Written by Business Expert Wale Ameen
Our product review team dedicates hours of research, fact-checking and testing to recommend the best solutions to business owners. We earn from qualifying purchases through our links, but this does not influence our evaluations. Why trust our reviews?
This review has taken into account the features of some of the best POS system for coffee shops on the market, their cost, and reviews as submitted by coffee shop owners. These POS systems for coffee shops will help supercharge your coffee shop operations and increase sales.
|Our Experts’ Choice||Lightspeed Restaurant POS|
|Based on my tests and analysis of users’ reviews, I recommend Lightspeed POS as the best coffee shop POS system.
Lightspeed Restaurant POS offers:
Don’t have time to read this whole review? Skip ahead to:
- Quick Overview of the Top 7 Coffee Shop POS Software
- Lightspeed Restaurant – Best Overall POS System for Coffee Shops
- TouchBistro – Best iPad Based POS for Coffee Shops
- Square – Best POS System for Small Coffee Shops and Cafes
- Toast – Best POS System for Integrated Marketing & Promotions
- Loyverse – Best Free POS System for Coffee Shops
- Lavu – Best for Robust Reporting
- Clover – Best Android Based POS
- Buyers Guide: What to Look Out for in the Best POS for Coffee Shop
Looking for a Coffee Shop POS
One of the biggest challenges in a coffee shop is increasing the average spend per customer. If you’re looking to grow your coffee shop business and streamline your operations, you need a solid POS system. By using a coffee shop POS or coffee shop POS software, you can find out which items are selling and which are not. Apart from that, the system can help you process payments faster, automate inventory and ingredient management, view back-end reports, and improve your overall profitability.
Based on my research and an analysis of users’ reviews, I found that the best coffee shop POS software is Lightspeed Restaurant. It balances affordable pricing with powerful features, which include customer and employee management, easy payment processing, and automated inventory management. Additionally, the platform includes back-end reports, powerful third-party integrations, and much more.
Lightspeed Restaurant is hugely popular among restaurant owners, and for good reasons. It is user friendly, and serves quite a number of verticals in the hospitality industry well.
As you look for coffee shop POS software, look for the ability to create a customized menu and customer loyalty programs. You should be able to integrate with payroll and accounting systems, as well as manage employees directly from the platform. Additionally, try to find a system that will pull detailed sales reports. That way, you’ll always know where your business stands.
It’s also important to keep an eye out for the kinds of hardware you’ll need. Kitchen printers, barcode scanners, receipt printers, and large displays are all a must. Additionally, it’s important to consider monthly subscription fees, hardware costs, transaction fees, and one-time onboarding fees when comparing prices. Let’s dive into the top 6 coffee shop POS systems and review their features, pricing, and support options.
Quick Overview of the Top 7 POS Coffee Shop POS Software
|System||Price||Our Score||Key Features|
|Lightspeed Restaurant||Starting at $39/month||4.8/5||– Order ahead
– Self-serve kiosk
– Loyalty program
|TouchBistro||Starting at $69/month||4.5/5||– Tableside ordering
– Table management
|Square||Starts at 2.6% + $0.10 per swipe, dip, or tap||4.5/5||– Menu management
– Bulk additions
|Toast||Starts at $69/month||4.3/5||– Tableside service
– Menu management
|Loyverse||Free, with $5/month & $25/month upgrades||4.2/5||– Sales analytics
– Loyalty program
|Lavu||Starts at $59/month||3.7/5||– Robust reporting
– Highly customizable
|Clover||Starting at $90/month for software and hardware bundle||4/5||– Android based
– Easy reporting
Lightspeed Restaurant POS is one of the most popular restaurant point of sale systems, and this is for a reason. It is an intuitive and user friendly POS system that boasts several features to make your store operations a breeze.
With Lightspeed Restaurant, you can keep the lines moving and customers happy in your coffee shop with its future-proof POS features. Here are some of the features that are sure to help your coffee shop serve more customers faster.
Features of Lightspeed Restaurant
Online Ordering and Delivery
Lightspeed Restaurant comes with online ordering capabilities that help you deliver a seamless ordering experience for your customers. Help your customers avoid long lines with commission-free online ordering via desktop or mobile. Lightspeed’s Order Ahead feature offers a simple, app-free method for online ordering with no extra hardware required.
You can also build a complete online presence, sell merchandise (if applicable) and strengthen your brand identity, thereby building loyalty and recognition among the coffee lovers in your city.
Customer orders can be placed with UberEats and DoorDash and they’ll be sent directly to your Lightspeed POS dashboard.
With Lightspeed’s self-order kiosk, you can increase the ease with which your customers place orders. The Lightspeed POS also offers many customizations for coffee orders, and this will help customers input their desires easily. Lightspeed Restaurant’s self-order kiosk helps keep orders straight, reduces errors, and can make your entire shop more efficient.
Lightspeed’s kitchen display enables you to keep orders for food and coffee at a good location and can be easily seen with color codes that help your servers see what’s on deck and what’s ready to go. The KDS comes with a dynamic, customizable layout and has both visual and sound notifications when orders are ready.
