Restaurant POS Software Comparison

Ordering screen in Revel POSWhen it comes to software, restaurants have many needs that are unique to the food service industry. For example, a restaurant may need software to manage food costing or food delivery. However, one key technology tool restaurants need is common to many types of retailers: the point of sale (POS) system.

The challenge for buyers looking for restaurant point of sale (POS) systems is that, although retail POS solutions abound, the majority available lack restaurant-specific features, such as tip tracking, order entry and recipe costing. To find a system with traditional POS functionality along with features to satisfy restaurant operation requirements, buyers usually turn to large retail suite vendors. We developed this buyer’s guide to help restaurant owners understand the market and begin their search to find the right POS systems for restaurants.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Restaurant Point of Sale Software?

Systems exist for both large- and small-scale establishments to support some to all restaurant requirements, including:

  • Inventory
  • Point of sale
  • Accounts payable
  • Reservations

General ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable are typical features of POS systems. Historically, customer relationship management (CRM) has played a small role in restaurant software, but social media is driving change and innovation in this area.

Inventory is perishable and in many cases replenished daily or even more often. Therefore, inventory management is a common requirement for buyers. Hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) management compliance are also important for regulatory and insurance purposes.

Restaurant POS systems should also be able to adjust to different menus and prices for different times of day, and many systems have reservation functionality that integrates with Web-based reservation services like OpenTable. Bars can often use the same systems as restaurants, but some owners may elect to use more specialized bar POS software systems.

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