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7 Best Cafe & Coffee Shop POS Systems


Choosing the right POS (Point of Sale) system is essential for smooth operations and exceptional customer service. A top-tier cafe or coffee shop POS system streamlines transactions and integrates seamlessly with inventory management, customer loyalty programs, and online ordering features. 

The market offers a variety of restaurant POS systems designed to cater to the unique demands of the coffee industry. This article explores the best POS systems for cafes and coffee shops, highlighting key features that can help elevate the customer experience and optimize operational efficiency.

What is a cafe POS?

cafe pos - coffee shop

A Cafe POS (Point of Sale) system is a specialized POS software and hardware designed specifically for cafes and coffee shops. It’s engineered to meet the distinctive operational demands of the coffee service industry, offering more than just transaction processing capabilities.

These systems accommodate essential functions vital to cafes and coffee shops, including:

  • Order management 
  • Managing inventory
  • Customized drink orders (like varying sizes and add-on flavors)
  • Integration with online ordering systems and platforms 
  • Dynamic pricing for different sizes and special ingredients
  • Delivery management 

Cafe and coffee shop POS systems streamline order-taking, ensure accuracy in crafting drinks, oversee kitchen and counter operations smoothly, and enhance customer satisfaction by reducing wait times and errors. 

Tailored to meet the unique needs of cafes, these systems are essential for boosting production efficiency and service quality, making them invaluable assets for businesses seeking operational optimization.

How can a coffee shop POS system help cafes?

cafe pos - coffee shop

Coffee shop POS technology offers specialized features to address the cafe’s unique challenges and operational needs. Here’s how it can significantly benefit coffee shops:

  • Order management: Coffee shop POS technology streamlines the entire ordering process, from the point of sale to the delivery of orders to the kitchen, ensuring efficiency and accuracy.
  • Online ordering integration: Seamless integration with online platforms and online ordering systems enables customers to place orders remotely, enhancing convenience and boosting sales.
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  • Inventory management: Provides all the tools for real-time inventory tracking and restaurant inventory management, helping cafes manage stock levels effectively and reduce waste.
  • Restaurant analytics: The ideal POS system offers detailed analytics and reporting features, allowing cafes to make data-driven decisions to improve production efficiency and profitability.
  • Customer Relationship Management (restaurant CRM): Incorporates features that enable cafes to gather valuable customer data, supporting targeted marketing efforts and customer retention strategies.
  • Loyalty programs: Facilitates the implementation of cafe loyalty programs, encouraging repeat business through rewards and incentives, thus enhancing customer retention.
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  • User-Friendly POS Hardware: Offers user-friendly POS hardware and an integrated kitchen display system that simplifies operations for staff, leading to faster service and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Guest-Facing POS Screen: Features like guest-facing POS screens enhance customer experience by offering transparency and engaging customers in checkout.
  • Self-Service Kiosks: Including self-service kiosks as part of the POS hardware suite allows customers to place their orders directly, reducing wait times and improving order accuracy.
  • Integrated Kitchen Display System: Ensures that orders are communicated efficiently to the kitchen, improving order turnaround times and overall production efficiency.
  • Labor management: Coffee shop POS systems are equipped to manage employee schedules, monitor hours worked, and facilitate payroll processing. This capability allows optimal staff allocation during peak periods, effectively managing labor costs. Learn more about restaurant scheduling software here.

These aspects highlight how a comprehensive coffee shop POS system can streamline day-to-day operations and play a crucial role in building customer loyalty and driving business growth.

cafe pos - coffee shop

What is the best POS system for a coffee shop?

Choosing the best POS system for a coffee shop depends on size, budget, and specific needs. However, several systems are widely regarded for their comprehensive features tailored to the unique requirements of coffee shops.

Here are the top 7 systems to consider, along with their features and benefits for your coffee shop.

FeatureSquare for RestaurantsToast POSCloverLightspeedTouchBistroLavuKORONA POS
Inventory Management
Order Management
Payment Processing
Reporting & Analytics
Customer Management
Integration with Third-Party Systems
Loyalty Program
Mobile-Friendly Interface
Offline ModeLimitedLimited
User-Friendly Interface
Scalability & Customization
Customer Support

1. Square for Restaurants

cafe pos - square for restaurants

Square for Restaurants, a dedicated POS solution by Square tailored for the food service sector, is recognized for its user-friendliness, simple configuration, and clear pricing structure.

