4 Best Cafe POS Systems for Small Businesses

Cody Cromwell
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How We Evaluated Cafe POS Systems

We evaluated nine different cafe POS systems for small businesses and we narrowed it down to the top three based on a variety of criteria that we cover in this post. We then conducted user testing and documented the results along with a hands‑on demo that lets you get an even better perspective. You can use this information to compare different software options, choose the one that’s best for your cafe, and choose the one that’s going to help you manage your business better.

Evaluating 9 POS Systems for Cafe Owners

Often, cafe owners (or those responsible for maintaining and supporting the produce order management system) find themselves overwhelmed and confused with too many features and options that are cumbersome to use. At first glance, it may seem like picking the perfect POS software for managing cafe operations is overwhelming and can be expensive. However, by breaking down the various options into a few key criteria, it’s much easier to know exactly what you’re looking for and to narrow down your options.

We evaluated nine different POS systems for cafes that are run by small business owners that then narrowed it down to the top three we identified in this post based on how well they meet specific business needs.

For details on how we evaluated each POS system, check out our list of POS software evaluation criteria and criteria for evaluating a cafe POS system.

20% of Overall Score

The overall score that we assign to POS systems for small businesses involves several variables that are all weighted equally. We look at the following factors:

  • Price
  • Simplicity
  • Paper Handling (speed and usability)
  • Cost of Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Maintenance and Upkeep

We compare retail POS to other products in the same price range.

We are rating the POS system against retail systems used in modern cafes that serve hundreds of customers each day and have been making food and beverages in the same way for the last couple of decades. Ideally, the POS system should be able to handle the same volume of customers as these coffee shops do and also be easy to use.

The more experience a small business owner has in setting up a restaurant, the better the experience will be. Not everyone has specialized skills with restaurants. The lack of specialized skills makes it difficult to invest in kitchen equipment that serves hundreds of meals per day.

The difference between the POS system for a small coffee shop and the POS system for a large restaurant is that the large restaurant also serves food cooked on the premises. Often the POS system for large restaurants also has to monitor and control kitchen equipment that is serving hundreds of meals.

The price has to be competitive with retail POS systems used on a regular basis in the coffee shop industry.

20% of Overall Score

The overall score that we assign to POS systems for small businesses involves several variables that are all weighted equally. We look at the following factors:

  • Price
  • Simplicity
  • Paper Handling (speed and usability)
  • Cost of Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Maintenance and Upkeep

We compare retail POS to other products in the same price range.

We are rating the POS system against retail systems used in modern cafes that serve hundreds of customers each day and have been making food and beverages in the same way for the last couple of decades. Ideally, the POS system should be able to handle the same volume of customers as these coffee shops do and also be easy to use.

The more experience a small business owner has in setting up a restaurant, the better the experience will be. Not everyone has specialized skills with restaurants. The lack of specialized skills makes it difficult to invest in kitchen equipment that serves hundreds of meals per day.

The difference between the POS system for a small coffee shop and the POS system for a large restaurant is that the large restaurant also serves food cooked on the premises. Often the POS system for large restaurants also has to monitor and control kitchen equipment that is serving hundreds of meals.

The price has to be competitive with retail POS systems used on a regular basis in the coffee shop industry.

20% of Overall Score

The overall score that we assign to POS systems for small businesses involves several variables that are all weighted equally. We look at the following factors:

  • Price
  • Simplicity
  • Paper Handling (speed and usability)
  • Cost of Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Maintenance and Upkeep

We compare retail POS to other products in the same price range.

We are rating the POS system against retail systems used in modern cafes that serve hundreds of customers each day and have been making food and beverages in the same way for the last couple of decades. Ideally, the POS system should be able to handle the same volume of customers as these coffee shops do and also be easy to use.

The more experience a small business owner has in setting up a restaurant, the better the experience will be. Not everyone has specialized skills with restaurants. The lack of specialized skills makes it difficult to invest in kitchen equipment that serves hundreds of meals per day.

The difference between the POS system for a small coffee shop and the POS system for a large restaurant is that the large restaurant also serves food cooked on the premises. Often the POS system for large restaurants also has to monitor and control kitchen equipment that is serving hundreds of meals.

The price has to be competitive with retail POS systems used on a regular basis in the coffee shop industry.

20% of Overall Score

The overall score that we assign to POS systems for small businesses involves several variables that are all weighted equally. We look at the following factors:

  • Price
  • Simplicity
  • Paper Handling (speed and usability)
  • Cost of Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Maintenance and Upkeep

We compare retail POS to other products in the same price range.

