Best POS for Bars & Pubs

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There are few places where a point of sale system plays such a vital role as in the hospitality industry. As well as simply taking payments, the right POS can manage inventory, allow staff to check in and out, and even handle bar tabs and employee tips.

Making the right choice will help bar or pub owners run a more profitable business, while streamlining back-of-house functionality at the same time.

However, with so many providers offering similar features, how do you decide which will best suit your needs?

In this article, I will share 6 of the best POS systems for bars and pubs, explaining the features, functionality and benefits as I go.

Best POS for Bars & Pubs

Our methodology: How I compiled our list of the best pub and bar POS systems

Why Do Bars & Pubs Need a POS System?

Bars and pubs need a POS system because it helps make their operation smoother and more efficient. Here’s why:

  • Speeds Up Service: A POS system speeds up transactions, especially during busy times, leading to faster service and shorter waits for customers.
  • Stock Control: It keeps track of all drinks and ingredients, warning staff if something is running low. This way, popular items are always available.
  • Age Checks: The system reminds staff to check IDs, which helps avoid selling alcohol to underage customers.
  • Custom Orders: It can handle special drink requests, making sure they’re correctly made and charged.
  • Tab Handling: POS systems make it easier to manage customer tabs, from opening to closing, reducing mistakes in billing.
  • Sales Insights: The system reports on what’s selling well and when, helping with decisions about stock and staffing.
  • Works with Accounting: It can link up with accounting software, which helps with managing money and taxes.
  • Food Orders: If the bar or pub serves food, the POS system can handle these orders too, including deliveries.
  • Staff Management: The system can also manage staff schedules, track hours, and evaluate performance.

The Best Pub and Bar POS Systems in 2024: My Verdict

Deciding which POS system is best for your bar and pub really depends on the size of your business and your budget. The ones I’ve chosen all share excellent customer service, industry-competitive pricing and a high level of functionality.

At the entry level, Square is a simple, contract-free POS with well-priced hardware and a flat-free pricing structure that’s all about transparency. It won’t be the most price competitive, however, for a business with more than 5k turnover per month.

At the next level, Epos Now is great mid level POS which could carry you right up to a multi chain premises. As the largest SMB Epos supplier in the UK they have a lot of specific functionality for the hospitality sector combined with good customer service. I also like YumaPOS which is superbly priced at just £49.99 per month including hardware.

For a certain type of premises, Lightspeed offers cutting edge software that can help bars and pubs with multiple locations or complex needs. There’s a reason over 160 Michelin starred restaurants use Lightspeed, but it’s not the cheapest, nor do they make their own hardware. It’ll work on any Apple device though, or you can integrate it with tills and printers as necessary.

Comparison of the Top Best POS for Bars & Pubs

SystemPriceTransaction RateHardware
Square£0 to £69+ per month1.5% for in-person or 1.4% + 25p for online with UK cardsTerminals: £149+ VAT, Registers: £599 + VAT, KDS: £549 + VAT
CloverQuote on requestRate on requestCountertop, portable, and mobile devices. Quote on request.
Zettle£01.75% for card transactions, 2.5% for Payment LinksTerminals, readers and bundles from £59+ VAT
YumaPOSFrom £49 per monthCompetitive, or you can also use your existing payment processorPackages including countertop and handheld systems
LightspeedFrom £59 per month1.6% on averageBespoke packages, including receipt printers, cash drawers, payment terminals, etc.
Epos NowFrom £24+Bespoke per plan. From 0.4% for in personBespoke hardware bundles or individual items available

The Top Bar POS Systems Reviewed

Square POS for Restaurants: Best for small bars and pubs

Square for Restaurants is a simple and affordable cloud-based POS system.

Its POS system has a lot of flexibility, customisation options, and ease of use.

With no contracts, Square POS for Restaurants is ideal for those who don’t want to commit long-term. Their range of price plans ensures the POS system is affordable, and you can cancel, upgrade or downgrade your plan at any time, giving you ultimate flexibility.