Targeting small to medium-sized enterprises, it provides an array of functionalities to enhance online ordering, manage tables efficiently, and gather customer insights.

cafe pos - square for restaurants

Seamless online ordering integration
Frequent system freezes noted by some users, necessitating restarts
Intuitive interface with rapid configuration
Variable response times from otherwise reliable customer support
Efficient management of customer order history recall, including email, phone number, and previous payment information

Reports of restricted flexibility in areas like loyalty schemes and discount setups


The monthly fees are as follows:

  • Free – $0 per month + processing fees
  • Plus – $29+ per month + processing fees
  • Premium – custom pricing + processing fees

For more information, visit the Square POS website.

2. Toast POS

cafe pos -  toast pos logo

Toast POS is an all-encompassing restaurant management solution tailored for the broad spectrum of the food service sector, including coffee shops. Its cloud-based platform has comprehensive tools to optimize restaurant operations, improve customer interactions, and increase sales.

Toast offers a variety of specialized hardware options, such as point-of-sale terminals, mobile devices for tableside orders, kitchen displays, and printers, all designed to work seamlessly with its software.

While the software’s cloud-based nature allows certain management tasks to be performed from any device with internet access, fully harnessing the power of Toast POS for tasks like order taking, processing, and comprehensive management requires adopting these proprietary hardware solutions.

cafe pos -  toast pos

Integrated online ordering
The full operation of Toast POS is dependent on the use of specialized hardware
User-friendly menu management with adaptable customization options
Some users have encountered intermittent problems with the magnetic swipe card reader
Detailed analytics on customer behavior and sales performance

Commitment to a two-year agreement is necessary


A cafe pays a monthly subscription fee for the chosen plan:

  • Quick Start Bundle – $0
  • Core – $69
  • Build Your Own – Custom pricing

More details on the Toast POS website.

3. Clover

cafe pos - clover logo

The Clover POS system is a versatile and user-friendly platform for businesses of all sizes, from small cafes to full-scale restaurants and retail stores. It offers various hardware options, from portable devices for tableside ordering to stationary countertop setups, making it adaptable to various business models.

Clover’s app marketplace further enhances its functionality, allowing businesses to customize their POS system with various applications for inventory management, customer loyalty, and more.

cafe pos - clover website

Highly user-friendly with broad acceptance of various credit cards and payment methods
Some users have reported that tablets sometimes malfunction and require a system reboot; a hard reset typically resolves the issue
Clover manufactures all its POS hardware in-house, eliminating the need for external vendors for device requirements
No cafe loyalty program in the Starter plan
Clover's wireless devices are user-friendly for staff, offering robust security features at various user levels and versatile reporting capabilities

Unable to integrate a preferred external payment processor


There are free plans to choose from:

  • STARTER – $100 per month for 36 months or $799+ $54.95 per month
  • STANDARD – $140 per month for 36 months or $1,799+ $54.95 per month
  • ADVANCED – $190 per month for 36 months or $2,398+ $69.90 per month

More details on the Clover website.

4. Lightspeed

cafe pos - lightspeed logo

Lightspeed provides a cloud-based POS system for the retail and restaurant sectors,  including coffee shops. 

Its comprehensive inventory management, in-depth analytics, and effortless compatibility with numerous external applications stand out, positioning it as a flexible option for expanding coffee shop businesses.

cafe pos - lightspeed

Intuitive interface featuring item search and categorization
Some users have reported the need for regular updates and occasional system glitches
Extensive compatibility with third-party integrations
Some users have noted delays in customer support response time
Free trial available

The initial steep learning curve


You can choose from the following 3 plans:

  • Starter that costs $69 per month
  • Essential that costs $189 per month
  • Premium that costs $399 per month

More details on the Lightspeed website. 

