used to duplicate and modify anything that you need, restaurant owners can create locked-in rules as well as variable ones that can only be changed by users with the proper permissions.
  • Accounting: Toast’s ability to create Toast and partner-generated reports with accounting data makes it one of the best POS systems for QuickBooks integration. The third-party app xtraCHEF syncs restaurant invoices, sales, payroll data, and more while automatically funneling that information into your chosen accounting software.

Toast Hardware Costs

While Toast doesn’t run on the kind of iPad or Android tablet you can pick up in stores, Toast offers excellent proprietary Android-based POS hardware built specifically for restaurants. The hardware is more expensive than if you sourced your own tablets, but it’s more spill-proof, heat-resistant, and durable than the tablets you can buy in stores.

The Toast Go 2 is a great handheld POS option, but it doesn’t technically count as a tablet.

Toast POS hardware pricing can get a little confusing, but their website does a good job of explaining your total costs for any of their Starter Kits.

As an example, a tablet-based Toast Countertop Starter Kit can be purchased either using a pay-as-you-go system or just outright purchasing the hardware. Both of these options do come with a two-year contract.

  • Pay-As-You-Go: This option allows you to purchase a Toast Countertop Starter Kit for $0 upfront and $0/month but the payment processing fee (2.99% + $0.15 per transaction) is higher and will cover the costs of your hardware except for the shipping and taxes. This is not a lease, you will own the hardware.
  • Standard: This option allows you to purchase a Toast Countertop Starter Kit for $875 upfront and a $69/month software subscription fee. The processing fee is decently lowered with this option (2.49% + $0.15 per transaction) and doesn’t have an inactivity fee.

Midsize single-location and multilocation businesses will need to get a custom quote on a specialized POS hardware package.

Toast Payment Processing

Toast offers flat-rate payment processing for individuals on the Quick Start Bundle plan, and those on the Standard plan who opt into the starter kit. Payment processing fees range from 2.49% + $0.15 to 3.49% + $0.15 per order and depend on whether you pay for your tablet POS hardware upfront or add the digital ordering package to your starter kit for no monthly fee, but an increase of 0.4% in payment processing fees.

Any plan with a custom hardware quote will also have a custom payment processing fee.

We highly recommend that if you can pay a predictable monthly fee, you should do it. You’ll almost always save money in the long run. For example, while a 0.4% increase in payment processing fees to get an entire digital ordering suite with the loyalty program included doesn’t seem like much, it will add up over time.

What To Watch Out For

Toast’s standard contracts last 1-3 years, come with a substantial early termination fee and require you to use Toast payment processing.

As always, we recommend you make extensive use of demos, read through your contract, and consider a short-term plan before committing to any one tablet POS system in the long run.

You may also want to be on the lookout for fee increases in the future. While the CEO pulled the poorly executed mandatory $0.99 fee for “software improvements” that was implemented in early 2023, there was also a caveat given that fees will most likely increase soon.

When To Choose Toast

  • You want a POS system designed specifically and only for restaurant management
  • You prefer durable, Android-based proprietary software
  • You want access to the best and most robust built-in loyalty programs for restaurants

Get Started With Toast POS

Read our in-depth review

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TouchBistro: Best For Food Trucks, Caterers, & Reservations

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing4.0

Ease Of Use4.6

Features4.9

Customer Service3.9

User Reviews4.1

Pricing

$69/month

Online Ordering

Add-on

Equipment Cost

Call for quote

Pros

  • Completely offline mode
  • Many payment processor options
  • Catering order management
  • Excellent online ordering platform

Cons

  • Early termination fee
  • Some users report poor customer service

Photo of TouchBistro restaurant tablet handheld POS system user interface

Why TouchBistro Is The Best Choice For Food Trucks, Caterers, & Reservation-Heavy Restaurants

We love TouchBistro's unique hybrid online/offline mode that allows you to take orders and payments on your tablets whether you have a stable internet connection or not. This positions TouchBistro as a uniquely perfect solution for restaurants with a mobile sales component, such as food trucks and catering ventures.

TouchBistro also has a built-in reservations and waitlist system, which makes TouchBistro an all-in-one solution for sit-down restaurants that take a substantial number of waitlist patrons and reservations.

TouchBistro Pricing

TouchBistro offers the following plans, but the company requires every business owner to get a custom quote, so your pricing may be different than listed below. You can expect to pay at least $69/month.

  • Solo: $69/month for one software license; $105/month for one iPad and software license bundle
  • Dual: $129/month for two software licenses; $209/month for software and hardware
  • Team: $249/month for five software licenses; $359/month for software and hardware
  • Unlimited: $399/month for unlimited licenses; custom pricing for software and hardware

The company also charges a nonrefundable $200 setup fee that includes your hardware setup and a software walkthrough.