We are rating the POS system against retail systems used in modern cafes that serve hundreds of customers each day and have been making food and beverages in the same way for the last couple of decades. Ideally, the POS system should be able to handle the same volume of customers as these coffee shops do and also be easy to use.

The more experience a small business owner has in setting up a restaurant, the better the experience will be. Not everyone has specialized skills with restaurants. The lack of specialized skills makes it difficult to invest in kitchen equipment that serves hundreds of meals per day.

The difference between the POS system for a small coffee shop and the POS system for a large restaurant is that the large restaurant also serves food cooked on the premises. Often the POS system for large restaurants also has to monitor and control kitchen equipment that is serving hundreds of meals.

The price has to be competitive with retail POS systems used on a regular basis in the coffee shop industry.

20% of Overall Score

The overall score that we assign to POS systems for small businesses involves several variables that are all weighted equally. We look at the following factors:

  • Price
  • Simplicity
  • Paper Handling (speed and usability)
  • Cost of Maintenance and Upkeep
  • Maintenance and Upkeep

We compare retail POS to other products in the same price range.

We are rating the POS system against retail systems used in modern cafes that serve hundreds of customers each day and have been making food and beverages in the same way for the last couple of decades. Ideally, the POS system should be able to handle the same volume of customers as these coffee shops do and also be easy to use.

The more experience a small business owner has in setting up a restaurant, the better the experience will be. Not everyone has specialized skills with restaurants. The lack of specialized skills makes it difficult to invest in kitchen equipment that serves hundreds of meals per day.

The difference between the POS system for a small coffee shop and the POS system for a large restaurant is that the large restaurant also serves food cooked on the premises. Often the POS system for large restaurants also has to monitor and control kitchen equipment that is serving hundreds of meals.

The price has to be competitive with retail POS systems used on a regular basis in the coffee shop industry.

Toast

Price: Free

Toast is a free, modular alternative to expensive commercial POS software that can be customized for a specific business. It’s also free, open-source and loves to be hackable: just plug in additional hardware and it’ll do the rest.

Toast’s well-designed web interface is easy to use and manage for everyone inside the business. You can view orders as you place them or create your own reports.

It works both on computers and tablets, yet it’s designed for smaller, less-computer-savvy customers. It’s also compatible with hardware that doesn’t have a built-in cash register like barcodes, scanners and NFC. It comes with a quick-installation wizard and out of the box software, and supports Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux.

Fully customizable reports help managers see how the business is doing, and how customers are interacting with products. Backorders can be traced, and orders can be archived for promotional reasons.

The modular software is free, meaning that each feature can be included or excluded on a business-by-business basis – an easy option for the smaller businesses that don’t have the budget for expensive solutions.

PROS

How do I choose a POS System for my Small Business?

What are the different types of POS System?

What are the leading POS Manufacturer?

What are the TOP 5 POS Systems?

CONS

POS stands for Personal point of sale systems. The POS system is the accurate name for your credit card processing terminal. These systems allow you to track inventory, sales, etc.

Majority of cafes use a cash register system because of it’s all in one approach. This simplifies you inventory management, customer management and overall cash management with its convenient features.

There are different ways to pay with credit cards. You can choose between different payment processors like Paypal, Square, Perfect money, etc. All of these payment processor will allow you to setup a standard business account to accept credit cards. You will be able to use the tools they provide to accept credit card transactions.

POS Commerce SaaS offers a comprehensive POS management system for cafes. This system includes many features where you can manage your daily operations. The features provide benefit for both the cafe owner and customer.

The POS system allows you to identify your user details, manage your daily operations like customer inventory, customer bio, your daily sales. This system provides your cafe with a stable marketing platform with a lot of features and customizable for you to pay the fees.

POS system help your cafe to increase their revenue and better control of your cash register.

A number of POS systems are available. Some of the popular POS systems include:

  • Square Register
  • Shopify POS

Pricing

What Comes First?

For most small businesses, it’s important to have a good value proposition for your customer…..

The premise is simple, if your merchandise is priced in an affordable way for your target customer, they’re more likely to purchase.

So if you haven’t already done so, think about what your ideal customer is looking for and how to communicate that to them. This will help you create a comprehensive pricing scheme that you’ll be able to model your POS system around.

How do you Measure the Value Proposition?

