Best POS Systems for Food Trucks 2022 – Tech.co

Zettle by PayPal is the best POS system for food trucks: It’s free to use, has strong analytics, offers plenty of features, and includes top-tier support.

Square POS is a close runner-up, thanks to impressive features, equally low pricing, and strong support, while Lightspeed is another top choice, since it offers excellent customer loyalty tools to can help a food truck cultivate devotees.

Our team of researchers has tested and studied all the best restaurant POS systems, keeping food trucks’ unique needs in mind. We’ve listed all the pros, cons, and prices you need to make a decision — and we can even get your business a custom-fitted quote to get you the best deal once you do.

In this guide: 

0 out of 0
Tech.co rating for restaurants

Score out of 5 based on Tech.co’s independent market research.

Price from

The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.

24/7 support
Key benefits
Tech.co verdict

Zettle POS

Square POS

Lightspeed

Clover POS

Talech POS

Free (but transaction fees apply)

Free (but transaction fees apply)

$69 per month

$4.95 per month

$39 per month

$29 per month

Retails a range of hardware solutions including card readers, cash registers, and POS accessories

Sold by Square, available separately or packaged with software. Works with most leading brands and has a great free trial.

Sold by Lightspeed. NOT compatible with weighing scales.

Sells everything from full cash stations to mobile card readers

Works with lots of third-party peripherals

Sells an impressive line of its own products, including kitchen displays, swiveling terminals and robust handheld devices, all splash-proof.

Available through third-party vendors

  • No monthly fees
  • Reasonable transaction fees
  • Menu customization
  • Layout management
  • Customer feedback
  • Smooth inventory management
  • Perfect for businesses selling barcoded (SKU) products
  • Great for online operations
  • A suite of customer engagement tools
  • Set-up is painless
  • Wide range of third-party hardware integrations
  • Great for Android users
  • Impressive menu customization
  • Supports online ordering
  • Very detailed inventory
  • Easy to use interface
  • Add-on features aren’t available
  • Limited amount of integrations
  • Some essential features cost extra
  • 2.75% charge on non-card transactions
  • Not for selling services, food, flowers or motorized vehicles
  • Doesn’t offer fractional quantities or weighing scales
  • Requires a pre-existing website
  • Prices can spiral very quickly
  • Reporting is basic
  • Customer support costs more
  • Requires specific hardware
  • Doesn’t work on iOS devices
  • Lacks some features
  • No ecommerce integration

A well-priced software that’s best for food trucks.

A brilliant POS system for any type of business

A trustworthy choice to strengthen your business

A slightly unusual POS that integrates online and offline operations

A solid service for growing businesses that want a painless system

A stand-out restaurant-specific POS that offers great customization and a variety of ordering options

A strong POS option with sophisticated sales and discounting features

What Are the Best POS Systems for Food Trucks?

A food truck is a fast-paced business, where just a few employees must track orders and collect payment seamlessly. The service needs a functional POS system to make sure the truck doesn’t run too low on inventory, can accept any form of payment, and will track every sale.

Our researchers crunched the data to figure out which POS systems have the features, pricing, and support a food truck needs. Here’s our definitive list.

1. Zettle by PayPal – Best Overall for Food Trucks

Pricing from: Free (but transaction fees apply)

Zettle by PayPal is flexible and easy to use, with everything a food truck needs packed into a service that’s free to get started with. Robust data tracking and employee management tools are two standout benefits. Even its would-be downside — a slightly limited restaurant featureset — isn’t relevant for any food truck owners who would never use sales forecasting or delivery.

Zettle POS

Great value for money

Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • Reasonable transaction fees
  • Unlimited users

Cons 

  • No add-on features are available
  • No CRM or offline mode
  • Limited amount of integrations

Our researchers gave Zettle a perfect 5/5 score for pricing: The service’s one plan comes with no monthly fee, while the transaction fees undercut Square POS’s similar pricing. Here’s what you’ll pay:

  • 2.29% + 9 cents for each card-based sale
  • 3.49% + 9 cents for each manual card entry transaction
  • 1.9% + 10 cents for every QR code transaction above $10
  • 2.4% + 5 cents for every QR code transaction at or below $10

Zettle sells card reading hardware as well: The first costs $29, though each additional reader will be $79. Food truck managers will appreciate the service’s payment processing, as it takes all major debit and credit cards, plus Apple, Android, and Google Pay.

Zettle excels in customer support with a 4/5 score, since it offers a knowledge center as well as live support via email, phone, and chat. Other top features include: 

  • Unlimited users
  • Transactions: Supports discounts, deleting, voiding items, digital receipts
  • Great inventory management
  • Low stock alerts
  • Bulk menu updates
  • Custom reports
  • Gift cards
  • Ecommerce integrations: BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce

Downsides include limited add-ons, a lack of loyalty and CRM tools, and no training mode option, as well as no offline mode, a potential concern for highly mobile food trucks.

2. Square – Best for Small Businesses

Pricing from: Free (but transaction fees apply)

There’s a reason you see the Square POS everywhere: The system is streamlined and feature-rich, with 24/7 live support and no startup costs to hold even the smallest business back. Our researchers ranked Square highly for all restaurant use, giving it a 4.8/5 score for industry features, 4/5 for customer service, 4.3/5 for customer satisfaction, and a 5/5 pricing score that ties it with Zettle.

