It’s easier than ever to find restaurant POS systems in the UK. In the past, setting up any food outlet required extensive equipment, complicated restaurant EPOS software and long contracts, but options are generally more affordable now.

Practically all modern till systems are cloud-based, meaning they rely on the internet to be synced up in real time. Some systems have offline functionality, sometimes requiring special equipment. Moreover, some of the best software only works on iPad, but there are options for PC, Android tablets and Mac too.

That’s a few basics. Let’s look at six good EPOS systems for restaurants.

Restaurant EPOS Cost* Rating Website
TouchBistro logo £40-£49+/mo
per till
Lightspeed logo £59+/mo
per till
Epos Now logo £15-£50+/mo
per till
The Good Till Company logo £29+/mo
per till
Square £0-£69/mo
per location
Zettle £29/mo
per till

*Pricing excludes VAT.

Restaurant
EPOS
Cost* Website
TouchBistro logo £40-£49+/mo per till
Lightspeed logo £59+/mo per till
Epos Now logo  £15-£50+/mo per till
The Good Till Company logo  £29+/mo per till
Square £0-£69/mo per location
Zettle £29/mo per till

*Pricing excludes VAT.

TouchBistro – highly user-friendly with good service

TouchBistro
Our rating
  • Works online and offline

  • 24/7 phone and email support

  • Only runs on iPad and Apple devices

  • Minimum 1 year’s commitment

TouchBistro is an elaborate till for restaurants and other food-and-drink businesses. The system is cloud-based, but can work offline through a local network of iPads connected to an iMac, Mac Mini or Mac Pro. If you’re using more than one iPad register, it’s a requirement to have such an Apple network in place to connect them up.

Photo: TouchBistro

TouchBistro tablet screen behind a bar counter

TouchBistro’s customer support is top-notch, both in terms of how easy it is to get help and their personal experience in the sector. Within the app, you can send screenshots directly to the support team who can then guide you more easily on the phone or by email – both available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You pay per iPad (one licence each) that uses the software. It is possible to pay monthly, quarterly, every 6 months or yearly but the minimum commitment is a year.

Licences include all TouchBistro POS features, but extra customer loyalty plans are available through a third party integration from £29 + VAT per month. Customer loyalty is limited in TouchBistro’s own app.

Price per licence

1st: £49 + VAT/mo
2nd-3rd: £45 + VAT/mo each
4-9th: £40 + VAT/mo each
10+: Custom quote

The restaurant EPOS app is comprehensive and useful, with both standard functions and thoughtful extras designed to maximise the customer service experience. It’s also possible to add a self-service kiosk where people can order from, customer-facing displays and a kitchen display to optimise operations – all available as separate apps created by TouchBistro. Delivery platforms like Uber Eats can be connected for an additional cost.

Can you try it before committing? Yes, TouchBistro offers a 7-day free trial without registering a username and 21 days extra if you register with a username. You can also book a free demo.

Lightspeed Restaurant – balanced with lots to offer

Lightspeed
Our rating
  • Works online and offline

  • 24/7 phone support

  • Runs on iPad only

  • No long-term contract needed

Lightspeed Restaurant is a very adaptive POS system for small-to-large food establishments. The software works while connected to WiFi or a mobile network, but its offline mode enables you to carry on operations during internet outages.

Recently, Lightspeed acquired several other EPOS systems across the world including Kounta and iKentoo. This has led to a new design of the restaurant POS app, inspired by iKentoo.

Lightspeed offers all new users a free video onboarding session where you can have all your questions answered. They also have customer support lines open 24 hours, seven days a week excluding holiday periods. Emailing and chatting via the website are also possible, and there’s a help section on their website.

Lightspeed Restaurant prices start at £59/month per till in one store, which is the price calculated for paying annually. Paying monthly costs more: £69 per month per till licence. You are encouraged to contact Lightspeed for a quote, as the pricing also depends on your exact business requirements. Lightspeed offers all sorts of feature add-ons that incur extra costs.