The free plan provides a comprehensive POS system, but the Plus plan, priced at £69 per month, offers more advanced features for businesses looking to enhance their operations. There’s also a Premium plan available for businesses that process more than £200,00 per year, giving you access to custom rates.  A 30-day free trial allows users to explore its full capabilities before committing.

Square supports major credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Tap to Pay. However, you can only use Square Payments as your processor, limiting your ability to shop around for the best rates. Transaction processing fees are also comparatively higher than other POS system providers.

Square POS at a Glance

  • Accepted Payments: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro, Visa Electron, Vpay, Clearpay, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Transaction Rate: 1.5% for in-person transactions or 1.4% + 25p for online transactions with UK cards
  • Key Features: Fast order entry, table management, menu management, service charge, order manager, floor plan customisation, reporting, 
  • Integrations: 100+ integrations including OpenTable, Xero, Deliverect and BevSpot
  • Hardware: Terminals are £149+ VAT, Registers are £599 + VAT and KDS are £549 + VAT
  • Support: Telephone support available 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday for Free plan, or 24/7 for Plus and Premium plans

Price

PlanPrice
Free plan£0 per month
Plus£69 per month
Premium planCustom

Pros

✅ No contracts. Cancel at any time.

✅ Flexible pricing plans including a free option

✅ User-friendly interface

✅ Unlimited countertop and handheld POS devices

✅ No chargeback fees

Cons

❌ Limited specialised features such as inventory and reservation management

❌ Higher transaction processing fee

❌ Limited payment processing options

Yuma POS: Best Priced POS System for Bars and pubs

YumaPOS, established in 2015, specializes in payment and POS systems designed for the hospitality industry. The software is employed in over 3,000 locations across 13 countries, accommodating a variety of businesses from small food trucks to multi chain restaurants like Gourmet Burger.

What impresses me most about YumaPOS is its pricing strategy. For just £49.99 per month, you get a comprehensive package that includes both the software and the necessary hardware, with no hidden costs. This is quite a deal, especially considering the high costs typically associated with POS systems.

While their payment processing fees seem competitive, they also don’t force you to use their own processing, which also sets them apart from other providers. This means that if you’re in an existing contract with someone else, or perhaps merely happy with the rates you’re getting, you can use the YumaPOS hardware as a standalone option.

There are also no hidden extras. With many providers, each piece of additional functionality results in extra charges. With YumaPOS, they literally give you all of it right from the entry level package.

The software itself is user-friendly, too, offering useful features like custom floor plans and kitchen notes. They also meet important compliance standards like PCI and EMV certification.

YumaPOS at a glance

  • Accepted Payments: American Express, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron, JCB, UnionPay, Diners Club, Apple Pay, Google Pay, custom payment links, loyalty points
  • Transaction Rate: Varies based on hardware and payment processing options
  • Key Features: Comprehensive ePOS software, advanced inventory management, detailed reporting, custom floor plans and kitchen notes, over 100 app integrations, CRM functionalities, PCI and EMV compliance
  • Integrations: Over 100 app configurations, compatible with platforms like Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Just Eat, capabilities for e-commerce websites and mobile apps
  • Hardware: Range of options including mobile POS, tablet POS, desktop POS, kitchen display systems, included in monthly subscription
  • Support: 24/7 support with installation, training, and troubleshooting, available via phone or online channels

Price

PlanPrice
Standard£49.99 per month
Custom BundleCustom pricing

Pros

✅ One flat fee gets you everything

✅ Solid customer service

✅ Specially designed for restaurants, bars and pubs

✅ You don’t have to use their payment processing

✅ Wide range of payment options

Cons 

❌ Limited 3rd Party integrations

❌ Contract usually starts at two years

❌ Limited payment processor options

Zettle POS

Zettle, initially known as iZettle, originated in Sweden in 2010 and rapidly expanded its offerings, including introducing a mobile app and point-of-sale products. In 2018, it was acquired by PayPal and rebranded as Zettle By PayPal in February 2021. 

