Last updated on March 1st, 2020 at 05:00 pm
A good Fast food POS system helps guarantee that each customer’s transaction will run smoothly but more importantly quickly.
Further, A Fast food point of sale’s primary focus is to reduce waiting time.
In order to ensure prompt and efficient service, the system uses kitchen printers, bump bars, menu display screens, and other POS hardware.
In this post, we reviewed the best Fast Food POS Systems based on inventory management, integrated drive-thru features, pricing, cloud functionality, and embedded credit card processing.
Additionally, we will review the system’s pricing, features, as well as the pros and cons of each system.
4 Best Fast Food Point of Sale Systems
|Integrated Drive Thru||Yes||No||No||No|
|Thermal Receipt Printer||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Buyers Guide: Most Important Features
Online Ordering Integration
Online ordering integration is a nice thing to have. With phone orders, the operator can key in payments manually, noting the type of order (call in for pickup or delivery) and other information.
With an online ordering and delivery system, online orders and other orders are sent into the queue.
Again, this is where the feature comes in handy. Many Fast Food POS systems have built-in online ordering and delivery functionality integrating with your restaurant website. Some POS systems support third-party online ordering apps.
Most popular tablet POS systems integrate with other apps. This way, you can expand your system’s functionality ever more with each new integration that is released.
There are restaurant apps for tip tracking, liquor inventories, even social media management. Web-based systems undergo frequent updates to add and improve features.
Inventory management makes adjusting menu items easy and keeps availability updated because you always know what you have in stock. Normally, it’s possible to do this with a back-office function online.
It’s also possible to update your menu to include daily specials and special time-sensitive offers or manage several different menus for different days of the week or locations.
Fast Food Point of sale that is cloud-based means that everything gets saved to the cloud-- Not onsite.
The decision if to go with a cloud-based system is not easy. There are advantages and disadvantages to both structures.
Advantages of Cloud Bases System For Fast Food Venue
Updates & Maintenance
If your POS system is cloud-based like most of the systems below, you won’t need any onsite servers. If your server goes down, there will be no call out charges and no need to get consultants to come down and install the latest versions of the software.
You’re reducing the cost of maintenance and hardware by removing the need for servers on each site. With traditional onsite systems, roll-out programs often take weeks or months because upgrades are so slow. With the cloud, you do the system upgrade once and centrally.
The cloud keeps things simple by working on the principle of plug and go. You just switch it on and you’re connected at the press of a button. There is no need for complicated server installation.
Syncing & Detailed Reports
The fast-food industry is precisely that -- fast. Therefore, it’s necessary to identify and deal with underperforming promotions or items on the menu as soon as possible. Since the cloud allows data syncing (in real-time or at the end of the day), it provides fast-food managers with up to date information.
The Disadvantages of Cloud-Based System
A Cloud-Based system offers security risk. Onsite server is a lot harder to hack into. However, most points of sale systems carry the most up to date anti-virus software and security patches.
Embedded Credit Card Processing
Every time a card leaves a customer’s sight, you run a risk. You know the risks – identity theft, credit card fraud, skimming…in In some cases, this risk can be minimized with mobile payment and pay-at-table features.
Moreover, these options mean no waiting to get the card back. Ultimately, this all makes your restaurant more efficient.
Less time passes between taking and placing orders. Likewise, it takes less time to complete payment transactions. Tables turn faster, and you have more and happier customers who aren’t stuck waiting.
What’s Different About Fast Food Point of Sale?
There are certain things that make fast food POS systems unique as compared to other POS Systems. You’ll learn all about them in this section.
Suggestive Selling Prompts
Effective Fast Food systems do not assume the customer wants the default option. They prompt staff to ask for choices.
For example, a system can prompt a server to upsell on the spot and enter the customer’s choice of dressing, side dish, condiments, and more. All of this information is sent to the kitchen with no need to ask for special orders.
Additionally, using a large display screen the system may suggest popular items based on hot selling item reports that get generated automatically by the system.
The smart tender feature controls the sales register, day reporting, pricing, and inventory. It generates simple, comprehensible financial data. The best POS systems should allow you to split tenders.
For example, a patron may want to pay for their order in three different cards and cash. In this case, your POS system should be capable of splitting the order into four different tenders.
