The Best POS Systems for Coffee Shops

Registers — or point-of-sale (POS) systems — represent the home base of every coffee shop. To help you make the right choice for your shop, here’s an overview of some of the most popular options:


Top Coffee Shop POS Systems

Point of Sale systems usually provide the place where baristas greet and interact with customers as well as detailed financial information about the business. Your POS system documents every customer interaction, making it critical to the daily operation of your shop. Because coffee shops serve diverse customers in a wide variety of locations, your business’s specific needs should inform the selection of your POS system.

What to Look for in a Coffee Shop POS System or Cafe POS System

When evaluating Coffee Shop POS (point of sale) systems, be sure to consider these four factors:

  • Efficiency: During peak rush times, you want to ensure your register won’t slow down your baristas. To ensure your POS (point of sale) system promotes efficiency in a user-friendly format, look at each system’s item organization and page setup. Be sure to also assess the number of steps required for baristas to move from taking an order to payment.
  • Features: Coffee shop POS (point of sale) systems do more than just facilitate payments. Modern registers now come with many other features to help simplify daily operations. Look for customer profile tools, email or text receipt options,  inventory management, and sales tracking capabilities.
  • Contracts and Fees: Coffee shop POS (point of sale) system pricing can vary between contracts, fees, and required hardware purchases. In order to offer competitive pricing, some companies will give new customers a price break. Comparing prices and searching for a system that requires no fees or contracts can help you save money. As they say devil is in the detail, make sure to look at payment processing costs. Some POS (point of sale) systems will offer a small annual price, but will charge a bigger percent for payment processing. 
  • Customer Service: Your POS (point of sale) system is the central point of your coffee shop. That means any issues with this equipment can lead to a loss in sales and customers. As such, make sure the company from which you buy your POS (point of sale) system offers easily accessible and helpful customer service when your business needs it most.

Best Overall: Lightspeed POS

The Lightspeed point of sale system targets coffee shops and bakeries. Two of its key features include quick software installation and its ability to work offline, which prevents lost sales during internet service outages. This system also includes programs for real-time sales tracking as well as basic reporting on everything from inventory management to labor. If you want more advanced features, you must pay a bit more. Add-ons cost an extra $12 or $39 per month, depending on the specific service(s) you select.


Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Easy Setup and Operation – Operating a coffee shop requires efficiency because few customers have much patience when it comes to their first caffeine fix of the day. Lightspeed not only provides an easy setup, but also an intuitive design that will keep morning rushes running smoothly.
  • Customer-Facing Display – This feature may cost a little extra, but it can help you eliminate order mistakes and waste by ensuring you get every order right.

Lightspeed Pricing

With one of the cheapest monthly subscriptions, the Lightspeed Cafe POS system costs $59 per month if billed annually or $69 per month if billed monthly. Transaction fees for credit and debit card processing are 2.6 percent plus 10 cents and 2.6 percent plus 30 cents for all keyed-in transactions. Add-on features cost extra, such as:

$12 Monthly Add-On Features

  • Customer-Facing Display
  • Kitchen Display System
  • Advanced Reporting
  • Self-Order Table Menu


$39 Monthly Add-On Features

  • Accounting
  • Loyalty Program
  • Loyalty App
  • Self-Order Kiosk
  • Delivery Integration


Software Features – 4.5/5

Lightspeed includes some really helpful features in its Cafe POS system, such as basic labor and inventory management tools, end-of-day reporting, and offline mode. However, other features come with an additional cost.

Ease of Use – 4/5

The Lightspeed POS system boasts a super simple setup and installation process. Its intuitive design also makes it easy to learn how to use the software.

Customer Service – 5/5

With Lightspeed’s 24/7 customer service, you can always reach one of the company’s representatives to help you troubleshoot any issues that arise with your system.

Value – 4/5

Lightspeed offers one of the cheapest monthly subscriptions, making its Cafe POS system a value if you only need the basics. If you want more sophisticated functionality, however, prepare to pay at least $110 per month in order to access features like loyalty programs and advanced reporting.

Best Ipad POS: ShopKeep® iPad POS System

ShopKeep is known for its no-contract, pay-as-you-go business model; this iPad-centric point of sale system makes a perfect companion for coffee shop owners looking to minimize their contractual obligations. Each ShopKeep plan focuses on the needs of the consumer and therefore enables customization based on your specific business needs.

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Made for Coffee Shops – Built with smaller businesses in mind, ShopKeep POS system provides all the tools you need to run your coffee shop. It creates a custom package of features you need to operate effectively based on a personalized quote.
  • No Contracts – Because commitments can pose a challenge for new small business owners, ShopKeep eliminates this risk by offering a pay-as-you-go business model.

Shopkeep Pricing: Varies
Click here for a free, personalized quote. (Previously, the company charged $69 per month.)