TouchBistro add-ons include:

  • Online Ordering: $50/month
  • Loyalty: $99/month
  • Marketing: $99/month
  • Gift Cards: $25/month
  • Reservations: $229/month

Note: TouchBistro is one of few restaurant tablet POS software providers that has created its own reservations and waitlist system. The company charges no per-cover fees and has no caps on reservations/waitlists, making TouchBistro a solid option for establishments that take a lot of reservations.

TouchBistro Features

TouchBistro Features Availability
Multi-Store Support
Contactless Payments
Multi-Channel Selling
Gift Cards Add-on
Customer Loyalty Add-on
Marketing Tools Add-on
Online Ordering Add-on
Inventory Management
Reporting
Menu Management
Delivery Management
EBT Acceptance
Employee Management
Text Messaging

TouchBistro is one of the best POS systems for food trucks, specifically because of its offline mode that allows you to take orders and payments from within your truck. You can place a space-saving iPad Mini in your truck and get going fast without wasting precious counter space.

  • Online Ordering Platform: Allows food trucks to post your current location on your own branded web-based app. This feature is also a benefit for restaurants that have more than one brick-and-mortar location or also have a food truck in the area to help customers know where  they’re ordering from.
  • Web-Based App: Offers customizable branding/pages, the ability to accept orders for pickup and delivery with estimated wait times, an automatic loyalty program integration, generated item pairings for dynamic upselling suggestions on orders, and customer feedback options.
  • Reservation Solution: Allows customers to place themselves on your waitlist via your app, Google, on an existing website with your reservations widget, by phone, or in-person at the host stand. Customers will receive updates about their reservations and have the option to confirm which helps reduce your number of no-shows.
  • Catering Features: Take catering orders a preset number of days in advance, require deposits that vary on several factors, and take notes for orders during/after consultations. You can start a house account with a catering client and charge regularly including any service fees or gratuity owed. The KDS software can also be customized to receive and set aside resources for catering orders.

TouchBistro restaurant POS tablet

TouchBistro reservations management on iPad POS, including table locking to accommodate reservations.

TouchBistro Hardware Costs

You may purchase iPads on your own and use them as tablet POS registers, customer-facing displays, and kitchen displays. Alternatively, you can buy iPads from TouchBistro as part of a software bundle and pay for your hardware monthly, essentially leasing your tablets, but we don’t recommend this as you’ll spend more money in the long run and won’t even own your iPad.

TouchBistro also offers hardware bundles to get cash drawers, iPad stands, card readers, and other accessories, or you can shop compatible hardware on your own using information from the company’s support pages.

TouchBistro Payment Processing

TouchBistro offers an in-house payment processor, TouchBistro Payments, powered by Chase. You also have the option to work with other payment processors such as Worldpay, Square, Moneris, and TSYS.

What To Watch Out For

TouchBistro requires all restaurant owners to get a custom quote and fill out an order form. This means that you’ll get a custom contract length, price, and terms. Start with a short-term plan if you’re not sure whether TouchBistro is right for you because you will have to pay an early termination fee if you cancel.

You also have to notify TouchBistro in writing at least 30 days before the end of your contract if you’d like to cancel. Otherwise, your contract will renew automatically.

When To Choose TouchBistro

  • You need a tablet-based POS system that can run with or without access to WiFi
  • Your business handles large amounts of reservations
  • You want the freedom to choose your tablets, hardware accessories, and payment processor

Get Started With TouchBistro

Read our in-depth review

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MYR POS: Best For Quick-Serve Restaurants

MYR POS


Visit Site


Pros

  • Excellent pricing
  • Built-in third-party delivery app integrations
  • Franchise management portal
  • Drive-through, phone, and online ordering capabilities

Cons

  • Not many US payment processors
  • Newer company; less documentation available
  • Not many POS hardware accessories available

MYR POS drive-through pos
Why MYR POS Is The Best Choice For Fast Food Locations & Quick-Serve Franchises

We love that MYR (Master Your Rush) POS is built specifically for quick-serve establishments and offers so much at such an affordable price. The POS system offers single location and franchise management plans, with several add-ons designed to help quick-serve restaurants take drive-through orders, phone orders, orders from a mobile app, and with a handheld iPad tablet.

MYR POS is a newer, Canadian POS system, so it doesn't offer many integrations or documentation, but it's worth a try for fast food joints that want to speed up ordering times and even franchise locations.

MYR POS Pricing

MYR offers four different plan options ranging in cost and available features.