When it comes to pricing systems, pricing data should be based on multiple costs to reach the final markup. Depending on your business, you may need to include a number of factors. Here’s how to get started:

  • How long does it take to produce the product?
  • How much do you have to pay for ingredients?
  • How much do you spend on labor for production?
  • How much do you spend on packaging?
  • How much increase in quantity does it take to recover all the expenses?

You can measure this expense in units or in dollars (depending on the markup you’ve determined).

Features

Square

The Square card swiper is a reader that hooks into your mobile device’s headphone jack, which allows you to swipe credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, and business cards. It supports both iOS and Android devices. The card swiper sits in a dock that you place in the front, at the counter, or where ever you’d like to accept credit cards. It’s easy to attach to your iPhone, iPad, or Android phone/tablet.

Unlike mobile processing, the card swiper allows you to swipe multiple cards at a time, quickly and easily. There is no long line wait at the register. It also allows you to swipe your customers’ contact information and business card when they leave.

PROS

How do I choose a POS System for my Small Business?

What are the different types of POS System?

What are the leading POS Manufacturer?

What are the TOP 5 POS Systems?

CONS

POS stands for Personal point of sale systems. The POS system is the accurate name for your credit card processing terminal. These systems allow you to track inventory, sales, etc.

Majority of cafes use a cash register system because of it’s all in one approach. This simplifies you inventory management, customer management and overall cash management with its convenient features.

There are different ways to pay with credit cards. You can choose between different payment processors like Paypal, Square, Perfect money, etc. All of these payment processor will allow you to setup a standard business account to accept credit cards. You will be able to use the tools they provide to accept credit card transactions.

POS Commerce SaaS offers a comprehensive POS management system for cafes. This system includes many features where you can manage your daily operations. The features provide benefit for both the cafe owner and customer.

The POS system allows you to identify your user details, manage your daily operations like customer inventory, customer bio, your daily sales. This system provides your cafe with a stable marketing platform with a lot of features and customizable for you to pay the fees.

POS system help your cafe to increase their revenue and better control of your cash register.

A number of POS systems are available. Some of the popular POS systems include:

  • Square Register
  • Shopify POS

Pricing

What Comes First?

For most small businesses, it’s important to have a good value proposition for your customer…..

The premise is simple, if your merchandise is priced in an affordable way for your target customer, they’re more likely to purchase.

So if you haven’t already done so, think about what your ideal customer is looking for and how to communicate that to them. This will help you create a comprehensive pricing scheme that you’ll be able to model your POS system around.

How do you Measure the Value Proposition?

When it comes to pricing systems, pricing data should be based on multiple costs to reach the final markup. Depending on your business, you may need to include a number of factors. Here’s how to get started:

  • How long does it take to produce the product?
  • How much do you have to pay for ingredients?
  • How much do you spend on labor for production?
  • How much do you spend on packaging?
  • How much increase in quantity does it take to recover all the expenses?

You can measure this expense in units or in dollars (depending on the markup you’ve determined).

Features

ShopKeep by Lightspeed

ShopKeep POS by Lightspeed provides merchants with a range of functions including inventory control, order management, point of sale integration, seamless reordering, and more. This means you have all of the tools you need to run a successful small business.

One of the features that set Lightspeed POS apart from similar products is its flexibility. This allows you to work with an existing system or roll out a new POS system across your business.

Small businesses might be running their own retail stores with a few employees and/or department stores with hundreds of employees and any excess managers, so your system needs to scale accordingly.

In some ways, this lets you customize the system to suit your specific needs and will help improve workflow productivity and efficiency.

The ShopKeep POS system has been designed to be scalable so that it can easily integrate with your existing inventory management system. That means you could check your inventory and order at the POS system and the order information will be transferred automatically into your inventory management system (if you choose to do so).

If you have several POS systems at your business, you’ll be glad to know that you can link ShopKeep POS to the other systems. You can manage all these POS systems inside the same application and allow your employees to use a single application for checkout, inventory management, and order management.

PROS

How do I choose a POS System for my Small Business?

What are the different types of POS System?

What are the leading POS Manufacturer?

What are the TOP 5 POS Systems?

CONS

POS stands for Personal point of sale systems. The POS system is the accurate name for your credit card processing terminal. These systems allow you to track inventory, sales, etc.

Majority of cafes use a cash register system because of it’s all in one approach. This simplifies you inventory management, customer management and overall cash management with its convenient features.

