A man in a black apron stands behind a cash register in a coffee shop. A customer in a denim jacket stands across from him, facing away from the viewer. The cash register sits on a wooden counter and is made up of a large cash drawer and a mounted digital tablet. Behind the tablet, facing the customer, is a small sign reading "Exact Change Only." Behind the cashier, another employee, out of focus, works at a chrome coffee machine.
Some POS software is specifically tailored to restaurants and other businesses in the food and beverage industry. These apps include features like tipping and online ordering. — Getty Images/RichLegg

There are many point-of-sale (POS) systems on the market, and choosing one that’s right for your business can be daunting. Each vendor offers different features, card processing fees, and levels of support. Some are designed for restaurants, while others have e-commerce integrations for sites like WooCommerce and BigCommerce. As you shop around, consider what capabilities would make life easier for you and your employees. Here are some great options to explore for your small business POS.

[Read more: Choosing the Best POS System for Your Company]


Square is an extremely versatile tool made for small businesses across categories: retailers, restaurants, service providers, and everyone in between. Unlike other providers, Square offers a free POS software option with no monthly charges. Its card processing fees are clear and transparent and charged at a flat rate so you know how to budget accordingly. It comes with tons of features and is made to grow with your business.


Clover’s POS is also built to grow with your business, with a huge library of apps that you can add on to help with employee scheduling, inventory management, curbside pickup, and more. It offers a variety of hardware terminals that allow you to accept payments anywhere, even without an internet connection. “You also have the option to pair the hardware and software with a different merchant account, such as one from Wells Fargo, SunTrust, PNC, BBVA or Citi,” noted NerdWallet.


Toast is built for restaurants, with features like floor planning, tipping, large party charges, and a handheld POS that servers can use to take orders and payments around the restaurant. Toast gets high ratings for its customer service, with a comprehensive onboarding and training program to allow you and your team to make the most of Toast’s features. Payment processing fees vary, but pricing starts at $0/month for the Pay-As-You-Go plan. Read the pricing structure carefully to make sure this is the right option for your restaurant.

Square is an extremely versatile tool made for small businesses across categories: retailers, restaurants, service providers, and everyone in between.

Lightspeed Retail

Retail businesses should look into Lightspeed Retail, a solution known for its inventory management capabilities. Its extensive inventory management system allows retailers to add tons of information about each product, including a description, images, cost, MSRP, your selling price, tax and discount rules, tags, barcodes, SKUs, and more. As Merchant Maverick notes, “Lightspeed Retail is easily one of the best retail POS systems at its price point. As long as you’re willing to pay a bit extra, Lightspeed has everything small-to-medium-sized retail businesses could need to sell and manage their business, with excellent customer support to guide you through it all.”


eHopper is an affordable option with all the basic features you need to run your business. There are four plans to choose from, including a free option that includes easy inventory management. There’s also a restaurant version and an e-commerce version that come with slightly more bells and whistles. eHopper works on existing hardware — both Android and iOS — and the brand also offers its own hardware if you’re just starting out.


TouchBistro, as the name implies, is another system built for restaurants. It’s popular among quick-serve restaurants in particular since the software is intuitive for servers and kitchen staff alike — meaning your team can get customers in and out quickly. The system is equipped to work offline, so it’s great for food trucks and event catering. Add-ons like online ordering are available, but they can be a little pricey compared to some other options on this list.


Shopify is known as an e-commerce platform, but it also offers POS software. If you’re working in the e-commerce space, it’s an option worth exploring for its ease of use in managing an online store. This POS can link your online and in-person sales, syncing inventory across multiple channels and allowing you to sell for in-store pickup, local delivery, curbside pickup, or shipping. Note that in order to use the Shopify POS, you will need to select a Shopify plan first.

[Read more: A Guide to Understanding Credit Card Processing]

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