Lightspeed offers a highly targeted rewards program with a branded, customer-facing web app to track points. Track customer spending habits, marketing campaigns, and promotional efforts all from one dashboard.
Lightspeed Accounting integrates with a broad range of accounting software, including Quickbooks, Xero, Sage, and more, thereby giving you choice over how you balance your books. With this possibility, you can avoid costly errors that are prone to manual processing as you integrate sales data directly with your POS system with the brand’s cloud-based and secure platform.
Lightspeed also helps you stay abreast of your store’s daily operations with its automated daily summary of sales.
Pros and Cons of Lightspeed Restaurant
Offline mode supported
Great customer support
It has lots of features lacking in others
Few users complain that its system does not offer a print out for gift card issued out to guests
The learning curve may be long for some users
Extra fees for some features like accounting and loyalty program
How Much Does Lightspeed Restaurant Cost?
Lightspeed Restaurant has three pricing packages which include:
- Essentials: $39/month for its complete hardware bundle for a one location restaurant
- Plus: $119/month for full-service restaurants, bars and cafés
- Pro: $289/month for an advanced set of tools ideal for growing restaurants and hotels
- Enterprise: Custom solution ideal for established restaurants and coffee shops
Payment processing: The processing fee for tapped, inserted or swiped cards is 2.6% + 10¢
Add-ons like customer-facing display, kitchen display, and advanced reporting come at an extra cost, as well as premium add-ons like loyalty, accounting, and others.
Is Lightspeed POS Easy to Use?
In my personal walkthrough and attempt to set up my trial account on Lightspeed Restaurant, two things that readily stand out for me are the ease with which you can set up a trial account and check in on what you intend to pay for. This is quite different from the experiences you face when trying to set up a trial or demo account with other solutions. In some cases, a trial account is not even available at all, while in others, you have to wait for a sales rep to get in touch with you.
The second thing is how well laid out the user interface is of the Lightspeed cloud based solution. It is aesthetically appealing and you can easily navigate your way round its features. Lightspeed wins with these two points, along with its cost, and gets my recommendation as a good coffee shop POS software that you should adopt.
Captured below are the steps I went through in setting up my trial account and a video look through of the account dashboard as well as its tabs and features.
How Do Other Coffee Shop Owners Rate Lightspeed Restaurant?
Lightspeed Restaurant has received nothing but mostly sterling reviews from business owners especially coffee shop owners. An analysis of reviews on platforms such as G2, Softwareadvice, and Getapp shows this. Lightspeed Restaurant has an overall star rating of 4.51 on Softwareadvice and 4.5 on Getapp.
Users praise its ease of use, straight forward setup process, and responsive customer support.
2. TouchBistro – Best iPad Based POS for Coffee Shops
TouchBistro is designed specifically for the iPad, which is excellent if that’s your preferred POS hardware device. You may want to consider other options if an iPad is not your preferred mobile device.
The POS brand stands out for its scalability. Since its launch in 2010, it has had a good following among users. With more than 29,000 users globally, it certainly stands out as a leading restaurant point of sale solution and, more importantly, a coffee shop POS software.
It provides some of the most essential front of house, back of house, and guest engagement solutions on its central powerful platform
Overall, TouchBistro has built a strong foundation for its customers. Like most companies, you get complaints here and there. But for the most part, their reputation is next to spotless among users. Reps are available to help you ease into the program.
Features of TouchBistro
Tableside Ordering & Management
TouchBistor’s tableside ordering system allows you to fulfill orders faster and more accurately. The system includes pop-up modifiers for suggestive selling, prompting customers to purchase high-margin drinks.
With TouchBistro, you can design a restaurant floor plan, take orders by table, move parties freely, and manage multiple sections of the restaurant with TouchBistro’s table management feature. Add tables, walls, sections, and floors to your floor plan design with intuitive touch controls.
TouchBistro’s payment processing is one of its strong points, as there are no hidden fees or even long term contracts that hold you down even when you don’t.
The platform accepts contactless options like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. With a POS integrated solution, you can eliminate double entry and reduce errors.
TouchBistro comes with a powerful inventory management system that helps you track multiple items like recipes against menu items and determine ingredient-level costs easily. The platform also boasts in-service alerts that notify members when inventory levels drop to a set level.
TouchBistro features one of the top CRM systems for restaurants. It comes with payment history, key customer information, and loyalty features, so you can keep your customers engaged so they come back for more.
Menu & Employee Management
Merchandize your menu items with full-color pictures to help your staff sell more effectively. TouchBistro’s menu management tools allow you to automatically schedule menus and promotions and remotely respond to low inventory alerts, 86s, and emergencies within seconds.
Keep tabs on your employees, including clock-ins, clock-outs, and staff activity, with the staff punch clock. Maintain payroll details and personalize accounts with employee-specific settings.
Empower front and back of house communication with simple, integrated, in-app messaging.
