This article is part of a larger series on POS Systems.
The best point-of-sale (POS) system for your food truck is determined by your menu and how you sell to customers. Do you operate a single food truck or a fleet? Do you sell all your food to order or make your money on private events? You’ll want to find a food truck POS that supports these needs and meets your budget (a system can cost anywhere from $0–$100 monthly).
We evaluated dozens of popular POS systems based on our experience working on food trucks. According to our evaluations, the five best food truck POS systems are:
- Square: Best overall food truck POS and best for beginners
- Toast: Best for catering trucks and fleets
- TouchBistro: Best for easy staff training
- SpotOn: Best for operating without internet
- Rezku: Best for small trucks
Top Food Truck POS Systems Compared
Minimum Monthly Software Fees
Marketing and Loyalty
Ease of Use
From 2.6% + 10 cents
Excellent (Pay as you go)
From 2.49% + 15 cents
From 1.99% + 20 cents
From 1.99% + 15 cents
Quiz: Which Food Truck POS Is Right for You?
Square for Restaurants: Best Overall Food Truck POS & Best for Beginners
What We Like
Square’s POS system has long been a popular choice for food trucks—largely thanks to its convenient payment processing device that makes accepting card payments incredibly easy for both customers and food truck operators. Food truck beginners can set up their Square POS in a single day and start processing sales right away.
Square offers built-in processing, high mobility, compatibility with your existing hardware, and invoicing and marketing tools to enhance and grow your food truck business. It also supports excellent handheld terminals and KDS (kitchen display system) screens.
Square’s POS system earned 4.28 out of 5 on our food truck POS scoring criteria. However, it’s important to note that while Square offers a great handheld device, high-volume food trucks may prefer the more advanced handheld terminals offered by SpotOn or Toast.
- Three subscription tiers:
- Free: $0
- Pro: $60
- Premium: Custom quote
- Hardware costs: From $59 for a contactless card reader to $1,439 for a full restaurant POS station Kit with iPad stand, cash drawer, card reader, Square Terminal, receipt printer, and kitchen printer
- One-time Installation fees: $0; Square is self-installed, but you can request on-site installation assistance starting at $600.
- Processing fees: 2.6% + 10 cents for in-person transactions, 2.9% + 30 cents for online payments, 3.3% + 30 cents for invoice transactions, and 3.5% + 15 cents per transaction for manually keying in a customer’s credit card
@Rest Stand for iPad Mini Kit
Square Stand Kit
iPad Mini case, attachable Tap and Dip card reader, and mobile thermal printer
Tap and Dip enabled iPad Stand, cash drawer
Add a thermal receipt printer for $89
Handheld touch-screen order and payment device with integrated receipt printer
Contactless and Chip Card Reader
- Free POS
The baseline Square for Restaurants point-of-sale subscription (which is all most food trucks will need) has no monthly software fees.
- No long-term contracts
Unlike Toast or TouchBistro, Square does not require a long-term contract. This is an excellent fit for seasonal trucks or trucks operating only on weekends or holidays.
- Pay-as-you-go marketing
Square’s Email Marketing and Text Marketing tools allow you to easily collect customer contact information and send email or text promotions to capture their attention. Pricing is based on the number of messages you send, ranging from $15 to $25 per month for Email Marketing and $10 to $125 per month for Text Marketing.
- Food Truck Pub integration
Square offers free-to-access mobile and web management order software for food truck owners. The cost of the service is a $1 convenience fee per order. While this cost may be high, those looking for an easy-to-use order management integration through Square can choose this.
- Square Invoices
Square Invoices—which integrates with Square’s POS products—keeps your catering deposits organized and processes payments for large events. Square says that over 75% of Square invoices are paid within 24 hours. Square Invoices is free to use; the only cost is a slightly higher payment processing rate of 2.9% + 30 cents for invoices paid online.
- Cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity
Your Square POS can communicate through any Wi-Fi network with an internet speed of 25 megabytes per second. If you are out of Wi-Fi range, you can get these speeds through a mobile hotspot or an LTE-enabled mobile router from your cellular provider.
Read our full Square POS Review to learn more and watch our video walkthrough of the Square for Restaurants POS.
Toast: Best for Catering & Truck Fleets
What We Like
Toast is a hybrid POS system built exclusively for restaurants. Like SpotOn, Toast operates on industry-grade touch-screen tablets and handheld devices. Toast’s hardware is IP-rated to withstand drops, heat, and water penetration—making it ideal for busy trucks where your hardware can take a beating. Toast also includes built-in invoicing tools to allow catering and event-heavy trucks to bill customers accurately.
