POS systems are essential for food trucks, as they allow you to accept payments. Find out what the best ones are.
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Food truck POS essentials
Owning and operating a food truck is a low-cost way to get into the food industry because you won’t have the same overhead.
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When you start a food truck business, you’ll need a truck, the right equipment, and staff, unless you’re running it by yourself.
One of the most important things that you’ll need is a point-of-sale (POS) system. It allows you to take orders, payments, track inventory, and get customer feedback.
A great POS system will have the following features:
- Payment processing. Use a POS system that accepts various forms of payment. It must also work quickly and have an offline mode if there isn’t a good Wi-Fi signal.
- Mobility. An iPad or tablet is great because it’s space-efficient and easy to move around.
- Manage inventory, menu, and orders. Tracking inventory and inputting orders are important. It also allows you to gain insight into what your best items are.
- Digital signatures and e-receipts. You’ll save paper and offer a seamless experience.
- 24/7 support. Knowing that you can get support if things aren’t working allows you to focus on your business.
It’ll make accounting easier and streamlined. You’ll also be able to increase the speed of your service and offer a better experience for your customers.
Square is the top POS system on the market. It also offers an all-in-one POS system that’s specifically designed for restaurants and food trucks.
The best part about the Square Restaurant POS System is that the base plan is free. With the Free plan, there’s no monthly fee, and you get a free card reader.
The card reader can be used with your phone or a tablet. Attaching it to an iPad is one of the best ways to use it.
All you’ll pay for is payment processing fees. For in-person and invoice payments, the fee is 2.6% of the transaction plus 10 cents. For online payments, it’s 2.9% plus 30 cents.
The Free plan is appealing for food trucks because it offers the following features:
- Open checks.
- Menu management.
- Cash management.
- Automatic gratuity.
- Order manager.
- Support from 6 AM to 6 PM PT.
Square can be set up quickly, which means you can start using it immediately by connecting it to an iOS or Android device. The Free plan gives you everything that you need to start taking orders and processing payments.
You can also upgrade to the Plus plan, which is $60 per month per location. It also costs $40 per month per added POS device. This would be ideal if you decide to start multiple food trucks.
The Plus plan opens up advanced POS features, a Kitchen Display System, and 24/7 support. While the Plus plan has a fee, it offers a robust POS system, access to great solutions, and support anytime.
If you want to run payroll, launch a loyalty program, and have access to marketing features, you’ll have to upgrade to Premium. The Premium plan has custom pricing and you must process more than $250,000 per year.
Overall, Square’s Free plan is the perfect way to start taking orders for your food truck.
Get started with the Square Restaurant POS System.
2. Revel Systems
Revel is one of the leading cloud-based POS systems and is higher-end when compared to Square. It offers robust software that’s highly customizable.
For food trucks, the Quick Service POS System by Revel is an excellent choice. It’s a full-service platform, which includes the following features:
- Customer display systems.
- Always On Mode.
- Menu building.
- Advanced tax calculation based on location.
- Flexible payment options.
- Inventory management.
- Employee management.
- Intelligent reporting.
- Integration with QuickBooks and Twitter.
- 24/7 support.
Revel’s robust POS software starts at $99 per month per terminal. The rate is available if you select to be billed annually and includes a 3-year Revel Advantage contract. There’s also a required minimum purchase of two terminals.
If all you’re looking for is a payment processor, you can contact Revel to get a quote. It charges a flat fee for payment processing.
Revel also sells the hardware that you’ll need to set up your food truck’s POS system. You can purchase iPad’s, stands, printers, scales, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and networking.
The main drawback of the Revel POS system is the costs. If you’re starting your food truck, it may not be the best option. However, it’s geared towards established food truck businesses that operate in different states and have multiple trucks.
Get started with Revel Systems.
TouchBistro offers an easy-to-use and versatile POS system that works well for food trucks.
It ensures that your food truck runs smoothly. It also helps you deliver a better and faster customer experience.
The TouchBistro POS system subscription starts at $69 per month for a terminal. It features menu management, cloud-based reporting, analytics, unlimited users and logins, free integrations, and 24/7 support.
You can enable online ordering for $50 per month, which also syncs with your TouchBistro POS to provide an up-to-date menu. You can also offer gift cards for $25 per month.
There are other add-ons, such as kitchen display systems, customer-facing displays, self-ordering kiosks, and digital menu boards that you can get.
Like Square, TouchBistro is a do-it-yourself POS system when it comes to setting it up. You won’t have to worry about paying a fee for the installation or setup. Instead, you can start taking orders as soon as you finish.
Get started with TouchBistro.
4. ShopKeep by Lightspeed
ShopKeep by Lightspeed provides everything you need in a POS system for your food truck. It’s packed with plenty of features that’ll make your food truck business more profitable.
The following are features that make ShopKeep is an excellent POS system:
- Accept popular card types at one rate without any hidden fees.
- Set up quickly with plug-and-play hardware.
- Built-in PCI compliance and fraud prevention.
- Various reporting options.
- Ingredient-level inventory tracking.
- Integration with UberEats, Foodora, or DoorDash.
- Offline mode.
- 24/7 support.
Another great feature is ShopKeep Pocket, which is an app for you to track sales, data, employee hours, and inventory details. It allows you to manage your food truck when you’re not physically there.
ShopKeep offers tiered pricing that starts at $59 per month if billed annually. If you prefer monthly payments, it’s $69 per month. You can also get additional registers for $34 per month for each one.
There are also add-ons, such as customer-facing display, kitchen display systems, and e-commerce that starts at $12 per month.
Premium add-ons start at $39 per month. It includes accounting, loyalty programs, a self-order kiosk, delivery integration, and order ahead capabilities.
With all of the features and benefits, ShopKeep is worth the price.
Get started with ShopKeep by Lightspeed.
Toast is an efficient and versatile all-in-one POS. It’s designed to increase sales and cut expenses for your food truck business.
The Cafe and Bakery POS System works perfectly for food trucks. It offers the following features:
- Analytics and reporting.
- Menu and inventory management.
- Payment processing that’s compatible with many popular card types.
- Offline mode.
- Rewards and loyalty.
- Guest facing display.
- Employee management.
- Mobile point-of-sale.
- 24/7 support.
Toast offers two pricing plans. There’s the Pay-as-You-Go plan, which doesn’t have a monthly fee. Instead, you pay 2.99% plus 15 cents for each transaction. You’ll also have to commit to a two-year term.
The Standard plan starts at $69 per month. However, you’ll have to pay $799 up-front for the POS hardware and starter kit.
If a customer is paying with their card present, the fee is 2.49% plus 15 cents for each transaction. If their card isn’t present, the fee is 3.50% plus 15 cents for each transaction.
Overall, Toast’s Standard plan can be an expensive option if you have small margins and low start-up funds. Instead, start with their Pay-as-You-Go plan to get your food truck up and running.
Get started with Toast.
Starting a food truck can be overwhelming, as there’s a lot to do and think about. Having a solid POS system ensures that you can take orders, manage your menu, inventory, and operate a successful food truck.
Featured image courtesy of Canva.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of More Money More Choices, which he launched to help you take control of your finances and build your dream life. Before More Money More Choices, David worked in leadership positions in the finance industry.