The Best Hospitality POS Systems

Last updated on February 28, 2020

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hospitality pos systemsThe best hospitality point of sale system (POS) should have industry-specific features to drive growth, streamline operations, and boost profitability in the business.

With the right software, you will also get a complete overview of the inventory, including ingredient levels, and cost. 

The solution will automate most of the important day-to-day tasks for enhanced efficiency, accuracy, and easier business management. If you are shopping for a system that will offer your business such benefits, there are certain aspects you should consider.

For instance, you should consider the employee, inventory, and customer management tools offered by the solution. Your preferred solution should also support the right hospitality hardware components like iPad docks, mobile card readers, and self-service kiosks.

To make this choice a bit easier for you, here are reviews of the top four POS systems for the hospitality industry.

Comparing the Best Hospitality POS Systems

Depends on the Hardware components you need
From $69/month + $59/month for e-commerce integration
2.6% + 10 cents for swiped transactions, and 2.6% + 30 cents for keyed-in transactions

From about $3,000 for training, data migration, and minimal customization
Not mentioned on the parent website

Details not disclosed

Depends on the hardware components you need

From $65/month
Eligible businesses will be charged assessments, and interchange costs plus 10 cents per transaction

Allows you to use your own hardware
From $39/month + $24/month for every additional register

Depends on your preferred gateway

1. Best Hospitality POS System Choice Overall: Lightspeed Restaurant

Like most of the leading players in the hospitality industry, you probably are looking forward to creating a unique experience for your guests.

The Lightspeed Restaurant POS system makes it possible for you to achieve this as well as manage the business more effectively for improved profitability. Having been designed for the various businesses in this industry, the solution is ideal for use in bars, full-service or quick-service restaurants, cafes, and hotel restaurants.

The system is equipped with all the convenience, and efficiency tools you will ever need in any hospitality business, including:

Tableside Ordering

This feature allows your servers to go to wherever your customers are seated in the restaurant to take orders and process payments. In addition to accepting orders, the mobile solution allows the servers to fire the orders directly to the kitchen from the tableside. This solution is loaded with an array of tools for enhanced ease of use, and efficiency.

For instance, the register on the mobile system features a self-order menu. This feature is rather intuitive, allowing the customers to place their orders directly from their tables using Kiosks or an iPad. Similarly, you will find it easier to process takeout, and delivery orders. In this regard, the system allows you to assign such orders to a certain table in the establishment.

The mobile solution also features Upsell reminders, and makes billing more flexible for your servers. While checking out, the system allows your customers to pay using whichever method they find appropriate, including Apple pay, MasterCard, and Visa.

Multi-Store Support

Even if you currently own a single location, Lightspeed will increase profitability, and make it possible for your business to grow. Thereafter, you will need the right system to manage the various locations remotely from the same point.

To begin with, the system allows you to save accounts on devices. As such, you will not lose important information, should you decide to change devices temporarily. The location reporting capabilities of the feature give you a complete overview of the entire business, including the different locations.

With such a solution, you will also be able to get detailed customer information on each of your locations from a single platform. The system will also allow you to centralize gift cards across all the locations.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS System Downsides

The system is relatively expensive for small and startup businesses. Again, the POS system may not be used to process payments in its offline mode.

2. The Most Versatile POS System: MICROS

As compared to some of the leading POS systems meant for the hospitality industry, MICROS is relatively versatile, and flexible. As you will come to learn, this system is ideal for use in both the small-sized as well as the large, multi-chain hospitality businesses.

Ranging from receiving orders, and reservations to the complex restaurant tasks like inventory management, and CRM, the solution has all the tools you need. Some of the features and capabilities that make MICROS Hospitality POS system stand out include:

Management and Reporting

Micros POS system for restaurants features back-office management and reporting capabilities. For instance, the system has extensive tools for product, labor, and financial management. In addition to generating real-time, in-depth reports, the system features multi-store reporting capabilities.

