If you are looking for a combination of culture, public interaction, and local flavors, food trucks have it all.
From hot dog carts to gourmet food trucks providing anything from tacos to sushi and beyond, the food truck phenomenon is here to stay.
The crash of 2008 forced many gourmet chefs out of the restaurant industry and looking for ways to bring their talent in the kitchen back to the people.
Many of these top chefs turned to food trucks and catering as a way to continue to share their love for food with their customers – and so the food truck boom began.
While yes, the cash only model may have worked in the beginning, many popular food trucks owners soon realized that they needed a fast and efficient way to collect payment and keep the lines moving.
This is where POS systems for food trucks come into play.
Today we are going to review the top 5 POS systems for food trucks and small catering businesses and how they can help streamline your own business.
Let’s get started!
Square for Restaurants
The first on our list, and the best overall POS option is Square for Restaurants.
Square for Restaurant is a cloud based point of sale (POS) system and it is actually free with their baseline software subscription.
It operates on iPads, iPhones and any Android device as long as they are Wifi enabled.
While the baseline software subscription is free, you do have to pay for the processing fees on credit, debit or contactless payments.
To take full advantage of all of the Square for Restaurant apps features, you need to upgrade to the paid subscription versions.
- Free online site for delivery and pickup
- Mobile payments
- Menu management features with customizable layouts
- Integrations with employee time-tracking, personal pass-codes, reservations, delivery and pickup software, and more.
- Robust reporting including close of day reports, daily statistics, top-line summary charts, monthly and yearly trends and more.
- Floor plan and table management
- Live sales
- Square KDS – digital tickets, synced displays, ticket timers
- No setup fees – easy do-it yourself installation system
- Processing fees are 2.6% + 10 cents per dipped or swiped transaction
- Free trial available
Free version – 2.6% + 10 cents processing fee for in-person and invoice payments or 2.9% + 30 cents for online payments.
Plus version – $60 per location per month plus $40 per month additional POS plus 2.9% + 30 cents for online payments
Premium version – Custom pricing based on needs
Toast has a ton of incredibly online reviews from happy restaurant and food cart owners.
Toast is a cloud-based POS system designed specifically for the food and beverage industry.
They originally only provided POS systems for large sized food industry businesses but recently expanded to also meet the needs of small and micro-sized food businesses.
This POS system is known for its seamless online ordering system which they improved and fine tuned in 2020.
Users of the Toast POS system have also praised the mobility and processing functionalities of the system.
- Easy to use and rated best in this category
- Cloud based
- Contactless ordering
- Contactless payments
- Tableside service which included handheld technology for ordering and payments
- Robust reporting including location overviews, sales summary reports, product mix reports, and more.
- Menu management and customization
- Open integrations
- 0% interest financing for hardware purchases
- No free trial, but a Demo is available
Their pricing is broken down into a few different categories depending on your restaurants size and needs:
Starter Plan – 0$ per month + any add-ons you need like online ordering & delivery, takeout app, marketing features, etc.
Essentials Plan – $165 per month + any additional add-ons as mentioned above
Growth Plan – $272 per month + any additional add-ons as mentioned above
All of the plans have the base rate + any additional add-ons and features which will be custom to your needs.
For a personalized quote and more pricing information, visit their pricing page here.
Hardware – In addition to the subscription pricing mentioned above, they have a large list of hardware that can be used in conjunction with the software. These include self-order kiosks, KDSs, POS tablets, card readers, and more. Pricing starts around $799.
Payment processing fees are 2.49% + 15 cents for in person payments and 2.99% + 15 cents for online payments. Note that Toast customer must use their built-in payment processing tools, you cannot use your own payment processing.
Another stellar point of sale system for restaurants and food carts is Revel.
Revel is also a cloud-based POS system and is definitely considered a more higher end option.
With fancy features like social media integrations, an Always On more for doing business offline, and advanced tax features to streamline the local sales tax guidelines and requirements, this POS system has a lot to offer.
- Installation fee includes the complete setup of the POS sytem from the network terminals to the payment processor and they will even upload your menu for you.
- Always On Mode to keep your business running even if your connection goes down.
- Online ordering
- Self-Service Kiosk
- Mobile order
- SmartPay – SMS text-to-pay and QR code scan-to-pay for in-store transactions
- Quickbooks integration for finance and accounting
- Management solutions including employee management and tiome tracking, kitchen and table management, product management and menu building, and cash management.
- Open API
- No free trial but a Demo is available
Software Subscription – Revels pricing is subscription based and starts at $99 per month for one register.
Fees are billed annually and the pricing is based on a three-year service contract.
Hardware Requirements – You can purchase all of your hardware needs through Revel which include iPads, kiosks, printers, cash drawers, and more.
Installation – Revel offers an installation package that includes everything you need to get up and running, including uploading your menu and logos. Installation starts at $674 and many customers have said that paying for the installation was worth every penny because they also offer excellent customer support. The installation cost even includes console training.
Rezku POS is available as a cloud-based solution or as an on-premise solution.
Some of their notable key features include customized floors, check splitting, customizable reports, food and inventory costing, employee time-tracking and scheduling, contactless ordering an payments, and more.
Rezku POS has a pretty robust reporting module that can help you see real-time data about your business and it offers and offline mode setting.
We also love that Rezku offer 24/7 customer support through online chat, e-mail or phone.
- Built-in online ordering module
- Cloud based POS that operates on iPads
- QR codes to turn smartphones into a digital menu
- Scan and go technology for ordering and payments
- Online ordering customization features including unlimited menus and products, unlimited photos and descriptions, custom colors and logos, online menu
- Takeout, delivery and curbside capabilities
- Rezku offers its customer loyalty and marketing functionalities in its baseline system
- Manage employees and staff with timetracking, automated payroll reporting, labor cost tracking, granular system permissions, and more
- Robust inventory system which also integrates with 3rd party inventory systems
- No installation fees
- Free trial available
Software subscription – Rezku POS pricing starts at $49 per month and includes online ordering, inventory management, loyalty rewards and gift card program, KDS and CFD.
The $49 per month is for a single license.
They do have a free starter subscription that has more limited capabilities as well.
Hardware – Several hardware packages are available depending on your needs including mobile or stationary terminals. They also offer 0% financing options and free installation/setup.
Additional Software – Additional software is available including KDS, customer facing displays, reservations and waitlist functions, gift cards and more.
For a more customized quote, visit their pricing page here.
Right off that bat we noticed that many customers loved TouchBistro because you can choose your own payment processor, a feature that many other POS systems do not have.
TouchBistro is also Cloud-based and offer a simple inventory tracking and sales reporting feature that has been positively reviewed.
Notable features include their easy online ordering, self service kiosks, QR code functionality, and as mentioned above, you can choose your own payment processor.
- Operates entirely on the cloud via iPads, making it highly mobile
- Online ordering directly from your website
- Reservations manager
- Well developed loyalty module to keep track of loyal customers and promote loyalty programs and rewards
- Mobile POS facilitates table-side ordering
- Menu management
- App integrations
- Robust reporting and analytics including real time sales tracking, guest spend behavior and more.
- POS links to digital marketing boards
- 24/7 customer support
- DIY installation, means there are no installation fees
- Free trial available
Software subscription – Pricing starts at $69 per month with additional software features that can be added on ranging from $25 to $229 per month. You can choose to use their flat rate payment processing system or your own third-party payment processor.
Hardware – This POS system runs enitrely on iPads which are sold separately.