The 6 best POS systems for bars and pubs in 2022

Whether you serve cocktails or craft ales, check out our pick of the best POS systems that can help to boost efficiency and revenue

Be it a nightclub, wine bar, or gastropub serving food, you need a point of sale (POS) system that makes yours and your team’s lives easier and keeps your customers coming back for another round.

But which are the best POS systems for your bar or pub? And how do you decide between the many similar products that, nowadays, seem to do everything shy of making the drinks?

We’ve compared the features, fees, and functions of some of the top POS systems on the market to help you choose one that’ll set your bar up for success, whether you’re a cocktail king or a craft ale connoisseur.  

Read on for our pick of the 6 best POS systems for bars and pubs. Or, if you’re ready to get quotes, just give us some basic info about your business using the form at the top of the page and we can match you with top providers today.

You can jump straight to one of the providers below to learn more or keep reading to compare them all.

>See also: Best payment processors for UK small businesses – 11 of the best


Epos Now

Pricing

Epos Now for pubs and bars: £25 per month 

Features

  • EPOS system, cash till, and printer included in price
  • Real-time data to any of your devices
  • Mobile ordering software for at-table service
  • Integrations with more than 100 business tools
  • Real-time inventory

Epos Now is a complete solution for bars and pubs that includes everything you need to manage your bar – EPOS system, cash till, and printer – for the very competitive price of £25 per month. 

The hardware itself is robust, with a water-resistant touchscreen to protect it from clumsy customers or staff spillages. But it’s not all about hardware. You can manage everything from one hospitality platform, with real-time reporting data on sales, staff, and margins. Best of all, with advanced bar and pub stock control software, Epos Now claims it can track inventory right down to the last remaining millimetres of a bottle, so you can get an order in to your supplier with plenty of time to spare.   

Epos Now’s Pro+ all in one EPOS and portable payments system is an invaluable tool if you have servers providing an at-table service. The device allows them to take orders and accept payments while on the move. And with payment authorisation, you can check whether a customer has sufficient funds before they open a tab.

Finally, Epos Now integrates with a dizzying 100+ business tools and apps that make the day-to-day running of your bar even easier. 

Compare bar and pub POS system quotes


BarTab

Pricing

Bar Essentials: £39 per month

BarTab Pro: £59 per month

BarTab Partner: £99 per month

Features

  • At table and mobile ordering
  • Stock management 
  • Reporting and insights
  • Online cash up and accounting software integration
  • Offers, promotions, and loyalty 

BarTab is an iPad-based EPOS, booking, staff scheduling and ordering system that’s been built with the needs of bars and pubs in mind. It prides itself on being a user-friendly system, meaning it’s easy to on-board staff, while quick access to key actions from the menu keeps your bar queue moving. 

You can predefine sets of spirit mixers to make it simple for bar staff to key in common drinks and create upsell options that can prompt staff when relevant. And you get a digital screen to display your beer and drinks options that automatically syncs when you update your EPOS system. 

BarTab also comes with a decent range of admin features, including stock control, which can track beverage and cocktail ingredient supplies and allows you to order instantly based on sales history and stock levels; and cash control, which can integrate with your accounting software, provide automated updates on sales, and alert you to any sales/cash up discrepancies.

Prices for the most basic system start from a reasonable £39 per month, with each additional POS also charged at £39. Mobile ordering fees are between 1.5 to 2.5% + 20p per transaction depending on which plan you’re on. 

Compare bar and pub POS system quotes


Lightspeed

Pricing

Essentials: £39 per month

Plus: £79 per month

Enterprise: custom pricing

Features

  • No monthly transaction limit
  • Split bars by item, course or seat
  • Create an unlimited number of menus and assign to specific devices  
  • Automatic stock keeping 
  • Get insights direct to your phone 

Lightspeed is a cloud-based EPOS system that you can access from an iPad or other device. 

Lightspeed Payments, which accepts a range of credit, debit, and mobile payment options, makes this EPOS system a great option for busy bars. There are no monthly transaction limits, so you can process an unlimited volume of drinks orders, and the fast check out process reduces manual processes for quick customer turnover. 

From within the system, you can manage everything from designing custom floor plans to creating menus and combos of items that are frequently ordered together. You also get a wealth of data on finances and employee performance that you can use to make strategic staffing decisions. 

However, many of Lightspeed’s best features are available through third parties rather than in-built, meaning you may have to pay subscription costs. Also, if you’re using Lightspeed Payments, you also have no choice over the hardware you use – you have to purchase the Castles S1F2 payment terminal through Lightspeed in order to be compatible. 