Toast earned a 4.18 out of 5 on our food truck POS scoring system. It earned a perfect score for niche food truck functions, like kitchen display system (KDS) options and robust marketing tools. It lost some points for requiring a two-year contract and only supporting a single payment processor (Toast Payments), but the built-in processing supports Toast’s Pay-as-You-Go options. If you need a robust POS for low to no upfront costs, you can pay higher processing rates to get the necessary tools.
- Monthly Software subscription fee:
- Quick Start Bundle/Pay-as-you-go – $0
- Core – $69
- Growth – $165
- Custom Pricing- Custom Quote Needed
- Hardware costs: $0 for the Pay-as-You-Go Starter kits; pay-upfront options available
- One-time Installation fees: $0 for self-installation; $250 for guided installation
- Processing fees:
- Standard – 2.49% + 15 cents per in-person transaction
- Pay-as-You-Go – 2.99% + 15 cents per in-person transaction
- Pay-as-You-Go with Marketing tools – 3.39% + 15 cents per in-person transaction
Toast Go 2 Handheld Kit
Guest Self-Service Kit
Toast Flex for Kitchen
Mobile handheld POS terminal, wireless access point
POS terminal that can flip and adjust in multiple positions
POS terminal that can adjust into multiple positions with guest-facing terminal
Swivel-stand orders system for food truck kitchens to use during operation
- Industry-grade hardware
Toast is the only system on this list that publicizes its hardware’s Ingress Protection (IP) rating. Toast’s terminals have an IP-54 rating, meaning they can withstand dust and steam penetration and operate at temperatures from 40 to 114 degrees Fahrenheit. Apple does not list an IP rating for iPads and recommends operating between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pay-as-You-Go options
Toast users that only need one to two terminals can use Toast’s Starter Kit subscription with no monthly software fees. You can also roll in a complete Toast stationary terminal with a terminal, cash drawer, card reader, and router for a higher processing fee.
- Dynamic handheld terminals
Toast’s Toast Go 2 handheld is one of the most comprehensive handheld POS terminals available. The large touch screen is easy to read and navigate. It can take orders; process swiped, dipped, and tapped payments; and alert your staff when orders are ready. The Toast Go 2 has a 24-hour battery life and is water-resistant and drop-proof.
- Invoicing tools
Toast includes invoicing tools built into the POS. So if you handle catering orders or cater private events, you can create invoices in your Toast POS and track large order payments from initial deposit to final balance.
- Marketing and loyalty
Toast’s add-on loyalty and marketing modules support custom email messages and a traditional loyalty points program. Starter Kit subscribers can add these features—along with online ordering and gift cards—for an additional 0.4% per transaction.
- Inventory by xtraChef
In 2021, Toast purchased the restaurant inventory tool xtraChef. This comprehensive inventory software logs recipes, manages vendors, tracks food cost and supply usage in real time, and syncs with your accounts payable system to ensure you never miss an invoice. It also includes scan-to-enter invoice management and a smartphone app for taking physical inventory counts.
Check out our Toast vs Square article to see the top two POS systems on this list compared.
TouchBistro: Best for Easy Staff Training
What We Like
TouchBistro is a cloud-based iPad restaurant POS that offers an intuitive IOS-based user interface similar to an iPhone, allowing for easy adoption. Several reviews specifically mention that new employees learned to use this POS in a single afternoon.
TouchBistro is self-installable when following one of the company’s detailed tutorials. The system has several options for mobile configurations using LTE-enabled routers.
TouchBistro earned a 3.99 out of 5 on our food truck POS criteria, excelling in mobility and ease of use. It lost some points for a slightly clunky ingredient-level inventory system (if you want world-class inventory tools, you’ll need an integration) and its upfront price. At $69 per terminal monthly, TouchBistro doesn’t break the bank, but it’s hard to compete with systems like Toast and Square that offer free baseline subscriptions.
Since Our Last Update:
As of July 2023, TouchBistro no longer supports third-party payment processors and will exclusively work with its own payment processor (TouchBistro Payments Powered by Chase) for new POS customers.
- Software subscription fee: $69 per terminal monthly
- Hardware costs: Custom-quoted
- One-time Installation fees: $0; this system is self-installed
- Processing fees: Custom-quoted rates
Kitchen Display System
Customer Display System
TouchBistro’s standard POS system for operation and order functionality. An iPad is used for this terminal.
