Best Free Restaurant POS Software: Top 11 Best Free Restaurant POS Software (2023)
It’s important to choose a restaurant POS platform with all the features your business needs to grow. Let’s review 10 free POS systems for F&B businesses.
How to Choose the Best Free Restaurant POS Software
Whether you are opening a restaurant or upgrading your systems from an old-school cash register, there are a few key things to lock down first that will impact your operations, ability to grow, and staff happiness. And one of the most important considerations is your point of sale (POS) software.
Why is POS software critical for restaurants?
Your POS system can support your menu, sales, staff, vendors, online ordering, loyalty programs, and more. These systems can attract customers and create a seamless dining experience. But, if they aren’t efficient, POS systems can cause frustration and missed orders, leading customers to seek more modern, optimized establishments.
We’ll review the top free restaurant POS software choices available (according to G2’s scoring methodology, shown below, that incorporates user reviews and market presence), looking through the pros, cons, and pricing for upgrades to help you make the best decision.
Top Free Restaurant POS Software Options
Loyverse Free POS
How to Choose the Best Free POS for Your Restaurant Business
First, think through what you need from your POS system. If you’re new to restaurant ownership and operations, look for a software platform that offers out-of-the-box setup and reports, a simple user interface, and ample customer support.
Next, begin thinking about the nature of your team. Do you have a small or a large team? Are they tech-savvy or beginners to technology software and hardware? Think about how quickly they can adapt to a system that requires more technical knowledge.
Finally, consider how this platform will serve your restaurant business as you grow. Once you add your menu, train your staff, connect your systems, begin managing your vendors, and get comfortable with the software, switching POS systems can become difficult (and expensive.) Choose a POS that will grow with you, offering features that will support you in the future when your needs change.
Let’s compare the top ten best free POS systems for restaurants. We will explore what users like, find challenging, and what pricing looks like if you upgrade.
Toast is the restaurant-first platform built to run your entire restaurant – whatever your size, concept, or ambitions. Ranked in 2022 as G2’s leading restaurant point of sale system, Toast has solutions for every restaurant and budget. But, point of sale is just the beginning. Toast offers handheld POS devices, contactless ordering, online ordering and delivery, marketing and loyalty programs, payroll and team management, and more.
Restaurants who use Toast frequently boast the ease-of-use, flexible pricing plans, and improved efficiency when compared to their previous POS platform. Plus, Toast’s offerings and services allow for the POS platform to grow with your business.
Toast is specifically tailored to restaurants. Made by restaurant people, for restaurant people.
A cloud-based platform that can be accessed where you need it, when you need it
Integrates with the most widely used restaurant software, from reservation management and security to payroll, delivery, and more
Restaurant-grade hardware that’s 3x faster than competitors
Toast hardware operates on Android systems and you cannot use hardware from other platforms
The Toast Starter Kit package starts at $0* down. The Pay-as-You-Go plan keeps startup costs low by including Starter Kit Hardware for $0* (just pay shipping and taxes), and eliminating monthly POS software subscription fees. The payment processing fee covers all costs, meaning Toast only gets paid when you do. One flat rate applies for all credit card transactions, regardless of card type and entry method. The Pay-as-You-Go platform rate is 2.99% + 15¢ per transaction for both card-present and card-not-present processing.
Square is well known as a top POS platform for any business. It gained popularity with retailers and on-the-go businesses for its signature portable square card reader. Square accepts credit card payments, Google Play, and Apple Pay. In addition, it can store customer profiles.
Square users enjoy the ability to accept card payments and sync products between devices using the cloud. Users in the restaurant industry note that there are certain limitations on the free plan, inclining an upgrade to the paid subscription. Also, some newer devices without a headphone jack don’t work with the system.
Easy to use
Customer service helpful and “dedicated to finding out what works”
System allows users to set aside payments for taxes and investing
Limited customization options
Free plan has limitations that require upgrades to a paid subscription
Users wish Square had more “customization options or the ability to connect to more third-party services.”
The Square Point of Sale app has a free plan with payment processing and hardware starting at $0 with their free reader. The POS app is free to use without setup fees or monthly fees. It costs users 2.6% + 10¢ per in-person payment via tap, dip, or swipe, and 6% + 30¢ per online transaction.