The Best Fast Food POS system should also be capable of inputting the split payments into the appropriate ledger accounts.
Order Recall Screen
Once an order is placed, it might have to be recalled. To be recalled, it must have been saved first. You’ll need to restart the process if the order is discarded.
The interface should be simple – for example tap an Orders button to view your open/closed orders or a table layout option showing the table number, the guests, and the server currently assigned to the table.
This feature is useful because speed is critical for a fast-food restaurant. You can’t face off against hungry and thirsty customers with a slow POS system lacking this feature.
With order recall screen, servers can set the sorting of open orders to just show their orders. This prevents time-wasting when looking through orders and eliminates confusion when recalling orders.
Typically, an order recall screen will have sorting buttons down one side to help servers create personal orders and eliminate those that do not need to be worked on. When the server uses the system again, the defaults that are used are remembered by the system. Sorting can be done by destination, order type, staff member, date, or a general search.
Integrated Drive Through
Fast food restaurant managers and owners place a high priority on their drive-thru operations. Furthermore, highly efficient drive-thru operation leads to high profits and better overall customer experience.
What is Integrated Drive-Thru Functionality?
An integrated drive-thru is specifically designed for fast-food restaurants to enable reliability and speed. Mutual satisfaction is guaranteed. Orders are sent to the kitchen automatically, appearing on kitchen video systems so staff can efficiently and quickly fulfill requests.
Integration is arguably the best feature of drive-thru POS software. It should integrate with hundreds of POS hardware devices seamlessly. You shouldn’t have to switch your online ordering system or your customer loyalty program.
Therefore, An Integrated drive-thru functionality in a fast-food Point of Sale is a must.
Video Confirmation Boards
Fast food restaurant employees make mistakes like everyone else and they can get orders mixed up. Video confirmation boards prevent employee errors from hurting your bottom line. In addition, Video confirmation boards reduce waste and improve accuracy at the same time.
Therefore, fast food venues must install a POS system with an integrated drive-thru and video confirmation boards synced with your POS hardware and designed to withstand harsh weather elements.
It is no mystery why TouchBistro is the number one food selling app on Apple’s App Store.
TouchBistro provides all the services a fast food restaurant needs in its point-of-sale system. The price is good, even for smaller sized fast-food restaurants.
Why Choose TouchBistro POS?
TouchBistro has been around only since 2011 and has already won several awards, including Best Restaurant POS in 2017.
Moreover, it is the top-selling Apple app for food service. The point-of-sale system is simple to use and well designed, making it the best restaurant-focused system.
TouchBistro is one of the most popular point-of-sale systems available for fast food restaurants. The features are simply unbeatable.
Some of these include menu selections and ordering, wireless transfers of orders to the kitchen, and more.
Any feature that is specific to the food industry, TouchBistro has. Fast food restaurants require their point-of-sale system offer industry specific features in order to run efficiently, making TouchBistro a great choice.
Not only is TouchBistro good for managing orders and processing payments, it can also be used for back-office type work. Basic employee management along with reporting is also available.
This includes the ability to create individual employee logins and monitor sales reports. Anyone who has worked in the fast food industry understands the importance of keeping labor down to a minimum.
One unique feature that TouchBistro offers is its ability to process all forms of payment. This includes cash, credit cards, and mobile payments.
Any TouchBistro plan includes all forms of payment processing in their price, and there are no additional charges.
Many point-of-sale systems out there aren’t able to handle such diverse payment options, which really puts TouchBistro ahead of the game.
TouchBistro POS system is all about customizing. The system can be modified so easily, and it can be done over the course of a day.
A fast food restaurant could organize the menu in any way and add pictures, which is excellent for a new menu roll-out.
This makes it easier for employees to use, and allows them to work quicker as they don’t have to spend time looking for something in a POS system menu.
The cheapest price plan for TouchBistro is Solo, which is priced at $69 a month. It covers one terminal and is perfect for a single-stand.
Since most fast food restaurants have at least two terminals, one inside the restaurant and one in the drive-thru, many would benefit from either.
- The Dual Plan ($129/month2 terminals)
- Team Plan ($249/month, 5 terminals)
- Unlimited Plan for $399 per month -- which comes with unlimited licenses and is perfect for high volume restaurants and bars.