As such, the solution will come in handy for businesses looking forward to reconciling and consolidating sales, and inventory data across multiple locations. Other management and reporting capabilities you will come to like about this system include:

  • Financial Management & Reporting – Allows you to view sales information in real time as well as keep track of sales, and budgets. The system also features reporting capabilities for daily sales reconciliation, expenses, deposits, profit, and loss.
  • Product Management – for effective stock management in restaurants, the system is capable of tracking inventory levels, up to the ingredient level. MICROS POS system also presents you with some of the best recipe management capabilities in the industry. For instance, it allows you to save serving, and prep instructions, including recipe pictures and cards.


MICROS POS System Downsides

This system does not allow for mobile device management. Again, Micros POS does not offer marketing metrics like some of the leading hospitality systems do.

3. The Best Hospitality POS Built-in Payments: Upserve

Being one of the best software solutions for the hospitality industry, Upserve boasts of an array of industry-specific features.

For instance, the system offers sales data and trends to grow your revenue, server insight tools to boost check average, and turn times. Additionally, the solution is backed by 24/7 US-based custom support.

Other aspects you will come to like about the Upserve restaurant POS system include:

Exceptional Register Capabilities

In addition to a unique mobile tableside ordering, and payment processing solution, this provider offers amazing efficiency, convenience register tools. For easier check management, the system allows you to split checks, and item with fewer clicks. The solution also makes it easy for the servers to search menu categories or items while firing orders.

You will also like the Pre=Authorize Tab on this system, which makes it easier for the servers to close tabs. The Menu Intelligence feature, on the other hand, helps you understand how the menu in your business resonates with the customers.

Comp/Void Reporting

Basically, Upserve offers some of the best reporting tools in the hospitality industry. In addition to basic reporting, the solution is capable of generating real-time void/comp reports, and notifications. In this regard, the system lets you track voids, and comps in your business by server, as well as why each void/comp was accepted.

Upserve POS System Downsides

The initial setup and customization for this software is a bit complicated and time-consuming.

4. The Most Affordable Hospitality POS System: Epos Now

Epos Now POS system is currently being used by more than 30, 000 businesses in more than 103 countries across the world. To some extent, the popularity of this software may be attributed to its affordability.

To begin with, the provider offers a 30-day free trial period for this hospitality POS systemIn addition to being affordable to acquire, the solution runs on almost any POS hardware.

As such, you may use the hardware you already own to save on hardware costs. Other than that, the system is relatively easy to implement, and use.

Despite its affordability, Epos Now offers your business a superior blend of features, such as:

Back OfficeTools

The back-office hospitality feature suite offered by this provider is specifically aimed at offering you enhanced control and power. Thanks to the innovative cloud technology by the provider, you can securely access the Epos Now back office portal from almost any device.

However, the back office may only be accessed through Safari or Google Chrome browsers. This dashboard offers you access to a powerful business management platform wherever you are. Through this platform, you will have complete real-time control and overview of your business.

As such, you may use this dashboard to initiate spontaneous promotions, add or edit menu items, or gain access to the Epos AppStore remotely. This platform also makes it possible for you to export CSV files in your business for easier bulk edits.


For enhanced security and accountability, Epos allows for restricted access to the system by the employees. As such, you will be required to set authorization levels for different employees in your business, based on their roles, during the initial set up.

Additionally, the system allows you to monitor and control discount levels by employees through the Back office. With this solution, you can also limit refund and void decisions to specific staff members.

Epos Now POS System Downsides

You may find it comparatively difficult to import bulk business data using this system. The POS software also offers a limited number of features, as compared to the leading hospitality POS systems.

Things You Need to Know Before Choosing a Hospitality POS System

The hospitality industry covers a wide range of business types, ranging from food and drink establishments to bars and catering services. Through diverse, the various businesses within this industry have common requirements as far as POS features are concerned. In order to stand out from the competition and succeed, you need to invest in a system that supports your business model.

Additionally, your preferred system should be scalable enough to accommodate the evolving customer behaviors. Also, food and labor costs, as well as the growing competition. As you can see, the right POS system for your business should be able to boost customer satisfaction, reduce waste, enhance efficiency, and control costs.

