Our research suggests that Square POS is currently the best option out there for bars and drinks venues. From its happy hour pricing feature to its optional dark mode, the POS is feature-rich and one of the most cost-effective solutions on the market. If you run a smaller or bespoke bar, however, TouchBistro may also be a worthy contender, due in large part to its powerful inventory tracking system.
With so many options to choose from, we understand how difficult it can be to settle on a POS provider. To make life a little easier for business owners, we’ve developed a POS comparison tool that can match your bar to a perfect provider in minutes. To find a suitable fit for your drinks business, fill in the form to receive bespoke quotes or take a look at our findings below.
Tech.co rating for bars
Score out of 5 based on Tech.co's independent market research.
Best Bar POS for
Tech.co's verdict to help you identify the most suitable choice for your bar
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Best overall bar POS
Best for breweries and wine bars
Best for a quick initial set up
Best small business growth features
Best for CRM tools
Best for cocktail bars
Best for hotel bars
Best android system
Best for quick service
Free (but transaction fees apply)
$39 per month
$29 per month
$99 per month
$59 per month
$69 per month
$69 per month
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A brilliant POS system for any type of business
A very strong restaurant and bar-specific POS
A solid service for growing businesses that want a painless system
A strong POS option with sophisticated sales and discounting features
Revel POS is a decent choice for anyone looking to build customer relationships
An impressive restaurant-focused POS with loads of features
A trustworthy choice to strengthen your business
A stand-out restaurant-specific POS that offers great customization and a variety of ordering options
A decent full-service POS with handy reservation and hardware options
Take a shortcut to our best providers here:
- 1. Square POS – Best overall bar POS
- 2. TouchBistro POS – Best for breweries and wine bars
- 3. Epos Now – Best for large bars
- 4. Talech POS – Best for happy hour
- 5. Revel POS – Best for CRM tools
- 6. Upserve POS – Best for cocktail bars
- 7. Lightspeed POS – Best for hotel bars
- 8. Toast POS – Best android only system
- 9. Cake POS – Best for quick service
1. Square POS – Best Overall Bar POS
- Editor rating: 4.7/5
- Price from: Free (but transactions fees apply)
If you run a small business, chances are you’ve already heard of Square. The POS provider is one of the leading names in the industry, when it comes to affordability and user experience, Square for Restaurants is second to none.
According to our research, Square is the best option for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's super easy to add users and expand transaction limits to the platform, making it perfect for bars looking to scale up. Secondly, Square's offering is excellent value for money and its support options are unbeaten. Below we break down its features and pricing structures in greater detail.
- Free to get started
- Slick and stylish hardware
- Serves businesses of all sizes and in all sectors
- Strong analytics, inventory, and third-party integrations
- Some necessary features for mid-sized businesses cost more
- 3.5% + 15¢ charge for keyed-in transactions
- Support options vary by plan
Square POS Features
Because Square’s software can run anywhere, business owners can use the system on their existing hardware. This can be a real asset to bars that aren’t looking to fork out on new devices.
Aside from its versatile applications, Square for Restaurant also excels when it comes to stock control. Its inventory management features allow users to create menu items and track sales per unit. This feature is especially useful to drinks venues that specialize in bottled drinks like wine and beer.
Another one of Square for Restaurant's selling points is its huge App Marketplace. The store gives users access to a wide range of platforms that are able to benefit multiple areas of the business. For instance, the Food & Drink Exchange app can update prices in real-time and the Pretamenu app can get bars online in minutes.
Square's toolkit is expansive, but if you're basing your decision on features alone, our research suggests that Lightspeed and Toast may be better options. This is because they offer a slightly more generous package for bars and restaurants. If you're still confident Square is the best point of service for your business, we take a look at how its prices stack up below.
Square POS Pricing
- Square Free – Square’s free restaurant and bar POS software includes a point of sale system, team management tools, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. customer support. However, the most basic plan doesn’t contain seat management, course management, or floor plan customization features.
- Square Plus – Square Plus is available for $60 per month. It offers advanced POS features including seat and course management as well as robust sales and reporting features. Users can also add on a POS device for $40 a month.
