Advertiser Disclosure

๐ŸŽ Black Friday deals are here! See all the best holiday offers now.

The Top 7 Tablet POS Systems For Restaurants

  • 2 comments
  • Updated on:
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 restaurant industry is a hectic environment with a ton of moving parts. From taking orders to printing tickets to splitting checks, every function needs to work together seamlessly if you’re to maximize your sales potential โ€” and stay alive. Studies show that nearly 60% of restaurants close after three years, so choosing the right point of sale system can be a crucial component to your small business’s ultimate survival.

Happily, if you’re opening up a restaurant right now, you’re in luck. Your point of sale system can be so much more than just a cash drawer or a way to accept credit card payments. POS hardware and software has never been more helpful or powerful, especially in CRM, inventory management, and reporting. Chances are, if you’ve done your research, you’re looking into at least a few systems that are Android, iPad, or tablet-based. Tablet POS systems can be a server or manager’s best friend. Compared to traditional POS terminals, the mobility of these devices boosts your waitstaff’s efficiency and can improve interactions with customers; managers, in turn, can keep tabs on reports and sales on the go from any device with a wireless connection.

Read on for an in-depth look at some of our favorite restaurant tablet POS systems. (Looking for a retail POS solution instead? We’ve got you covered.)

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanyBest ForNext Steps
Lightspeed POS
Best for almost any size foodservice establishment.

Visit Site

Read More

ShopKeep POS
Best for small to mid-sized retail businesses and smaller restaurant establishments.

Visit Site

Read More

Toast POS
Best for anything from small foodservice establishments to mid-sized, full-service restaurants.

Visit Site

Read More

Revel POS
Best for mid-sized to larger foodservice businesses, though it can be adapted to smaller restaurants as well.

Visit Site

Read More

Upserve POS
Best for most restaurants that want an intuitive system for its staff and a wide variety of hardware options.

Visit Site

Read More

Other Featured Options:

  • Square For Restaurants POS: Best for small to mid-sized restaurants looking for a convenient all-in-one POS system.
  • talech POS: Best for small to large foodservice businesses or restaurants looking for an affordable POS system with a generous feature package, including gift card and loyalty functions.

Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Tablet POS System: Who Has The Best Software?

Upserve, ShopKeep, Toast, and a few additional top-notch tablet-based point of sale systems should be able to meet all of your busy quick-serve or full-service restaurant’s needs.

1. Lightspeed Restaurant

Lightspeed POS



Visit Site

Read our Review

Lightspeed Restaurantย offers some unique features that are difficult to find anywhere else. Coupled with a superior design, this POS software program has very few weaknesses to speak of and may be worth the slightly higher price compared to other similar systems.

Lightspeed thrives in both employee and inventory management. There is a feature that allows managers to change employees’ visibility on the app โ€” quite useful for a business with multiple part-time employees. Permissions are assigned and broken down easily. The Timed Events feature, which lets you set up unique promotions and contests for employees, is something I haven’t seen in many other products. You can also select your language of choice to print tickets.

One nice visual element is the ability to upload appetizing pictures of your menu items that can be displayed to customers. Most features, such as table layout and modifiers, are also highly customizable. On the back end, Lightspeed Restaurant has a wealth of reports to help you analyze your business quickly and intuitively. The raw ingredient tracking mechanism also updates in real-time, allowing servers to see when a product is running low. Things such as discounts and tax codes can all be added or updated in a matter of seconds. As a bonus, Lightspeed’s customer service comes without additional cost and has many positive reviews. Lightspeed Restaurant still lacks slightly in integrations, but at this point, we’re really nitpicking.

Pros

  • Customizable
  • Sleek interface
  • Deep reports

Cons

  • Occasional issues with outages
  • Inventory management just OK for the price

Get Started with Lightspeed POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

2. ShopKeep

ShopKeep POS



Visit Site

Read our Review

There is little fault to find with ShopKeep’s sleek and modern tablet POS system. This company has been on the cutting edge of POS technology for a few years now. It adopted the iPad early on and continues to improve and expand its services, making for a lightweight and mobile POS tablet system. Though it was previously best suited for retail establishments and smaller foodservice establishments, ShopKeep now offers open check features and server-less syncing.

This POS software program has also recently added the ability to create modifiers and is working on an update for table layouts. ShopKeep has always prided itself on being user-friendly. Its restaurant software is exceptionally easy to master, particularly with features such as keeping multiple tabs open and splitting bills quickly and intuitively. Tickets can also be sent immediately from the table to the kitchen, saving precious time in a fast-paced environment.