Square POS

Best overall POS system

Pros

  • Free to get started
  • Slick and stylish hardware
  • Serves businesses of all sizes and in all sectors
  • Strong analytics, inventory, and third-party integrations

Cons 

  • Some necessary features for mid-sized businesses cost more
  • 3.5% + 15¢ charge for keyed-in transactions
  • Support options vary by plan

Square’s transaction fees are a little higher than Zettle’s, on average. Here’s what you’ll pay:

  • 2.6% + 10 cents of each card-based sale
  • 3.5% + 15 cents for each keyed-in transaction
  • 2.9% + 30 cents for online sales

If the price and round-the-clock support options aren’t enough for you, Square’s restaurant features may win you over. You’ll get easy menu management thanks to custom layouts and item grouping, which will help your food truck highlight top sellers. Other top features include a built-in self-serve QR code order functionality, offline mode, flexible payment processing that covers all major methods, and great kitchen management tools including prep time tracking and customer ticket timers.

Plus, you’ll have access to features you don’t need, including table management and integrations for pickup or delivery. These may prove useful if your food truck scales up into a permanent location.

You can read more about the software in our full Square POS review.

3. Lightspeed – Best for Customer Loyalty

Pricing from: $69 per terminal, per month

Turning customers into long-term fans will help any food truck stay afloat, so Lightspeed’s stellar business development features help set it apart from the POS system pack. You’ll be able to create a rewards program and log customer insights, while adding promotions, coupons, and one-time deals when you need to. The loyalty tools are omnichannel, so customers will gain the same benefits online and in-person.

Lightspeed POS

Best for large businesses

Pros

  • Ideal for retail stores with barcoded inventory
  • Straightforward pricing

Cons 

  • Slightly more expensive than some rivals
  • Harder to use for restaurants, florists and businesses without barcodes
  • Doesn’t integrate with weighing scales

Lightspeed’s inventory tools are complex: They cover item variations, item bundling, inventory level tracking across multiple locations, bulk price changes, automated discounting, offline mode, and re-order notifications. Our researchers rated Lightspeed 4.9/5 for restaurant features, tying it with Toast as the most feature-rich system on this list, and putting it ahead of Square and Zettle in that particular category.

Pricing was only rated 2.3/5 stars, however: Plans start at $69 per month for the Basic plan, but this doesn’t include loyalty, accounting, or ecommerce tools. You’ll get expanded ecommerce options with the $99 per month Starter plan, and the impressive loyalty and analytics features with the Advanced plan, for a pricey $199 per month.

If that’s too expensive, you’ll love our next pick.

4. Clover – Best for Restaurants on a Budget

Pricing from: $9.95 per terminal, per month

Clover POS landed a 5/5 for pricing, thanks to low price plans across the board, which puts it right alongside Square and Zettle for the value it delivers. However, those prices come along with fairly limited features, making this POS system a top pick for an operation that wants a stripped-down software.

Support options are limited, too, netting the service just 3/5 stars, but customers don’t seem to mind, as they rate Clover 4.2/5, which is a little below Square’s 4.3/5 customer rating but matches Zettle’s 4.2/5 rating.

CloverPOS

Great customer loyalty app

Pros

  • Great for companies that started online but need a physical presense
  • Good range of hardware options
  • 30-day free trial

Cons 

  • Need pre-existing website unlike Shopify, for example
  • Additional features cost extra and can become expensive
  • No inter-store transactions

Clover delivers on the basics, with inventory and order management, custom item variants, offline mode, a selection of third-party integrations, and one particularly cool functionality: Bluetooth-detection, which can notify a mobile customer of a promotion relevant to them. Loyalty features are also included, even if they don’t come near Lightspeed: Clover lets users gather contact lists in order to offer promos or rewards.

You’ll get unlimited users across all Clover plans, which technically start at $4.95 for the fairly limited Payments plan, although we’d recommend the $9.95 per month or the $29.95 per month plans. Either way, you’ll save money compared to the industry average.

5. Epos Now – Best for Chains

Pricing from: $39 per terminal, per month

Our team gave Epos Now a 4/5 score for support options, putting on par with both Zettle and Square. Additional terminals after the first are available for a discounted monthly fee. Add in the healthy restaurant-specific features score that our testers landed on — 4.6/5 — and this POS system makes for a cost-effective choice for a large or growing fleet of food trucks.

Price plans start at $39 per month, and are capped at $69 per month, though this price discounts each additional terminal after the first to just $45 per month for each one.

Other top features include stock level management, bulk import, offline mode, delivery support, and ecommerce integrations with BigCommerce and Shopify. The service offers a rugged line of hardware as well, including

6. Toast – Best for Training and Onboarding

Pricing from: $69 per terminal, per month

Toast offers detailed reports covering topics including sales, menu, employee performance, cost and loss, and payments. Paired with the system’s impressive training mode, which supports a simulated practice run for new employees who need to test out different settings, and Toast is the best POS service for onboarding new workers. No other food truck POS system on this list even offers a training mode, let alone one as complex as Toast’s.

