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3 Best POS Systems for Food Trucks

Conal Yarwood-Frost
1 Nov 2022

For chefs and restaurant owners alike, the allure of opening a food truck is easy to see. Not being tied to a kitchen and with none of the high overheads that come with operating a restaurant:food trucks represent a degree of freedom that most chefs simply don't have access to.

This isn't to say that opening a food truck is as easy as installing a grill in the back of a van. Food trucks are specialized vehicles that have specialized needs. This need for specialized equipment extends to Food truck POS systems.

With the right POS system, hospitality businesses like food trucks flourish and give themselves powerful operating tools. Anything that can give food truck owners time to think about food and their next location is a good thing.

In this blog, we'll be going in-depth into POS systems for food trucks. This will include explaining what a POS system is and why they're important, and comparing some of the best POS systems on the market. Once you read this blog, you'll have all the knowledge to make an informed decision about what's the right food truck pos system for your business.

What is a POS system?

POS is an acronym for "point of sale." It's best to think of a POS system as highly specialized computer system that operates a business using a combination of POS software and hardware. POS systems are most likely to be found in retail and hospitality businesses, though they can sometimes be used in other industries.

POS systems can analyze sales data, compile business reports, accept payments, and help with customer relationship management. Some POS systems, such as the Epos Now Hospitality solution, can also act as payment processing services. While Epos Now charges a flate rate for their payment processing fees, other POS companies that offer this service may have varying fees.

Over the years, POS technology has continued to improved and evolve to meet the growing needs of business owners. Entreprenuers that use POS systems can now take advantage of a growing number of features and apps that make running a business simple and easy. The technology has improved to such an extent that food truck owners can get a pocket-sized payment device. Anyone can run an entire business from the palm of their hand.

Why do I need a food truck pos system?

As we mentioned above, food trucks are very specialized and so have specific needs. Nearly of these needs can be met with POS systems for food trucks. Employee management, ingredient-level inventory tracking, online or invoice transactions, and menu management can all be taken care of with a few clicks.

The food truck business is a vibrant and fast-paced world. Food truck POS systems are designed to meet and resolve the unique challenges that arise when you're selling your food. The best POS systems for food trucks need to be able to handle multiple food orders, inventory management, and provide quick and easy transactions.

A clear example of the benefits of a food truck pos system would be how it simplifies business admin. For a small business like a food truck, day-to-day admin can take up a huge amount of time. Using out-of-the-box features, food truck owners are able to automate the vast majority of the admin and approve with a button click. This saves hours of time and allows owners to concentrate on scouting locations, preparing their food, and improving the customer experience.

In addition to the regular features that come with POS systems, food truck owners can add a variety of integrations and accessories that make things easier. The best food truck POS systems are designed to help business owners and give them the tools they need to maximize their success.

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The best food truck POS systems 

POS systems for food trucks need to be able to handle the demands of mobile hospitality business. Picking the right POS provider for your business can be difficult to get right if you don't know what to look for. Much like food trucks, POS systems are specialized pieces of technology and each POS provider will have their own pros and cons.

To help you choose the food truck POS system that works for you, we've compiled a list of some of the biggest POS companies in the industry. Our POS experts have evaluated their strengths and weaknesses to provide a fair comparison.

By following the recommendations set out in this list, you'll be able to make an informed decision and pick the best POS system for you business. 

Epos Now

Jacyn Heavens, Epos Now's founder and current CEO, started the company with one goal in mind. From his background in hospitality, Heavens had seen how small and mid-sized businesses had been priced out of attaining top POS systems. He set out to change this by founding Epos Now in 2011.

Over a decade later and Epos Now has established itself as one of the most trusted names in POS. Epos Now has spread from its humble beginnings in the UK and now serves over 40,000 customers internationally.

For a small business like a food truck, flexibility is the name of the game as you never quite know what the day will bring. Epos Now embrace flexibility in its systems for food trucks and other hospitality businesses.