This pricing is excellent for all the features that are offered. From cloud reporting, tableside POS, unlimited users for yourself and your staff, and networking support.
TouchBistro is perfect for any restaurant. There are plenty of point-of-sale systems around that charge an arm and a leg just for extra features.
such as gift card processing. TouchBistro’s pricing includes all features, making this a great option for any sized fast food restaurant.
Downsides to TouchBistro
Of course, no point-of-sale system is perfect. One kind of feature that the TouchBistro is missing is any kinds of inventory tracking features.
This is something that fast food restaurants would heavily benefit from. Although TouchBistro is still a great point-of-sale system.
it is important to consider this before making a purchase. If this is something absolutely crucial for your business, we recommend considering ShopKeep, which we discuss below.
TouchBistro offers many different features for all types of fast food restaurants. From small fast food restaurants to larger ones, all would enjoy and benefit from having TouchBistro to fulfill their needs.
The price is good considering all the features included with it, and you have plenty of pricing plans to choose from.
Touchbistro is also a great Food Truck POS system.
Originally, ShopKeep wasn’t only designed for fast food restaurants. In fact, it is used for businesses in many different industries.
However, it still has useful features for fast food restaurants. Their inventory tracking feature is useful in helping fast food restaurants reduce waste.
This works by allowing business owners to track every food ingredient used in the store. Reducing food waste has been proven to be the most effective way to keep food costs down. Its pricing is affordable, making ShopKeep’s functionality well worth it.
ShopKeep has all of the basic features that a fast food restaurant needs in their point-of-sale system.
Some key features include employee and inventory management. This includes extensive back-office features.
Such as the ability to manage employee permissions. One unique feature is you can configure access levels for each individual employee, meaning they can only use the features you want them to use.
ShopKeep has impressive inventory functions. You can track quantities of each individual item, set reorder points, and generate a report detailing what your reorder criteria is.
This is something that fast food restaurants will find especially useful, as it will prevent them from running out of important items.
Everyone who has ever worked in the fast food industry knows how detrimental running out of one simple ingredient can be, and ShopKeep prevents this.
With ShopKeep, you can bundle specific items. This means you can stay stocked on the ingredients necessary for your fast food restaurants most popular items.
This can also help business owners monitor which perishable items aren’t being used quickly enough, which can cut back on food waste.
This small change can greatly increase a fast food restaurants profits while lowering overhead, which is why ShopKeep is so preferred.
ShopKeep is a highly affordable point-of-sale system. It is cost effective for fast food restaurants, coming in at $69 dollars a month for one register.
This includes 60 days of free support from a ShopKeep expert, with 24/7 customer support after that. This plan includes all of their features.
For business owners still on the fence over which POS system is best for their business, ShopKeep offers a 14-day free trial. Also, it is contract free, meaning you can cancel at anytime without penalty.
ShopKeep keeps their customers in mind at all times. Unlimited customer support is available 24/7. Business owners who use ShopKeep will have access to many articles and training videos to help them understand the software.
ShopKeep is a point-of-sale system that was designed with small businesses in mind. This is ideal for fast food restaurants. It has many features that are extremely beneficial for fast food restaurants.
Using ShopKeep is a cost effective way to improve a fast food restaurant’s functionality. So many important management tasks can be done with ShopKeep point-of-sale system, which is it is one of our favorites.
Toast is a point-of-sale system that specializes in food service. It is a full restaurant management solution.
In the 2016 NEVY awards, Toast was named the hottest startup company. Simply put, this is a reputable POS system for food establishments.
Toast offers features that are specific to the foodservice industry. It is easy to split checks with Toast, and anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant understands how crucial that can be.
There is also a close-out day function with the Toast point-of-sale system. When using this feature, you get an audit report on all current checks open and employee activity.
This is useful for fast food restaurants as managing things such as employee activity is important for keeping labor down.
Toast will automatically close out all paid checks and clocks out all employees. This saves fast food business owners the headache of having to manually change information. You can always review the audit before closing time, and make sure everything is correct.
Toast is not the cheapest point-of-sale system available. In fact, at $100 a month, it is one of the higher-priced point-of-sale systems for fast food restaurants.
However, this plan includes unlimited access to their full range of features along with 24/7 customer support.