Reporting & Analytics
TouchBistro’s reporting and analytics module helps you keep an eye on all the key metrics pertaining to your business, including profit margins, staff performance, comprehensive end-of-day summaries, and over fifty other detailed reports.
Pros and Cons of TouchBistro
Ideal for restaurant/coffee shops
Does not charge on online orders
Offline mode supported
Great customer support
Friendly user interface
Additional fees for extra hardware you need
Pricing is not transparent on hardware and payment processing as it is only quote based
Difficult to know what you are paying for and how much exactly
You require an iPad to run the TouchBistro software
Hardware only available by quote
How Much Does TouchBistro Cost?
Pricing starts at $69 per month, with add-ons like gift cards, reservations, and online ordering costing extra. TouchBistro does not disclose their credit card transaction fee on their website, and this requires that you contact them for a quote.
Additional products for customer engagement:
- Online Ordering starting at $50/month
- Loyalty starting at $99/month
- Marketing starting at $99/month
- Gift Cards starting at $25/month
- Reservations starting at $229/month
All of these require you to get in touch to get a custom quote based on your specific needs.
Is TouchBistro Easy to Use?
Signing up for a trial account on TouchBistro is difficult as you need to submit your email address and then wait for a customer representative to get in touch with you. After that, you’ll have to schedule a demo with the customer service rep. This may seem like a tedious process, however it can be helpful. In your demo, you’ll have a customer service guide walking you through the interface and answering any questions that you may have. This may be a downside for some users, too. Many people like to just sign up and try out a software and not have to wait for a demo consultation.
How Do Other Coffee Shop Owners Rate TouchBistro?
Apart from some complaints from some users, which cannot be avoided, especially for a system used on a large scale, users generally have a nice opinion about the POS software. In fact, TouchBistro has a 4 star rating on Softwareadvice populated from more than 300 submitted reviews by users. Many users also recommend it, a pointer to their satisfaction level. It also has a 4 stars overall on Getapp.
If you are just starting out or you run a small coffee shop, Square POS might be your best bet to start off with. This is because Square is probably the best in terms of cost. It is a free software and you only pay processing fees per transaction.
Square offers you a streamlined, easy-to-use POS system with enough features and functionality to keep your bar running at full speed. Square POS is a top rated option among the top pos system for coffee shops.
One major reason why I strongly recommend Square POS for startups and small coffee shops is that it’s a free system that can be customized to your specific service needs.
Square provides you with a fully customizable menu layout. Place your top-selling items in a main menu and build display groups for your various categories. If you need to make a layout change, it will sync across all of your stations instantly.
Updating your menu shouldn’t take all day. When you want to add a series of new drinks, Square’s bulk addition feature has got you covered. This includes seasonal beverages, so you don’t have to sweat it when the holidays come around. Plus, you can even apply taxes and modifiers across your whole menu in just a few clicks.
Features of Square POS
Square POS enables you to set up house specials and other discounts seamlessly and in seconds. It’s easy, automatic, and repeatable.
Floor Plan Management
Whether you have a coffee bar, a dining room, or both, Square allows you to create a completely custom floor plan. If you want to host an event or a larger party, reorganize your seating with intuitive, drag-and-drop layouts.
With Square, you are able to see how your business is doing per time. With it, you can gather important insights to help you make more strategic business decisions. Square provides reports on sales by category, item, or payment type; monthly trends; shift productivity, and much more.
Square online enables you to create a custom online site for delivery, curbside pickup, or contact-free ordering within your bar. Any orders placed online automatically syncs with your coffee shop POS for easy integration.
Along with these, Square also comes with other features such as:
- Easy to use invoicing
- Inventory management
- Contactless payments
- Advanced team management
- Customer feedback and custom profiles
- Purchase histories and saved cards
- Prompt payment deposit into your bank account
- Data security
- Various hardware options
Pros and Cons of Square POS
Easy to use
No monthly fees
Supports Android and iOS platforms
Offline mode supported
Possibility of payment being delayed
Larger businesses may pay higher fees
How Much is Square POS?
As noted above, Square does not charge a monthly fee nor does it charge for setup unlike the TouchBistro and Lightspeed Restaurant. Instead, it only takes a payment processing fee as seen below:
For payments through swipe, dip, or tap you pay 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction.
For keyed in payment done online, the fee is 2.9% + $0.30 for each transaction.
For most coffee shops, this basic plan should be sufficient. However, if you’re looking to expand to new locations or grow your team, there are other features you can add on like advanced team management, payroll, or inventory.
Is Square Easy to Use?
It should be noted that Square POS has a rigorous account setup process and requires you to submit your tax identification number, as such if you are not based in the U.S., or have your US tax identification number, you will not be able to set up your Square account. Other than this, it’s a pretty smooth and painless set up process.
How Do Coffee Shop Owners Rate Square POS?
As a popular POS brand known for its price and offerings, Square is quite popular among solutions reviewed online.