Software Features – 3/5
This can vary, depending on your shop’s specific needs and your personalized ShopKeep quote.

Ease of Use – 4.5/5
ShopKeep users comment on the simple setup and ease of use because this Cafe POS system relies solely on their own device.

Customer Service – 4.5/5
Online customer reviews of ShopKeep POS system generally feature positive comments. Some users specifically noted the company’s personalized approach to price quotes demonstrates a strong focus on what small business owners need in order to succeed.

Value – 4/5
Based on previous prices as well as common reports of low costs, ShopKeep maintains its reputation for affordable pricing.

Best Low-cost POS: Square 

The Square Stand and Square Reader for contactless and chip payments includes a stand with a card swiper and a contactless card reader. Rather than requiring you to commit to purchasing an entire register, it simply requires you to have an iPad® and a Square account. You only need to download the Square app and purchase the hardware. The Square app includes reports, staff management tools, the ability to receive orders and payments, and a connection to food delivery services like Caviar.

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Made for Coffee Businesses – Specifically designed with coffee shops in mind, this version of the Square point of sale system includes easily customizable items, streamlined communication of orders between the register and baristas, and tipping screens. It also features customer profiles, which include regular orders, visit counts, and digital punch cards to encourage repeat visits. Together, these features help foster a positive experience for both your regular customers and your staff.
  • Strong Usability – Square accounts help simplify business planning by making it easy to manage reviews and daily operations as well as to retrieve reports.
  • Minimal Appearance – With hardware available in white or black, Square products provide a low profile suitable for any decor style.

Square Register Pricing: $199

This includes just the Square hardware, but users may add an optional 2018 iPad for $329. Beyond this initial purchase price, Square Stand users also must pay Square 2.75 percent per transaction.

Software Features – 4/5
Square accounts include many helpful features, such as reports, reviews, and staff management tools. Business owners can use their account across multiple devices and locations. However, some business owners view the need to purchase an iPad or tablet as a drawback.

Ease of Use – 4/5
Built with ease in mind, Square simplifies the process of taking orders and payments while supporting customizable item placement. This makes it possible for you or your staff to create the optimal register experience.

Customer Service – 3.5/5
While some Square users report a lack of responsiveness from customer service representatives, according to online customer reviews, they also cite an extensive FAQ section on Square’s website to aid in troubleshooting.

Value – 4/5
Even with the additional cost of an iPad to operate the system, Square’s initial costs fall below its competitors while offering comparable transaction rates.

Best Ease-of-use POS: Clover Station

This fully integrated system empcompasses all of the necessities in order to operate your business smoothly with no hidden fees or other hardware required. With the purchase of the Clover Station, you have access to staff management tools, reports while taking orders and payments as well as easy-to-use inventory tracking to make ordering items for your shop a breeze. Features beyond these are an additional $29.00 per month not including the percentage taken from every transaction. For this added cost you can access additional features, such as inventory management tools, item reporting to track sales, optional paperless and offline modes, contactless and traditional payments, and $100,000 worth of liability protection against data breaches not included in the purchase of the station alone.

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Strong Usability – Clover’s efficient operating system and Software Features, such as reports and staff management tools, provide helpful tools in food service. It enables business owners to better track and prepare for daily operations, specifically during peak business hours, to help promote fast customer service.
  • Sleek Appearance – The Clover Station offers a sleek, modern design while remaining discreet. That makes it suitable for any specialty coffee shop because the system easily blends in with a shop’s decor.

Clover Pricing: $1,149

Beyond the initial purchase price, Clover Station users must pay Clover 2.3 percent plus 10 cents per in-person transaction or 3.5 percent plus 10 cents per keyed-in transaction with the option to instead pay $69 per month. Users also must budget for a $29 monthly fee to add common features to their system.

Software Features – 2/5

While many other point of sale systems include features for tasks like inventory management or item reporting and tracking, Clover charges an additional fee. The Clover Station’s Software Features represent the basics of what a POS system should offer.

Ease of Use – 4/5

This system is fully integrated with an included printer, making the process of taking orders and payments seamless.

Customer Service – 2/5

Based on online customer reviews, users note that Clover provides unreliable customer service despite advertising 24/7 customer support.

Value – 3/5

The Clover Station is more expensive than comparable products without the Software Features commonly offered by competing POS providers.

Best Non-profit POS: Loyverse

Nonprofit organization Loyverse provides free point of sale software designed for coffee shops that users can easily download onto a tablet or smartphone. This POS system boasts an impressive list of features, including inventory reporting, loyalty program capabilities, and multiple location management tools. The only costs associated with this POS system involve any necessary hardware or add-ons not included in its featured offerings.