MYR POS is a cloud-based POS app for quick service restaurants. It integrates directly with Uber Eats. Customers can send orders directly to the kitchen from an on-site iPad or online ordering apps. Users report that MYR helps them speed up their restaurant operations, improve the customer experience, and fulfill orders faster.
Interface is easy to use and understand
Ability to send orders to the kitchen digitally and on a printed receipt
Increases restaurant operations efficiency so businesses can complete more orders
Hard to amend orders once completed. Requires canceling the order, refunding the customer, and inputting a new order
Does not offer the ability to split checks
Has limited options for catering businesses
MYR POS pricing starts at $80/month for one location, which includes three cash registers, three kitchen displays, and three line-busting apps max. Franchise businesses or restaurants with multiple locations should reach out to MYR’s team for a custom quote.
IncoPOS by Vladster is an open-source point of sale software system that uses their proprietary service IncoCloud to secure user data and connect to other platforms. With 20,000+ users in 50+ countries, IncoPOS supports 13 languages, making it an excellent option for global companies.
One product between the front of house and back of house staff
Sophisticated security system with the ability to remote-wipe private business data from devices
Data syncs to the cloud for flexible business management
Limited support options in some countries
No iOS app option
Some invoicing processes are not compatible with local government requirements
IncoPOS has a free version with basic operations, document management, unlimited users, and 40+ built-in reports for managing your restaurant. They also offer a Starter version from $99 a year per workstation, which includes credit card processing, custom reports, advanced operations, and more.
Harbortouch was one of the first POS SaaS (POS Software as a Service) providers. Designed by Shift4 Payments, this POS runs on their payment processing platform. Harbortouch option includes a free equipment program for all its users. It also offers touchscreen devices and supports English and Spanish.
Helpful inventory management function
Supportive communication for troubleshooting issues
Users feel that Harbortouch takes “about five shifts” to navigate the software and “the screen is easy to look at.”
Easy to choose the wrong payment, which takes a long time to course correct
No search feature makes finding certain items challenging
One head bartender notes that Harbortouch can be “technical for owners, time-consuming, and not very user friendly.”
The Harbortouch free POS has no up-front costs. It comes complete with POS hardware and credit card processing. In Harbortouch's POS hardware, you will find a POS system, receipt printer, cash drawer, and credit card reader. There is a monthly service fee for 24/7 customer support, software updates, and a hardware warranty.
Loyverse Free POS
Loyverse, or Loyalty Universe, has free POS inventory management software accessible through your smartphone or tablet. This system works for any business, from salons to food trucks to car washes. The Loyverse app offers a point of sale, payments, inventory management, analytics, employee management, and more. It is available on Google Play or the App Store.
Simple and secure mobile application
An upgrade from spreadsheets
Provides better visibility into the ordering and inventory process
Allows businesses to create loyalty programs for their customers without using additional software
Limited features for customizing the management of stock and inventory
Some users have experienced limited reporting options in Back Office and the app.
Lack some more advanced features of more complex POS systems and may not be a good fit for larger-scale businesses
Loyverse offers four free products — the POS, Dashboard, Kitchen Display, and Customer Display. Add-ons are available at an additional cost and include employee management starting at $25/month/store, advanced inventory management starting at $25/month/store, integrations for $9/month/store, and more. With these add-ons, customers gain access to 24/7 priority support through online chat.
The Linga Restaurant Operating System is a combination product that has online ordering, loyalty programs, text alerts, kitchen displays, and more. Linga is used by bars, restaurants, lounges, and franchises. It offers modern features for the restaurant industry like self-service kiosks, QR codes, and delivery.
Customers say that setting up Linga is “relatively easy” to use.
Users in the hospitality industry report that “customer level metrics are insightful."
Users feel that customer service can be slow, which can be “an issue” for business owners when they need help.
Some feel that Linga is confusing and takes a while to learn.
Linga has a free trial to help your team determine if it's the right fit. Then, you can upgrade to the Basic plan for $19.99 per month per register, Pro for $49.99/month/register, Enterprise for $89.99/month/register, or a custom plan designed for your business. Linga recommends the Basic or Pro plan for quick service restaurants and Enterprise or custom plans for full service, fine dining, global, or franchise establishments.