It has an overall star rating of 4.6 with more than 60% 5 star ratings from over 150,000 reviews on the Google Play store, while it has an impressive 4.8 total star rating on the iOS app store. On softwareadvice, it has a 4.66 overall star rating from more than 1000 reviews
Toast POS is a cloud based restaurant point of sale solution. It is one point of sale solution that is ideal and one of the best POS system for coffee shops given the capabilities it boasts of. It currently has more than 60,000 users across the world.
Toast is a POS system specifically targeted at different types of quick service and full service restaurants and comes packed with features such as online ordering and payroll, and others that integrate with your point of sale with marketing and seasonal promotions.
Leverage handheld tech to accelerate service, speed up checkout — all without your customers ever having to leave their tables. Toast accepts payments of all kinds, including all card and mobile pay options.
Build your standard menu and then customize from any terminal at any time. This includes seasonal deals, or custom menu items for particular sporting events. Avoid an awkward 86 with real-time item countdowns, so everyone stays in sync.
Features of Toast POS
A creative way of driving consistent traffic to your coffee shop includes the use of targeted email marketing. This comes in handy in certain scenarios, for example when a specific sporting event approaches, you can target the teams’ loyal fans to watch such matches at your bar. With Toast POS email marketing services, you can build your list automatically from your POS. Then, send your enticing messages to that list.
Toast POS’s self serve kiosks give your customers a better way to order via a self-service kiosk. This in-turn frees up your servers’ time and energy by concentrating on packaging the orders. You can set up your customized menu — complete with pictures of each item — that automatically updates when you make changes. And then, when an order is ready, shoot your customers a text to make sure they know about the deal.
Reporting & Analytics
Keep tabs on how your sports bar is performing from anywhere; Toast allows you to view reports on any device. View key insights, including sales performance, net sales, labor costs, and more. Filter by a specific location or see your entire operation in aggregate.
Kitchen Display System
Toast’s KDS connects the front and the back of the house seamlessly. The whole shop is on one single system. Your customers can order from anywhere in the shop with the trademark ToastGo® feature and the order will be sent to the KDS instantaneously. One obvious effect of that is short wait times. The system offers suggested tip percentages and helps maximize efficiency for breakfast sandwiches and coffee orders.
Other Toast POS features include:
- Online Ordering
- Toast Gift Cards
- Toast Loyalty
- Toast Marketing
- Great customer support
Pros and Cons of Toast POS
Offline mode supported
Easy to use
Some users complain of its online ordering being glitchy
Handhelds may feel bulky
Some users complain of delay in getting through to customer support
How Much Does Toast POS Cost?
Toast’s platform comes in four tiers Starter, Point of Sale, Essentials, and Custom. See details of each below:
- Starter Plan: This starts at a cost of $0/month and includes its cloud-based point of sale, hardware configuration including one terminal. Additional hardware comes at additional charges
- Point of Sale: currently $69 per month and includes POS features, customer care, and payment processing, with the option to add on additional features
- Essentials: Starts at $169/month and includes online ordering and delivery, as well as the Toast Takeout App
- Custom: Quote based and you get to choose your own hardware choice and integration to more than 100 restaurant tools
Payment Processing Fee: Toast POS however do not disclose their payment processing fee on their website.
Special Offer For New Restaurants
Toast offers new restaurants a bundled POS and Payroll package which starts at $110 /month and $4 per employee/month. Reach out for a quote on this.
Add-ons include restaurant grade hardware, payroll and team management, delivery services, and more.
Is Toast POS Easy to Use?
My personal assessment is that Toast POS is easy to use. All indications point to the fact that their software is intuitive and user friendly.
Toast POS User Review, Courtesy of SoftwareAdvice
How Do Industry Owners Rate Toast POS?
Toast POS compares nicely to the other solutions being considered for coffee shop pos systems. Users love its simplicity and ease of use as well as its pricing. They also note its efficiency in increasing the efficiency of their operations. The company’s customer support service is also a high point among users. However, some users have complained about long hold times when trying to get through to customer service.
Overall, Toast has a 4.11 star rating on Getapp.
Loyverse POS is a basic cloud based point of sale system with all of the core features your coffee shop needs to get started. It is a point of sale solution focused primarily at small retail, restaurant, and salon businesses.
More than a million businesses in 170 countries across the world use Loyverse. This is a testament to its wide acceptability. Its app is also available in more than 30 langaugess.
Loyverse POS’s major selling point is its focus on mobile. It is available both on Android and iOS and as such, offers a great way for you to run and manage your restaurant or coffee shop seamlessly. Easily sell products directly from your mobile device, apply discounts and modify orders seamlessly.
Here are some of the features and functionality you can expect from the Loyverse POS free plan. Let’s explore more features that Loyverse offers shall we:
Features of Loyverse POS
With Loyverse, you can easily sell directly from an iPhone, iPad, Android smartphone, or tablet. Apply discounts, refunds, variants, and modifiers to each item or order. Keep a close eye on the items and ingredients in your stockrooms, as well as their valuation.
Receive daily low-stock notifications to make necessary replacement orders. Easily increase and decrease stock levels for received items, damages, and loss.