KDS for back-of-house operations, can be used for operations organization in food trucks
Customer facing display for efficient and easy ordering
- Flexible hardware
With TouchBistro, it is easy to format iPads as POS terminals, KDS screens, or handheld order and payment devices. Some configurations come with additional monthly fees; you’ll need to check with TouchBistro for full pricing.
- Menu management
Building menus with TouchBistro is a breeze due to the online-based menu software that allows you to build and cost menus anywhere. The system also offers color-coded menu items that will entice customers to choose options that will lead to an upsell on their meal. You can even add staff-facing detailed menu descriptors that allow your staff to tell the full story behind a dish.
- Staff management
TouchBistro’s software allows you to manage the staffing of your food truck and the labor costs associated with it. When margins are thin in a food truck business, staff scheduling and labor analysis is key.
- Self-installable & easy to use
The ability to install this on your own speaks to how easy a set-up with TouchBistro is. A lot of their features are designed in a user-friendly way, making this POS software great for those who want an easy experience for their team and for operating their business. The iOS-style design makes this software super friendly to anyone who has used an iPhone before.
See what else we love about this system by watching our video walkthrough of the TouchBistro POS.
SpotOn: Best for Operating Without Internet
- Full pricing requires a custom quote
- Must purchase hardware directly through SpotOn
- Initial menu must be set up by the SpotOn team
What We Like
SpotOn is a customizable cloud POS operating on Windows-based touch-screen tablets and proprietary Sidekick handhelds. Its setup requires customization for each screen, offering flexibility but requiring a sizable investment of time.
SpotOn enables setting different prices for cash and credit card payments, allowing you to cover credit card fees within baseline prices and offer cash discounts. This cash discounting feature, along with its robust hardware, makes SpotOn a great choice for high-volume trucks. And the cellular-enabled handheld POS devices make it easy to operate without an internet connection.
SpotOn earned a 3.94 out of 5 on our food truck ranking. The system earned high marks for its mobility and payments processing, which is reflected in its user reviews and overall popularity. This, paired with a Bluetooth payment tool and reporting on your customer reviews, makes SpotOn an efficient POS system for any food truck. SpotOn lost some points for its less robust inventory tools (if you need built-in ingredient-level inventory, try TouchBistro) and because full pricing, including hardware and installation, requires a custom quote.
- Software subscription fee: Not publicly listed. We were quoted $35 per month for each Sidekick Terminal; volume discounts are available.
- Hardware costs: Custom-quoted
- One-time Installation fees: Custom-quoted
- Processing fees: 1.99% + 20 cents for most credit and debit cards; 2.99% + 20 cents for AMEX, corporate, international cards, and manually keyed payments. Also compatible with undisclosed third-party processors; inquire with SpotOn for compatibility.
Handheld and portable POS system specifically made for food truck use
All-in-one countertop POS terminal with built-in card reader and 8” touch-screen display
Meraki MX67C Ethernet/ 4G LTE Cellular Modem
- Cellular-enabled terminals
SpotOn’s food truck POS operates on its cellular-enabled Sidekick handheld terminals. These terminals include a built-in receipt printer and card reader, and they communicate to Bluetooth kitchen printers on your truck. You can use the Sidekicks on the truck itself, or use them outside your truck to line bust. Because they are cellular-enabled, you can accept orders and payments anywhere you get a cell signal.
- Marketing and loyalty
Like Square, SpotOn has robust marketing and loyalty tools. You can track customers’ order histories and award loyalty points. Built-in email templates allow you to send polished promotional messages. You can send marketing emails directly from any internet-enabled device, even a smartphone.
- Reputation management
With a food truck, your reputation is everything. SpotOn’s reputation management tools track your customer ratings and reviews on sites from Yelp to TripAdvisor. You can respond to reviews directly from your SpotOn dashboard.
- Integrated online ordering
Like Square, SpotOn includes a fully integrated online ordering site. You can throttle the pace on your online ordering site so you receive fewer online orders during busy times. You can also use this site to organize pre-orders for pick-up or offer orders and payments via a QR code.
- Cash discount setting
You can set separate prices for each menu item that cover your credit card processing fees. When a customer chooses to pay with cash, their check will automatically be discounted by your processing amount. This helps small trucks offset the expense of accepting credit card payments.
See even more POS alternatives by reading our ranking of the best restaurant POS systems.
