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. And 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. Now, here are the EPOS systems for restaurants we rate highest:

Restaurant EPOS Cost* Rating Website
Lightspeed logo From £39/mo
TouchBistro logo From £49/mo
Epos Now logo From £25/mo
Square £0 or £69/mo
Goodtill by SumUp From £29/mo

*Pricing excludes VAT.

Restaurant
EPOS
Cost* Website
Lightspeed logo From £39/mo
TouchBistro logo From £49/mo
Epos Now logo  From £25/mo
Square £0 or £69/mo
Goodtill by SumUp  From £29/mo

*Pricing excludes VAT.

How we rate POS systems

All the POS systems on this list have been assessed and tested by us with special rating criteria in mind.

The most important criteria on this list is whether the POS features are enough for small restaurants. For instance, can you add a structured menu, manage orders easily and accept a service charge? Is it easy to set up, and are reports and integrations adequate? Does it only work on iPad, or on Android and PCs too?

To summarise, we look at:

  • The breadth and quality of EPOS features
  • Subscription costs per POS register and costs of add-ons
  • Transparency about pricing and product and whether sign-up is easy
  • Value-added services, e.g. if it comes with built-in payments and online ordering
  • Customer support options, quality of service and reviews from users
  • Ease of cancellation and whether there is contract lock-in

Lightspeed Restaurant – balanced with lots to offer

Lightspeed
Our rating:
(4/5)

Pricing
Essentials: £39 (annual) or £59 (monthly) + VAT/mo for first till
Plus: £79 (annual) or £99 (monthly) + VAT/mo for first till
Card transactions from 1.2% + 10p
Free demo available

Pros

  • Very customisable

  • Long-term contract not required

  • Works both online and offline

  • 24/7 support and online resources

  • Integrated payment system

Cons

  • Sign-up and trial require phone call

  • Only works with iPad

  • Not as advanced as it used to be

  • Costs can rack up with integrations

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.

The app looks a bit basic to begin with, but once you start to set up the menu and till interface, you  see its full potential. For example, left-handed users will be pleased to know that you can switch to a left-handed interface.

Image: Mobile Transaction

Lightspeed Restaurant prices start at £39/month for one till on an annual ‘Essentials’ plan (monthly plan costs £59 per month). This is suitable for quick-service restaurants and smaller operations, whereas full-service restaurants would need the ‘Plus’ subscription for £79/month on an annual plan or £99/month if you pay monthly.

The Plus plan contains table-service features, customer loyalty tools and gift cards on top of Essentials’ point of sale, menu and course management features. Users also get functions for takeaway, QR code ordering, reports and analytics.

Lightspeed Payments is integrated in the system, enabling you to accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express, but this requires that you buy a card machine through Lightspeed.

The system connects with food delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Deliveroo at an extra cost.

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

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.

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.

TouchBistro – highly user-friendly with good service

TouchBistro
Our rating:
(3.8/5)

Pricing
From £49 + VAT/mo for the first till
Various add-ons cost extra
Free demo or trial available

Pros

  • Works both online and offline

  • 24/7 phone and email support

  • User-friendly POS system

Cons

  • No UK website, poor transparency about pricing and add-ons

  • Minimum 1 year’s commitment

  • Only runs on iPad and Apple devices

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.

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.

Image: Mobile Transaction

TouchBistro app tab example

Licences include a complete range of TouchBistro till features. A Reservations module can be added for an additional fee to manage table bookings.

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 customer-facing displays and a kitchen display system (KDS) to optimise operations – all available as separate apps created by TouchBistro for an extra subscription.

Delivery platforms like Uber Eats can be connected through a Deliverect integration,
and Flipdish connects if you need customer loyalty tools. Their preferred card machine partner for integrated payments is Barclaycard Business.

TouchBistro’s customer support is generally okay. 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.

Because TouchBistro no longer has a UK website, it looks like they only serve North American businesses. The information online is misleading, to say the least, because several features on the website are for US or Canadian users only. We can confirm they do still accept British users, but signing up requires requesting a quote from TouchBistro who will phone or email you back with details.

Can you try it before committing? Yes, you can book a free demo or try the demo account in the app without registering.