Loyverse helps you track total employee statistics. Get to know exactly how your employees are performing, like sales by employee, workload per hour, or shift-end cash lack. With multi-level access, you can control which employees have access to which features.
Sales Analytics & Dashboards
See how well your coffee shop is doing in terms of sales and profits. Track growth or decline to see how your sales are trending, and view receipt history to monitor each transaction. Determine your best-selling items to guide future stock or sales decisions. Save time when tax season rolls around by pulling tax reports in just a few clicks.
CRM & Loyalty Program
Identify your most loyal customers based on the number of visits and purchase amounts. From there, you can build a points reward program to motivate recurring purchase. Instantly identify customers with scannable loyalty cards, and print addresses on receipts to streamline delivery orders.
Customer Display Units
Maintain order transparency with customer display units, allowing customers to see and confirm order information before the final payment. Allow them to see their loyalty points accumulate in real time, and they can enter their email to get an e-receipt.
Users of this POS system receive instant notifications when inventory is running low or out. Orders are dispatched to the kitchen automatically, faster, and with fewer mistakes. Sound notifications ensure you will never miss a new order.
Back and Front Office Sync
The back office works in sync with the POS system. A coffee shop owner can see what their best-selling items are and browse the transaction history. The free dashboard app provides instant access to your cafe’s stock and sales analytics at all times.
Loyverse offers several payment options by virtue of its integrated payment providers which is available in more than 30 countries. You can also decide to use your preferred service provider.
More Loyverse features include:
- Offline mode support
- Easily connect Loyverse customer display app
- Multi store capability
- Easily integrate with third party apps for accounting, ecommerce, inventory management, and marketing
Pros and Cons of Loyverse POS
Lots of features
Easy to use
iOS and Android apps
Offline mode support
Dedicated customer support
No long term contract
Only one user for its free version
Few users complain of app freezing
How Much Does Loyverse POS Cost?
Loyverse comes with surprisingly lots of features available in its free version. Below are the details of its free version and add ons:
Loyverse POS — Comes with point of sale, inventory, loyalty access to dashboard, kitchen and customer display
- Employee management – Cost $5/month
- Advanced inventory – $25/month
- Integrations – $9/month
They also come with 2 month free when you pay annually.
Is Loyverse POS Easy to Use?
Loyverse POS is the true definition of ‘one-click’ install. Setting up a Loyverse account is probably the most easy thing to do and the most competitive point of sales solution I have come across. By filling my details on the sign up page as seen below, I am ushered into my account account dashboard within seconds.
Since it is a mobile targeted software, I am only able to access my account’s back office on my desktop as seen in the screenshot below. From the back office, I can manage my store, view reports, update inventory, manage employees’ access, see my entire list of customers and their details, as well as manage integrations among many other functions.
In my opinion, Loyverse is a very easy to use and setup coffee POS software.
What Do Industry Owners Say About Loyverse POS?
On the Google play store where it has a 4.4 overall star rating, users commend its ease of use and feature rich free version. On the Apple App Store, it has a total of 4.6 overall star rating with lots of praise.
Like many of its contemporaries, Lavu is an iPad based point of sale software. Lavu prides itself as not just being a service provider but as a partner that has your business at heart. It is a great restaurant and coffee shop pos.
Lavu is a great POS solution for small businesses like coffee shops, bars, small restaurants, and food trucks. Most aspects can be customized, including layout, unlimited menu modifiers, and menu item icons.
Easily take orders on the iPad and receive payments too as it supports electronic signatures and emailing of receipts to customers.
Features of Lavu POS
Employee scheduling, payroll reports, and shift-trading are examples of what’s offered in terms of Employee Management. Lavu has a series of great features, including low-count warnings.
Lavu’s inventory management helps you keep track of every ingredient and keeps you up to speed with notifications when you’re running low on them. You can also use the inventory management tool to manage vendor relationships and purchase orders.
With Lavu’s display hardware, you can easily display orders on an iPad or screen thereby eliminating the need to issue tickets.
Admin Control Panel
You can easily customize virtually every section of the software from the admin console. Set employee level accessibility, determine the information printed on customer receipts and much more.
Easily email receipts to customers to reduce the need for paper with Lavu’s system.
Lavu offers a myriad of sales, expense, and inventory reports. These can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. It can also be translated into multiple languages.
Other important features of Lavu POS:
- Check splitting
- Gift and loyalty programs
- Discount tracker
- Offline mode supported
Pros and Cons of Lavu POS
Supports offline mode
Only available for iOS devices
How Much Does Lavu POS Cost?
Lavu offers three pricing plan namely Starter, Growth, and Optimize
- Starter: $59/month if you are going to use Lavu’s Pay Cash Program
$69/month with traditional Lavu Pay payment processing
$79/month without Lavu Pay
The plan comes with Lavu POS for 1 terminal, Lavu Pay, Team Management, inventory, reporting and bluetooth scale plug-in.