For extra add-ons with Toast, you have to pay a higher price. For example, if your fast food restaurant offers gift cards, whether digital or physical.
You will have to pay an extra $50 a month. If your business offers online ordering, it is another $50 a month. This may be too high for some fast food restaurants to consider.
For a larger, more established fast food restaurant, Toast could be the perfect point-of-sale system. It offers many features that make managing a fast food restaurant easier than ever.
For smaller fast food restaurants, the price might be too high for it to be worth it. Determining if this POS system is right for your business really depends on the needs and size of your fast food restaurant.
The Required Hardware
The System Components
The most important hardware components a fast food POS needs. These include thermal receipt printers, kitchen printers, customer display and, last but not least, a cash drawer.
Thermal Receipt Printer
A fast food restaurant can benefit from a thermal receipt printer in many ways. Thermal receipt printers print labels, receipts, and other media quickly and accurately. They come with paper save mode for energy conservation and, in some cases, optimized design for efficient counter space.
The forerunner of the thermal printer was the impact printer, which is getting replaced by the former because of how noisy and slow it is. Fast food places, in particular, appreciate the ability to deliver fast services to customers.
Opt for a kitchen printer with an internal power supply, because this will do away with the need to snake power cords around. This way, printers can be placed at different work stations. If you can’t boast much in the way of space, an internal power supply can free up a few valuable inches.
Choose a restaurant kitchen printer that loads paper easily. A fast-food restaurant kitchen printer will help staff reduce the time it takes to prepare food, but you shouldn’t waste that saved time on struggling with paper jams or reloading paper.
Finally, a fast food place should have a high-speed throughput of at least 10 receipts per minute, which increases staff efficiency and productivity in the kitchen. Clear, easy-to-read tickets save your staff the inconvenience of guessing about orders. They can print tickets fast and put the dishes together even faster. Faster service means higher profit and more throughput.
Some POS systems offer the option of placing tablets at every single table. Of course, this can be costly. On the other hand, it lets people enter their own orders and split the check, which in turn saves money. Fast-food chains like Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Chili’s, and others are now using self-service ordering and self-ordering kiosks at tables.
If you have regular customers, it will pay off to get a good CRM system to keep track of what these cherished patrons order. You can’t reasonably be expected to remember what “the usual” was.
You can also use customer data for targeted marketing, like sending emails about events, discounts, or promotions. Moreover, your CRM can include a loyalty program to reward regulars with discounts, free entrees, etc.
Your POS system should have different types of notifications for both customers and servers. For example, some restaurant POS systems can inform servers when orders are ready with a text message or an in-app notification sent to their mobile device.
If the server uses a smartwatch to get these notifications, text messages are probably more effective. Customers can also receive texts alerting them that their table or takeout order is ready.
Some POS systems come with a cash drawer that connects to your receipt printer. When you finish a cash sale, it opens automatically. Most systems have a special cash drawer connector, usually the RJ11 type. Check your manual to see if your receipt printer and cash drawer are compatible.
A cash drawer also opens when opening shifts for employees to enter the initial cash amount, when a refund receipt is printed for cash refunds only, when closing shifts for employees to calculate the final cash amount, or when action is taken to put money in or out of the cash drawer. You don’t have to make a sale to open a cash drawer.
Larger Systems Vs. Smaller
There are almost as many different point-of-sale systems available as there are fast food restaurants!
Looking into all the different options out there for a POS system can become extremely overwhelming.
When deciding whether or not to go with an industry-specific point-of-sale system, the stress can double. Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far to find the perfect point-of-sale system for your fast food restaurant.
We strongly recommend either TouchBistro or ShopKeep for your fast food restaurant’s point-of-sale system needs. The features are comprehensive and the price is affordable for just about any sized business.
POS System For Established Fast Food Chains
More established fast-food chains may want to consider a higher-end option, such as Toast. The price is higher, but it is better equipped to manage larger businesses.
You could read through endless point-of-sale system reviews all day in hopes of deciding which one is right for you. Or, you could let us spend all day reading reviews, and then read our reviews of the best systems available.
The second option definitely saves business owners a lot of valuable time. Regardless of the size of your fast food restaurant, we hope this guide helped you in making a decision.
In addition to the POS System you may want to check out our review of scheuldefly -- a cloud-based scheduling app for the hospitality industry.