The best restaurant ePOS systems available for businesses in the UK.
Best Restaurant ePOS Systems in 2023
If you are looking for the best ePOS systems, what should you be looking for? You want an ePOS system that facilitates your restaurant business, automating many tasks and reducing the excess business operation hours. Above all, you want an ePOS system that works for your restaurant.
But, how much does an ePOS system cost, and what ongoing costs will you need to pay to enjoy the benefits of this technology?
In this article, we will explore the benefits of ePOS systems and present to you the best restaurant ePOS systems available for businesses in the UK.
|1. TouchBistro||★★★★★||Click Here|
|2. Lightspeed||★★★★★||Click Here|
|3. Toast||★★★★★||Click Here|
|4. ePOS Now||★★★★★||Click Here|
|5. Clover||★★★★★||Click Here|
|6. Zettle||★★★★★||Click Here|
What Is a Restaurant ePOS System?
‘ePOS’ stands for electronic point of sale and is predominantly a payment processing technology that is used every time your business sells a product or service. However, there is much more to an ePOS system than just a ‘point of sale’.
Your restaurant ePOS system will be cloud-based software so you can access the system from any device, ensuring that your business operations can move with the customer.
Your hardware for the system may consist of a main device that is mainly stored at the front desk, with smaller iPad devices or mobile phone devices to be used by each employee.
As well as processing payments, you can manage purchases and inventory, as well as share orders to the kitchen display, aid customer relations management, and track your sales.
Furthermore, download the reports that you want to help you make the next big decision in your business.
How Does a Restaurant ePOS System Work?
A restaurant ePOS system works to assist you in the running of your business.
The system is connected to a cash register or scanner to take payment for transactions in your restaurant. You can accept payments via credit card, debit card, online purchases, and digital wallet payments.
Every aspect of the transaction is recorded by the system, from the value, date and time to the payment method and payment approval. The system will also decrease the inventory levels accordingly once a specific product has been sold.
You can set your inventory controls to automatically re-order stock once stock levels have reached a specific level. This will save your business time and effort and ensure that your business never runs out of a product.
Many systems for restaurants will enable reservations to be made so your employees can manage the dining room effectively. A kitchen display will be linked to the system so the kitchen staff can view the orders in real time, preventing delays or confusion.
You could also manage and track employee attendance along with any issue that arises during the food service.
Do I Need an ePOS System for My Restaurant?
You do need an ePOS system in your restaurant if you want your business operations to run smoothly and without any hindrance. In fact, 86% of restaurants use ePOS systems.
Trying to operate a busy restaurant without an ePOS system could result in slow customer orders, kitchen delays and problems with payments and transactions.
Adopting an ePOS system in your restaurant makes the process of running a business easier, with automated functions and features that improve accuracy and reliability of data.
You will also discover the benefits of menu management when using an ePOS system in your restaurant. For example, you can use the data in the system to assess which menu choices are selling well and which menu choices are not selling well.
If there are any items on the menu that are not selling well, you may choose to remove the option from the menu and focus on the menu items that do sell well. So, you could add a variation of a menu item that is popular with customers, removing less popular items.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Restaurant ePOS System?
The benefits of a restaurant ePOS system are limitless, with numerous features and add-on functions to suit the needs of your business.
Here are the main benefits of using a restaurant ePOS system:
1. Table Ordering
Use the ePOS system to enable your customers to place an order at their table. Some restaurants place a table on each table so the customer can order directly, or stick a QR code to the table so the customer can order using their own mobile phone.
This feature saves the customer time instead of queuing at the front desk, or waiting for the employee to come back to their table to take an order.
2. Online Ordering
Many restaurants are using their ePOS system to allow customers to order online and then turn up at the venue to pick up their order. Once again, this saves time and ensures that online orders are recorded and processed consistently with in-house orders.
3. Table Reservations
Ensure there is never a double booking by using an ePOS system to make customer reservations. You can enter the customer’s details into the reservation along with any cancellations or amendments.
4. Restaurant Marketing
Advertise your new products or services to customers, accessing superb marketing features via the ePOS system.
5. Inventory Management
Manage your stock and automatically re-order stock when using your ePOS system to the full.
Many ePOS systems come with reporting tools to create and prepare numerous reports and documents containing the data you require so you can make well-informed business decisions.
Ensure your business is paid on time and in full when using the ePOS system to bill customers. All transactions are fully tracked and evidenced for future requirements.
8. Feedback Management
Use the ePOS system to manage feedback provided by customers as well as by employees. This can then inform staff training and further policies and decision making.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Using a Restaurant ePOS System?
The main disadvantage of using a restaurant ePOS system is the cost of the hardware to set up the technology.
If you are running a medium-sized business, you could face costs of around £1,500 for the hardware, rising further if you want additional terminals used in your business.