The Zettle Food and Drink is a cloud-based POS system on Apple and Android devices. It integrates with the Zettle by PayPal payment system, offering flexibility in accepting card reader payments and facilitating socially distanced transactions. 

There are no monthly costs or contracts, and transaction fees are transparent but relatively high. Ranging from 1.75% for card transactions to 2.5% for Payment Links, Zettle may not be the best option for businesses with a high volume of transactions. Custom rates are available for businesses that process £10,000 or more in annual card payments. 

The Zettle by PayPal POS app, available for Apple and Android devices, enhances simplicity, ease of use, and better management. It allows businesses to set up quickly, add prices, and start selling. Through the app, you can process payments through Tap to Pay, manage your inventory, track your sales and create efficient checkouts. The fully mobile EPOS system caters to tableside orders and payments, even without internet connectivity. 

Zettle Food & Drink also includes robust stock and inventory management tools, providing notifications for restocking and facilitating supplier and purchase order management. The system offers sales overviews and reports for data analysis, employee management functionalities, and integration with Xero for accounting purposes. However, bars and pubs with more complex needs will find missing key features such as floor plans and order management a drawback.

The flexible button layout allows for customisation of the POS screens, and quick functions such as quantity adjustments, search, waste management, and more contribute to a seamless user experience. Gift card and loyalty management, table management, and split-bill/ open tab features cater to various business needs.

If you require a more comprehensive POS solution for your bar or pub, a countertop POS system kit can be purchased from £399 + VAT, or you can opt for individual terminals and readers, priced from £59 + VAT.

Zettle POS at a Glance

  • Accepted Payments: American Express, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Electron, JCB, UnionPay, Diners Club, V Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Payment Links
  • Transaction Rate: 1.75% for card transactions, 2.5% for Payment Links
  • Key Features: Product library, inventory management, reporting, e-commerce integrations, staff management, digital receipts, sell and accept gift cards.
  • Integrations: Quickbooks, Starling, Tabology, Timely, Xero and more.
  • Hardware: From £59+ VAT
  • Support: By web chat or phone between 9 am and 5 pm weekdays

Price

ProductPrice
Zettle Terminal£149 + VAT
Zettle Reader£59 + VAT
Zettle Food & Drink Kit£399 + VAT

Pros

✅ No monthly fees

✅ No contracts or long-term commitments.

✅ User-friendly and simple navigation 

✅ Wide range of accepted payment methods 

Cons 

❌ High transaction processing fee of 1.75%

❌ Limited integrations, including no food delivery services.

❌ Support limited to weekdays

❌ Limited specialised features such as floor plans, order management or recipe storage.

Epos Now Hospitality: Best Flexible POS system for Bars and Pubs

Epos Now offers comprehensive specialist POS systems for retail and hospitality businesses, including bars and pubs. Extremely popular, it’s used in 64,000 business locations spanning 74 countries. 

Epos Now’s Bar POS system promises quicker sales by integrating Epos Now Payments, saving over 4 hours per month. Epos Now Payments provides payment flexibility, accepting chip and pin, contactless, and remote payments from major credit and debit card providers at a fixed rate. 

Epos Now offers a standalone mobile ordering platform, allowing businesses to create branded profiles for online orders and payments. The platform supports low-cost food delivery, online ordering, and contactless dine-in experiences.

The Bar POS system offers dynamic menu options, real-time inventory tracking, and the flexibility to update menus quickly. It accommodates various business needs, such as happy hour discounts, specials, and easy bill splitting.

You’ll be able to access real-time business data viewing from any internet-connected device, 

mobile ordering for at-table service, and track sales, stock, and margin data. The system can also connect to over 100 smart business tools for increased efficiency.

Epos Now’s Bar POS prioritises flexibility for bartenders, featuring water-resistant touchscreen displays, quick staff training, custom seating charts, and customer loyalty schemes.

Whilst this extensive catalogue of features may be useful for large, multi-site pubs and bars, smaller businesses may find Epos Now too complex and overwhelming. It’s also more expensive than other POS systems, which may make it unsuitable for some businesses. 