- Growth: $129 if you are using the Lavu’s Pay Cash program
$139/month with Lavu traditional payment processing
$149 if you decide not to use Lavu Pay
- Optimize: $279/month with Lavu Pay Cash Program
$289/month Lavu traditional payment processing
$299/month without Lavu Pay
Lavu costs $69/month per terminal billed annually. Tiered pricing for multiple-terminal plans is available upon request.
Is Lavu Easy to Use?
Lavu does require you to work with a customer service representative in order to access your free trial. The response from the customer service team can take a little bit of time. However, their software is basic and user experience friendly.
How Do Coffee Shop Owners Rate Lavu?
Lavu POS scores a commendable 3.7 out of 5 overall star rating on the Apple App Store. A common theme among users’ reviews shows that many commend its simplicity and ease of use.
Clover is comparatively younger than other point of sale systems like Lightspeed Restaurant, having been launched in April 2010. It nevertheless is a handy point of sale system, ideal for coffee shops and restaurants.
It would later be acquired by First Data (now Fiserv) in 2012 and this led to its meteoric growth as it grew to become the largest POS provider in the U.S.
The company was founded by Leonard Speiser, John Beatty, and Kelvin Zheng and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. As of September 2020, Clover is recorded to have processed $133 billion in annualized card transactions worldwide.
With Clover, merchants can easily place orders, take payments, scan inventory, clock in employees, get sales data synced with accounting software and much more. In terms of payment processing, it supports PIN and chip payments, credit card swipes, Apple Pay and contactless payments. You can also manage vendor maintenance and purchase orders.
Features of Clover POS
Ease of Use
Clover makes management of your business seamless as you can process your sales from anywhere either from the dashboard, mobile app, or virtual terminal. There is no limitation as to where you can process sales from. This means that you have more options to adopt and should you be on the move, you are well covered.
Inventory: Clover comes with a rich inventory management capability. Items can be inputted using their variants, such as color or size and also organized into different categories for quick access.
Easily Track Progress
While the focus here is on coffee shops, it is important to note that Clover is applicable to a wide variety of use cases, and whichever one you happen to fall into, you can easily track all purchases which are processed securely.
With Clover’s reporting suite, you can keep abreast of your business trends and keep track of progress in real time. Clover’s reporting suite comes with an array or report types. Under its reports, the software comes with different tools such as “By Payments” which provides you with a summary of transactions completed within a specific period. It provides other report types like cash reports, payments by card type, employee statistics and activities, taxes, and discounts. What’s more, they can all be filtered using date/time and subsequently exported to other apps or printed out.
Clover’s online ordering is an ideal feature that will enhance your coffee shop’s service delivery. With this feature, you can easily accept and manage online orders from popular delivery aggregators.
Easy Online Invoicing
With Clover, you can easily push invoices to customers online for those who prefer this as against printing the same and taking longer to get this out to them.
Pros and Cons of Clover POS
Supports Android devices
Easy to use
Provides fraud detection of up to $100k
Ideal for companies with a strong online presence
You pay one fee for both hardware and software platform
Free for first 60 days
Easy hardware upgrades
Additional fees can easily pile up
Users complain of difficulty in getting through to customer support
How Much Does Clover Cost?
Clover runs three pricing packages for its quick service dining options:
- Starter: Costs $90/month for hardware and software and comes with the following features:
Mini 8″ touch screen POS with built‑in receipt printer
Contactless dining (QR-code ordering)
Invoice or recurring schedule
Clover gift cards
Payroll integrations comes as an optional add on
- Standard: $130/month for hardware and software and this comes with the following:
Station Duo – 14″ merchant-facing POS with 7″ customer screen
- Advance: Cost $175/month for hardware and software along with the following:
Station Duo – 14″ merchant-facing POS with 7″ customer screen
Flex – Handheld POS with an 8-hour battery life and built-in receipt printer
Clover offers some incentives such as
Pay in full in one lump sum and own your hardware and only pay monthly fee for the software platform
For Card present transactions – 2.3% + 10¢
Keyed‑in transactions – 3.5% + 10¢
Clover Hardware Options
Clover offers several hardware options like the Clover Go card reader, countertop Clover Station, the Clover Mini POS station, the Clover Flex mobile payment processor, and more.
Is Clover POS Easy to Use? How Do Coffee Shop Owners Rate the Software?
Many users attest to Clover POS’s simplicity and ease of use. We spoke with a local coffee shop owner in Wilmington NC that our team member frequently visits and they use Clover POS in their shop and she attested to its ease of use.
Also, from a survey of reviews on GetApp and Capterra, one thing that stands out from many users’ reviews of the Clover software is its ease of use and setup and its well laid out user interface.
However, one major con is the company’s customer care. This appears to be a major drawback from the company’s style of selling, majorly through resellers, which thus creates a gap between it and its customers, whose experiences vary from one person to another based on which reseller they are buying from. This, I must note, is a major drawback of the Clover software, as many complain of difficulty in reaching its customer care.
Clover is a Capterra Established Player and Top Performer brand, and this is a testament to its acceptability and trust among users. It has a 4/5 overall star rating.