This flexibility can be seen in the way Epos Now customers can build their systems. On top of their basic hospitality package, Epos Now offers sector-specific POS software. This allows customers to get access to features that serve the exact needs of their users. For example, a food truck could choose to use a POS system designed for restaurants or takeaways, or create their own bespoke system choosing which features they need.

Epos Now has a customer-centric ethos. As part of this, they offer a variety of support options in case their customers need them. This includes 24/7 phone support, a live chat option, and a developers' forum. While it's rare to have an issue with an Epos Now POS system, free support is available at any time should you should need it.

POS software

 

The flexibility we mentioned above can be clearly seen in Epos Now's hospitality software. Unlike other POS providers, Epos Now's software can operate on Windows, IOS, and Android operating systems. This gives business owners an unprecedented level of control over their systems. As long as the hardware options you're using are compatible, Epos Now software is guaranteed to work on them with a quick and easy setup.

Epos Now software operates as a cloud-based POS system. This means that your Epos Now POS system takes your data and stores it in offsite servers as opposed to bulky onsite servers.

For food trucks, this has two major benefits. Firstly, physical space is a premium in food trucks, and offsite servers give you a little more breathing room. Secondly, offsite servers offer your data protection from hackers and accidental damage (extreme weather, improper handling, etc.)

A proper food truck POS system needs to be able to meet the unique needs of food truck businesses. With Epos Now's specialized software modules, food trucks can choose between the restaurant or takeaway module and get access to useful advanced features including inventory management, sales reporting, payment processing, and customer engagement tools.

While this may be more on the integration side of things, the Epos Now system for food trucks can also handle customer loyalty programs, staff management, multiple food trucks, and quickly process any in-person transaction.

While it can sometimes be difficult to find a reliable WiFi connection when you're out on location, Epos Now solves this problem with an offline mode. This offline mode allows you to conduct transactions and use your features without any stoppage. Your Epos Now food truck POS system will even retain your sales data from your transactions and compile them once you find an internet connection.

POS hardware

 

Using your physical space efficiently is a major part of running a successful food truck. When you consider how you need space to store ingredients, prepare them, and serve them to the customers, it's amazing that food trucks have space for anything! While the first POS terminals were large computer-sized pieces of equipment, the technology has evolved to support much smaller systems.

The Epos Now POS system for food trucks comes with a small upfront cost with a monthly software subscription fee after that. It consists of a sleek yet sturdy system that can easily handle the worst a food truck can throw at it. This system includes a waterproof touchscreen POS terminal, a receipt printer, and a strong cash drawer.

As part of Epos Now's commitment to flexibility, they also offer a range of hardware options that seamlessly integrate into your base system. These accessories come for a reasonable additional fee. Epos Now customers can add extra hardware options like barcode scanners, employee login cards, and more. With these accessories, you can build the exact system you need with Epos Now's own hardware. 

Even though the Epos Now terminal is a sleek piece of equipment, it will still be slightly too big for especially small food trucks. For these food truck businesses, the Pro+ is available. The Pro+ represents the pinnacle of POS technology. It's a complete POS system that fits in the palm of your hand. This portable system allows you to take payments, operate your business, and enjoy all the advanced features of the Epos Now Hospitality solution.

One of the most attractive aspects of operating a food truck business is the ability to franchise a lot easier than a conventional restaurant. Managing multiple locations is simple for Epos Now customers. All you have to do is buy an extra hardware bundle and link it with your existing POS system.

Epos Now customers with multiple systems even recieve a discount on their monthly subscription fee. With this in mind, the Epos Now hospitality the best POS system for entrepreneurs looking to operate multiple food trucks.

Payment processing

 

Until recently, payment processing has been controlled by a handful of major processors. This has now changed and some POS companies are now able to offer payment processing services. Epos Now Payments is one such service.