If ShopKeep lacks at all on the front end, it more than makes up for it with in-depth reporting, analyzing your restaurant’s busiest times to help you coordinate staffing. Employees can be assigned specific permissions, and all reports and sales data can be viewed in real-time on any device with the app installed.

Pros

  • User-friendly
  • Low-cost option
  • Back-office features

Cons

  • Inventory not overly deep
  • Buggy software

Get Started with ShopKeep POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

3. Toast

Toast POS



Visit Site

Read our Review

Here at Merchant Maverick, we’re suckers for products that won’t give you a headache. Under that umbrella, Toast continues to be one of our favorite Android-based point of sale systems. Toast has a simple and affordable pricing structure, a feature-rich and simple-to-use platform, and fantastic customer service that is included in the original price. Even one of the few issues we have with Toast โ€” its inability to work with other credit card processing companies โ€” at least leaves you with one less decision to make when you’re starting your business or shopping for a new POS. And if you’re trying to avoid Apple, you’re in luck; Toast only runs on Android tablets.

Toast is simple to use. The system walks you through the initial setup, so you’re an expert in a short amount of time. Normal restaurant functions, such as check splitting, voiding, and transferring tickets to different tables, are intuitive and can be done with just a few taps. Toast has a solid menu creation feature, and it’s simple to make quick pricing changes either manually or automatically for things (such as Happy Hour).

Toast’s reporting functions are robust and, as you would expect, can be accessed from anywhere with a wireless connection on a tablet or mobile device. In this way, it is a truly mobile POS system. You can see things such as ticket times and tip reports all in an easily digestible format.

Many current systems are delving deep into customer management, and Toast is no different. The POS can take and store customer information and track an individual’s order history while tabulating their loyalty rewards, helping you set up ways to entice them to come back. The employee and inventory management functions are also strong, helping a business owner cut down on inefficiency. For an additional cost, you can add on Toast’s loyalty program and its online ordering service, two impressive features.

Pros

  • All-in-one system
  • Cost-effective
  • eCommerce integration
  • Feature-rich

Cons

  • Early termination fee
  • No processing options

Get Started with Toast POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

4. Revel

Revel POS



Visit Site

Read our Review

Revel is another impressive system that packs a lot of features into intuitive yet unassuming software. Revel can handle larger-scale restaurants better than some of the other systems mentioned in this post. It can take on multiple locations with ease and has an extremely robust offering of reports that can be managed remotely, along with a varied list of integrations and customizable software.

Revel has a simple interface without a lot of distractions. It is created with the server in mind, making things such as voids, order editing, and check splitting simple. For smaller establishments, Revel has a very nice kiosk function with a customer-facing display. The ability to take reservations and keep customers informed via a text message or email is also a nice feature. Going along with current POS trends for restaurant tablets, Revel allows you to take orders tableside, and with its Kitchen Display System, servers can view the status of an order as it’s being made.

The back end takes a little more time to get the hang of. However, that’s mainly because there’s a lot to offer. Revel has a huge slate of reports that can be viewed and digested quickly. Its employee management feature is also superb, assigning individuals their own PIN for login. Managers can then track performance by sales, productivity, or the number of voids, and permissions can be assigned easily. There is a built-in loyalty system within Revel that stores basic customer information. One of the biggest draws for Revel is the sheer number of companies that it integrates with. If the POS doesn’t have a specific function you’re looking for, chances are you can download a program that can help. Revel’s open API also makes it possible to create customizable functions.

Pros

  • Feature-rich
  • Strong kiosk functionality
  • Solid hardware options

Cons

  • Cost
  • Complex setup

Get Started with Revel POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

5. Upserve

Upserve POS



Visit Site

Read our Review

ย Upserve is one of the most versatile restaurant POS systems you can find. It has extremely affordable pricing options and is available on both Android and iOS devices. Upserve prides itself on being designed by people with intimate knowledge of the restaurant industry. As such, it has included all of the features that anyone in the industry, from hostesses to servers, to managers, might need.

Upserve has a fully customizable interface that is easy to set up and tailor to your business. Plus, its handheld restaurant order taking system is geared toward mobility. It also features its Upserve Live app, allowing managers to check on reports and inventory on the go. For larger restaurants, Upserve has convenient table mapping and strong menu planning on course management functionality.

Upserve’s tableside ordering system can be easily clipped to a server and used from table to table, helping to cut down on ticket times by allowing the order to be put in directly from the table. It has a strong online ordering system and its own app marketplace with a wide variety of integrations to choose from.

