The Best Drive-Thru POS Systems

Last updated on September 16, 2020

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Brianna Blaney

Brianna Blaney

Brianna Blaney, a Senior Writer at POSQuote.com, began her career in Boston as a tech writer for a digital signage organization. She later progressed to IT support for various software platforms in San Francisco. She wore many hats and was not afraid to jump into the field of POS systems.
Brianna Blaney

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drive thru pos systemsMost major quick-service restaurants report about 70% of their revenue is done at the drive-thru. The industry has seen a steady increase in “items per transaction” which has slowed many lines.

In order to compete and keep customers happy, a QSR must have an efficient POS system in place. It must be fast, effective, and easy to use.

Some key advantages to a point of sale system designed for the drive-thru include:

  • Intelligent stock and inventory management with central purchasing.
  • Self-service kiosks and customer-facing hardware.
  • Loyalty programs spurred by consumer analytics.
  • Consultative mobile tools with remote management and offline capabilities.
  • Employee scheduling and detailed performance reports.

Comparing the Prime Drive-thru POS Systems

Brand Names
Upfront Cost
Resources
Standout Feature






Core Plan is $59/month for the subscription
and $60/Upserve terminal.

Pro Plan is $199/month
and $50/Upserve terminal.

Pro Plus Plan is $359/month
and $40/Upserve terminal.



Dedicated 24/7/365 support team,
Help Center,
Blog,
Food cost calculator,
Restaurant resources






Aggregated reviews for easy reputation management.





NCR Silver plan is $149/month.
There is a 2.4% + $0.15 transaction fee.
Dedicated 24/7/365 support team,
Country-specific lines,
Customer portal,
Drivers and patches


Self-service features enable quick checkout and faster lines.




Starts at $75/month/terminal.
This is marked down from
a normal rate of $119/month/terminal.

You can also purchase
at an annual rate of $780.
This works out to $65/month/terminal
(marked down from $99).


Live chat and phone support
Resource center,
Customer stories,
System comparisons,
Blog




Integrated payroll and management team platform.






Pricing plans start at $99/month/user.
Local support agents,
Product guides,
Revel University,
Phone and live chat,
Blog



Leading member of the Apple Enterprise Mobility Program.





Quote-based pricing on
software and hardware.
Live phone support 24/7,
Customer leasing options,
Learning center,
Tips and FAQs,
Setup articles



30-day money-back guarantee even after using the system.



Upserve – The POS for Active Reputation Management

Used by over 10,000 restaurants with 57+ million active diners, Upserve is a primary POS platform to manage consumer relationships in the QSR space. They boast over $9.9 billion in annual sales and serve over 36 million meals every month.

Some key features of the system include:

Online Ordering 

A restaurant POS system that allows for easy online ordering means a less congested drive-thru. Employees can also deliver items to people already parked. Upserve provides a smooth digital ordering experience for guests without the need for extra hardware, menus, or order transcriptions.

Shift Prep

The drive-thru staff has a limited time to get going once they clock-in.

Upserve allows employees to get a leg up on their shift by informing them of featured items, guest services, and any products out of stock. This means fewer errors once the drive-thru gets busy.

Upserve Live

The mobile solution for everything in QSR management. Supervise the entire floor without getting stuck in the back office.

The Upserve app allows a restaurant to track:

  • Labor costs
  • Sales
  • Discounts
  • Inventory
  • Guest behavior

And more. Everything can be done remotely using an Android or iPhone.

Detailed Reporting

Upserve allows you to run reports that give insight into various metrics including:

  • Labor costs and scheduling
  • Employee performance
  • Sales trends
  • Reputation management
  • Menu and inventory alerts

It’s crucial that modern QSRs have some form of automation to their inventory process. The faster the system can calculate and alert when stock levels are low, the quicker they can be replenished.

NCR Silver – The POS for Customer-Facing Technology

When it comes to QSR customers helping themselves, NCR Silver is a great POS option. Particularly if you have a fast-moving and busy drive-thru.

The system seamlessly integrates the front and back end of the restaurant, ensuring active communication between staff. NCR Silver is specifically designed to empower modern consumers.




Here are a few ways in which it can benefit the overall operations of a drive-thru:

Customer-facing Solution

Self-checkouts streamline operations and create less traffic in the drive-thru. Customers are more likely to park if they can help themselves (without the need to wait in line). Not only does it empower consumer transactions, it saves on labor costs and often increases check averages.

This system is known as “line-busting” and it works perfectly in a QSR environment. The automated technology “busts” lines up before they begin.

Real-time Notifications

NCR Silver POS will alert you in real-time of daily operations. Even when you are away from the store.

Receive instant alerts for data such as:

  • Potential fraud
  • Employee performance
  • Store operations
  • Daily sales figures
  • Inventory reports

Having a system for the drive-thru that works in real-time means a consistent awareness of everything happening at once. It allows you to always stay connected to data that may affect customer service. This enables a QSR to address issues instantly when they arise.

Consumer Experience

NCR uses deep analytics to initiate key business decisions. A QSR can utilize the power of the information collected to transform every touchpoint along the customer journey.

Consumer experience solutions through NCR Silver include:

  • Promotion engine
  • Behavioral analytics
  • Suggestive selling
  • Loyalty programs
  • Dynamic preference management

All of this data allows you to create a consumer experience that drives brand loyalty and retention.

Toast – The POS Software for Extensive Training

Founded in 2013, Toast powers successful restaurants of all sizes, including QSRs with a drive-thru. Built on Android and based in the cloud, the technology has been widely accepted by the restaurant industry.

