The Best Coffee Shop POS Systems

Last updated on June 6, 2019

How We Found The Best Coffee Shop POS Systems

2 experts interviewed
7 POS systems tested
5 top picks

The best coffee shop point of sale system (POS) should be able to accommodate the free-flowing, fast-moving nature of the business. Choosing the right solution for such a business will help enhance customer experience, streamline operations, and optimize profits.

Additionally, your preferred solution should address such challenges as long lines, payment processing speed, and efficient communication between front-of-house and back-of-house. In order to address such needs, it is advisable to go for an industry-specific POS solution.

While shopping for one, you need to consider such aspects as a customer-facing display, menu, and inventory management. Also, reduced turnover as well as flexibility, and scalability.

Reviewed below are the top five coffee shop POS systems you should consider.

Best Coffee Shop POS Systems 2019



$999 or $49/month for 24 months

$0
Between 2.5% + 10¢ and 2.75% per transaction. 3.5% plus 15 cents for keyed-in transactions
From $1100 for hardware bundle
From $69/month
Depends on your preferred payment processor

From $809.00 for hardware bundles

Quote-based
2.75% per transaction; 2.9% + $0.30 for invoiced and online transactions, and 3.5% + $0.15 for keyed-in transactions

Depends on the hardware components you need
From $69/month + $49/month per additional register
Depends on your preferred payment gateway partner
From $450 for hardware Packages
From $79/month +$50/ month per additional device

Flat quote-based rate

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1. Best Overall Coffee Shop POS System Choice: Square

A considerable number of coffee shop owners today love Square for its affordability. In this regard, the provider does not require you to pay any monthly subscription fees. Even so, it  is renowned for producing robust hardware components that work seamlessly with the POS software and payment processing platform.

Basically, Square presents you with a complete solution for accepting payments, ringing up sales, and managing the entire coffee shop remotely. Additionally, you will find this solution relatively easy to implement and use.

Other aspects that make the square a preferred coffee shop POS system include:

Caviar

This is one of the innovative features by Square that were specifically developed for the restaurant industry. The award-winning pickup and delivery service is built right into the restaurant POS system for enhanced convenience. This feature offers an easy way for your customers to order food, with options for scheduled pickup or delivery and immediate delivery.

Regardless of where the customers are, the Caviar mobile app serves as a reliable, quick, and affordable delivery, and pickup service. With this feature, you will be able to accept, dispatch and fire orders right from the POS system. The system will also make it easier for you to capture all the end-to-end order, pick-up, and delivery data you need.

Over the years, this solution has been helping restaurants reach more customers, expand their reach and grow sales. The full suite of tools may actually be the only thing you need to stand out from your competition.

Employee Management

Square POS system for restaurants features a unique set of tools to help you manage, and empower your employees while protecting the business. To begin with, the system allows you to restrict employees’ access to the POS system based on their roles. You will also like the fact that Square restaurant POS system features built-in timecards.

This feature makes it more convenient for you to capture employee clock-in and clock-out times  through the register. You may also transfer this information to Square Payroll for easier processing. Finally, the integrated timecards make it possible for the solution to automatically calculate overtime and taxes.

Square POS System Downsides

Customer service by this provider is not available 24/7. You may also experience occasional funds hold on this POS solution.

2. The Best Coffee Shop POS Register Functionality: Lightspeed Restaurant

Would you like to know the preferences of your frequent customers, accept orders from virtually anywhere, and give your guests a reason to come back? You should consider investing in the adaptable and highly-efficient Lightspeed restaurant POS system.

According to its current users, the system is relatively easy to use and features an array of beneficial capabilities, such as:

Tableside Ordering

The provider offers several hardware and software options for accepting orders, and processing payments at the table. Some of the convenient order-taking solutions by this provider include:

  • Self-Order Menu – this feature allows your customers to place their orders from their tables from a Kiosk or an iPad.
  • Mobile Service– With this option, the servers need to walk to where the customers are to take orders through a Kiosk or an iPad and fire them directly to the kitchen

The system also allows you to assign takeout and delivery orders to a table in the restaurant. With this system, you can also send upsell reminders to the register and offer flexible billing options to the customers.

