Compare Fees and Functions of Popular Restaurant Systems

Which Restaurant POS system should you buy? Your decision should depend on good information. We'll give you a comparison of the pricing and functionality of several popular restaurant systems to help you make your decision.

COMPARISON

Restaurant POS Monthly Costs

When it comes to point of sale software providers, recurring costs will be your #1 expense. Here are some popular providers with their monthly costs listed in alphabetical order.

Fee Details Explanation of fees for licensing, support and add-ons
Monthly Fees Estimated fees with 2 Stations and $5000 online sales
Monthly Fees Estimated fees with 2 Stations and $5000 online sales
BPA Restaurant Professional
  • $40 monthly license and support which covers software and most hardware issues
  • No additional monthly fee for additional stations
  • Gift Card program - included
  • Customer Loyalty Program - included
  • Reservations - included
  • Guest management - included
  • Inventory management - included
  • Accounting - included
  • On Account orders - included
  • Payroll processing - included
  • Online ordering - $50/mo with EatOnTheWeb.com
  • No online order transaction fee
$90
per month
CAKE Point of Sale
  • $69 monthly fee with contract for Cake Software
  • $69 monthly fee with contract for Cake hardware
  • Each Additional Terminal – $49/mo
  • Gift Card program - $25/mo
  • Inventory management - $109/month
  • Accounting (integrated with QuickBooks) - $67/mo
  • Payroll processing - $40/month
  • Online ordering - $49/month
  • 5% transaction fees for online orders
$806
per month
Square
  • Retail POS $60 per month for the first POS station but missing many business reports and functions
  • Each Additional Terminal – $40/mo
  • Gift Card program - Included
  • Loyalty program - $75/month
  • Inventory management - Included
  • Accounting (integrated with QuickBooks) - $67/mo
  • Payroll processing - $34/month
  • Support - Limited support available. The bulk of their support comes from support articles on their web pages. Users are expected to research and solve their own support problems, if possible, using this support data. After researching a problem if they have not found a solution, they can obtain a code off the Square web site that will allow them to talk to a support person. There is currently no charge for this support.
    Note - With Square, you may need to purchase 3rd party hardware support to get quick turn around for hardware problems, especially if you are not running Square hardware. Conservatively, the cost will be about $80 per hour. This would reasonably add $160 per month to your cost to run Square.
$276
per month
Toast
  • $75 monthly fee with contract for Toast Software
  • Each Additional Terminal – $75/mo
  • Gift Card program - $50/mo
  • Loyalty program - $25/month
  • Inventory management - $75/month
  • Accounting (integrated with QuickBooks) - $67/mo
  • Payroll processing - $79/month
  • Online ordering - $50/month
  • You may not need all the functions offered by Toast but other products like BPA include all of these business functions plus more without any additional costs. Realistically, to be most profitable, you will need these extra business functions.
$496
per month
TouchBistro
  • $69 per month for the single POS license
  • $129 per month for two POS licenses
  • $249 per month for up to 5 POS licenses
  • Loyalty program - $99/mo
  • Reservations management- $229/month
  • Accounting (integrated with QuickBooks through Shogo) $97/mo
  • Payroll processing - $40/month
  • Online ordering - $49/month
$643
per month
ACCOUNTING & BACK OFFICE
 

Accounting & back-office

Make sure to consider the availability, cost and integration of functionality for back-office and accounting operations in your Point of Sale software.

BPA Restaurant Professional
BPA is completely integrated with its own back-office accounting system. However, it also allows you to export to QuickBooks your general ledger and payroll, for those who desire it. For the QuickBooks export functions the customer will pay QuickBooks a monthly fee and a support fee. The BPA back-office system supports inventory, customer orders, vendor orders with auto reorder levels, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, General Ledger, Bar Code printing, Payroll and over two hundred business and restaurant reports plus a custom report generator.
CAKE POS
For back-office functions Cake integrates with QuickBooks. QuickBooks fees apply.
Square POS
For back-office functions Square integrates with QuickBooks. QuickBooks fees apply.
Toast POS
For back-office functions Toast integrates with QuickBooks. QuickBooks fees apply.
TouchBistro
For back-office functions TouchBistro integrates with QuickBooks. QuickBooks fees apply.
WHY ACCOUNTING MATTERS

How important are back-office functions to a restaurant’s operation?