Epos Now Payments offer all-in-one payment processing services that accepts all main methods of payments. This includes all major credit and debit cards, contactless payments, online ordering, and services like Apple Pay and Google Pay. This means that no matter how your customers want to pay, you'll be able to complete the transaction.

While some other payment processing services charge a varying transaction fee depending on the size of the order. Epos Now Payments offers one flat payment processing fee for all transactions. By charging flat rate payment processing fees, Epos Now ensures that their customers never have to deal with an unexpected fee.

If you'd prefer to negotiate your own processing fee, Epos Now also gives the option to integrate with any major processor they choose. Since its founding over a decade ago, Epos Now has fostered relationships with major processors so that their customers can have complete control of their own finances.

Integrations

 

You can often tell how well-supported a POS system is by how many integrations they offer. A POS system that has access to multiple applications can be customized to meet the exact needs of its users. Epos Now boasts an expansive AppStore that features a vast array of over 100 award-winning integrations. A food truck looking to simplify their day-to-day operation can take great advantage of this app store.

In the Epos Now AppStore, users can find a wide variety of apps that cover everything from inventory management to customer loyalty programs. In addition to big names like QuickBooks and Xero, Epos now also offers a clutch of first-party apps designed to make the lives of business owners easier.

Accountancy apps like QuickBooks and Xero are great examples of integrations that help streamline a business. Accountancy admin is a tedious but inescapable part of running trading. Accountancy apps like the ones mentioned above track sales, automate your financial processes and interpret the information collected by your POS system for you. This saves you hours of time that you can then reinvest back into your food truck business.

Food truck POS systems need to be able to fulfill the same functions as any hospitality POS system. This includes inventory management online ordering, and loyalty programs. Epos Now covers these basic functions with a number of in-house apps. This include Epos Now Order & Pay which allows food trucks to set online ordering, digital menus, and lets their customers place their order on their phone by scanning a unique QR code.

Complete Solution Hero Right Hospitality Pound v4

Gain all the advantages of a POS system with detailed, flexible, downloadable reports, and so much more:

  • Manage and update products quickly with easy-to-use software
  • Expand your business into multiple channels and integrate with a variety of online platforms
  • Manage multiple locations and salespoints with multi-site management
  • Keep queues short with streamlined, modifiable sales processes
  • Choose a setup that suits you with software and hardware options

Software      Hardware

Toast

Toast, inc is an American POS company that was founded in 2012. Though the company has seen success over the last decade, it has also been through its fair share of controversies. This includes laying off 50% of its workforce in April 2020 before going public in November of that year.

Toast's POS offerings are entirely focused on the restaurant industry. While this specialization is great for traditional restaurants, it does mean that there isn't a dedicated Toast food truck POS system.

While Toast does provide over-the-phone support, it does not offer a live chat service like Epos Now. Judging by their website, it is unclear if there is a publically available support email address.

POS software

 

Much like the other best POS system for food trucks, Toast is a cloud-based POS service. Like Epos Now, this means that all the sales data collected by the POS system is held in offsite servers. Using cloud-based POS systems comes with a lot benefits for food trucks that we've mentioned above.

Unlike Epos Now, Toast offered a series of pricing tiers tied to different software bundles including a free version. While this does offer a choice to their customers on how much they want to pay, it does lock several basic hospitality features behind their paywalls. This may force their customers to pay more to access features that aren't available to the free version.

The features offered by Toast's free POS system include basic inventory management and business reporting. Other vital add on features locked behind a paywall include online ordering, staff management, and advanced inventory management.

POS hardware

 

As far as food truck POS system hardware options go, Toast's offering is basic and expensive. Toast's hardware starter kit has an upfront cost of $589 (with a monthly subscription of $80 per month) and comes with a touchscreen POS terminal, an internet router, and a contactless card machine.