Pros

  • Intuitive design
  • Strong online ordering
  • Fully customizable

Cons

  • Occasional software bugs
  • Some features lacking at higher tiers

Get Started with Upserve POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

6. Square For Restaurants

Square For Restaurants POS



Visit Site

Read our Review

Square for Restaurants is the popular payment processor’s solution for larger foodservice establishments. It has far more features than Square’s free app and is built to handle most sizes of restaurants. Square for Restaurants is not the deepest restaurant POS software, but it has everything you would expect, including table mapping, check splitting, menu creation, and automatic gratuity, and all with the intuitiveness you would expect from Square.

Square for Restaurants also features tableside ordering functionality and pairs with virtually every major delivery app as well and makes that process incredibly simple. It comes with a standard array of reports and solid inventory management plus a built-in loyalty function that allows you to quickly and efficiently build a customer base for future marketing campaigns.

Square for Restaurants comes with Square’s simple and affordable payment processing plan and access to its expansive app store. You also can use Square Payroll and some of its other features for added convenience. It’s one of the easier to use apps you’ll find, even if you have a larger establishment, and it offers a free trial for you to test out before purchasing.

Pros

  • All-in-one system
  • App marketplace
  • Simple interface
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Back-end features not overly deep
  • Occasional fund holds

Get Started with Square For Restaurants POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

7. talech

talech POS



Visit Site

Read our Review

talech can compete with the big boys in nearly every category, offering affordable and scaleable pricing to make sure you’re not overpaying for features you’re not using. It has a user-friendly interface and boasts a commitment to making sure its software stays glitch-free even with constant updates. talech comes with table mapping, the ability to create purchase orders, and a very deep inventory management system for the price.

talech also comes with an online ordering module that you can set up and be ready to sell in a matter of minutes. It also has a variety of gift card options and a strong loyalty program that helps you store customer information for promotions. talech’s kiosk mode allows customers to interact with the system and place their orders themselves.

If talech has a downside, it’s probably in its slightly subpar reports offerings and the fact that you have to pay slightly extra for access to all of its integrations. But the software comes at a low entry point, so even with add-ons, it’s still very competitive. talech also pairs with several different payment processors, giving you the ability to shop around for the best rate.

Pros

  • Cost-effective
  • Strong loyalty and gift cards
  • Deep inventory management

Cons

  • Reports are basic
  • Integration access costs extra

Get Started with talech POS

Read our in-depth review

Jump back to comparison chart

How To Use A Tablet POS To Make Your Restaurant Run Smoother & Keep Customers Happy

Tablet POS restaurant systems are no longer the wave of the future; they’re practically standard in the industry now. And one of the main reasons so many restaurants have opted for tablet systems or made the switch is that they are versatile and can adapt to changing industry trends. Tableside ordering, whether done by a traditional server or from a station that sits at the table itself, can significantly increase a restaurant’s efficiency. It cuts down on errors between the customer and the kitchen and eliminates an additional step for servers along the way. As more restaurants have also had to adapt to contactless pickup options, tablet systems can help with hardware options that accept all types of payments and sync with a variety of delivery apps.

Tablet systems are also less cumbersome and user-friendly for your employees and your customers without skimping on back-end features. Managing your inventory or tracking sales is a snap and can be done remotely or on-site, allowing you to operate your business from the palm of your hand. Most importantly, tablet systems are almost always going to be cost-effective compared with legacy systems. In an industry where margins are always thin, saving money anywhere is a huge plus.

Which Tablet POS System Is Right For My Restaurant?

These are just a handful of the available point of sale systems for tablets, and each one has its unique strengths. While you certainly aren’t limited to a tablet-based restaurant POS, it’s easy to see why they have become so popular. Locally-installed systems have advantages when it comes to security, but it’s tough to compete with the convenience, ease of use, easy setup, and sheer affordability these touch screen mobile devices provide. And that’s not even mentioning the powerful reporting and various back-end management tools that can all be accessed in a device smaller than most books on your shelf. Most of these systems sell POS hardware as well, so you should be able to find cash registers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers that are compatible with your tablet point of sale software.

As always, do your research and make sure you don’t settle for a system that doesn’t completely suit your needs. For more information in general, check out our selection of full restaurant point of sale reviews, read about iPad POS vendors and Android POS vendors,ย or view our comparison chart of restaurant POS software. If you’d like to learn more about mobile systems such as Square POS, we have a selection of mobile payment processing reviews as well. If you need a retail POS solution instead, we’ve reviewed all the top systems.

In Summary: Tablet POS System: Who Has The Best Software?