There are also some substantial monthly fees to contend with, with advanced packages costing several hundreds of pounds each month.
Most ePOS providers will also deduct a transaction fee of between 1% and 5% of the purchase value for every sale made in your business, and occasionally a flat fee of 10p to 50p per transaction.
To combat the costs to set up an advanced ePOS system in your restaurant, you could start with a pay-as-you-go option. You will pay a monthly fee of around £25 to £50 to use the system, and you will not be tied to a contract. However, you will not be able to use all of the features offered by the ePOS provider’s contracted plans.
Once you have established your business successfully, it is worthwhile upgrading your plan to a contracted package, once you can afford the hardware costs. Such costs are an investment for your business and are very useful assets. You can also acquire lower transaction fees once you have agreed to a contracted plan.
What Is the Difference Between ePOS and POS Systems?
An ePOS system is a more advanced version of a restaurant POS system.
Traditionally, restaurant POS systems were simply the restaurant point of sale. Restaurant owners could take payment from customers, although there were very few further features except customer support.
However, electronic POS software has revolutionised the hospitality business. You can use a kitchen display system to link orders from the front of house to the kitchen in real time, preventing delays or confusion.
Restaurant owners can implement table management and synchronise reservations, as well taking advantage of menu management to make ordering from the menu easier. Added inventory management also ensures that your stock levels are automatically monitored, re-ordering products when your stock supplies are running low.
At a Glance, Pros and Cons
If you are looking for a clear overview of the advantages and disadvantages of restaurant ePOS systems, look now further.
Here are your main pros and cons:
✔️ Automation — So much of the ePOS system is run automatically with little input from you.
✔️ Accuracy — The data in your business will be accurate and reliable, and free from human error.
✔️ Inventory management — Manage your stock and set the system to automatically re-order stock.
✔️ Speed — An ePOS system ensures that your employees work faster and your customers are serviced faster, improving their customer experience.
❌️ Hardware cost — Hardware costs can be a substantial outlay if you are looking for the most advanced system.
❌️ Transaction fees — Some ePOS providers may charge you a high transaction fee, depending on your plan.
❌️ Over reliability — Relying on technology too much can result in a problem arising if the technology fails.
❌️ Monthly fees — Whilst transaction fees are only charged when you make a payment, your monthly fees must be paid without fail, even if you have not made a sale.
Best Restaurant ePOS System — Reviews
Which restaurant ePOS system is the best choice for your business?
Read our expert reviews of the best restaurant ePOS systems available for businesses in the UK:
1. TouchBistro — Best Overall ePOS System
- iPad device
- Suitable for different venue types
- Loyalty programs
- Kitchen display
- Free trial available
- Monthly fees from £57
The TouchBistro restaurant ePOS system is our favourite choice, suitable for both small and medium businesses and a vast range of different venue types.
You can access support 24/7 so you know you are looked after if any problems arise. Set up loyalty programs to excite and entice customers and add reservations to your restaurant schedule.
The use of the kitchen display enables the kitchens and the front of house to work in sync, improving the customer experience and increasing sales revenue. Integrate a range of payment methods into your system as well as online purchasing capabilities.
To determine whether the TouchBistro restaurant ePOS system is a good fit for your business, access a free trial to experiment with all features. If you decide to go ahead and implement the TouchBistro system, you will pay a monthly fee starting at £57.
2. Lightspeed — Best for Choice of Packages
- iPad device
- Integrate with additional software
- Use offline
- Report in real time
- CRM features
- Essential plan: £59 per month
- Plus plan: £109 per month
- Pro plan: £339 per month
The Lightspeed restaurant ePOS system is a superb choice for your busy business, implementing an iPad tool to manage orders and take card payments.
Integrate with software, such as Xero web-based accounting software, automating many admin tasks whilst ensuring your data is accurate and reliable.
Real-time reporting will ensure you can keep track of your business, making decisions with the latest available information. Furthermore, with additional customer relations management features, you can look after your customers and tailor marketing accordingly.
The offline feature of the Lightspeed restaurant ePOS system means that you can take the device to your customer’s table and process payments on the go, adding to the customer experience and enhancing convenience for both the customer and the employee.
There are three pricing plans that can be adopted with the Lightspeed ePOS system. The Essential plan is the basic package costing £59 per month. You can access integrated social media and manage your inventory for this complete price.
The Plus plan comes with a monthly fee of £109 and adds features such as CRM and additional reporting tools.
Or, you can opt for the Pro plan at £339 each month, adding offline capabilities and 20GB of cloud storage. To find out if this is the best restaurant ePOS system for you, a free trial is available.