5. TouchBistro

cafe pos -  touchbistro logo

TouchBistro is tailored for the restaurant sector, providing a cloud-based POS solution that streamlines ordering procedures and boosts customer interaction. Known for its intuitive interface, it facilitates tableside service, allows for easy menu adjustments, and aids in kitchen operations, making it an ideal choice for coffee shops across various sizes.

cafe pos -  touchbistro

Easy setup and daily maintenance, featuring uncomplicated entry for products, ingredients, modifiers, and prices
Compatibility is restricted to iOS devices, potentially limiting for certain businesses.
A user-friendly interface that's easy to navigate
Some users have noted long wait times for customer support
Reports are detailed and easy to understand

Some users reported that discounts are not displaying on day printouts


Pricing begins at $69 monthly. For a personalized quote, visit the TouchBistro website.

6. Lavu

cafe pos -  lavu logo

Lavu is a mobile POS system designed specifically for the restaurant industry, offering features that support order management, payment processing, inventory control, and customer interaction. It’s known for its flexibility, catering to various food service establishments, from cafes and food trucks to full-service restaurants and bars.

cafe pos -  lavu

A dual pricing program can reduce payment processing costs
Some users have expressed frustration with customer service, citing challenges in reaching support and receiving inadequate assistance
Many users reported that software evolves in response to customer needs, ensuring it remains current and comprehensive
Some users noticed frequent system outages, leading to interruptions in credit card processing and order handling
Simple process for adding, modifying, and removing menu items
Some users reported you can't use this POS system if the internet goes down or the server stops working
Cloud-based nature simplifies operations, allowing for swift updates and changes on the go

Some users noted inventory system design could be improved to include bill scanning, currently requiring significant effort to maintain inventory


cafe pos - korona pos logo

KORONA POS is a cloud-based point-of-sale system that serves various retail and hospitality businesses, including coffee shops, bakeries, and quick-service restaurants. It emphasizes inventory management, sales analysis, and customer loyalty features, aiming to improve operational efficiency and business insight.

cafe pos - korona pos

Enables effortless remote business management, allowing updates to pricing and stock receipt entries
Some users reported the need for an expanded range of features in the mobile version of the back-office
The essential features are customizable to suit your business needs, with extensive reporting options available
Some users reported that its abundance of features can make it challenging to navigate and utilize certain functionalities
Adaptable payment processing options
Some users reported that, at times, the user interface is complex and lacks intuitiveness
Lack of long-term contracts

Restricted functionality in offline mode


There are 2 plans to choose from

  • KORONA POS Core costs $59 per month
  • KORONA POS Retail costs $69 per month

There are also Optional Additional Module Packages. For more information, visit the KORONA POS website.

Key Takeaways

  • Coffee shop management software is crucial for streamlining operations, from order taking to inventory management, ensuring everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.
  • POS cafe software should be user-friendly, allowing staff to process orders and payments quickly, which is essential for the fast-paced environment of a cafe.
  • A POS system for coffee shops must support integration with third-party applications, such as online ordering and loyalty programs, to expand the shop’s capabilities and enhance customer experience.
  • The ideal coffee shop point-of-sale system will offer robust reporting and analytics features, providing valuable insights into sales trends, popular items, and customer preferences to help drive business decisions.
  • When selecting cafeteria POS systems or POS systems for cafes, consider the system’s scalability to ensure it can grow with your business, accommodating more products, locations, and evolving customer needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In cafes, POS stands for “Point of Sale,” referring to the system for processing customer transactions, managing orders, and sales tracking. It’s tailored to cafe operations, streamlining service and improving customer experience.

According to POS USA, Starbucks uses Oracle Simphony, a POS system tailored for the restaurant sector. Although Oracle Simphony is widely adopted across the United States, it’s not the universal choice. For example, Starbucks in Iceland utilizes LS Nav, while its operations in India are managed through TCS.

The cost of a cafe POS system varies, from free basic plans with additional costs for extra features to mid-range options around $69 to $150 per month and high-end solutions exceeding $200 per month. Hardware costs can add a one-time expense of a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

Agata Kubiak - Padkowska

Digital content creator, passionate about helping restaurants to start selling online.

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