Lightspeed also starts from £39 per month but charges lower transaction fees than BarTab (credit and debit cards: 1.2% + 10p, American Express: 2.75%).

Compare bar and pub POS system quotes


TouchBistro

Pricing

TouchBistro POS: £56.78 per month (+hardware and additional fees)

Features

  • Track guest spending and reward loyalty 
  • Integrations with a variety of bar inventory software
  • Manage access by setting staff permissions 
  • Two tap fast bar order mode
  • Reporting and analytics give insights into everything from sales by team member and drink popularity 

Speed and convenience is the name of the game with TouchBistro’s Bar POS. Customers can pay in a variety of ways, and it’s easy to set up tabs, split bills and transfer tabs to different tables, while Fast Bar register mode allows you to take and close orders in just two taps. 

We also like that it encourages upselling – you can set automatic prompts that alert your staff to relevant promotions and upgrades – and loyalty, by allowing you to track customer spending and reward your regular customers with special offers. 

Lastly, TouchBistro has some excellent inbuilt analytics, with more than 50 reports that can offer crucial insights into your business, including daily and weekly revenue, and breakdowns by team member, product, menu category, and more.

And if you can’t find a crucial function, TouchBistro, integrates with a range of popular accounting, inventory management, payment processing, staff scheduling, and online ordering software, so you can build a setup that works for your business. 

The main downside of TouchBistro is that, at nearly £60 per month, its starting price is significantly higher than rivals.

Compare bar and pub POS system quotes


Zettle 

Pricing

Zettle card reader: From £29

Full POS setup: From £189 (excluding VAT) 

Features

  • Specialist POS integrations 
  • Send remote payment links 
  • Send digital receipts and manage everything from the cloud
  • Edit stock levels and add items within the app
  • Daily reports on sales and staff performance

While Zettle hasn’t been designed as a specialist POS system for bars like some of our other providers, its simplicity, sleek design, and low fees make it a great option for smaller bars and pubs.

Using Bluetooth, you can set up Zettle within minutes and start selling instantly, and the intuitive POS app makes it easy for your staff to get up and running quickly. You can also have multiple accounts, which staff can switch to without logging out, while daily reports for each user allow you to continually monitor performance. 

What we love about Zettle is how flexible it is. You don’t even have to use the Zettle POS system with its hardware. If you have an existing system or something more specialist POS, it’s easy to sync it with the Zettle card reader. 

The hardware itself is sleeker and smaller than many legacy systems, with a range of ready-made and customisable POS setups in both black and white, so it’s easy to find a solution that fits your needs and budget. 

Finally, Zettle accepts all major debit and credit cards, as well as Apple, Android, and Google Pay, so no customer needs to be turned away empty-handed. 

Compare bar and pub POS system quotes


Square

Pricing

Free: Free

Plus: £69 per month

Premium: Custom pricing

Features

  • Conversational modifiers can speed up ordering 
  • Integrate with a variety of accounting and hospitality apps
  • No refund or chargeback fees
  • Organise reports by time of day, covers, and employees
  • Email marketing and loyalty functions available 

Square for Restaurants and Bars says it is designed to help you and your staff get the most out of every shift.

A quick review of its features and functions shows that description to be pretty much spot on. Square makes it easy for busy bar staff to key in orders with ‘conversational modifiers’ such as ‘add’, ‘extra’, and ‘no’, and an intuitive order entry system to improve accuracy, and the payment processing is quick and easy: funds can be transferred to you as soon as the next day, and Square doesn’t charge refund or chargeback fees. 

You can get a fairly comprehensive POS system on the free plan, but if you really want your bar to soar, you’ll want to move on to the Plus plan, which has more advanced features, though at £69 per month, is significantly more than many of other top POS systems. 

That said, like Zettle, Square offers a customisable range of well-designed till and POS setups, with terminals, readers, registers, and printers to suit all requirements. For example, you can choose to run Square POS from your own tablet for £329 or get a Square Register Kit with no tablet needed for £839. 

Compare bar and pub POS system quotes


Next steps

Still not sure which are the best POS systems for your bar? Why not use our free tools to compare top providers today.

Simply fill in our free quote-finding form, and answer a few simple questions about your business (it takes less than a minute). We’ll match you with the most appropriate POS systems for your needs in the UK.

All pricing information is accurate as of 21st June 2022.

Henry Williams

Henry Williams is a freelance journalist specialising in small business topics, such as Making Tax Digital.