Compare the top 6 multi-location POS systems to find the perfect fit for your venue.
Running one restaurant is tough. Running multi restaurant locations is an entirely different kind of challenge. While running several locations can be a financially savvy move thanks to multiple restaurant streams, it also comes with its own unique set of complications. With these complicated considerations in mind, it’s essential to choose a dedicated multi-location POS system for your business.
Of course, choosing a POS system that’s robust enough to handle the unique needs of multi-location businesses is not as straightforward as it may seem. Unlike a POS built for single venue operators, multi-location operators need a POS that allows you to sync menu changes across multiple venues at once, lets you view the performance of all your locations in one place, allows diners to redeem loyalty rewards and gift cards at different venues, and so much more.
With all this in mind, we’ve put together the most comprehensive review of the top multi-location POS systems. Download the Ultimate Guide to the Best POS Systems for Multi-Location Restaurants now, or keep reading to learn more about the importance of using a dedicated multi location POS system at your restaurant.
Why Do You Need a POS System for Multiple Locations?
Multi-unit restaurant operators require a dedicated multi-location POS system because it helps them establish consistency across venues, pool resources, and streamline operations. Perhaps most importantly, using a dedicated POS for multiple locations allows operators to manage day-to-day operations remotely across all locations from one centralized system, so they don’t need to be physically present at each venue to make changes. In short, the best restaurant POS systems make it faster, easier, and more efficient to run multiple venues.
Key Features of a Multi-Location POS
While each system is slightly different, generally there are six core features that a POS for multiple locations is equipped with:
- Menu Management: Operators can manage, update, and edit each location’s menu individually or make bulk updates for all locations.
- Staff Management: Operators have the ability to manage their staff across multiple venues to maximize coverage during busy times, while providing detailed time-sheets and tracking.
- Inventory: Operators can manage inventory, recipes, and order guides from one centralized location.
- Payroll: Equips operators with the tools to manage staff payrolls and tips across venues based on staff time-sheets.
- Roll-Up Reporting: This reporting feature allows operators to pull in data from multiple locations and view everything on one consolidated report.
- Custom Reporting: Gives operators the flexibility to customize, view, and manage data for two or more locations within a consolidated reporting dashboard.
The Top 6 Multi-Location POS Systems for Restaurants
With these specific features in mind, there are six POS systems best equipped to handle the needs of multi-location restaurants. Here is a brief overview of those top systems, while in-depth reviews of each provider can be found in our Ultimate Guide to the Best POS Systems for Multi-Location Restaurants.
With features built specifically for growing restaurants, TouchBistro is the best all-around solution for multi-location restaurants that are looking to maximize profits and scale operations.
Not only does TouchBistro offer in-house solutions for just about every aspect of restaurant management, but the system’s reliable hybrid design and user-friendly software also make it a versatile choice for virtually any type of multi-location restaurant – from quick service to fine dining.
2. NCR Aloha
The Aloha POS is one of the most feature-rich systems on the market, making it an excellent option for major restaurant chains and franchises like Starbucks and Chipotle.
However, like any enterprise system, the Aloha POS does not come cheap. The system’s monthly software fees and pricey proprietary hardware make the system best suited to enterprise restaurant brands with the budget for such robust technology.
3. Oracle MICROS
Oracle’s MICROS POS not only comes with a robust feature set, but it also supports multiple languages and currencies, which makes it a great global hospitality brands, such as international restaurant chains and franchises.
Of course, most restaurant operations don’t actually need a system this powerful. As a result, most single and multi-location operators will find that MICROS’ robust features are more than they need to run their operation, and the price tag may be too high for features they won’t actually end up using.
With its Android technology, extensive third-party partnerships, and open API, the Toast POS is particularly well suited to niche restaurant concepts in need of a more bespoke and flexible solution.
But while Toast offers some big benefits for niche concepts, most growing multi-location restaurants may find that Toast’s offering misses the mark. With its proprietary hardware requirements and opaque payment processing fees, growing restaurant businesses that want to scale quickly may find their profit margins squeezed by all the added fees that come with using Toast.
5. Square for Restaurants
Square made a name for itself catering to small business owners and it continues to provide a great product for anyone looking to start their entrepreneurial journey. Square for Restaurants is especially well suited to small, single location operations due to its quick setup, easy onboarding process, and intuitive technology.
However, Square’s simplicity is precisely the reason why multi-location operators might find themselves limited by the platform. Not only are Square’s core POS features more basic than other POS systems on the market, but its multi-location management tools are also incredibly new and currently lack some crucial features.
The Revel POS system is a popular choice among major fast food and fast casual chains in the U.S., including The Halal Guys and Fat Brands (the entity behind franchises like Fatburger), due to its robust POS features and extensive add-on solutions for QSRs.
However, the system is less suited to FSR brands due to certain feature gaps, such as a lack of reservations management tools. Not to mention, smaller QSR and FSR brands alike are likely to find that Revel’s expensive software and payment processing fees make the solution a poor fit for growing multi-location businesses that need the free cash flow and flexibility to grow and scale quickly.
At the end of the day, no restaurant POS system is a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why our Ultimate Guide to the Best POS Systems for Multi-Location Restaurants is the perfect tool to help you find the right technology for your business. Download the guide today to find out which of the top six providers offers the right multi-location POS system for you.