Review: Best POS for a Small Cafe or Coffee Shop

Best POS for a Small Cafe
how to start a coffee shop business

The Best POS for a Small Café or Coffee Shop

how to open a coffee shop businessIf you are about to open your coffee business and you are thinking about which Point-of-Sale (POS) System to use, you have about a dozen choices. 

So, Which POS is Best?

And more importantly, which one will be best for you and your coffee business?

Best POS for a small cafe? We’ve spent a lot of time listening to coffee business owners over the years and believe that we understand what they want from a POS system. There are many small expenses and things to do when you start a coffee shop – making the right decision on your POS system is one of them. Let's compare the POS systems of two popular companies.


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Choosing a POS for Your Coffee Shop Is an Important Decision

Most coffee shop owners don’t often think of a cash register until the last minute. Often times this means doing less research and jumping into a deal that isn’t so good for them. We hope to help decide which is the best POS for a small cafe or coffee business

This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated  at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking on my affiliated link.

What we have found is that coffee shop owners want a POS system that is:

  • Reliablehow to open a coffee stand business
  • Affordable
  • Easy-to-set up
  • Easy-to-use
  • Works offline (and online)
  • Comes with helpful, time-saving features

Did we mention coffee shop owners like affordability? Yeah, we bet you knew that! Of course, we want the best product for the best price (or even better, we want it for free!)  Reliability, functionality, and ease-of-use doesn't (nor shouldn't come free) because we value it. Being reliable with our money is valuable. So, like anything valuable it has costs, but the costs are nominal.

Many coffee shop owners are very price sensitive (as they should be!), but they also understand the importance of reliability.

Today, every coffee business owner needs to securely process their credit and debit card transactions, tap transactions, as well as cash transactions securely.

Having a simple way to send digital receipts (text and emails) will also be important.

Additionally, being able to have a robust data collection, inventory management help will be essential. So whether you start a coffee bar, decide to open up a small cafe, or set up a coffee drive thru stand, you are going to need a reliable POS system for your coffee business.

Usually this means being able to utilize your POS with and/or without Internet services. Building your POS costs into your pricing will be important as you plan your coffee shop business.


Best POS for a small cafe, pos for coffee

Best POS for a small cafe

What You Need From a POS System: Not Your Grandfather’s Cash Register

Times have changed. Technology has altered the way we shop and pay for things. As a business owner, you need to leverage technology to speed up transactions, secure your transactions, and use the data to make better decisions.

Most coffee shop owners today will tell you that you need a fast, reliable, and easy to use Point-of-Sale system. Gone are the days where you can get along with a cash only system. 

So, let’s take a look at two of them that are known to be reliable, have the ability to work offline, and have other features that are important.

Let's begin with: we think the following Cafe POS systems are very good options and we recommend them both. But, read further to find out why and certainly explore them for yourself.

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POS Options for a Small Café

Finding the best POS for a small cafe or coffee shop: The following is a brief discussion and recommendation for Cafe POS systems that may be right for your cafe. Over the years, we have talked with many coffee shop owners and have have determined what features are meaningful to them. The following summary is written as a POS resource for you to make your own decision for your specific coffee business.

Square POS

Visit Square’s Website Here

Square POS coffee shopSquare is one of the most popular POS systems for small cafes and coffee shops.

Why is Square popular among coffee shop owners?

For the most part, because there is a little upfront cost. And it’s easy to get started using it. It simply requires an iPad or iPhone to take orders. All you have to do is download the App and you can start taking orders. (Though you will want to get a credit card reader)

Here’s the breakdown of why Square is popular with coffee shop owners:

  • There is no contract
  • It’s easy to sign-up and get started
  • It’s free – you only pay per swipe, tap, or insert  
  • Easily performs secure Transactions
  • Square can help manage your inventory
  • It can be your employee “clock-in” device
  • Has a variety of Marketing Features
  • Square can provide you sales data to make better decisions

Square is a very good option for coffee shops, or small cafes. But it is not perfect. Many café owners have complained of Square’s inadequate customer support. For example, they have stated that they are not happy with the response time or ability to talk to someone about their account. This is especially important when we are talking about your money.

Additionally, occasionally a coffee shop will be dropped from Square because of irregular usage which can be misconstrued by Square as nefarious or suspicious.

Since anyone can sign up for Square, download the App, and start using it right away, Square has their own internal controls of which accounts might be suspicious. Occasionally “false positives” for suspicious accounts can cause them to simply drop their accounts.

Still we believe the Square is a very good POS option for cafes or coffee shops, delivering convenience, reliability, and value. For further reading on Square POS for Coffee Shops read our previous post here.


39 of the 42 Coffee shop owners we’ve asked, like using Square.

That means 92.8% of coffee shop owners who use Square, like Square. 

Learn more about “Square for Coffee Shops” Here

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Best POS Register for a small cafe continued…

ShopKeep POS

best pos for your coffee shopVisit ShopKeep’s Website Here

If you have busy coffee shop and you are interested in strong data and customer support, you may want to try out ShopKeep.

ShopKeep is often used by coffee shop owners who want to “graduate” from Square.

Why, it simply has more robust features. It also appears to be a more stable POS system. In other words, it’s more reliable and has the robust features needed and wanted by coffee shop business owners. Learn more about our ShopKeep review here.




This is what customers who have ShopKeep like:

  • start a coffee shop business, how to plan for a coffee shopIt’s very reliable
  • No contract
  • Simple monthly payment cost structure
  • It offers secure payment transactions
  • It have tons of data features to help you make better decisions
  • It allows you to manage larger inventories
  • Employee management features
  • Excellent customer support

ShopKeep is known for its excellent reliability, robust data and analytics for better decision making, and one-of-a-kind customer support. This customer support will come in handy when you are having trouble processing a transaction or need help with something else, such as a dispute.

It also has a simple pricing structure that makes it affordable. Currently, you per $69 per month. For more information on ShopKeep for Coffee Shops read our previous post and review here.

ShopKeep is Voted as the #1 ranked POS by Small Retailers   

Due to:

Customer Service, Advanced Features, Reliability and Security

Learn more about Shop Keep Here

best pos for a coffee shop

Best POS for a small cafe

What concerns do you have about your coffee shop POS system? Let me know, send us an email via our contact page. 

9.5 Total Score
Review: Best POS for a Small Coffee Shop or Café

Which POS register system is best for small cafes and coffee shop businesses?

User Rating: 5 (1 votes)

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