Rezku: Best for Small Trucks
What We Like
Rezku is an affordable all-in-one iPad POS system, including features like gift cards, online ordering, delivery management, and marketing tools for $0 per terminal, monthly (up to two terminals). These features, along with affordable iPad- and iPad-mini-based hardware, make Rezku a great choice for small food truckers whose business is likely to grow.
Rezku scored 3.7 out of 5 in our evaluation, earning points for its all-in-one pricing and positive user reviews. It could have scored higher with more training and payment processor options.
- Three Subscription Tiers:
- Startup (2 terminals): $0
- Growth (3-5 terminals): $99
- Established (Unlimited Terminals): $199
- Processing Fees: From 1.99% + 15 cents
- Hardware Costs: Kits range from $777 to $1,058
- One-time Installation Fees: $0
Rezku Stationary POS*
Rezku Mobile iPad Mini*
Adjustable angle iPad stand with card reader with contactless payment
All-metal iPad case with card reader with contactless payment
Rugged case for iPad Mini with card reader, adjustable hand strap, and fast-charging power chord
Al-metal iPad case with heavy-duty base. Countertop card reader with contactless payment
*iPads not included
- Free Baseline POS
Like Toast and Square, Rezku offers a free baseline POS tier. This gives you access to all its great features for free, furthering the quality and resources available to food truck owners. Like Toast, however, you can only get the free plan on a maximum of two terminals. But this may be all a food truck needs.
- Full-featured, all-in-one POS
Unlike others on this list, Rezku includes virtually all of its software tools in the baseline POS. You get ingredient-level inventory tracking, online ordering with delivery management, loyalty and rewards, and even gift cards, for no additional cost.
- Cash discount tools
Like SpotOn, Rezku includes a setting that automatically calculates a discount for customers paying with cash. The amount of the discount is essentially the same as your credit card processing fees. This offsets the cost of processing credit cards, which can be a big hurdle for high volume low-check average operations like food trucks.
- Labor cost controls
Rezku’s employee management tools include an integrated timecard system and clock-in/out tools. It also offers a unique feature—photo clock-in, which prevents buddy punching. Templated reports include labor cost analysis, which helps you plan for the right staffing levels on future shifts.
Methodology: How We Evaluated Food Truck POS Systems
We scored dozens of the most popular mobile POS systems based on food truck priorities. We included cost, ease of use, and food truck-specific functions, like robust handheld hardware and invoicing tools. We also considered our restaurant and POS experts’ personal experiences using each system.
Click through the tabs below for our in-depth evaluation criteria:
20% of Overall Score
First, we looked at whether or not each software offers a free plan, free trial, and a plan option under $75 monthly. Food truck menus tend to be priced to sell, which means tight operating margins. We considered whether the system operates on readily available hardware like iPads or requires purchasing proprietary tablets.
20% of Overall Score
20% of Overall Score
Successful food trucks are all about marketing. So we looked for systems that include built-in customer management, email marketing, and social media integration tools. We considered available order streams from in-person to online and contactless ordering, and looked for integrated kitchen display systems that can save printer paper.
30% of Overall Score
10% of Overall Score
Meet the Experts
Ray Delucci has 10 years of food industry experience and has managed full-service restaurants, large events, and even helped manage prep for food trucks while in college in the Napa Valley. His experience in supplying food to different food trucks during this time leads him to understand the flow needed for inventory and efficient customer transactions in a very competitive market. This, plus experience utilizing POS systems across many different foodservice sectors, allows him insight into what makes a great POS system.
Mary King has worked in every type of food service business, from coffee shops and food trucks to full-service fine dining restaurants. With over 14 years of industry experience, she has used many POS systems in real-world food service businesses.
Meaghan Brophy has 10-plus years of retail experience, during which she has operated a variety of cash registers and POS systems in different settings and applications. Since working in retail, Meaghan has 7-plus years of experience writing for retailers and 4-plus years of experience evaluating POS systems.
Katie-Jay Simmons has over 10 years of experience in retail and hospitality settings, gaining valuable insights into customer service, operations, and management. In addition to her hands-on expertise, she has been reviewing retail and restaurant software for 2+ years.
How to Choose a Food Truck POS System
Choosing the right food truck POS for your business is crucial for smooth operations and a positive customer experience. Follow these steps to find the best system for your food truck.
Step 1: Assess Your Needs
Start by assessing your specific needs as a food truck operator as well as the needs of your staff. Consider the list of features below to determine which functions are most important for your business and which you could do without. Think about your unique operational requirements, customer demands, market trends, and plans for future growth.