  1. Lightspeed POS: Best for almost any size foodservice establishment.
  2. ShopKeep POS: Best for small to mid-sized retail businesses and smaller restaurant establishments.
  3. Toast POS: Best for anything from small foodservice establishments to mid-sized, full-service restaurants.
  4. Revel POS: Best for mid-sized to larger foodservice businesses, though it can be adapted to smaller restaurants as well.
  5. Upserve POS: Best for most restaurants that want an intuitive system for its staff and a wide variety of hardware options.
  6. Square For Restaurants POS: Best for small to mid-sized restaurants looking for a convenient all-in-one POS system.
  7. talech POS: Best for small to large foodservice businesses or restaurants looking for an affordable POS system with a generous feature package, including gift card and loyalty functions.
Matt Sherman

Matt Sherman

Point of sale writer at Merchant Maverick
Matt Sherman has been immersed in point of sale systems for over a year now. Previously, he spent 14 years in the newspaper industry, the majority of which was as the sports editor for a pair of weekly newspapers in suburban Portland, Oregon. He is a graduate of the University of Oregon where he majored in English because he knows where the money is. Matt is the father to a pair of energetic boys and can easily be distracted by Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go.
Leave a comment

2 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Jorge Salazar

    Hello this is Jorge I am interested in getting those systems for my restaurant thanks

      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Jessica Dinsmore

      Hi Jorge,

      You can link directly to any of the POS systems mentioned, straight from the article. Good luck with your restaurant!

        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

      Leave a Reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Your Review

      Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.
      Please read the "User Review and Comment Policy" before posting.

      Share

      Featured Offer: We Recommend QuickBooks ๐ŸŽ‰

      Get 50% QuickBooks Online for a limited time!

      Take it for a spin with a free trial.

      Try QuickBooks Today

      We Recommend Fattmerchant ๐Ÿ†

      Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

       

       

      We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
      PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend Brex Corporate Card for Startups ๐Ÿ†

      Brex Corporate Card for Startups is one of our top picks for business credit cards!

       

       

      For a limited time get 50,000 rewards points when you spend $1000 with Brex.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend Fattmerchant ๐Ÿ†

      Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

       

       

      We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
      PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend Fattmerchant ๐Ÿ†

      Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

       

       

      We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
      PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      โญ๏ธ Featured Promo! โญ๏ธ

      Sign up now and qualify for a limited time deal!

      Standard Plan: One month free ($29.95 value)
      Plus Plan: Two months free ($159.90 value)
      Pro Plan: Three months free ($899.85 value)

      Learn More

      At BigCommerce

      We Recommend Fattmerchant ๐Ÿ†

      Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

       

       

      We love Fattmerchant's predictable pricing and excellent service.
      PROMO: Get your first month for just $5 and get your first $5,000 in processing for free. Valid until end of November.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend Helcim ๐Ÿ†

      Helcim is one of our top picks for payment processing!

       

       

      Helcim has exceptional service and an advanced platform that we highly recommend for businesses in Canada and the US. Get three months free when you sign up with Helcim through our links!

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend PaymentCloud ๐Ÿ†

      PaymentCloud is one of our top picks for credit card processing!

       

       

      We love PaymentCloud's predictable pricing and excellent service.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend OnDeck ๐Ÿ†

      OnDeck is one of our top picks for Business Loans!

       

       

      OnDeck is our featured vendor for business loans and lines of credit. If you have at least one year in business, a personal credit score of 600 or higher, and $100K in annual revenue, OnDeck is ready to help your business get funded.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      Get 50% Off FreshBooks โœจ

      FreshBooks accounting is offering 50% off of their accounting and invoicing software for three months and a 30-day free trial!

      Start For Free

      No credit card required

      We Recommend Lightspeed POS ๐Ÿ†

      Lightspeed POS is one of our top picks for Point of Sale!

       

       

      We highly recommend Lightspeed POS for small businesses looking for a feature-rich, tablet-based point of sale system. PROMO: Save up to $1,000 when you sign up by November 30th.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend Fundera ๐Ÿ†

      Fundera is one of our top picks for SBA loans!

       

       

      Fundera is a free-to-use marketplace that allows you to compare lenders side-by-side. Easily find SBA 7(a)loans alongside other financing options.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend ShippingEasy ๐Ÿ†

      ShippingEasy is one of our top picks for shipping software!

       

       

      ShippingEasy got a 5-star review from our team. Get a 30-day free trial to access discounted USPS and UPS shipping rates and print labels in no time. No credit card required.

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.

      We Recommend Square POS ๐Ÿ†

      Square POS is one of our top picks for Point of Sale!

       

       

      Square is free to use and include a free card reader at sign up! No credit card required to create your account.๐Ÿ‘Œ

      Get Started

      Get started with no commitment today.


      ย 

      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 authorโ€™s alone.

      Sign up for the Maverick Newsletter

      • We occasionally send out emails with special offers.