BEST OF

Best POS Systems for Food Trucks of December 2022

The right point-of-sale system processes orders and payments and has other features to help you run your business.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

If you own and operate a food truck, your operation is different from other small businesses. As a quick-service business that’s constantly on the go, you have to consider flexibility, mobility and cost when it comes to the point-of-sale system used by your food truck.

If you’re looking for food truck POS systems with in-depth functionality and can afford the higher monthly service fee, you might consider TouchBistro. If affordability and multiple mobile options are priorities, you might consider Toast, Clover or Square.

Best POS Systems for Food Trucks

Our pick for

Overall functionality

TouchBistro

TouchBistro

TouchBistro

Payment processing fees

N/A

Monthly fee

$69/mo

$69 and up.


Why we like it

With easy-to-use and expansive software, TouchBistro provides the reliability, speed and capabilities you need in a food truck POS system. It operates on a local network, meaning it doesn’t need the internet to run, but the system uses the cloud for reporting, so you’ll have access to your data anywhere, regardless of location.

Pros

  • Tailored for the restaurant industry.

  • Helpful features such as menu cloning, time tracking and inventory management.

  • Customizable add-ons.

  • Easy-to-use interface.

  • Customer support available 24/7 at no additional cost.

Cons

  • No free or pay-as-you-go options.

  • No transparency on hardware or payment processing costs; quote only.

  • Automatic contract renewal with short cancellation window.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Startup food trucks

Toast
Shop now

on Toast POS's secure website

Toast POS

Toast

Payment processing fees

2.99% + 15¢

if you pay for hardware monthly; 2.49% + 15¢ if you buy upfront.

Monthly fee

$0

Starter plan; $140 Restaurant; $165 Essentials.

Shop now

on Toast POS's secure website


Why we like it

Toast's POS system is designed for restaurants even to the point of including hardware that can withstand spills and heat. Its free plan is a low-cost option for food truck businesses that are just starting out.

Pros

  • 24/7 phone, email and chat support.

  • Free plan available with one or two POS terminals.

  • Built specifically for restaurants.

  • Flexible payment options with no interest or fees.

Cons

  • Contract required.

  • Lacks transparency of payment processing rates.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Mobile POS system

Clover
Shop now

on Clover POS's secure website

Clover POS

Clover

Payment processing fees

2.3% + 10¢

or 2.6% +10¢ in-person, depending on plan; 3.5% + 10¢ online.

Monthly fee

$40

Starter plan; $44.95 Standard and Advanced plans.

Shop now

on Clover POS's secure website


Why we like it

Clover’s impressive mobile hardware options can run on cellular data plans and its free customer engagement tools make it a strong choice as a mobile POS system.

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support.

  • Can pay for hardware in installments.

  • Customer loyalty program available.

  • Includes online ordering capabilities.

Cons

  • Cannot use existing tablets that weren’t bought through Clover.

Read Full Review

Our pick for

Free POS system

Square
Shop now

on Square Restaurant POS's secure website

Square Restaurant POS

Square

Payment processing fees

2.6% + 10¢

Monthly fee

$0

Starts at $0/month for unlimited devices and locations. Free, Plus, and Premium plans available.

Shop now

on Square Restaurant POS's secure website


Why we like it

The free version of Square for Restaurants has mobile POS options and includes a free magstripe card reader. This limits your costs to only the related processing fees of a card transaction. Additional tools, such as team management, customer directory, online checkout and a virtual terminal, are also available in the free plan.

Pros

  • Free plan available.

  • App and card readers are compatible with iOS and Android devices.

  • Can pay for hardware in installments.

  • No long-term contracts or installation fees.

  • All plans include free online ordering.

Cons

  • Free plan doesn’t include 24/7 support.

  • Customer loyalty program is an add-on for all plans.

Read Full Review

Our picks for best food truck POS systems

Our pick for: overall functionality

Software cost: Starts at $69 monthly with add-on features available for an additional fee.