Toast POS

Best Android hardware

Pros

  • Great for Android users
  • Strong menu customization
  • Support for tableside ordering and payment

Cons 

  • Doesn’t work on iOS devices
  • No integrated payment processors
  • Limited help & support offered

Toast comes with two main plans, the $69 per month Point of Sale plan and the $165 per month Essentials plan.

Standout functionality that the Toast system offers includes great tools for payment processing, business management, and stock management. Features include an inventory value report and food cost reports, menu engineering, offline mode, delivery, and unlimited users. Any loyalty or CRM features must be added through third-party integrations.

Apple fans beware, however: The software is designed to run on Toast’s own hardware or on other Android tablets — not iPads. In addition, the support options include some phone support but no email or live chat support, leading to our researchers’ low score of just 1/5 for that category.

Interested? Get the full rundown in our in-depth Toast POS review.

7. Talech – Most User Friendly

Pricing from: $29 per month, for unlimited devices

Talech POS has an interface that’s easy to navigate, and it offers tools that allow an employee to quickly offer customer exchanges or refunds, while managing sales and inventory in some depth. Plus, the tablet-based system is easy to use while on the go. As a result, we’ve ranked it as the top pick for a user-friendly POS system.

Talech POS

Best small business growth features

Pros:

  • Granular product settings
  • Great support for customer exchanges and refunds
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • No ecommerce integration
  • Feature set not as broad as competitors
  • Low customer satisfaction score

Price plans start at the $29 per month per device Starter plan, which is limited to 100 products. That’s too few products for many businesses, but it might be a good fit for a food truck with a smaller, set menu. Other plans include Standard, for $69 per month for the first device and $29 per month for each additional device, and Premium, for $99 per month for the first device and $29 per month for each additional device.

Talech isn’t bad in many of our research areas, but doesn’t excell in them, either. It’s good for small businesses (although Square is better), it has okay pricing (although Zettle, Square, and Clover beat it), and it has great support options, netting a 4/5, which is on par with Zettle, Square, and Epos Now. In other words, it’s a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none. But hey, it’s easy to use.

What to Look for in a Food Truck POS System

Any POS system must be able to track sales, inventory, and employees, and the best ones also manage analytics, reports, and marketing. When it comes to food trucks, however, a POS system must handle certain tasks:

  • Remote menu updates — You’ll need to change orders or deals at any time.
  • Robust payment processing — You’ll need to accept cash, card, tips, refunds, and more.
  • Little upfront investment — Everyone wants to save money, and food trucks are no exception.
  • Flexibility — A business that’s always on the move needs software that’s easy to use.

All the top POS systems we’ve reviewed for food trucks offer these core abilities. We’ve further ranked them across four main research areas to figure out which is best, looking at pricing, features, customer satisfaction, and support options.

How to Choose a POS System

Every business’s POS system needs will vary, so don’t take the one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, start with your business size, your budget, and any unique or essential features you need. For further research, read through our guide to POS system costs, to make sure that you know what price ranges to expect.

In the end, even our expert researchers can’t say for sure which food truck POS system is right for you. In rare cases, it might not even be on this list: If you’re hoping to scale up to a full fleet of trucks, the complex reporting tools may make TouchBistro the standout choice – read our TouchBistro POS review and see for yourself.

Need a Quote?

Our top pick for the best POS system for food trucks is Zettle by PayPal, thanks to relevant features, great analytics and employee management, and low pricing.

Other great choices include Square, which offers even more features, and Lightspeed, for its granular customer loyalty tools. Any of them will serve you well — and you can compare exact costs with our quote collection form today.

How We Evaluated Food Truck POS Systems

The Tech.co testing and research team chose four key research areas to determine the best POS system for mobile food trucks.

  • Features — Does the POS offer the functionality a food truck needs, without excessive features like tableside service?
  • Pricing — Is the cost fair, given the value provided?
  • Customer satisfaction — What is the ratio of positive to negative customer reviews?
  • Support — What support options does the vendor offer its customers?

Our researchers used a 5-star system to evaluate all the top restaurant POS services across these four categories. Then we merged each system’s star ratings onto one overall 5-star score, giving us our verdict: Zettle by Paypal offers the features, support, customer approval, and pricing that will serve food truck owners and managers the best.

Frequently Asked Questions

A POS system allows any business to track sales, inventory, employees, marketing campaigns, and annual reports all from the same software. You’ll have to track everything anyway in order to keep your business running, making a POS system a no-brainer.

POS software usually costs a set amount between $29 and $100 per month for one terminal. Larger businesses or franchises will pay a muliple of that amount to cover more terminals, one for each product checkout line. In addition, there’s the one-time cost for buying hardware, which could cost a small business $1,000 to $1,200.

Some POS systems offer a permanent free plan. Zettle by Paypal and Square POS both do, although they still charge a percentage of each transaction made. Other services might offer a free plan with strict limitations on the number of users or products that can be sold.

Our researchers found Zettle to be the best food truck-specific POS system, since it costs little, has the features most food trucks will need, and comes with great support.

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