- Square Premium – Square’s premium plan contains a full suite of features as well as optional add-ons like Square Payroll, Square Loyalty, and Square Marketing. The plan is designed to scale with businesses and prices are available on request.
You can read a more in-depth breakdown of Square's POS pricing here.
- Editor rating: 4.2/5
- Price from: $69 per month
As the provider's name suggests, TouchBistro was designed with hospitality businesses in mind. TouchBistro closely trails Square’s offering in terms of its great usability and features, with the system boasting an array of flexible and hardware options. Unlike Square, however, TouchBistro doesn’t offer a free plan and is slightly more expensive than other bar POS systems.
- Versatile and intuitive interface
- Strong staff and inventory management
- 24/7 support
- Pricing is based on number of users, which can add up
- TouchBistro does not sell POS hardware
- Limited business development and till features
TouchBistro POS Features
For businesses looking to save time, TouchBistro's “Fast Bar” mode can help servers take orders with a few simple taps. The feature allows users to modify drinks, print receipts, and take payment options in a simplified and speedy manner. The mode can also be turned off and on which is great for businesses that handle busy spells.
TouchBistro POS is also lightyears ahead when it comes to stock control. The provider's inventory tracking systems allow you to track menu items, units of stock, and individual ingredients so every piece of inventory is accounted for. The system is also be customized to the unique needs of businesses, adding to the POS's versatility.
TouchBistro also offers an interactive sales dashboard that allows users to view a seven day snapshot of their sales data. The cloud-based dashboard also lets managers to set weekly targets, whether it be based around total number of sales or customer numbers. This tool makes it super easy for users to keep track of their performance and identify areas where more revenue can be made.
TouchBistro POS Pricing
TouchBistro’s pricing system is unique. Instead of charging its users per month, its prices depend on the number of licenses required.
The provider's most common plan, TouchBistro Solo, offers one user license for $69 per month. The Dual plan, designed for two users, comes in at $129 per month, and their Team plan, available to a limit of five users, costs $249 per month.
Moreover, if your bar requires a limitless number of POS licenses, TouchBistro Unlimited plan can cater to an uncapped number of users for $399 per month.
Reservations and Online Ordering add-ons are also available at an additional cost.
3. Epos Now – Best for large bars
- Editor Rating: 4.2/5
- Price: $39 per month
Epos Now for Pubs and Bars is a pretty solid POS option for bars. It offers loads of useful third-party integrations, promising staff training options, and even retails its own hardware. This makes it a great option for growing businesses and those not already relying on POS devices. However, Epos's standard package may be on the pricier side for smaller venues.
- Quick and easy set up
- Simple interface makes it easy to train staff
- Widely compatible with barcode scanners and receipt printers
- Lacks complexity in reporting
- Paid customer support and no knowledgebase
- No kiosk option or CRM
Epos Now Features
Epos POS excels when it comes to employee management tools.
The provider offers unlimited staff training sessions for $35 per month, where new employees are able to learn how to use the software. This can be a real lifesaver for employers who are onboarding multiple new recruits at once. The system is also kitted out with a unique training mode, which allows new staff to practice with the till without interfering with monthly sales reports.
Besides its promising employee training features, Epos Now also offers sophisticated inventory and stock management tools, making it easier for larger bars to keep stock of their products. Bartenders can use the function to track individual items of stock, cocktail ingredients, or even kegs of beer. The system even allows you to split your inventory into different sub-categories, helping to keep stocks as organized as possible.
Epos Now Pricing
Epos POS's basic software package is available for $39 per month, or $499 manually. This plan includes sales reporting, stock management, and customer relationship tools. Epos Now also offers two other plans at two distinct price points. To find out more information about the provider pricing model, we recommend speaking to a sales rep directly.
4. Talech POS – Best for happy hours
- Editor rating: 4.3/5
- Price from: $29 per month
Talech is another decent POS option for bars. According to our independent research, the system is on par with TouchBistro’s and Epos Now’s offerings. But with Square POS offering slightly more advanced features and overall more bang for your buck, it's unable to beat the provider to the top spot.