Sapaad is a restaurant management software built for small businesses. It includes a cloud-based POS and is device-agnostic. For restaurants just getting started, Sapaad offers pay-as-you-go pricing for more flexibility with tons of add-on features, like a built-in CRM and loyalty program, to explore as you scale.
Can support large and small businesses
Easy to set up and train servers on the system
“No special training required” to use Sapaad
Customers feel that the touch sensitivity on the user interface could be improved.
Some would like more options to organize their kitchen management.
Sapaad starts with a 14-day free trial, then increases to $53.99 per month for one outlet and $96.99 with two outlets. Add-ons come at an additional cost, like inventory management for $35.99/month, CRM for $30.99, and online ordering for $26.99.
eZee Optimus is an all-in-one restaurant POS software helping businesses create a touch-free customer service experience for their patrons. eZee Optimus comes with order management for dine-in, pickup, and room service. It also has an order-taking app for Google Play and iOS, integrations with online ordering providers, restaurant front office management, and more.
Users can access their software and analytics from anywhere
Easy to review restaurant profit and loss statements, purchases, expenses, and inventory in one place
Users find that sometimes they cannot access information on the cloud due to reliability issues.
Some customers feel that eZee Optimus reports can be “difficult to navigate and generate exact data apart from the preloaded reports.”
eZee Optimus offers a free 14-day trial. Monthly subscriptions start at $41/ month/ outlet for the Basic plan with restaurant POS features. If you’re looking for additional features, eZee offers an Advanced plan at $54/month/outlet with inventory and stock management.
BeyondMenu is a restaurant-specific POS with a customizable menu screen, the option to add special notes for the kitchen, and the option to split checks or modify orders. BeyondMenu also includes delivery management, employee management, multiple languages, and reports.
Users find the menu interface to be helpful and “smooth”
Customers enjoy that their favorite restaurants are available on BeyondMenu
Customers find it frustrating that there’s no way to track delivery orders with BeyondMenu and that it doesn’t compare to larger apps like UberEats
Customer service can be lacking, and users feel there is poor communication between BeyondMenu and the restaurants who use it
BeyondMenu’s basic plan is free, with no support fee or monthly recurring fees for free users. When users bring their own PC, there is a $250 one-time setup fee (+$100 for each additional station), and the plan includes free menu setup and training. To set up a tablet on BeyondMenu it’s $700, and for a touchscreen PC with POS software, it’s a $1,025 one-time fee.
The ePOS Hybrid POS system has a purpose - to support hospitality businesses. It’s an all-in-one platform that includes menu and kitchen management, inventory control, staff planning, and analytics.
Customers love the ePOS Hybrid support team.
As part of the free plan, customers get help setting up their first menu.
Some business owners feel that ePOS Hybrid isn’t a good fit for fast-paced restaurant service.
Updates interrupt business operations
Users can try ePOS Hybrid’s hardware and software free for seven days and receive a full refund if not the right fit. The free version includes unlimited orders processed for the first three months, online orders and Order & Pay orders, one ePOS terminal, menu management, promotions, and more. Integrated card payments cost 1.65% and online payments come with a 2.1% fee. The ePOS team will also set up the initial menu and offer 24/7 support via email.
The Best Free POS for Any Restaurant Business
Toast is the #1 rated POS for restaurants on G2 and it was built for restaurants by restaurant people. Toast’s Starter Kit plan starts at $0*/mo. and there are custom plans for quick service and full service restaurants.
The Starter Kit on the Toast restaurant POS platform includes:
A cloud-based point of sale system for accepting payments
Flat rate payment processing
Hardware configuration for one terminal
Connections to online ordering, Toast TakeOut, and Toast Delivery services
Order, table, and menu management
Restaurant reporting and analytics
24/7/365 customer support
Customer engagement programs like email marketing, loyalty programs, and gift cards
And more restaurant-specific features and perks
To get started with the Toast POS, explore the features from every plan (starting at $0*), get a demo, or talk to our team to find out what option is right for your business.
No matter if you’re just getting started or switching up your old POS, this list of the best free restaurant POS software is here to help you make the right pick. Remember to think wisely - a POS system can make or break your business. And, who needs any more headaches as a business owner!
*Pricing applies to new customers and single locations only.
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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.