The Best Bagel Store POS Systems

Last updated on February 28, 2020

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bagel store posFrom the outside looking in, many people might think that bagel and coffee shops are self-driving businesses. Everyone wants breakfast before work, right?

While that may be true in many ways, bagel stores still need to stand out from the crowd with more offerings, more offers, more drinks, and more customizable food items.

A POS for bagel shops should, therefore, cover the basics of food service like a bakery. Business owners should be able to launch new food items yearly or seasonally and manage inventory easily.

Inventory should be based on recipes and bulk ordering so that there isn’t a huge cost overflow from wasted ingredients.

Most of all, bagel shops should have a POS that makes ordering fast and accurate. This way, morning customers never have to start their day with a messed-up breakfast order.

Comparing the Best Bagel Shop POS Systems

Hardware terminals start at $600.
Monthly subscriptions start at $50/mo.
Hardware leasing requires quote from vendor.
Monthly subscriptions start at $99/mo
Payment processing fees require quote from vendor.
Terminals start at $399.
Monthly subscriptions start at $60/mo.
Fees start at 2.6% + $.10 per transaction.

1. The Best POS for Quick Service Bakeries and Bagel Shops: Cafe Cartel

Getting a POS that supports your bagel shop most likely means supporting a heavy morning rush. It also means helping you manage an inventory of fresh products, including breads, pastries, coffee, and other food.

That means you need a POS that can help you get orders out quickly. We’ve found Cafe Cartel to be the best POS around for quick-service bakeries like bagel shops.

Founded and launched in 2004, this Cafe Cartel is a one-stop solution for most bakeries. This company offers software solutions, hardware solutions, and fair pricing across the board for most business operators.

You won’t sacrifice functionality for specialization, though. With Cafe Cartel, you get great support for inventory management tailored specifically for businesses that bake and prepare food.

Consider the following aspects of Cafe Cartel that will support your Bagel business: 

Custom Solutions and Hardware Support

Cafe Cartel offers a POS solution that gives you and your business the flexibility to deploy workstations wherever you want or need to. The Cafe Cartel software runs natively on Windows PCs, and the company even offers a free demo version you can download and install.

If you’re looking for POS hardware, then Cafe Cartel also offers tablets and complete POS systems. Their online store sells software licenses, scanners, printers, labels, and weight scales. They also sell tablet-based POS hardware terminal systems starting at $900.

Inventory Management

Perhaps most importantly, Cafe Cartel sells a POS that handles bakery inventory. If you run any sort of bakery, you probably know that food inventory isn’t the same as other kinds of inventory.

Cafe Cartel’s POS includes custom cake building functionality, recipe-based inventory management, and portion control built in.


Pricing is a big concern for any business looking to handle necessary tasks like inventory and payments, and Cafe Cartel brings affordable software to bagel shops around the country.

First, businesses can purchase software directly starting at $695 for a single terminal and $495 for additional terminals. That’s a single, lifetime purchase. If you want to subscribe, however, you can also pay a monthly fee of $50 for the first terminal and $35 for each additional terminal.

Cafe Cartel also offers a special deal for “Qualified Processors”. If your business qualifies for a Qualified Processor Agreement, then you can get access to the software at no cost. They don’t list how a business qualifies for this agreement, so you will have to contact them directly.

Cafe Cartel Limitations

The price, functionality, and hardware all hit great pain points for bagel shops. However, they don’t talk much about payment processing partners, software integrations, or employee management features outside of labor hours management.

If you want a targeted POST that handles the baking side of your business, then this is the POS for you. If you need something more advanced, then you may want to consult with Cafe Cartel before jumping in.

2. Best POS for Easy Hardware Support and Pricing: Revel Systems 

Revel Systems is a fully functional POS that supports any number of business types and models. As part of their overall platform, they also include functions for restaurants and bakeries.

Some bagel shops might find Revel’s streamlined hardware and pricing just what they need, or they might enjoy the expanded reward programs and customer management tools. In either case, Revel Systems is a great pick for business owners in the baking industry.

Consider the following about Revel Systems:

Customer Management and Reward Programs

A bagel shop or bakery is going to need to draw customers, like any other business. Even the best bagels in the world aren’t going to bring them in alone: you’ll need to sweeten the deal to stand out. With Revel Systems, you can customize programs and rewards so that repeat customers are rewarded with deals, seasonal offers, and purchasing rewards.

On top of that, Revel lets you get granular with creating discounts on items based on type, date, or even time of day. Compound regular deals with customer rewards and provide new and return customers with plenty of reasons to come back.

Specialized Inventory Management

As mentioned above, inventory management is one of the key factors for any POS system. While Revel Systems isn’t created specifically for bakeries, it does offer the kind of fine-tuned inventory management you need to handle specialty products and ingredients.

Whether it’s drinks, flavors, or other specialty items, Revel Systems provides the tools you need to manage them all.