- Granular product settings
- Great support for customer exchanges and refunds
- Easy-to-use interface
- No ecommerce integration
- Feature set not as broad as some
- Low customer score
Talech POS Features
From sales and inventory management to support and training options, Talech’s POS software isn’t short of handy features. Moreover, the POS software is compatible with every type of iPad and most point-of-service devices.
While Talech's suite of features are all pretty strong, the system particularly excels when it comes to CRM tools. For instance, its customer management features allow users to gain deeper insights into their buyers by tracking their data and creating individual profiles.
If your bar is partial to a happy hour deal, Talech also lets you issue discounts at fixed times and days of the week. Buy-one-get-one-free deals can also be applied to any type of product or drink at any time.
Talech POS Pricing
Talech offers three core packages, we break them down below.
- Talech Starter – Talech’s most basic plan is available at $29 per month. Talech Starter offers users access to a range of features including employee permission, order management, refund, and product inventory tools. However, the plan is only eligible for up to five employees and 100 products so isn’t suitable for medium-sized bars.
- Talech Standard – Talech Standard offers all the features available with the starter plan and caters to an unlimited number of users and products. The plan retails at $69 per month.
- Talech Premium – For bars seeking a greater selection of features, Talech’s Premium package contains table management, online ordering, and inventory alert functions, alongside its core offering. Bars can expect to pay $99 per month for the package.
- Talech Enterprise – Talech Enterprise was designed for larger businesses with unique POS requirements. Prices for this plan are available on request.
With all of the plans, bars will be charged an extra $29 per month for each additional device, with gift card support also available for a further $49 per month.
- Editor rating: 4.1/5
- Price from: $99 per month
Revel’s POS is another popular system for bars. And due to its versatility, the software is also available to a wide range of other businesses including retail stores to cafes. Revel’s POS is fully cloud compatible, is able to work offline, and offers a broad range of dynamic features. Thanks to its expansive toolkit, Revel is especially suited to large and growing drinking establishments.
- Intuitive user interface
- Good range of customer relationship tools
- Insights app for dedicated reporting
- Can be complicated to set up
- Prices start at $99 per month
Revel POS Features
Revel POS really comes into its own when it comes to sales and reporting. Its reporting suite organizes transactions into useful, detailed reports. The provider even offers its own ‘Insights by Revel’ app which allows users to view their bar's performance in real-time.
In addition to its reporting features, Revel POS has an impressive suite of customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Its software allows business owners to gain valuable insights through customer databases and personalized profiles. For businesses looking to build deeper customer relationships, these features can be a real asset.
Revel POS Pricing
Due to Revel POS’s expansive features, it doesn’t come cheap. The service starts at $99 per month, per terminal, when billed annually on a three-year contract.
If you’re looking to install hardware and onboard your system, this will cost you an additional fee starting from $674.
6. Upserve POS – Best for cocktail bars
- Editor rating: 4.1/5
- Price from: $119 per month
Upserve by Lightspeed is a slick POS system that was designed with hospitality businesses in mind. The versatile hardware and modern, user-friendly interface make it a great option for bars looking for a more premium system. Its heftier price tag, however, might make it less suitable for smaller establishments.
- Range of tableside features
- Deep menu control
- Dedicated training modes
- Wide range of compatible hardware
- No free version or free trial
- Some features are reserved for pricier plans
Upserve POS Features
Upserve's core subscription plan contains marketing tools, employee scheduling tools, campaign management, and CRM features. Compared to other solutions on the market, this basic package is pretty advanced.
Besides these features, Upserve POSs recipe lookup tool allows users to enter custom cocktail recipes into the system. Not only does the unique tool let Bartenders upload their entire menu of bespoke cocktails onto the till it even lets them make up new combinations on the spot. This is one of the main reasons Upserve's POS offering is so ideal for cocktail bars.
Upserve POS Prices
- Upserve Starter – Upserve's most basic POS plan costs $59 a month for one terminal, with each additional terminal costing $60 per month. Upserve starter offers training mode, offline mode, and guestbook features, aside from its core POS services.