You can cancel the subscription any time for free, but it is not possible to get a refund for anything paid already.

Price per month

£59 + VAT per register on annual plan

£69 + VAT per register on monthly plan

Add-on features available at additional cost

The Lightspeed Restaurant features are the same for each licence, but additional integrations with external software are available. For example, it integrates with external food delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo, but this costs extra.

Can you try it before committing? There’s a limited demo account in the app for testing, or you can contact Lightspeed for an offer.

Epos Now – best support for large businesses

Epos Now
Our rating
  • Works online and offline

  • Customer support costs extra

  • Runs on iPad, Android, Mac and PC

  • Usually with contract

Epos Now is a scalable system that works on PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablets. It is suitable for small businesses as well as large restaurant chains. Epos Now sells hardware packages with touchscreen monitor, receipt printer, cash drawer and more. The system can be used with card terminals from Retail Merchant Services, Worldpay, Paymentsense and Takepayments.

Epos Now offers 24/7 customer support, but only on the Premium plan. The Standard licence only includes email support and some initial help with setting up, so it is expected you can manage most things yourself on the cheapest plan. On the Enterprise plan, you can get onsite support.

There are three subscription tiers: Standard, Premium and Enterprise. In all of them, you can add unlimited products, users and customers, and software and security updates are included. The Standard and Premium plans both have cloud reporting, while the Enterprise plan has more advanced reporting. The additional charge for customer support (i.e. you have to be on Premium) could be a deal-breaker for cash-strapped merchants considering most other POS systems include phone support at any price level.

Subscriptions

Standard: £25 + VAT/mo per till, £15 + VAT/mo per extra till

Premium: £50 + VAT/mo per till, £30 + VAT/mo per extra till

Enterprise: Custom quote

While there have been reports of features being limited, technical issues getting started and usability challenges, Epos Now offers a good range of essential functions for restaurants and the option to integrate with ecommerce and Deliveroo. You can also rent touchscreen PC terminals in equipment bundles if you can’t afford to purchase it upfront.

Can you try it before committing? You can request a demo and free 30-day trial through a contact form on the website. Just beware that Epos Now is known for using contact details for marketing purposes, which you may need to opt out of.

Goodtill – core features with multiple add-ons

Goodtill
Our rating
  • Works online and offline

  • Customer support available

  • Runs on iPad only

  • 12 months’ commitment minimum

Goodtill – previously referred to as The Good Till Company – offers modular POS plans so you only get the features relevant to your business. First off, you subscribe to a Core POS Module, which you then add optional modules to. The Hospitality Module is most relevant to restaurants. The system works only on iPad, and the dashboard with analytics is accessed in a browser.

Photo: Goodtill

Good Till Company cafe countertop setup

Goodtill gets good user reviews, but it is less clear when their support lines are open – we just know they offer customer support. Their online help section covers a good amount of topics, and they support a number of third party integrations.

Initially, it can seem like a cheap system at £29 a month per iPad, but the additional modules for a restaurant could make the final cost high. The core module includes decent reporting and basic POS features suitable for a variety of face-to-face businesses.

Restaurants would definitely need the Restaurant Module (£9) and possibly Kitchen Display (£9/month), Loyalty (£18), Advanced Promotions (£18), Customer-Facing Display (£9) and Goodeats online ordering (from 1.7% +12p per transaction – no monthly fees). A minimum of a year’s Goodtill subscription is required.

Pricing

Core POS Module: £29 + VAT/mo per till

Hospitality Module: £9 + VAT/mo per site

Optional Modules: £9-£29 + VAT/mo each

Goodtill can be used with card machines from Square, Barclaycard, Zettle, SumUp and Paymentsense. Hardware can be purchased from Goodtill’s online store, but using your own equipment is also fine provided it is compatible.

Can you try it before committing? Yes, you can request a demo and free trial from the website. After submitting contact details, Goodtill will get in touch to discuss trial options.