Buyers Guide: What to Look Out for in the Best POS for Coffee Shop
When setting out to consider a point of sale software or solution for your coffee shop business as a first timer, there are certain things you should put into consideration. Your major focus should be to get a solution that truly addresses the specific needs of your coffee shop. And some of these include ease of use, payroll integration, app integration, accounting integration, inventory management, employee management and many others.
The best coffee shop POS system or coffee shop POS software should solve, if not all, the majority of these needs.
Ease of Use
In the world of coffee shops, there is a high customer and employee turnover. This is why you need a system that is easy to use and easy to teach.
You need a simple interface as well. A clean, modern front-end helps staff cut down on ordering errors and serve customers faster. Ideally, a solid coffee shop pos system should support tableside orders and payments via mobile devices. In addition, it must offer clear menu listings and prices, manage open tickets and customer tabs.
Finally, it should enable customization of order entry, fire orders or tickets to a kitchen display screen, and offer time-specific menus and prices.
Detailed Sales Reports
In the same sense, having detailed, yet easy to read and easy to access sales reports can save you a ton of headaches.
The ability to analyze data as well as possible and identify your best-selling items and busiest times of day can be extremely valuable. The best POS systems come with detailed sales reports.
As a coffee shop owner, you want detailed sales reports on the amount of coffee you sold, percentage of sales, etc. Detailed reports will assist you in reassessing many of your coffee shop business decisions.
This data would include which items you are selling the most and the least and what hours you are making your biggest sales.
Coffee shop owners and managers need to be able to manage remotely, track sales and leverage available data to make better decisions. This will also help cut down on or even completely eliminate waste.
It’s not that coffee shops created the gift card boom, but it’s time you jumped the bandwagon.
When we hear “loyalty programs”, the green-logo coffee giant immediately springs to mind.
Having a strong loyalty program with gift card functionality is a nice bonus to keep customers coming to your shop. Loyalty programs are key to any coffee shop’s success.
The best POS systems provide the right tools to reward your customers in a way they can comprehend and appreciate.
The right POS system will integrate easily with advanced customer loyalty programs if you have multiple locations, so you can share gift cards and rewards across locations.
You can use your POS system as the single payroll tool to the point of having it replace traditional payroll services.
It would be an understatement to claim a POS system can function like a punch card. A POS system is the best way to have staff ‘clock in’ and ‘clock out’ when you’re managing the payroll of coffee shop employees.
Time clock features let your employees use unique codes to sign in and out of their shifts directly on a mobile device, which is used as your cash register.
You can also manually add information later. Let’s say you’re managing an employee who forgot to clock in or out or doesn’t use the register. The option will come in real handy.
Always choose POS software with solid employee management tools. You should also be able to see sales reports by employees so you can identify your most efficient staff and reward them apart from adding employees and editing employee privileges.
It’s easy to do payroll with work tracking reports. Payroll is made simple when you have the ability to track your employees through your point of sale.
You often won’t need any other payroll functions to know what to pay your staff. Run work tracking reports to receive an overview of all the hours your coffee shop staff worked, including any overtime if applicable.
A POS system with this feature can help you track income and expenses, manage all your transactions, and obtain meaningful business insights. Online accounting is easy and convenient.Your POS system of choice should let you explore different reports including expenses, profit and loss, and balance sheet.
It’s much better than using Excel spreadsheets to keep track of accounting. With this integration, you can link receipts to expenses through an app and do your taxes more easily.
The tools you can use to customize your accounting solution include inventory management, time tracking, and payment processing.
The decent coffee shop point of sale will also help you perform small business accounting using individual login to access reports like the general ledger, balance sheet, or cash flow statement whenever you need to because your accounting system is connected to the cloud. You can authorize staff to access these using their login.
Good coffee shop POS systems integrate with a lot of companies. For example, Lightspeed’s add-ons page includes applications and services like scheduling, rental, and more. Coffee shop owners or managers who need to rent equipment can avail of this feature.
They can use NimbleSchedule, Agendrix, Chronogolf, Booxi, or Homebase to schedule and track employee hours online. This allows employees to ask for time off, trade shifts, and clock in or out from different locations.
Today, it is more important than ever for coffee shop owners to track sales, manage remotely, and have real-time analytics.
Your POS system should offer effective integration with other POS registers you have for your coffee shop and (ideally) integrate with QuickBooks and similar software.
Multiple Login Options
A multi-user system is a system with multiple users and functionalities.
This is usually when there are two systems: one POS operating at the front end (dealing with customers directly) and one at the back or in an inside office that manages other functions such as order placement, inventory control, account management, and receiving stock.
A multi-user system links computers that can use the same sources of information or exchange information between them. This allows the coffee shop to have shared access to a database and keep shared storage of information.
Devices are also shared and a single server or type of software is used by all the computers. A POS system permitting multiple login options also requires a multi user supporting hardware, software, and devices.
The network connection must also be quick and reliable and able to handle various computers and systems without impacting the speed or quality of service.