- Upserve Pro – This mid-tier plan comes in at $199 per month, with each extra terminal costing $50 per month. To justify its slightly steeper price point, Upserve Pro offers more advanced menu management features and stock alerts.
- Upserve ProPlus – Otherwise known as the Enterprise Plan, Upserves' most premium offering sets users back $359 per month and charges $40 for each extra terminal. The ProPlus POS plan welcomes an unlimited amount of add-ons and is designed to grow alongside expanding businesses.
7. Lightspeed POS – Best for hotel bars
- Editor rating: 4/5
- Price from: $69 a month
Lightspeed Restaurant is a POS made for hospitality businesses. The system is a little pricier than others on the list, but its free trial and flexible payment plan still make it accessible to bars on tighter budgets. What's more, while Lightspeed POS doesn't offer as many features as its rivals, its unique third-party integrations make it stand out for industry-specific businesses like hotel bars.
- Ideal for retail stores with barcoded inventory
- Straightforward pricing
- Slightly more expensive than some rivals
- Harder to use for restaurants, florists and businesses without barcodes
- Doesn't integrate with weighing scales
Lightspeed POS Features
Lightspeed for Restaurants shines when it comes to third-party integrations. From accounting software from QuickBooks and Xero, to bar-focused apps like RapidBar and BeerSaver, users can combine the system with a broad range of third-party services.
Notably, Lightspeed POS also connects with hotel property management software (PMS) which allows users to process room payments. Few other point of service providers offers this integration, making the POS a promising choice for hotel bar owners.
Lightspeed POS Pricing
- Lightspeed Lean – This stripped-back plan costs users $69 per month, and grants users access to Lightspeeds core POS system and basic payment processing services.
- Lightspeed Standard – Lightspeed Standard is a little steeper at $119 per month. However, for the extra cost businesses can enjoy additional ecommerce, sales analysis, and accounting features.
- Lightspeed Advanced – At $199 per month, this premium plan is better suited to large or growing bars. On top of the standard features, it lets users benefit from a number of sophisticated CRM tools.
- Lightspeed Enterprise – Finally, LightSpeed Enterprise is the provider's most comprehensive plan. It provides sophisticated analytic tools to help managers keep track of their sales, and it's designed for businesses operating over multiple venues. The price of this plan is decided on a case-by-case business so users need to enquire for a custom quote.
If all these prices are a little steep for your business, we'd recommend taking a look at our POS quotes form. It provides you with bespoke quotes in minutes, making it much easier to find a budget-friendly point of service system.
8. Toast POS – Best android only system
- Editor rating: 4/5
- Price from: Free (but transactions fees apply)
Not all businesses run on iPads. If your bar doesn't use Apple technology, Toasts' Android-only POS system could be a great option for you. Toast POS was specifically designed with hospitality businesses in mind and its slick, cost-effective software offers an array of handy features for bars. In fact, we think it offers one of the most feature-rich packages out there.
Unfortunately though, the point of service won't work for everyone. It's not compatible with Apple devices, lacks payment processors, and according to our research, offers the worst help and support service out of any other featured provider. For this reason, Toast POS is unable to appear any higher up our list.
- Great for Android users
- Strong menu customization
- Support for tableside ordering and payment
- Doesn't work on iOS devices
- No integrated payment processors
- Limited help & support offered
Toast POS Features
Like the other POS frontrunners, Square and Upserve, Toast provides a generous suite of marketing and CRM tools. For instance, the system automictically collects customer email addresses and creates customer profiles from card payments. This makes the POS system a safe bet for bars looking to improve levels of consumer engagement.
Toast is also ahead of the herd when it comes to third-party integrations. Users of the POS are able to opt into a variety of beverage-focused add-ons like BrewLogix, which allows servers to track their keg usage, and Pour My Beer, which lets them offer self-serve pours.
Toast POS Pricing
- Toast Starter – Toast's most basic plan starts at $0 a month and features guest engagement tools like email marketing and loyalty cards It also facilitates online ordering and delivery services but lacks more advanced software options.
- Toast Essentials – Toast Essentials offers all the features included in the Starter package, well as custom hardware figuration and access to the Toast TakeOut app. This plan will set you back $165 per month.