Hardware cost: An iPad is required to use as your portable POS terminal. Quote-based pricing is used for packages that may include hardware such as cash drawers, receipt printers, kitchen display systems and customer facing displays.

Payment processing cost: Quote-based pricing through payment partners like Square, TSYS and Worldpay.

Why we like it: As a POS system created by people from the restaurant industry, TouchBistro offers robust functionality for all kinds of food-service businesses, including food trucks. With its variety of features, flexible system and custom-built plans, TouchBistro can be a great option for food trucks of all shapes and sizes. Notable features include:

  • Ordering: The TouchBistro mobile payments terminals let you take orders from inside or outside your food truck. You can add, edit and search order items and cash customers out with quick register buttons.

  • Payment processing: TouchBistro offers direct payment processing integrations from top providers like Square and Worldpay. Additionally, TouchBistro accepts the full range of payments including cash, credit and debit cards and digital wallets such as Apple Pay.

  • Menu: You can easily build a menu by adding or cloning items, sync it with other menus and schedule the introduction of specials based on time of day and season.

  • Staff: The system includes built-in features to track all of your employee activity, monitor employee hours and performance and enable clocking-in and out functionality.

  • Customer engagement: Add-ons are available for online-ordering, customer loyalty, marketing, gift cards and reservations for an additional monthly cost.

  • Inventory: The system allows you to track your ingredient inventory, update inventory after new shipments come in and manage stock levels.

  • Reporting and analytics: You can access your sales data anywhere. The system includes over 50 detailed reports such as daily sales and staff insights.

  • Support: Customer support via phone, chat and email is offered 24/7/365 as well as self-service resources on its website.

Our pick for: startup food trucks

Software cost: From $0 to $165 per month, plus custom pricing option.

Hardware cost: A terminal or handheld kit is included with the free plan at no cost. Printers, kiosks, cash drawers, barcode scanners and other accessories offered for a fee.

Payment processing cost: Quote-based pricing.

Why we like it: Toast food truck POS is mobile, affordable and easy to use. You can start out with the free plan and then upgrade as needed by moving to a more advanced plan or selecting add-ons that are important to your operation. Notable features include:

  • Menu management: This cloud-based system lets you access and update your menus from any device and manage availability of menu items.

  • Inventory management: This add-on lets you monitor inventory, determine recipe costs, schedule recurring orders and send orders directly to your suppliers.

  • Payments: Toast handles credit and debit card processing in-house, but doesn’t provide rates. Instead, processing rates are quote-based for each business.

  • Reporting and analytics: The system lets access key reports and sales performance through a cloud-based system. You can view net sales, labor costs and monitor performance over a set period of time.

  • Training: Toast has online lessons, videos and articles that can be used for training, plus live Toast classroom sessions and a test mode that can be used to become familiar with the system.

  • Add-ons: For an additional fee, you can get features such as mobile ordering with QR code scanning capabilities, scheduling and team communication, marketing, customer loyalty programs and gift cards.

Our pick for: mobile POS system

Hardware and software cost: Starting at a flat $49 for the Go plan, which includes a card reader and virtual terminal. The Flex handheld POS system starts at $35 monthly or $499 to pay in full. The Mini system starts at $90 monthly or an upfront payment of $799 can be made to reduce the monthly fee to $44.95. With each of these systems, your credit card terminal is included, but other accessories must be purchased separately.

Payment processing cost: Fees vary by plan. Starting at 2.3% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction.

Why we like it: The Clover POS system was built to accommodate a variety of businesses. With mobile hardware choices and solid features, you may find that Clover is the best POS system for your food truck.

Compared to TouchBistro, the Clover POS software may be simpler; however, it still offers the capabilities you need to start your food truck and manage daily operations.

  • Menus: The POS system lets you create menu items, select categories and add color-coding to help with order accuracy.

  • Ordering: The system accepts all major payment types including contactless and allows you to preset tip amounts.