The best POS systems for coffee shops operate seamlessly on devices like Android tablets, which is why multiple user can access them at any given time.
This will let you and your staff use the POS system anywhere in your store.
Highly Customized Menu
The best menus – the ones that influence a customer’s decision on a subconscious level – aren’t created by accident. They are specially developed to influence buying decisions by item placement, appearance, and upselling potential.
According to recent studies, the trend of “menu engineering” is proven to increase profits by 10–15%. It is not misleading to say that thoughtful, considerate coffee shop menu design is worth the investment.
To achieve this, your staff should be trained to use the right ingredient portions. However, with a coffee shop POS system that tracks ingredients, you don’t have to rely on your memory.
A good system will let you tap the item to find the recipe and description. This way even new, inexperienced employees will know exactly how to make the products on the menu.
Creating a Customized Menu
A customized menu is created by studying cost reports carefully. When you do that, you’ll be able to see some trends. What sort or blend is selling best? Which sorts or blends are cost effective and which aren’t?
You’ll uncover the key to good menu design when you’re paying close attention to highest-selling items and most profitable items. This way, you’ll see what belongs in the area of your menu that customers see first.
Coffee Shop POS Hardware
When buying a POS for your coffee shop/s, certain hardware is essential to consider. This includes kitchen printers, large displays, and barcode scanning.
Your kitchen printer or kitchen display system (KDS) can send orders to the kitchen for chefs and cooks to prepare.
You would need this only if your coffee shop serves sandwiches or dishes.
For coffee makers, the printer can be used as a screen. These screens speed up service by listing out order details, specifically for people who like their coffee a particular way.
The server taps a button to send an order to the kitchen with any special requests for order or degree of preparation. For better control or coordination, you can also have orders printed on more than one printer.
The barcode scanner is used to add inventory, check out items, and scan driver license for age verification. Bigger shops should install an embedded scanner like the ones you can see in supermarkets, while smaller ones would do better with a small, hand-held scanner.
Coffee shops selling products with a barcode need these scanners and a holder because they let you register items very quickly, ultimately reducing queues and transaction times. Barcode scanners also eliminate mistakes that would’ve happened from mistyping a product manually.
Some POS apps for mobile devices have the capacity to “scan” barcodes via an integrated mobile camera.
However, we’d recommend a system with a purpose-built barcode scanner if you’re high-volume or simply want to be able to add items to the bill in the most efficient way possible.
While modern till systems frequently come with the option of sending an electronic receipt via email or text message, receipt printers are still considered essential because the customer will (almost) always ask for a paper receipt.
Coffee shops selling more expensive products or anything that might be deducted as a business expense will find a receipt printer indispensable.
You need ongoing paper refills for a receipt printer. For portable printers, a belt clip would come in handy so you don’t need to hold it in your hands. You also need receipt paper rolls and a mount for fixing to the wall or countertop.
Large Display Screens
Large display screens are great for suggestive selling, also known as add-on selling or upselling. This sales technique involves an employee recommending an extra product that a customer might like or asking a customer if they would like to include an additional purchase.
It is used to increase the purchase amount of the customer and the revenues of the shop. The idea behind the technique is that it takes minimal effort in comparison to the potential additional revenue because you’ve already gotten the customer to buy something, which is often seen as the most difficult part.
Why Large Displays Are a Must
It is for this reason that large displays have become an integral piece of hardware for any quick service location, especially coffee shops. TVs display high-resolution images of menus and prices. Digital menu boards are also a great way for coffee shop owners to highlight new items or showcase specials.
To keep lines moving and orders coming in, streamlining the checkout process has become a necessity for coffee shops. Customer display systems engage customers, allowing them to follow along as their order is being input into the system to see if everything they’ve ordered is accurate.
The display system will prompt payment options and ask the customer if they would like to leave a tip. Adding a customer display system is like adding the digital equivalent of a tip jar to your counter. A study found retail owners who used iPad POS systems received more tips than those who used legacy systems.
When choosing a coffee shop POS system, you need to ensure you are choosing from the best pos system for coffee shop options. It is also important to understand exactly what value you will be getting from that system, and if it’s relevant to you. Many POS platforms are built for generic restaurant use, so you have to make sure you’re not getting loaded with a bunch of features that you don’t need.
All in all, the goal of a POS system is to automate certain tasks so you can focus on serving the customer and growing your business. Regardless of your specific choice, we can say that all of the platforms listed above can help you do just that. To get a quote from our best rated POS system for coffee shop, reach out to Lightspeed here.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is a coffee POS system?
Software cost for a POS system for a coffee shop can start at $0/month and range all the way up to over $100/month. There is also a big range in hardware costs.
What is the best POS for a small coffee shop?
For small coffee shop owners, Square POS is the best option.
Can coffee shops be profitable?
Since coffee shops sell with such high profit margins, they can easily be profitable. On average, a small coffee shop owners can make around $50,000-$100,000+ annually.
How long will it take for a coffee shop to start to make money?
In general, coffee shop owners can expect for it to take around 3 years to become profitable.