Epos Now promises easy onboarding, clear pricing, and a single support team for all payment-related needs. There’s also unlimited 1-on-1 coaching, training, and the availability of on-site engineers throughout the UK.

Epos Now at a Glance

  • Accepted Payments: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Apply Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Transaction Rate: Bespoke per plan
  • Key Features: Customisable table plans, online ordering, delivery, inventory management, loyalty programmes, recipe storage 
  • Integrations: Deliveroo, Mr Yum, Mail Chimp, Quickbooks, Xero and more 
  • Hardware: Bespoke hardware bundles or individual items available 
  • Support: Ranging of support including a 24/7 helpline, knowledge base and live web chat available between 9am and 6pm 

Price

PackagePricing
Software-only packagesFrom £25 + VAT per month
Software and hardware bundles£325 upfront, then £59+ per month

Pros

✅ Highly customisable to your needs

✅ Supports multi-channel business

✅ User-friendly, intuitive design

✅ Wide-range of integrations including Deliveroo, Mr Yum, Mail Chimp, Quickbooks and Xero

Cons 

❌ Contract length ranges from 2 to 3 years

❌ May be too complex for smaller businesses 

❌ Additional integrations and hardware can be expensive

Lightspeed Hospitality: Best Specialist POS system Bars and Pubs

Lightspeed offers payment processing solutions globally, focusing on retail, e-commerce, restaurant, and golf businesses. Consistently growing over the last few years, it acquired Vend POS in 2021. 

Lightspeed restaurant ePOS is utilised in over 160 Michelin-starred restaurants and approximately 168,000 locations worldwide.

Four ePOS packages are available for bars and pubs to choose from depending on your needs and how many locations you manage, ranging from 1 to 16+. While Lightspeed can work for single-location bars and pubs, the many features available may be overwhelming and unnecessary. 

Features include essential tools such as integrated payments, loyalty schemes, advanced analytics, the online ordering platform, Order Anywhere, and efficient inventory management. Real-time performance reports are available via the Lightspeed Live mobile app. 

You can integrate the POS system with many 3rd Party software providers, including 5Loyalty, Planday, marketman and Xero. Depending on your plan, you may also have basic API access and the integration of your PMS for a bespoke and convenient ePOS experience.

If you wish to upgrade, online ordering and inventory management are accessible for an extra fee.

Despite its impressive features, Lightspeed has a user-friendly interface, making it easy to learn and use daily. You’ll also have access to 24/7 customer support in English, with other languages also catered to. 

However, with high transaction fees ranging from 2.6% to 2.9% plus 10¢ (approximately 8p), Lightspeed POS may not be an affordable option for smaller bars and pubs. 

Lightspeed POS at a Glance

  • Accepted Payments: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Maestro, Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Transaction Rate: Ranges from 2.6% to 2.9% plus 10¢ (approximately 8p)
  • Key Features: Integrated payments, advanced insights, loyalty schemes, online ordering, inventory management
  • Integrations: 5Loyalty, Planday, marketman, Xero and much more. 
  • Hardware: Bespoke packages, including receipt printers, cash drawers, payment terminals and more.
  • Support: Webchat or call support is available 24/7 in English, 7 am to 11 pm in German, 8 am to 12 am in French, or 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday in Dutch.

Price

PlanCost per MonthAdditional LicenceOnline OrderingInventory Management
Restaurant Starter£59£33£50£100
Restaurant Essential£109£33IncludedIncluded
Restaurant Premium£339£33IncludedIncluded

Pros

✅ Can transform your iPad into a POS system

✅ User-friendly interface that is easy to learn

✅ Scaleable for 1 location to 15+

✅ Wide range of 3rd Party integrations including loyalty 

Cons 

❌ More expensive than other providers, with prices starting at £59 per month

❌ Requires an iPad

❌ High transaction fees ranging from 2.6% to 2.9% plus 10¢ (approximately 8p)

❌ No integration with other payment processors

Clover POS

Clover POS offers a tailored POS solution for fast-service hospitality businesses including bars and pubs. 