Many of the newer restaurant software systems available today do not provide traditional integrated business functions; functions that are critical to maximizing your bottom line. Since 59% of new restaurants are out of business within three years, you need to have these business features to make you more profitable. You do not want to be among the 59%.

It's easy to understand why many software providers exclude these features as it takes 10-20 years to arrive at a mature business system. The business features we are talking about include auto vendor orders, vendor check printing with general ledger entries, reorder levels, inventory snapshots, inventory cycle counts with auto general ledger postings, accounts receivable for on account orders, customer definitions that support on account orders, payroll with payroll histories, employee definitions that support pay deductions and history, an inventory management system that automatically posts to the general ledger, and hundreds of canned traditional business reports with custom report generation along with many, more features.

Without these features you will probable ignore important business functions, lose sales opportunities and live with bad data. Some restaurant products integrate with third party software to solve these problems but this is not usually the best solution. For example, how do you order inventory in a product like Quick Books and then consume the inventory in your restaurant system and keep inventory accurate? How do you carry and consume the inventory in both places without constant double entry? How do you maintain daily accurate inventory in both places. How do you account for food loss in both inventory systems? What do you do when the inventory reports in both systems do not match? How do you move food loss into your third party accounting general ledger? How do you create food recipes in your restaurant system and maintain inventory levels for the individual items in your Quick Books system.

You will have similar problems in product definitions, accounts receivable, payroll, vendor orders, vendor payments, tax definitions, product pricing, unit of measure conversions, reorder reports, and many others.

Along with your restaurant functions you want a system where you can assign multiple vendors to each product, pick the vendor to receive the order for a specific product reorder, automatically convert the unit of measure from cases to each when the product is received, store the product in inventory, print a check to the vendor by due date, have the general ledge entries automatically occur, and print a general ledger report to reflect the changes to inventory, the bank account and accounts payable. These business functions are easily completed on a single system. Try doing this in two different systems.

All business accounting systems also include an accounts receivable module. You will need this module for your restaurant. If you support catering for large parties, care centers, schools, government agencies, family members etc. they may want to pay you on-account. Using a restaurant software system that supports accounts receivable, you will typically press an on-account button and select a customer to add an order to accounts receivable. All your inventory and sales data will be tracked as usual. The general ledger a/r account will be increased to reflect the on account order. And, if you print an accounts receivable report you will see this order and all others that have been processed on-account. When the check or credit card for the on-account order is received you will go into accounts receivable and receive the payment. All appropriate general ledger accounts will be adjusted. Try doing this on two systems.

How will you perform vital business accounting functions?
You may not need them today...
Tomorrow they might save your business.
Tableside Service
 

Tableside Service

Tableside order processing allows full-service restaurants to improve customer service, increase table turn times and improve profits, and provide greater security for customer's card info with tableside payments.

BPA Restaurant Professional
RapidServer integrated tableside ordering for android devices supports tableside ordering and payment processing via EMV or point to point encrypted card swipes. RapidServer starts at $15/month for a single unit up to $80/month for unlimited devices.
CAKE POS
Tableside ordering software $49/month
Square POS
Each additional tableside device $40/month
Toast POS
Each additional tableside device $50/month
TouchBistro
Varies from $40 to $60 per month depending on the number of devices
Credit Card Rates

Credit Card Processing Fees (2019)

It is really difficult to come up with accurate cost comparisons for credit card processing. All of these vendors will at times be above or below each other. Strive to get a rate that is reasonable, knowing that you can negotiate the processor portion of the fees in the future.

BPA Restaurant Professional
Variety of rates determined by Clearent, Global Payment Integrated or your own processor starting at 2.5%
CAKE POS
You pay 2.5% + 10c
Square POS
2.9% + 0.30 (must use their hardware and pay monthly hardware fees)
Toast POS
Variable fixed rate + variable monthly fee
TouchBistro
2.99% + $0.15 + $200 setup fee

IN SUMMARY

The best value and business functionality for your money is clearly BPA Restaurant Pro. The developer of this product, Business Software Solutions Inc., has been installing business solutions since 1988 with over 16,400 installs.
* Disclaimer: Pricing and rates represent our best effort to find complete detailed information from the providers included. Prices and rates are always changing and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.
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