Other POS hardware options such as receipt printers, barcode scanners, and cash drawers are available for an additional fee. While this very basic kit may appeal to space-conscious food truck owners, it is quite an expensive price for what you get. The lack of a receipt printer is a particularly problematic option as you are required to provide a receipt by law in most places.

Toast's hardware runs on the Android operating. While Android is a popular choice for developers, this singular option does exclude food truck owners you would prefer to use IOS or Windows. On their website, Toast also say that they cannot support non-Toast hardware. This means if you will need to buy a new system if you already have an existing POS system.

Payment processing

 

As part of their services, Toast can also as a payment processor for their customers, much in the same way as Epos Now. This is where the similarities end. Unlike Epos Now, Toast charges a customer pay as you go rate from customer to customer. This pay as you go rate means that your payment processing fee may change from month to month depending on your sales.

To their credit, Toast guarantees on their website that their customers will never be charged any hidden transaction fees. While this may be true, a pay as you go processing fee can be problematic for businesses that can't guarantee the same amount of sales each month. 

Integrations

 

The best POS systems will have large and varied app stores. The goal of these apps is to cover the gaps that POS systems for food trucks can't fix. Unusually for a POS company, Toast lists none of their compatible integrations on their website despite claiming to have a very healthy app store.

One could assume that they have apps that cover the basics of accountancy, inventory manage and employee management but this is impossible to verify without booking a demo.

Square

Square was founded in 2009 by businessmen Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey. In 2021 it renamed itself to Block, Inc while retaining the name Square for its POS systems. Since its founding, Square POS has become one of the most popular options the market. Despite this, it has been dogged by several controversies including a case where a Canadian food truck lost C$14,000 after Square processed their transactions in the US.

Like Epos Now, Square POS is available to retail and hospitality businesses. Unlike Epos Now, it does not offer specialized software models. This means that food truck owners would need to use the Square POS systems for restaurants.

In terms of support options, Square offers 24/7 phone support for its premium customers. Customers that use Square free POS system can only contact the company 9-5 Monday to Friday. If you have a problem with your free Square POS system, make sure to have it during the workday.

POS software

 

Square operates on a cloud-based system. This comes with all the benefits and drawbacks of cloud-based systems. The Square hospitality system works on both IOS and Android hardware. Square also needs a stable internet connection to process any in-person transaction.

Like Toast, Square offers its customers a basic free program with some features locked behind higher payment tiers. While their free system gives their customers access to inventory management and menu management, free customers can't use Square's mobile POS options and other useful features.

Without access to a mobile POS option, free customers are forced to use either a single card reader or a bulkier square terminal. This can be problematic for businesses that don't have the space for a hybrid POS system.

POS hardware

 

Square offers a unified system. In layman's terms, a unified system is one that uses all its own hardware options and shuts out third-party equipment. While this is a good thing for existing Square customers, they will have to buy an entire new system if they decide to use a different provider.

The basic Square hospitality system is called the Square Register Kit. It is an iPad-based POS system with an iPad acting as the touchscreen terminal. The kit also includes a USB cash drawer and a USB receipt printer. This basic kit is only supported by the free tier so if you want something a little more advanced, you'll have to pay more.

Integrations

 

Much like Epos Now, Square a healthy app store with a mix of third and first-party apps. These apps range from customer management tools to inventory management to delivery services. While they do have a wise spread available, Epos Now's AppStore has more integrations overall.

Just as with their hardware options, Square locks their most useful apps behind their tier paywalls. This means that once again, their free plan customer miss out on potentially vital features.

The best of pos system for food trucks

Out of all three of the POS systems for food trucks we've looked at today, it's obvious to see that EPOS Now is the clear winner. With its flexible software, top-of-the-line hardware, and award-winning app store, it simply can't be beat. Epos Now offer the best in retail POS and hospitality POS

If you'd like to read more reviews from Epos Now, check out our other articles:

If you're interested in hearing more about how Epos Now can help your business, get in touch with our expert team below.

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