3. Toast — Best for Pay-As-You-Go
- Suitable for all hospitality venues
- Integrating software
- Reporting tools
- Pay-as-you-go plan: Pay a monthly fee plus transaction fees
- Essential plan: From £137 per month
- Growth plan: From £243 per month
The Toast ePOS restaurant system is a suitable system for all hospitality venues and all business sizes. You can integrate different types of software into your account, in addition to adding the kitchen display and ‘pay at the table’ features.
Use reporting tools to aid your business decisions and enable your customers to order goods online.
There are three plans available when purchasing the Toast ePOS system. You can purchase the pay-as-you-go plan for a monthly fee as well as transaction fees for every purchase. You are not tied to any contract.
If you want to choose a contract, you can opt for the Essential plan or the Growth plan. The Essentials plan will cost you around £137 per month and will offer free digital ordering for 3 months.
The Growth plan costs £243 and provides your business access to every Toast feature such as a restaurant dashboard.
4. ePOS Now — Best for Different Hardware Choices
- Use numerous devices
- Easy-to-understand prices
- Track your sales
- Manage your inventory
- Choose your hardware preferences
- Free trial available
- Retail plan: Custom price
- Hospitality plan: Custom price
The ePOS Now restaurant system is a good choice if you are looking for tailored retail or hospitality options. You can choose from the Retail plan or the Hospitality plan, depending on the nature of your business. Both plans are priced individually once you get in touch with ePOS Now.
The Retail plan includes a dashboard to manage your goods and create reports on your inventory and customer history. You will receive a dedicated account manager and be able to manage orders and fulfilment issues whilst managing customer relations.
The Hospitality plan is tailored for the restaurant business and also features a dedicated account manager. You can utilise a customised ePOS storefront and implement a product catalogue.
The ePOS Now system can be used with numerous devices and comes with a range of hardware preferences for you to choose from.
5. Clover — Best for Staff Management
- Easy to use
- Barcode scanner
- Lower transaction fees
- Quick Service plan: Hardware £659, monthly fee £45
- Full Service restaurant plan: Hardware £1,400, monthly fee £70
- Transaction fees from 2.3%
Clover’s ePOS system presents an easy-to-use plan for businesses just like yours. The device doubles up as a barcode scanner, and you can attain lower transaction fees in comparison with other ePOS providers.
Clover offers many different plans for you to explore including the Quick Service plan and the Full Service Restaurant plan. Both plans come with a transaction fee of 2.3% of the purchase value per transaction.
The Quick Service plan will require a hardware cost of £659 along with a monthly fee of £45.
The Full Service Restaurant plan will result in a £1,400 hardware cost as well as a £70 monthly fee.
6. Zettle — Best for Low Transaction Fees
- Manage your inventory
- Track sales
- Create gift cards
- View reports in real time
- Custom plans available
- Typical transaction fee: 1.75% of the purchase value
The ePOS system from Zettle is a good ePOS system for your business if you are looking for low transaction fees of as little as 1.75%.
With this system, you can manage your inventory and track your sales so you can understand your business performance and make the best business decisions.
You can view reports in real time to ensure you have all of the data at your fingertips. Furthermore, use the Zettle ePOS system to create gift cards for your business, accessing a custom made price.
Leading Restaurant ePOS Systems: The Verdict
Our favourite restaurant ePOS system is by Toast, offering you a free trial so you can see the benefits of this system for yourself. Monthly fees are priced at around £57, although this cost may change depending on the features you want to access from Toast. You can also access 24/7 support from Toast, which is sometimes a rarity when comparisons are made with other ePOS service providers.
Other leading choices for hospitality businesses include Clover’s ePOS system, enabling restaurant owners to choose whether to purchase a Quick Service plan or a Full Service plan. The Quick Service plan will cost a hardware price of £659 in addition to a monthly fee of £45, although this package is suited to the style and needs of the quick service restaurant.
Alternatively, the Full Service plan will cost you a hardware fee of £1,400 along with a monthly cost of £70, meeting the high-end requirements of the full service restaurant. Transaction fees across the Clover plans will be charged at a rate of 2.3% of the purchase value. There are no fixed fees to be aware of, however.
Best Restaurant ePOS Systems: FAQs
Is a restaurant ePOS system a point of sale system?
A restaurant ePOS system is a point of sale system with many other features and functions such as inventory management, staff attendance management, and CRM management.
Your restaurant ePOS provider may allow you to choose the features and tools that suit the nature of your business, ensuring that you get the most out of the technology.
Do quick service restaurants use ePOS systems?
Both quick service and full service restaurants use ePOS systems, along with any other types of hospitality businesses in between. If your business uses inventory, sells goods or services, and manages staff attendance, an ePOS system will benefit you.
Can an ePOS system integrate customer loyalty programs?
Many types of ePOS system will be able to use customer loyalty programs and implement rewards for customers, as well as redeemable benefits.
Get Bank Deals & More
Sign up for our email updates on the best bank deals, money savings tips and more.