- Toast Growth – Toasts' most extensive plan includes sophisticated marketing, payroll, and scheduling tools, as well as over 100 useful optional integrations. Prices are available on request.
9. Cake POS – Best for quick service
- Editor Rating: 3.4/5
- Price: From $69 per month
Cake POS has lots of practical features that were designed with bartenders in mind. They also offer their own till and register for businesses that haven’t already invested in existing hardware.
However, Cake encourages users to sign up for lengthy contracts and its inventory management features are pretty basic, so it's not currently the strongest POS option out there for bars.
- Supports text alerts for reservations to avoid losing customers
- Useful reporting features
- Works offline
- Offers a free trial and 24/7 support
- Initial price of $69 per month is higher than average
- Labor management could be better
Cake POS Features
Cake POS understands that working in a bar can be a pressure-packed environment. Their split-screen mode allows workers to place, edit and cash out orders on the same screen. By letting them carry out different tasks simultaneously, staff members can keep service moving as quickly as possible.
On top of the standard POS features, Cake’s system also lets servers pre-authorize credit cards when they’re taking a bar tab. By using this tool and authorizing the payment type ahead of time, bartenders can return the guest's card immediately and walkouts can be kept to a minimum.
Cake POS Pricing
Cake’s basic package, which includes 24/7 customer support, cloud compatibility, security monitoring, and a training portal, will cost bars $69 per month. The price will then increase by $49 per month for every additional terminal required.
Unfortunately, no free version of the system is available.
Why Do Bars Need POS Systems?
In a time where it's becoming increasingly hard to run a hospitality business, relying on old-school cash registers and paper records is no longer an option. Here are some ways drinks serving businesses can benefit from POS systems.
- Greater efficiency – POS systems make it easier to conduct a series of tasks with greater efficiency. From stock control to customer management, useful POS features can streamline these processes and save staff precious time.
- Better customer experience – POS systems can also improve the customer experience in a number of ways. For example, streamlined order taking leads to shorter wait times, and cross-channel selling features can make the buying experience much more convenient. Since satisfied customers are more likely to make repeat purchases, the benefits of these features are also likely to ripple across the business.
- Increased revenue – Point-of-service systems help users to take orders and handle payments in a slick and time-efficient manner. Aside from making life easier for customers and servers, this can dramatically benefit a business's bottom line by reducing service time and boosting productivity levels.
- Important insights – If your business is interested in driving up growth even further, lots of modern POS systems offer advanced CRM and reporting tools that allow you to unlock valuable, data-driven insights. This information can give business owners a clearer picture of their bar's performance, helping them to retain their competitive edge.
- Reduced errors – When it comes to handling orders, human error is unavoidable. However, by reducing the need for servers to enter information manually, POS systems help to keep mistakes to a minimum.
How to Choose a Bar POS System
While some POS systems are solid across-the-board, some may be more catered to the specific requirements of your bar. So whether you run a brewery or a dive bar, here are some things to consider when determining which POS system is best for you.
- Business speciality – If your bar has a unique concept, it's likely you’ll be able to benefit from targeted POS software. Consequently, when browsing the market it's advised to look for features that will be useful to your type of venue.
- Business size – Different sized businesses will require different features and packages. Therefore, when comparing the solutions, it’s important to take the size of your bar into account.
- Your clientele – The demographic of your bar will also help determine which POS system will be right for you. For instance, are they more likely to benefit from contactless payments and QR-code coupons? Or will more basic features suffice?
- Your budget – If your business is operating on a tighter budget, it's best to look for systems that offer free or affordable plans.
Verdict - What's the Best Bar POS System?
Finally, if you operate a product-oriented establishment like a brewery or wine bar, TouchBistro POS is another worthy contender. Its sophisticated inventory tracking system makes light work of stocking individual items, and its user-friendly interface has the potential to considerably reduce service time.
These options are all strong, but if you’d like to get matched to a perfect provider our POS comparison tool can provide you with custom quotes in minutes. The questionnaire is quick and easy to fill out and there’s no obligation to move forward with any providers either.