In order to get such a system, there are several things you need to put into consideration, including:

1. Restaurant-Specific Hardware

As you may be aware, a POS system comprises of two main parts; the POS software, and its compatible hardware components. While shopping for the best hospitality POS system, you need to ensure that the hardware is suited for the task. In this regard, here are some of the main physical hardware accessories you need to consider:

iPad card readers

Most restaurant customers prefer being served at their tables.  As such, you need to invest in portable iPad card readers that plug into the mobile POS solution. In this case, you can save some money by choosing a POS hardware package that offers mobile order taking and payment processing.

Touchscreen Display

As compared to external keyboards, Touchscreen POS input devices are considered to be faster, and more intuitive. This is probably why a considerable number of the leading solutions for the hospitality industry run in Touchscreen iPads, tablets, and Smartphones

Self-Service POS Kiosks

Some of the leading restaurants today are now allowing their customers to place orders and make their payments on their own through Kiosks. The benefit of such a capability is that it will reduce long lines and allow you to reduce the number of servers in the business.

To incorporate such a capability in your business, you should opt for a solution that allows you to integrate Kiosks. You also need to invest in the right Kiosk hardware, such as iPad devices, stands, receipt printer, and a card reader.

iPad Docks and Stands

In addition to the stationery POS terminals in the business, you may also need to incorporate a few iPad docks into the system. This is essentially aimed at reducing long lines and enhancing customer experience. In this case, you need to choose a stand that allows you to swivel the iPad towards the customers, allowing them to conveniently sign their bills.

Power Supply

This is something many business owners tend to forget while choosing a mobile POS solution. Although the mobile POS devices come with built-in, rechargeable batteries, it may not be enough to serve all the customers on a busy day. To avoid inconveniences in the business, you should consider investing in the right charging solution that is compact and portable.

2. Employee Management

The best POS system will make it possible for your business to grow, hence require you to hire even more employees. Since you do not have all the time to sit around and monitor what every employee is doing, it is advisable to get a solution the makes it easier and more convenient.

Your preferred solution should have the right tools and capabilities for effective management of the back-of-house as well as front-of-house staff. For instance, the system should be capable of tracking shift performance, and sales for each server. Additionally, the system should automate clock-in, and clock-out tasks for easier and accurate payroll management

When coupled with state-of-the-art reporting capabilities, the solution will offer you a complete overview and insights into employee performance, and shift planning.

3. Inventory Management

A system that lets you know when certain inventory items are running out will come in handy in any hospitality business. However, the right POS solution for your business should offer advanced capabilities, beyond low-inventory alerts.

Restaurant businesses, for instance, needs a POP system that can track the menu items down to the ingredient level. You do not want the staff accepting to accept an order only for them to realize later that one of the ingredients used to prepare the dish is not available. Additionally, such businesses will also need a solution that can keep track of expiry dates on the various inventory items.

Some of the best hospitality POS systems are also capable of generating purchase orders automatically, based on preset inventory level thresholds. In order to ascertain what is causing food wastage and inventory shrinkage in the business, you will need a system that monitors stock activity and streamlines stock counts.

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Regardless of the type of hospitality business you own, you will need to monitor your customers closely. This is the only way you are going to offer personalized services, hence improve customer services and keep them coming back.

As such, you should as well consider the CRM tools your preferred restaurant POS system offers. Most of the leading solutions in this industry automatically collect relevant customer information at the checkout. Such a solution will help you build an accurate and up-to-date customer database.

This information may then be used to generate custom promotional campaigns for each customer. Again, you will have correct customer emails to send such offers and promotional campaigns. The targeted offers, and promotional campaigns will serve as an incentive to keep your current customers to keep coming back.

Our Final Verdict

The software you choose for your business should be relatively easy to set up, and use, affordable, and scalable. Again, it is advisable to only choose a solution that is specifically developed for your type of business. The four POS system reviewed above are versatile, intuitive, and equipped with a wide range of hospitality-specific capabilities.

Most of the four systems offer free trials, allowing you to interact with the POS features first-hand, at no cost.  Regardless of your specific business needs, this guide will enlighten you on how to buy the best hospitality POS system.

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