Square for Restaurants – good value, with card payments

Square
Our rating
  • Works online, no offline mode

  • Support only on weekdays

  • Runs on iPad and Square Register

  • No contract, cancel any time

Square for Restaurants is a POS system built for fast-paced food and drink businesses. The software only works on iPad together with Square’s own card terminals, not other card machines, but you do get a lot of additional online payment tools integrated with the front-facing EPOS system.

Image: Square

To sign up, you only need to complete a simple online form and connect your bank account. You can then get started using the free Point of Sale app with general features, Restaurants Free plan with more hospitality features, or Restaurants Plus with a full range of restaurant features.

The Restaurants software is simple, but sufficient, for a small restaurant where tills need to coordinate kitchen orders and table service.

The Free plan lacks some important features like close-of-day reports, item availability tracking, seat management, advanced service charge settings and a Kitchen Display System – all included on the Plus subscription for £69 + VAT per month for unlimited registers in one location.

Pricing

Free plan: Free

Plus plan: £69 + VAT/month per location (unlimited tills)

1.75% card transaction fee

The software automatically works with Square Reader for card transactions, and syncs with the standalone Square Terminal for table service payments. Instead of using iPad, the elegant Square Register (£599 + VAT) with a touchscreen and attached card terminal works with any Square EPOS.

Apart from POS features, you can set up click and collect, integrate with takeaway platforms and accept bookings over the phone with the complimentary Virtual Terminal. eGift Cards, payment links and QR codes for touch-free ordering are also included for free. Overall, Square is excellent value for money, but we do recommend trialling the software in case it lacks advanced features you need.

The Free plan only includes customer support on weekdays between 9am and 5pm, but Plus has 24/7 support to suit the social hours of restaurants.

Can you try it before committing? Yes, there’s a 30-day free trial of the Plus subscription.

Zettle Food & Drink – suits quick-service restaurants

Zettle
Our rating
  • Works online, no offline mode

  • Support every day during work hours

  • Only runs on iPad

  • No contract, cancel any time

Zettle (formerly iZettle) Food and Drink is a straightforward EPOS system made for small eateries, coffee shops and bars, but can be ideal for quick-service restaurants that don’t need to keep a tab on orders between tables. It runs on iPad and is synced in the cloud, but doesn’t work offline. It is easy to get started, and you can cancel it any time.

The POS system lets you add detailed food items, modify orders, analyse wastage, distinguish between eat-in and take-out VAT, send orders to a kitchen printer, and more. It does not include table plans and cannot (yet) connect with external food delivery platforms.

Image: Zettle by PayPal

Zettle Food and Drink

Food & Drink can send payment links directly from the checkout screen – ideal for socially distanced transactions. Zettle Reader is the only card terminal that integrates with the software, but the fixed 1.75% transaction fee for card reader payments suits many startups. Neither the POS system nor card reader come with contractual commitment.

Zettle offers customer support on weekdays between 8am-8pm and weekends between 9am-6pm through phone, email and live chat. The online help section provides some guidance on features, but doesn’t cover all feature topics yet. The company generally ranks highly for their service and products. In fact, it is the most popular mobile card reader provider in the UK.

Pricing

£29 + VAT/mo per iPad

1.75% card transaction fee with Zettle Reader

Compared to other restaurant till systems, the £29 + VAT licence per month is a low-cost subscription per till. However, additional iPad licences each cost the same, as opposed to other providers who typically reduce the price for extra registers. The costs can therefore easily rack up for a small business with many tills, making this solution economical mostly for small restaurants, cafés and bars.

Can you try it before committing? Zettle offers individualised offers – request an offer through the green button below.

Other restaurant till systems

What’s another EPOS system for restaurant businesses in the UK? The biggest contender is Zonal EPOS (also called Aztec), which has been popular for decades given its personalised approach to hospitality software and equipment solutions.

Revel Systems is a reputable brand for small-to-large restaurants, but has mixed user reviews and comes with high start-up costs. iiko has some good customer reviews among small restaurants, but their British customer base is still in the growth stage.

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