Step 2: Set a Budget
Establish a budget based on your financial capabilities. Consider both one-time expenses (hardware and installation) and ongoing costs (monthly software fees). Ensure the POS system you choose aligns with your budget and offers a pricing structure that fits your business model.
Step 3: Schedule Demos
With your needs and budget requirements in mind, schedule demos with several POS providers to get firsthand experience with their systems. Pay attention to each system’s ease of use, functionality, and speed, but also evaluate the quality of customer support offered by the provider. Be sure to ask questions about budget fit, included features, integrations, scalability, fees, and installation timelines.
Step 4: Compare Estimates
After the demos, the POS providers will typically send you an itemized estimate detailing the expected costs for software, hardware, and payment processing (if applicable). Carefully review the estimates, comparing not only the monthly costs but also contract terms, installation fees, and any other relevant conditions. Ensure there are no hidden fees or unexpected obligations.
Step 5: Finalize Your POS Decision
Once you’ve compared estimates and made your final decision, contact your chosen POS provider to begin the implementation process. It’s courteous to inform the other providers you considered of your decision, saving you time and preventing unnecessary follow-up calls and emails.
Features to Look for in a Food Truck POS
When choosing a food truck POS, look for a system that’s affordable, flexible, and user-friendly. Here are the key features to consider:
- Payment Processing: Ensure your POS system offers diverse and efficient payment options—including chip cards, mobile, and contactless methods—at affordable rates. Some systems only support their own payment processors, while others integrate with multiple processors for flexibility.
- Mobility: Ensure your food truck POS system offers an offline mode for orders and payments without an internet connection. Consider peripheral connections (for hardware like printers) and convenient access to your POS account for seamless operations on the go.
- Menu Management: Look for a food truck POS with robust menu customization options, allowing you to easily create, organize, and edit different item types, categories, and modifiers. Ensure it accommodates your specific menu needs for a seamless ordering experience.
- Order Management: The best food truck POS systems seamlessly merge orders from the different channels you use (i.e., dine-in, online, or phone-in) into a single, easy-to-manage platform.
- Inventory Management: Automatic tracking of ingredients used per order and real-time inventory updates are essential features. Some advanced systems even allow ingredient reordering directly from the app.
- Loyalty Program Integration: Look for a POS system that supports marketing and loyalty programs, rewarding customers with points leading to perks and incentives.
- Reporting and Analytics: The best food truck POS systems provide comprehensive reporting and analytics, allowing you to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and make informed decisions based on sales data, inventory levels, and customer behavior insights.
- Customer Support: Opt for a provider that offers comprehensive customer support options— including phone, live chat, and email assistance. Also, look for training assistance and self-service resources like tutorials, FAQs, and community forums.
- Hardware Options: Look for a POS that is compatible with the hardware you prefer to use, whether it’s tablets, smartphones, or handheld devices. If you already have hardware, seek out a provider that allows you to bring your own.
- Manageable Pricing and Terms: Consider the pricing structure and contract terms of the POS system. Look for a solution that fits your budget and aligns with your future plans for your business.
Food Truck POS Systems Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A POS in a food truck is the point of sale, or a combination of hardware and software that manages sales for the truck.
A POS can help a food truck process digital payments and keep track of sales, inventory, and employee hours. Many POS systems also include tools for employee scheduling, tip pool management, invoicing, and online ordering.
You can find food truck POS systems for as little as $0 per month up to more than $100 per month. Your costs will depend entirely on the tools you need and the system you choose. If you need online ordering or invoicing, for example, you may need to pay an additional monthly fee. Most food trucks can expect to get all the tools they need in a baseline cloud POS subscription, which ballparks for $0 to $60 per month.
We recommend POS systems for food trucks for a lot of reasons. The most important reason is that a POS allows you to easily accept the card and digital wallet payments that customers prefer. A POS also helps you keep track of sales and inventory, which saves you administrative time and can help you identify theft. Trucks operate with tight margins, so it is tempting to avoid the cost of a POS system, but in our experience a POS for a food truck will save you time and money while helping you increase sales.
Food truck service differs from restaurant service due to the speed, limited space, and randomness of location that operators may encounter. You need a POS system that is flexible, easy to use, and inexpensive to get the most from it. That is why we chose Square for the best food truck POS.
With invoicing, text and email marketing, and a variety of hardware, you can configure this POS to fit any food truck style. Square can also grow with your business as it expands or your needs change. The lack of a long-term contract makes Square for Restaurants a low-risk option for new or seasonal food trucks.