  • Inventory management: To keep inventory current, you can assign categories, labels, modifiers and variants.

  • Team performance: The system lets you manage schedules and timesheets, set permissions and run reports to see how employees are performing.

  • Analytics: You can track sales from any computer or mobile device and filter reports to show your busiest times and best-selling items.

Our pick for: free POS system

Software cost: Free plan offered. Advanced features are offered in the Plus plan at $60 per month and custom pricing is available in the Premium plan.

Hardware cost: A free mobile card reader that enables you to take swiped payments is available and a Square reader for chip and contactless payments can be purchased for $49. Square terminal, a mobile POS system, starts at $299.

Payment processing cost: 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction.

Why we like it: Perhaps one of the most well-known POS providers on the market is Square. Square POS offers an intuitive, simple system with a variety of mobile hardware options. Plus, Square’s pricing is transparent and it offers free software.

Square POS can be accessed as an app on both iOS and Android devices and offers the following capabilities:

  • Orders: Square POS allows you to customize your menus from anywhere and take orders with QR codes.

  • Payments: Square serves as your payment processor with its POS system. You can accept credit and debit cards, cash, checks and gift cards — both online and offline.

  • Inventory: Square POS allows you to manage and track your inventory from anywhere. You can edit items, update quantities, receive low stock alerts and import or export inventory items.

  • Dashboard: The Square Dashboard gives you the ability to manage your back-office operations in one place, with tools for inventory, managing customer profiles and viewing sales data.

  • Team management: Set employee permissions, track employee time and optimize labor costs and staffing with employee reports and analytics.

  • Directory: This free feature lets you add customer profiles with contact information, view purchase history and save credit cards on file.

  • Analytics: Real-time analytics and sales reporting — giving you the ability to track sales, compare data based on timeframes and see what customers spend and return — at no additional cost.

  • Square tools: In addition to the third-party integration options Square offers in its marketplace, you can also buy add-on tools such as Square payroll, marketing and customer loyalty.

  • Support: Square provides customer assistance for its free plan Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you upgrade to the Plus plan, you’ll have support 24/7. Help articles, videos and FAQ are also offered.

How to choose a food truck POS system

As a mobile, fast-paced business, you’ll want a POS system that’s affordable, flexible and easy to use. While a number of POS systems could work, it’s probably best to consider systems that offer capabilities specific to your type of business.

A good POS system will give you the ability to accept multiple payment methods including credit and debit cards, digital payments, cash and gift cards. Also, consider whether you want a system that has in-house credit card processing or if you want the option to integrate with a third-party processor.

Your POS system will need to have menu management capabilities, including the ability to customize your menu — accommodating different item types, categories, modifications and other useful options. The ability to track and manage your inventory as well as out-of-stock notifications are important, also.

The POS system should be able to take orders quickly and easily, communicate with any peripheral devices (like receipt or ticket printers) and allow for modifications, split payments, taxes, gratuity, promotions and discounts.

An offline mode, so you can take orders and accept payments without an internet connection, as well as multiple mobile hardware options, like tablets and smartphones, is important.

In addition, consider how the POS system handles peripheral connections — can you connect to a Bluetooth printer, for example — as well as how and where you have access to your POS account.

In addition to basic business operations, you can benefit from a POS system that includes features such as employee management, customer relationship management and loyalty programs, analytics and reporting and third-party integration options.

Look at systems that offer customer support in a variety of ways. This includes direct support via phone, live chat and email, as well as self-service resources such as tutorials, FAQ and community forums on its website. Some POS systems will also provide hands-on assistance with setup and training.

You’ll need hardware to operate your POS system, which can be your largest upfront investment. When looking at different POS systems for your food truck, you’ll want to determine what kind of mobile hardware is offered (tablets, smartphones or hand-held devices), where you can purchase the hardware, if you can use hardware you already own, what types of other devices are compatible with the core terminals and overall cost.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

Last updated on October 13, 2022

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best POS Systems for Food Trucks of December 2022