Retail point of sale (or POS) systems make it possible for restaurants to process payments and take orders.

Things have gotten increasingly easier over time with portable debit machines and even POS apps made for tablets. Today’s systems even allow your restaurant to operate without registers and terminals, and give you access to detailed sales reports for when you need to review the numbers.

As you can guess, reliability and efficiency are critical factors when it comes to choosing a POS for your restaurant. If it takes too long to process payments, customers will become impatient and may not even return to your dinery. Additionally, you can’t have your technology failing at the most inopportune moments.

But what is the best solution for restaurants? Is newer technology always better, or is it too soon to abandon the tried and true systems of days past?

Here are some thoughts on what the best point of sale systems are for 2017.TouchBistro Restaurant POS

TouchBistro is among one of the most well-known names in the POS market, and may well be one of the best options in 2017.

It works on a Mac, PC, or Linux system. It’s highly scalable, no matter what size of business you run. Its cost may be a little higher than other POS apps, but not by much. It also has great reviews.

At base, TouchBistro is an easy-to-use iPad app that allows you to process payments and take orders anywhere in your place of business. You can even split checks. The app also offers detailed sales reports.Toast POS

Toast POS was created especially for the food and restaurant industry. Whether you’re running a fast food joint, a bar, or an upper class dinery, it has all the tools you need to get the job done.

You can use Toast’s handheld tablets to process payments and take orders anywhere in your restaurant, just as you can with TouchBistro. Keeping track of tabs is a piece of cake.

When customers are ready to pay, they are presented with several tipping options. This keeps employees happy, as it helps them earn better tips for their work.

If you’ve ever thought about implementing a loyalty program, Toast POS lets you do that too. The cost of Toast is less than TouchBistro, and it has equally good reviews and ratings.Clover POS

Clover comes with custom hardware that can adapt to a variety of retail situations. They offer both mobile and countertop units depending on what your exact needs are.

With Clover, managing inventory, running secure transactions, and accessing reports are a breeze. No need for cash registers, terminals, barcode scanners or receipt and label printers if you’re using Clover. It also reads all types of cards and is Apple Pay compatible.

If you need to figure things out on the accounting side, you’ll be glad to know Clover also integrates with QuickBooks.

User reviews for Clover aren’t all positive (it’s about middle of the road), and its cost is about the same as TouchBistro.Final Thoughts

Is there such a thing as the best restaurant POS for 2017?

Ultimately, it depends on what you’re looking for and who you ask. Some businesses prefer certain systems over others. It could be due to ease of use or features they favor. Some simply don’t want to have to train their employees on a new system.

TouchBistro, Toast, and Clover, however, are among some of the best options available. This doesn’t mean they won’t continue to improve, or that there won’t be more options down the line. But if you see yourself as a modern restaurant business, it is a good idea to leverage the technology available to streamline and increase the efficiency of your business.