The system is praised for its simplicity, elegance, advanced order management, and built-in CRM features, offering a customisable solution for business needs. While suitable for smaller to mid-sized venues, it may not be the best fit for larger establishments or chain restaurants with more specific needs..

Clover POS offers three main devices – the Clover Station Pro, Clover Mini and Clover Flex:

  • The Clover Station Pro is a comprehensive POS system with a 14-inch hi-res touchscreen, digital receipts, and features like shift and staff rota management. 
  • The Clover Mini is a compact yet powerful solution with a 7-inch touchscreen, 4G LTE, and WiFi capability. 
  • The Clover Flex, a portable POS terminal, provides a handheld solution with Wi-Fi and 4G LTE connectivity, a built-in receipt printer, a barcode scanner, and an antimicrobial touchscreen.

Key features of Clover POS include multi-layered security, real-time business insights, acceptance of various payment types and currencies, regular cloud-based updates, and customizability. The system also supports online orders, allowing businesses to expand their reach and revenue through click-and-collect services. Beyond handling orders and payments, Clover provides features like inventory management, staff rota creation, and more through its Dashboard and App Market.

Additionally, Clover offers various ways to accept payments, such as on websites and apps, over the phone, and via email, text, or social media. It supports all major credit cards, digital wallets, contactless payments, and you can even scan checks. 

Clover’s POS system allows businesses to mix and match hardware and software from the Clover App Marketplace, including accessories and third-party apps. However, 3rd party integrations are somewhat limited and don’t include the most popular software you would expect from a POS system. 

Clover POS at a Glance

  • Accepted Payments: Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay, Google Pay and contactless
  • Transaction Rate: Rate on request
  • Key Features: Order management, menu management, payments, inventory management, reporting, employee management, cash flow management, customer loyalty and gift cards
  • Integrations: Over 100 integrations including Age Verify, SeatOn Reservations, Pointy, Time Clock, BarPro and Bottle Keeper
  • Hardware: Countertop, portable and mobile devices available. Quote on request.
  • Support: Customer service available by telpehone 8 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturday. Technical support is available by telephone from 8 am to midnight, Monday to Saturday and 9 am to 5 pm on Sunday. 

Price

  • Price varies. Quote provided on request.

Pros

✅ User-friendly and intuitive platform

✅ Built-in CRM features such as feedback collection and loyalty programme management

✅ Advanced report capabilities

✅ Wide range of payment methods accepted

Cons 

❌ Limited 3rd party integrations

❌ Some users found it prone to freezing and crashing

❌ Customers have reported unclear pricing structure

❌ High upfront cost

Key Features of a POS for Bars & Pubs

POS systems for bars and pubs often come with a huge list of features, ranging from customer and order management to data and reporting.  To help you understand the different features, the table below explains some of the most important and common.

FeatureWhy It’s Important
Multi-Payment SupportAllows for handling various payment methods accommodating the preferences of diverse customers.
Reservations ManagementAssists in managing reservations, ensuring a smooth flow of customers during peak hours.
Order ManagementStreamlines order processing, allowing staff to take and manage orders efficiently. It may include Kiden Display System (KDS) integration, table management, online orders and delivery management. 
Inventory TrackingMonitors and manages stock levels in real time, preventing shortages and minimising wastage.
Menu CustomisationEnables easy modification of menus to accommodate diverse and often specialised offerings in bars and pubs.
Age VerificationIncludes features for age verification to comply with legal requirements, particularly relevant in serving alcoholic beverages.
Offline ModeOffers an offline mode to ensure business continuity during internet outages or technical issues.
Remote ManagementEnables remote access and management capabilities, allowing owners to oversee operations even when off-site.
Staff ManagementIncludes features like user permissions, time tracking, and performance analysis to optimise workforce management.
Reporting and AnalyticsProvides insights through detailed reporting and analytics, aiding in data-driven decision-making.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)Aids in building and maintaining customer relationships through features like customer databases and personalised interactions. It may include loyalty programmes.