There are different ways to pay with credit cards. You can choose between different payment processors like Paypal, Square, Perfect money, etc. All of these payment processor will allow you to setup a standard business account to accept credit cards. You will be able to use the tools they provide to accept credit card transactions.

POS Commerce SaaS offers a comprehensive POS management system for cafes. This system includes many features where you can manage your daily operations. The features provide benefit for both the cafe owner and customer.

The POS system allows you to identify your user details, manage your daily operations like customer inventory, customer bio, your daily sales. This system provides your cafe with a stable marketing platform with a lot of features and customizable for you to pay the fees.

POS system help your cafe to increase their revenue and better control of your cash register.

A number of POS systems are available. Some of the popular POS systems include:

  • Square Register
  • Shopify POS

Pricing

What Comes First?

For most small businesses, it’s important to have a good value proposition for your customer…..

The premise is simple, if your merchandise is priced in an affordable way for your target customer, they’re more likely to purchase.

So if you haven’t already done so, think about what your ideal customer is looking for and how to communicate that to them. This will help you create a comprehensive pricing scheme that you’ll be able to model your POS system around.

How do you Measure the Value Proposition?

When it comes to pricing systems, pricing data should be based on multiple costs to reach the final markup. Depending on your business, you may need to include a number of factors. Here’s how to get started:

  • How long does it take to produce the product?
  • How much do you have to pay for ingredients?
  • How much do you spend on labor for production?
  • How much do you spend on packaging?
  • How much increase in quantity does it take to recover all the expenses?

You can measure this expense in units or in dollars (depending on the markup you’ve determined).

Features

Upserve

PROS

How do I choose a POS System for my Small Business?

What are the different types of POS System?

What are the leading POS Manufacturer?

What are the TOP 5 POS Systems?

CONS

POS stands for Personal point of sale systems. The POS system is the accurate name for your credit card processing terminal. These systems allow you to track inventory, sales, etc.

Majority of cafes use a cash register system because of it’s all in one approach. This simplifies you inventory management, customer management and overall cash management with its convenient features.

There are different ways to pay with credit cards. You can choose between different payment processors like Paypal, Square, Perfect money, etc. All of these payment processor will allow you to setup a standard business account to accept credit cards. You will be able to use the tools they provide to accept credit card transactions.

POS Commerce SaaS offers a comprehensive POS management system for cafes. This system includes many features where you can manage your daily operations. The features provide benefit for both the cafe owner and customer.

The POS system allows you to identify your user details, manage your daily operations like customer inventory, customer bio, your daily sales. This system provides your cafe with a stable marketing platform with a lot of features and customizable for you to pay the fees.

POS system help your cafe to increase their revenue and better control of your cash register.

A number of POS systems are available. Some of the popular POS systems include:

  • Square Register
  • Shopify POS

Pricing

What Comes First?

For most small businesses, it’s important to have a good value proposition for your customer…..

The premise is simple, if your merchandise is priced in an affordable way for your target customer, they’re more likely to purchase.

So if you haven’t already done so, think about what your ideal customer is looking for and how to communicate that to them. This will help you create a comprehensive pricing scheme that you’ll be able to model your POS system around.

How do you Measure the Value Proposition?

When it comes to pricing systems, pricing data should be based on multiple costs to reach the final markup. Depending on your business, you may need to include a number of factors. Here’s how to get started:

  • How long does it take to produce the product?
  • How much do you have to pay for ingredients?
  • How much do you spend on labor for production?
  • How much do you spend on packaging?
  • How much increase in quantity does it take to recover all the expenses?

You can measure this expense in units or in dollars (depending on the markup you’ve determined).

Features

Bottom Line

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE BEST CREDIT CARD READER FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS?

When it comes to managing a small business, no single tool or piece of technology is more important to the operation of a business than point of sale devices and systems. From baristas to doctors, designers and dental professionals, there is a point of sale product for every type of business.

To make the best choice when it comes to selecting the right point of sale system for your business, you must first estimate how often you will be using it, what will be printed on it and how you will access it.

Instructions for how to use and access a particular point of sale system vary based on the different systems, but all use publishing software that will allow you to print out specific documents, menus and inventory.

When choosing the best point of sale system for your business, follow these four simple steps:

Step 1: Choose a CREDIT CARD READER THAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Each type of point of sale reader comes with a dedicated software package. When you are comparing these different packages, first determine the type of POS system you will be utilizing.

There are three types of point of sale systems you could be considering when looking for the best credit card machine for your business. These are manual, semi-automatic and fully automatic.