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Strong Affordability – If your business only needs basic point of sale functionality, you may not need to pay anything for this system beyond the hardware costs. That will keep more money in your pocket to invest in other areas of your business.
  • Customer Loyalty Incentives – This system’s free loyalty program allows your customers to opt in to gain rewards whenever they make a purchase, encouraging them to keep coming back.

Loyverse Pricing

You can use Loyverse’s free software on any Android or iOS device. Loyverse does, however, sell hardware — like printers, terminals, and stands — as well as add-on features not included with its free software. Add-on features include:

  • Employee Management: $5 per employee or $50 for unlimited employees per month
  • Advanced Inventory Management: $25 per month

For payment processing with the Loyverse POS system, you have two options: 

Worldpay with transaction fees of 2.9 percent and 30 cents per transaction along with a required multi-year contract
SumUp with transaction fees of 2.95 percent and 15 cents per transaction along with a month-to-month, cancel-anytime policy

Software Features – 3.5/5

Most of the Software Features in Loyverse’s free Cafe POS software are pretty standard for this type of system. However, Loyverse’s loyalty program — a feature that costs extra on many competing POS systems — sets the company apart. 

Ease of Use – 4/5

Managing your business is easy with instant access to your back office, including the ability to adjust menu items as well as add modifiers or discounts. This software also makes it easy to process orders. 

Customer Service – 4/5

Loyverse offers several options for customer support, including 24/7 live chat and phone assistance, an online help center, and a community forum. Customers provided stellar reviews for all of these support options. 

Value – 3.5/5

Free is a hard price to beat and, with Loyverse’s Software Features, the company delivers an incredible value for a Cafe POS system. However, being a freeware, it is limited in features and integrations. 

Best Large-scale POS: Revel Systems

Revel Systems offers point of sale system packages designed for a variety of business types — from retailers to restaurants. This advanced POS system boasts a large number of helpful features, such as back-of-the-house reporting, a built-in card processor, a variety of management tools, and offline capabilities. Revel Systems has a reputation for serving large companies like Goodwill® that require a POS system with multiple location capabilities and detailed reporting. 

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Offline Capabilities – Don’t let an internet outage halt your order processing. With this POS system’s offline capabilities, you can keep the orders coming with or without internet access. 
  • Advanced Reporting – Analytics from back-of-the-house reports provide valuable insights on the growth of your business, which can help you make decisions to expand even further. 

Revel Pricing 

Pricier than some competing products, Revel Systems’ Cafe POS software starts at $99 per month when billed annually and accompanied by a mandatory, three-year contract. You also must pay for initial setup ($649), the required hardware, and transaction fees. For a tailored estimate, request a quote.

Software Features – 5/5

This system’s advanced software comes with a long list of Software Features, such as customizable discounts, a gift card program, easy order processing with the ability to split checks and build customer tabs, as well as employee, inventory, and product management tools. All of these features also work without internet service thanks to the system’s offline capabilities. 

Ease of Use – 3.5/5

This is not the most intuitive POS software because it’s so advanced. However, Revel Systems includes training videos for the back-end software and a helpful onboarding tool to make training new employees simple. 

Customer Service – 5/5

Revel Systems offers 24/7 customer support for its POS system across several platforms. These include Revel Assistant; phone, email, and web support; remote technicians; social media assistance; and Revel University — an online resource for troubleshooting issues with your system.

Value – 3/5

While Revel Systems’ pricing and required contracts aren’t always viable for small businesses, its Cafe POS system does include many helpful features. It’s a great option for established coffee shops with multiple locations, but may not prove as valuable for smaller businesses. 

NCR Aloha

The NCR Corporation designed the NCR Aloha POS system for use in restaurants or coffee shops. With more than 75,000 restaurants around the world already using the system, it has a strong reputation within the food service industry. This system’s long list of additional features includes training mode, remote menu access to enable necessary changes, as well as sales, inventory, and labor reporting. Users also have the option of a stationary or mobile terminal, making the NCR Aloha point of sale system usable for any type of coffee business.

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Built for Food Service – Specifically designed for restaurants, the NCR Aloha POS system optimizes every feature for food service management — including real-time sales, labor, and inventory tracking from any device.
  • Quick Checkout – This POS system delivers a quick and easy checkout process — extremely important for coffee shops with busy rush times and customers seeking a fast caffeine fix.

NCR Aloha Pricing

Unfortunately, NCR doesn’t provide pricing details online about its NCR Aloha POS system. To obtain this information, you must request a quote.

Software Features – 4/5

From specialized takeout operations to remote system monitoring, this Cafe POS system comes loaded with features designed to make food service easy and manageable.

Ease of Use – 4/5

Anyone with food service experience should find this system easy to operate. Employees with less experience have the option of learning via the system’s training mode, making the NCR Aloha POS system user-friendly for both beginners and food service veterans.