Starter Plan

  • Best for small or new businesses
  • $80/month
  • $1,000 for POS hardware (description not included on their website)
  • 1 cash register
  • No fee for payment terminal integration
  • Includes bar code scanner, MEV/Web MEV functionality, punch clock

Standard Plan

  • Best for businesses that want flexibility
  • $150/month
  • $1,900 starting price for POS hardware (description not included on their website)
  • 3 cash registers
  • 3 kitchen display systems
  • 3 rovers (line-busting/tableside ordering)
  • 3 customer-facing displays
  • Includes all of the features of the Starter plan plus inventory and ingredient management, online modules, third-party delivery integrations, and organizing integrations

Premium Plan

  • Flexible with more features
  • $240/month
  • Includes the same features and hardware as the Standard plan
  • Includes Qubrix AI-powered loyalty platform and gift card manager

Franchise Plan

  • This plan is designed for franchises and restaurant groups with multiple locations
  • Custom pricing
  • Includes all features of the basic plans
  • Additional franchise features like a multi-location control panel, top-down menu management, and custom pricing/promotions per location

MYR POS Features

MYR POS’s most unique features for quick-serve restaurants include:

  • Phone Ordering: Accept phone orders and have the system automatically populate fields such as name, callback number, and address.
  • Drive-Through: Send drive-through orders to your kitchen displays, include an extra dispatch monitor, and use a card reader at your drive-through windows to speed up payments.
  • Franchise Management Portal: Collect royalties and fees from different locations automatically by syncing MYR POS with your QuickBooks Online account; also allow franchise managers access to their personalized franchise settings.
  • Native Delivery App Integration: MYR POS offers built-in integrations with major third-party delivery platforms such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, GrubHub, Ritual, and Skip The Dishes.
  • Ordering App: Customers can place online orders through your own branded web-based app, Google business profile, and media profiles; send customers SMS order status updates.

MYR POS restaurant tablet ordering system

MYR POS automated royalty fee collection via QuickBooks Online integration.

MYR POS Hardware Costs

MYR POS runs on iPads, which you can use as countertop registers, handheld POS terminals, customer-facing displays, and kitchen displays.

The company allows you to use the Clover Flex or Clover Mini, as well as Ingenico card readers, as payment terminals.

MYR POS also sells hardware bundles at a custom price with financing options available (consider a small business loan rather than a financing plan with a high interest rate if you don’t have the funds to invest in hardware right now).

MYR POS Payment Processing

Unfortunately, MYR POS does not currently integrate with any providers in the US except for First Data and Payroc. You’ll get a custom payment processing fee with each payment processing provider.

What To Watch Out For

MYR POS provides monthly, yearly, and multiyear contracts according to the terms in your custom order form. You must inform MYR POS in writing that you’d like to cancel your plan at least 30 days before the end of your contract term or it will automatically renew.

If you purchase hardware from MYR POS, you must inform the company that you have received it within five business days of receiving it, or it won’t be covered under any hardware warranty.

When To Choose MYR POS

  • You’re a Canada-based restaurant owner who wants a POS system dedicated to your locale
  • You need franchise/multi-location management features
  • You want free built-in third-party direct delivery app integrations

Get Started With MYR POS

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Methodology

Merchant Maverick has been researching and reviewing POS providers since 2012. Our writers have tested over 100 different point of sale systems, evaluating pricing, features, ease of use, customer service, and user reviewers. Read more about how we rate POS providers.

When comparing different POS software systems, we consider many data points, including relative pricing, the depth of niche features offered, the price of hardware, and any associated payment processing fees. Our lists of the best providers include only apps we’ve deemed worthwhile from multiple vantage points. The POS vendors we pick share qualities such as widespread availability, accessibility, user-friendliness, and reasonable pricing. We also look carefully at niche features, such as check-splitting, inventory management, eCommerce, loyalty programs, gift cards, and more.

We spend an average of 10-15 hours researching and updating each one of our lists, making sure the providers included meet our internal standards for quality and reputation.

80+

Vendors evaluated

65+

Attributes assessed per vendor

20+

Features weighed

30+

Combined years of experience


How To Use Tablet-Based POS Systems For Tableside Ordering

While tablet POS restaurant systems are becoming standard, one feature they offer is still somewhat less used; tableside ordering.

Leveraging your existing POS system to include tableside ordering tablets can increase your revenue, efficiency, and eliminate errors often caused by communication breakdowns from customers to servers to the kitchen.

Most of the POS options we’ve reviewed above include the ability to purchase extra hardware to use exclusively as tableside ordering tablets.

The Bottom Line On The Best Tablet POS Systems For Restaurants

The best tablet pos system for your restaurant is going to be the one that meets your needs when it comes to features, cost, support, hardware, and user interface.

These systems are becoming industry standard and you don’t want to get left behind. Take the plunge on an affordable solution to different forms of digital payments, monitoring your inventory, generating reports, and managing your restaurant.

Do your research and you’re sure to find the perfect fit!

 

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Kymberlin Bush

Kymberlin Bush

Staff Writer
Kymberlin started contributing to Merchant Maverick as a freelancer in 2022 and joined the team as the full-time small business health insurance expert in 2023. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Pacific University in 2020 and continues to reside in Portland, Oregon.
Kymberlin Bush
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