Some key features include:

Toast Go™

Mobility is a business function that even assists staff in the drive-thru environment. Toast Go is a fully integrated handheld POS system that enables staff to manage orders anywhere in the restaurant. Weighing less than a pound, it fits neatly in an apron pocket.

Toast Go makes for seamless FOH and BOH communication. Featuring real-time menu updates with item details, some of the key benefits include:

  • KDS order notifications
  • Digital signature and receipts
  • Fewer comps and voids
  • Real-time feedback

The software uses cloud-based functions, custom hardware, and payment processing to enable efficient analytics, menu control, and drive-thru management.

Menu Administration

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of running a drive-thru is knowing what’s on the menu (and what’s available) at all times. QSRs run out of things as items increase in popularity. Toast enables a restaurant to consistently manage the menu in real-time. Employees know instantly when something is “86’d” or if stock is low.

Other benefits include:

  • Item countdown in real-time (ex. 5 items left)
  • Server and kitchen synced through cloud-based management
  • Updates immediately reflected both in-house and online
  • Menu updates from any mobile device or terminal

The more you can keep a consistent eye on the menu, the easier it is to serve customers at a quicker pace.

Customer Service

The Toast brand is known for their extensive training and customer support. They want to ensure every business knows how to thoroughly utilize the system through all channels. They consider themselves partners over a vendor and are proud to be transparent, proactive, and committed to every customer.

Over 80% of the Toast implementation team has restaurant experience. Customer support is more about community than assistance.

They offer services that involve:

  • Full system setup (including tailored installation and network configuration)
  • In-person training and Go-Live assistance
  • Automatic software updates (new features and upgrades)
  • Early access to new products
  • Feedback through the VIP table

Toast Central is a great place to start with support. It’s an innovative training resource, with interactive webinars and a dashboard that houses the help center and Toast University portal.

Revel Systems – The POS for Increased Data Protection

Founded in 2010, Revel allows you to accelerate your quick-service restaurant and optimize drive-thru sales. They power the ambition of a QSR with a robust, cloud-based POS with built-in business management.

The Revel Essentials™ system has been deployed in thousands of locations and is designed for the needs of small sites or single locations. The Revel Enterprise™ solution is tailored for larger organizations. Revel leads the industry with national, large brand implementations. They are a member of the Apple Enterprise Mobility Program.

Some of the key features of the system include:

Encrypted Security

A drive-thru has a lot of credit card exchange. The Revel POS system has PCI-compliant cloud technology. It features point-to-point encrypted (P2PE) payments with rich user access controls. This ensures that customer data is always protected.

Smart Inventory Management

Every item in your inventory can be controlled from the central POS dashboard. That includes tracking things like:

  • Names
  • Prices
  • Quantities
  • Ingredients
  • Images

The system runs in real-time and will alert you when stock is running low.

Cater to Customers

The easier you make it for people to pay, the more business your drive-thru will see. A solid QSR POS system should enable employees to perform key actions like:

  • Split checks
  • Take different payment types
  • Hold transactions
  • Remove/add items

Team Supervision 

Team organization is essential when running an efficient drive-thru. Communication is key. The Revel POS platform allows a QSR to easily push out schedules directly through the Management Console.

Staff are always informed of their shift on a timely basis. That’s because everything is automated. You can even track employee time with Revel’s built-in timecard feature.

Revel Assistant

This key feature lives in the Revel Management Console and is designed to give consistent automated support to any user. The chat-like option provides a step-by-step setup guide, helpful videos, and simple troubleshooting. It easily walks staff through the entire feature setup.

Bepoz – The POS System for Custom Configuration

Born in Rock Hill, SC, Bepoz is a cost-effective and powerful drive-thru POS system that is designed to handle a QSR of any size. They are one of the only solutions on the market to offer month-to-month pricing with no upfront licensing fees.

Their 24/7 customer support is here to assist with features like:

Custom Dashboard

Bepoz lets you intricately tailor your dashboard. Their screens are highly configurable which makes things easier to find. This also makes training new employees a much quicker process. Staff can visualize the status of the restaurant at every stage of the meal service.

The system allows for multiple room layouts with different table configurations. These can be changed on the fly or saved for later. Management can also schedule variations to accommodate large parties or events.

Ongoing Engagement 

The Bepoz system allows a QSR to create an unlimited number of promotions according to business needs. Price discounts are scheduled and communicated automatically through email and SMS campaigns. Alerts can be programmed to remind staff of things like long check times. Even splitting checks can be done easily at the drive-thru.

Open Communication

The faster the FOH and BOH can communicate, the quicker the food comes out. Communicating orders (especially with modifications) is simplified with the Bepoz POS solution. Kitchen Display Systems and printers can be purchased to work alongside the software for maximum order efficiency.




Even if a printer malfunctions, there are automations in place to keep the line moving. This also includes ordering. Inventory levels are communicated in real-time through a mobile device for consistent kitchen management. A drive-thru should never run out of stock with the Bepoz software in place.

The Bottom Line

The quick-service industry has some of the highest expectations in restaurant management. This leaves the drive-thru window with the smallest margin of error. People want the transaction to happen so fast, they’re not leaving the car. Thus, having a productive and efficient POS system in place is vital to consumer satisfaction.

Every point of sale product differs slightly by their offerings. It’s important to examine your daily operations to determine the features your drive-thru can benefit from the most.

Is it about improving speed? Customer loyalty? Or perhaps, there is a requirement for greater security. There are many systems to choose from. Knowing your needs is the first start to implementing one that sees your QSR to success.

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