Regardless of your preferred tableside ordering solution, Lightspeed allows you to accept multiple payment options, including Apple Pay, MasterCard, and Visa.

Customer Management

Just as is the case in any other restaurant businesses, knowing your coffee shop customers’ preferences allows you to offer them personalized services. This is why the Lightspeed Restaurant system features one of the most powerful customer relationship management capabilities. To begin with, the CRM on this solution keeps tabs on what each customer is buying, and what they frequently order.  

In order to offer your customers enhanced transparency, the provider offers a customer-facing display as part of the POS hardware. With this system, you will also be able to set discounted prices and timed promotions right from the POS. You may also have the POS turn such promotions off automatically.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS Downsides

The system requires you to sign a contract and commit to using the POS system for a year. Smaller business may also find the solution to be comparatively expensive and complex to implement.

3. The Most Affordable POS System: Shopkeep

Small and medium-sized coffee shops may need to stick to affordable POS solutions like Shopkeep. As you will come to learn, this provider offers pay-as-you-go, no-contract subscription plans that are affordable. However, the provider recently changed from a fixed-rate subscription system to a quote-based system.

Despite being one of the most affordable coffee shop POS systems in the market, Shopkeep has a horde of industry-specific features to offer, including:

Flexible Inventory Management

Basically, a coffee shop inventory is known to change frequently. As such, you need a system that can cope with these frequent changes. The Shopkeep inventory manager is capable of tracking everything, including the minute details, of the items used or sold in the business.

Again, changes to the inventory are updated to the restaurant menu in real time. This way, you will be in a better position to create a profitable and appealing menu for the coffee shop. The system will also present you with accurate reports to help you understand the best selling products in the business.

Marketing

As a startup business owner, you should only invest in solutions that allow your business to grow. Your preferred solution should also be scalable to accommodate changing business needs as it grows. In order to attract more customers and grow the coffee shop, Shopkeep features a unique marketing tool suite.

With this system, you will also be able to capture important customer details like email addresses. This information, along with the data collected by the CRM feature, may then be used to generate personalized marketing campaigns. Such targeted promotions have been proven to be more effective at drawing more customers to coffee shops.

Shopkeep POS System Drawbacks

The system lacks table mapping capabilities and has a few limitations within its inventory manager.

4. The Best Cloud-Based Coffee Shop POS System: Vend

Vend POS system is specifically designed to improve customer loyalty, speed up transactions, and help you understand the coffee shop better.  

Over the years, this system has been proven to be relatively easy to set up and use. Once implemented, Vend will help you make better business decisions and stay ahead of the competition.

Other Vend POS features you will come to love to include:

ECommerce Platform

Although this feature is only available on the Multi-Outlet plans by the provider, it will come in handy for your coffee shop. In this regard, the provider offers both an integrated website builder and superior web hosting. Additionally, the platform is equipped with an array of responsive themes and offers reliable design help.

The e-commerce platform by this provider is capable of syncing with your store inventory in real time. While designing your website, the platform also allows you to tie in your preferred domain name.

This platform has been proven to offer optimal display performance on any screen size. For real-time order fulfillment, orders through this platform will be automatically emailed to the admin in your business.

Menu Management

Vend makes the initial menu set up in your coffee shop relatively easy. Additionally, you will have an easy time removing, editing or adding items to the menu as time goes by. The solution also features customizable Quick Keys.

These are known to speed up transactions and combat long lines during peak hours in coffee shops. Finally, the system features a simplified sell screen to help your staff process transactions even faster.

Vend POS System Downsides

As compared to some of the leading restaurant POS systems, you will find Vend to be less robust. Again, the provider requires you to pay for priority customer support.

5. The Most Intuitive Coffee Shop POS System: Toast

Get yourself a POS system that allows you to track every cinnamon scone and coffee bean right from delivery to checkouts. In addition to such accurate inventory management, Toast features an intuitive interface and will save you a considerable amount of time.