Customer Service – 3/5

NCR provides customer service for its NCR Aloha POS system through a help desk 16 hours a day. However, based on customer reviews, its customer service is less than satisfactory with many users reporting slow response times from support representatives.

Value – 3/5

With no pricing information listed on NCR’s website, it’s tough to assess the value of this POS system. However, based on customer reviews and the Software Features, this system likely would work best for coffee shops with several locations looking to streamline their Cafe POS systems.

Toast POS

As a fairly new company established in 2012, Toast specifically targets restaurants with competitive pricing and a long list of Cafe POS system features designed to simplify daily operations. With real-time sales, inventory, and labor tracking, the Toast POS system does more than just take orders.

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • Intuitive Design – Toast’s easy-to-use point of sale terminal not only simplifies new employee training, but also makes those once-stressful morning rushes manageable.
    Strong Incentive Features – With add-on loyalty and gift card features, the Toast POS system helps you turn customers into regulars. Specifically, it enables you to encourage people to frequent your business without the hassle of carrying a punch card.

Toast Pricing

To set up Toast POS services, you’ll pay an installation fee of $499 plus the cost of your chosen hardware. Mobile hardware alone costs $450 while a terminal bundle that includes a printer, credit card reader, cash drawer, and tablet with a stand costs $1,350. After you purchase a POS terminal, Toast subscriptions start at $75 per month with additional fees for add-on features like:

  • Loyalty Program: $25 per month
  • Physical and Digital Gift Cards: $50 per month
  • Online Ordering: $50 per month
  • While Toast doesn’t list its credit card processing fees, it does state that it offers flat rates with no hidden fees. To learn more about your expected transaction fees, you must request a quote.

Software Features – 4/5

A subscription to Toast services provides what you need to operate the basics of your business for a competitive price and then some. This system comes equipped with reporting for labor, inventory, tips, and customers, giving you access to every aspect of your business. 

Ease of Use – 4/5

This user-friendly POS system makes tasks like voiding orders, splitting checks, and running close-of-day audit reports quick and manageable. It’s intuitive terminal also simplifies order processing for every level of employee — even during your busiest hours of the day. However, many customers report experiencing unexpected system slowdowns that can cause issues during peak business hours.

Customer Service – 5/5

Dedicated to providing the best customer service, Toast offers 24/7 support with live representatives. The company boasts great user reviews about its attentiveness to customer needs.

Value – 4.5/5

Toast’s reputation for competitive pricing and list of Software Features ensures you get a great product for a low price when compared to other POS systems.

Lavu

Lavu offers tailored point of sale system packages for every type of restaurant and food service business, including coffee shops. It provides specialized features designed to make your shop run smoothly, such as a customer database that supports loyalty programs, inventory and staff management tools, and a modifier program that encourages upselling.

Lavu sells its products through Lavu resellers, which operate like independent sales organizations. In this industry, however, independent sales organizations have a reputation for a lack of transparency — a concerning aspect of Lavu’s pricing structure.

Why It Works for Coffee Shops

  • User-Friendly Modifiers – Lavu makes it easy to add milk substitutes, syrups, and any other modifier you want on your menu to your POS system. It also seamlessly blends those add-ons into the ordering process.
  • Multiple Location Management Capabilities – For coffee shops that operate multiple locations, this system provides complete control of each location’s POS details — including menu restrictions and inventories.

Lavu Pricing

Lavu offers competitive pricing for its software: $69 per month if billed annually or $79 per month if billed monthly. That doesn’t, however, include your hardware costs, which can range from $399.99 to $1,499.99 with the option for leasing. While Lavu claims to have the lowest transaction fees, you should request a custom quote.

Software Features – 5/5

Lavu POS software boasts more than 300 Software Features, such as inventory and employee management tools, a modifier program, and a customer database that supports loyalty programs.

Ease of Use – 3/5

The Lavu POS system is not as intuitive as some of its competitors, but users can gain proficiency with a little practice and/or training. Customers reported this software as more complicated than some competing systems, which can make onboarding new employees difficult.

Customer Service – 4/5

When you subscribe to Lavu services, the company provides 24/7 customer support via phone and email as well as live chat during business hours.

Value – 3/5

Lavu offers a pretty affordable system when you consider that it comes with more than 300 Software Features. For coffee shops seeking a POS system with perks, Lavu provides a great option for the price. However, the requirement to buy Lavu products and services through a reseller can diminish the overall value by subjecting you to hidden fees.

Which Coffee POS System Should You Choose?

For most coffee shops, Lightspeed is an ideal choice for a POS system. It has coffee shop-focused features, competitive prices, and strong usability perspectives that combine to create a seamless experience for both you and your customers. If you budget is tight, then we recommend Square for Restaurants. They are right behind Lightspeed on features and usability.  

Check out our Finding the Right Equipment for Your Cafe guide to find the best brewers, grinders, and other things your cafe will need.

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