Pricing and Hardware Availability

Revel Systems makes pricing incredibly easy to understand. Basic software subscription pricing starts at $99 per month per terminal for software (requires annual payments and a 3-year contract). Payment processing works with a flat fee for all payments, and they also offer installation and onboarding services starting at $645.

Revel Systems also provides a rather robust offering of hardware. They sell everything you may need at a POS, including tablet terminals, cash drawers, scales, scanners, printers, and tablet stands. Revel sells Apple iPads.

Revel Systems Downsides

Revel Systems isn’t purpose-built for these kinds of businesses, however. While it offers great functionality overall, it isn’t providing the custom bakery services that a POS system like Cafe Cartel (like custom cake building or recipe inventory). If you don’t rely on these tools so much, then this may not be a barrier for you.

3. Best POS for Ease of Use: Square POS

Square POS was designed for ease of use and is shows in its design and implementation. From smooth drag-and-drop interfaces to mobile-friendly platforms, you shouldn’t have any difficulty fielding this POS in your store.

That doesn’t mean that it completely fits the bill, however. It’s simple take on POS processing means that, if you need something more advaned, Square may not fit your needs as much as you would like.

Here are some of the reasons your bagel shop will benefit from Square POS:

Mobile Friendly POS Platforms

Square POS is made for mobile platforms. In fact, it was built and released in 2009 with the idea that it was purpose-built for swipe-based commerce. This means that if you have the software, a touch device, and a swipe reader, then you can take orders with Square POS.

While Square also sells hardware, the upside is that you can use your existing devices (if they are supported) and get going immediately.

Amazing Pricing and Payment Fees

Since Square is meant for mobile and rapid deployment, you don’t have to worry about big prices or consults for onboarding. Monthly subscriptions start at $60 a month for a single terminal and $40 for each additional terminal.

Likewise, the payment processing fee is incredibly simple, with flat rates depending on whether customers use card swipes, number pads, or online payments.

Easy Product Sales and Tracking

Square has a philosophy of ease and simplicity. When customers order specialty drinks with their bagels, Square provides your staff with easy-to-use drag-and-drop interfaces. What’s more, this simplicity carries over to the receipt printing, where receipts create a paper trail, so your employees get orders right every time.

Limitations of the Square POS System

Square is simple and effective. Small boutique stores will love its flexibility and ease. More expansive bagel shops with lots of products and inventory to manage may not enjoy having to manage their product through a different piece of software better equipped to do the job.

Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Bagel Shop POS System

Bagel shops like bakeries and coffee shops rolled into one… which means complex products and fast service.

They need a POS system that can manage complicated inventory that’s different from most other restaurants. It also means that they can do without a lot of the bells and whistles that bars or restaurants need.

When on the market for a POS system for your bagel shop, consider some of the following necessities:

Food Inventory Must Be Available and Accurate

Food inventory can be difficult to track. If you don’t have specified foods that go into specified dishes, you may struggle managing bulk items that are used in complex recipes for things like bagels.

At the minimum, you should have a POS that can manage products based on recipes you use to make your baked goods. Portion control is a great addition to this kind of functionality. This way, you can ensure you don’t overuse bulk products when making pastries or bagels. If you sell things like coffee, then having granular inventory for flavors and toppings is also a must.

Pricing and Use Should be Easy

Serving bagels isn’t rocket science, so don’t make it more difficult with an overly complex POS that requires huge training seminars and tons of installation to use.

A solid bagel shop POS will make serving food and drinks easy. It will make managing inventory easy. Finally, it will make payments, licensing, and installation easy. If you can install the software on a regular computer or an existing tablet or phone, even better.

Don’t Forget the Customers

Bagel and coffee shops don’t have a lock on morning customers just by existing. A great business will have things like rewards cards, discounts, and specials to let customers know that they can get great deals in your business.

Rewards cards in particular are important for repeat business. Having deals where customers can get free food for repeat purchases incentivizes repeat business. And since most of these customers go to work every day, that means they’ll think to come back to your shop every day as well.

Think About How You Want to Take Orders

Many bagel and coffee places will have a single desk to take orders. But many larger businesses are offering kiosks to order goods and drinks without having to wait in line. Using a POS with remote device functions will make it that much easier for you and your staff to take orders and keep the lines moving.

Our Final Verdict

At their core, bagel shops sell bagels and coffee. Anything above and beyond that may seem superfluous, but in a competitive industry more companies are looking for ways to set themselves apart. More food, more drinks, and more convenience are key.

The POS systems discussed here, however, can usually fit a niche that you need. No matter if you are selling plain bagels with cream cheese or dozens of specialty flavors with 10 kinds of coffee, there is a POS system here that can make it work for you.

Remember to not make your POS a complicated choice. While you may offer bagels with 7 different kinds of filling, it doesn’t mean that you should need a degree to run your inventory. Get a POS that runs right with your business, and always put your customers first. Many of the above-mentioned systems can serve as Bakery POS systems and cafe POS systems.

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