Some of the features and capabilities that make this solution stand out include:

Toast Go and Kitchen Display System

These are designed to link your FOH to the BOH seamlessly for enhanced efficiency. Such components allow you to run the various aspects of the coffee shop from a single POS system. For instance, Toast Go allows the servers to take tableside orders and fire them directly to the kitchen display system.

Such a system will save your servers time, reduce wait times for the customers, and optimize the efficiency for coffee orders and breakfast sandwiches. This solution also displays suggested tip percentages, encouraging customers to tip their servers.

Easy and Intuitive

With this solution, you will be able to save time and money training your staff on how to use the POS system. For instance, the system features a Touchscreen terminal that is relatively easy to use. This is coupled to a customer-facing display to encourage tipping and loyalty customer signups.

In addition to ensuring that employee training is fast and easy, the system features a reliable payment processing platform.

Toast POS System Downsides

The POS system is locked to the Toast payment processor. Additionally, you have to incur additional costs to get the add-ons you need by the same provider.

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

Just like the other types of restaurants, coffee shops have specific needs as far as POS systems are concerned. Essentially, the system should be capable of linking front-of-house (FOH) to back-of-house (BOH) of the coffee shop seamlessly. For the best results, it is advisable to go for a purpose-built restaurant POS system.

However, not all the restaurant POS solutions are suited for a coffee shop. The right solution should be good at such functions as check-splitting, mobile payments, and tableside ordering. Additionally, the system should have the right capabilities to boost efficiency, productivity, and profitability of the shop.

If you are looking for a system that offers such benefits in your coffee shop, here are some of the features you should consider:

Customer Relationship Management and Reporting

To begin with, you should consider getting a system that has an inbuilt CRM system. Such a system will help your business collect valuable customer information.

Over time, you may use such information to build a detailed database of your customers. The system will also offer you valuable insights into your customers.

For instance, it will help you know the guests who have frequented the establishment the most, what each of the guests has ordered in the past, and the customers who have spent the most in your coffee shop.

For enhanced ease of use, the system should make it easy for you to segment customer data according to customer characteristics. In addition to offering customer insights, this information will help you design targeted marketing campaigns for the business.

Customer-Facing Display

Long lines during peak hours are some of the main challenges you need to address in your coffee shop. In this regard, a POS system that features a customer-facing display will come in handy.

By flipping the terminals in your business, the customers will be able to sign, choose whether to get printed or electronic receipts and even sign.

This will save your business a considerable amount of time processing customer payments. By reducing the wait times and combating long lines, you will be more likely to retain more customers in the business.

Flexible Menu Management

As you may have realized, some orders placed by the customers in your coffee shop are simply outrageous. For instance, a customer may order for decaf latte extra hot with a shot of espresso, a cherry on the top, and 2 percent milk.

As such, you should get a system with the right menu modifiers that are easy to customize and add. Additionally, you will be offering special offers and discounts from time to time. Since coffee shop menus are seasonal, you just have to get a system with the right menu management capabilities.

For instance, the system should be able to update the menu according to inventory availability.

Additionally, a cloud-based system will make management work even easier for you. A cloud-based solution allows you to make changes and additions to the menu remotely and in real time.

Reduced Employee Turnover

With the right coffee shop POS system, you can easily identify the unnecessary costs you may be incurring. In order to manage the turnover more effectively, the system should have the right tools to optimize returns on personnel, and inventory.

Similarly, the system should be equipped with restaurant-specific analytics and data tools to help reduce costs.

Your preferred solution should feature capabilities that allow you to monitor inventory, and labor costs every hour, day, and even shift. This way, you can tell the servers who are moving more products or making more money for the business.

Final Verdict

You need to choose a coffee shop POS system that makes it easy for you to manage seated, delivery and take-out orders. Additionally, the best solution should allow you to oversee all operations in the business regardless of where you are. The top five points of sale systems reviewed above feature the right set of tools for your coffee shop.

Since all the five are great choices, your final choice will eventually come down to such aspects as the choice of credit card processor, advanced management capabilities, and affordability. Either way, of the case, this guide will make this choice a walk in the park.

 

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