Epos Now – very customisable setup

Epos Now
Our rating:
(3.7/5)

Pricing
Standard: £25 + VAT/mo
Premium: £50 + VAT/mo
£15-£30 + VAT/mo per extra till
Various add-ons cost extra
Free demo or trial available

Pros

  • Runs on iPad, Android, Mac and PC

  • Works both online and offline

  • Very customisable setup

Cons

  • Pricing not transparent

  • 1-5 years’ contract

  • Customer support costs extra

  • Many features require paid add-on

  • Complaints about service and bugs

Epos Now is a scalable system that works on PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablets, online or offline. The Epos Now Hospitality software can be purchased for a one-off price upfront or paid on a monthly basis.

It is suitable for small businesses with its fairly affordable hardware packages with a touchscreen monitor, receipt printer, cash drawer and more. You can also rent touchscreen PC terminals in equipment bundles if you can’t afford to purchase it upfront.

Image: Epos Now

Epos Now Hospitality till screen

That said, Epos Now locks you into a contract of 1-5 years. This is not transparent on the website, similar to its other costs that are not apparent until you realise missing features requiring a paid add-on module or integration with external software.

There are three subscription tiers: Standard, Premium and Enterprise. In all of them, you can add unlimited products (or rather: Epos Now does this for you, which is not always convenient), users and customers, and software and security updates are included. The Standard and Premium plans both have cloud reporting, while Enterprise has more advanced reporting.

The system can be used with card machines from Retail Merchant Services, Worldpay, Paymentsense and Takepayments.

Epos Now offers 24/7 customer support, but only on the Premium plan or with an extra care package. This could be a deal-breaker, considering most other POS systems include phone support at any price level.

The Standard licence just includes email support and some initial help with setting up, so it is expected you manage most things yourself. On the Enterprise plan, you can get onsite support.

While there are reports of features being limited, technical issues and usability challenges, Epos Now offers a good range of essential functions for restaurants and the option to integrate with ecommerce and Deliveroo.

Can you try it before committing? You can request a demo or free 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.

Square for Restaurants – good value, with card payments

Square
Our rating:
(3.7/5)

Pricing
£0 (Free) or £69 (Plus) + VAT/mo per location (unlimited tills)
1.75% per card machine transaction
30-day trial available of Plus

Pros

  • No contract, cancel any time

  • Many free features

  • Integrated payments

  • Free ordering functions, delivery integrations available

Cons

  • No offline mode

  • Features may be too basic

  • Not for Android or computers

  • 24/7 support requires paid plan

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.

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.

Image: Mobile Transaction

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 end-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 at one location.

The software automatically works with Square Reader for card transactions, and syncs with the standalone Square Terminal for table service payments. Instead of using an 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.

Goodtill by SumUp – core features plus added modules

Goodtill by SumUp
Our rating:
(3.7/5)

Pricing
From £29 + VAT/mo per till
Optional modules £9-£29 + VAT/mo each
30-day trial available

Pros

  • Works online and offline

  • Online ordering functions included

  • Very customisable with modules

  • User-friendly POS software

Cons

  • Works on iPad only

  • Incomplete help section online

  • 12-month contract required

  • Complaints about bugs

Goodtill by SumUp offers a modular POS system, i.e. you only get the features you choose for your business. (We should point out that the Goodtill brand will soon be phased out and be called SumUp Point of Sale only.)

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.

Image: Mobile Transaction

It may 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 Hospitality Module (£9) and possibly Loyalty (£18), Promotions (£18), Kitchen Display Screen (£9 each) and an integration with Deliveroo or Uber Eats (£9 each). All users get free online ordering software (from 1.7% +12p per transaction). A minimum of a year’s Goodtill subscription is required, though.

Goodtill by SumUp integrates with select third-party software and can currently be used with card machines from SumUp, Dojo, Square, Barclaycard, RMS, Zettle and Paymentsense.

The POS system has received mainly positive user reviews, but we have personally experienced bugs while testing. The online resource section is also poorly structured and lacks information about some features. But you can contact customer support every day within set daytime and evening hours for help.

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

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.