Self-service kiosks are digital touch screens at restaurants and cafes, where customers place their own orders instead of being waited on or standing in line to place an order with a cashier. Most self-service kiosks are a feature of the businesses’ larger point-of-sale (POS) system.
Choosing a POS with a great kiosk option is important for quick service restaurants for increasing sales while decreasing lines and wait times. The best kiosk software has multiple menu configurations, product photos, prompts for add-on items, and upselling. We examined dozens of kiosk solutions to arrive at our top six recommendations, including the best overall.
Top Self-Service Kiosk for 2019
How We Evaluated Self-Service Kiosks
Typically, restaurants use the kiosk feature that comes with their point-of-sale (POS) system. However, if you are determining which POS is best for your business, there are some specific kiosk features to consider. Businesses need a solution that works seamlessly between the POS system, kitchen display, and kiosk. The kiosk function also needs to be affordable, and easy for customers to use.
Based on the needs/wants of the reader, the criteria we used to evaluate the best include:
- POS Integrations – Your self-serve kiosks will operate on the same software as your POS system, so we looked at our top POS recommendations for restaurants and cafes. There are not many stand-alone kiosk software systems.
- Price – We evaluated kiosks based on software fees, initial kiosk hardware costs, and payment processing fees.
- Ease of Use – Ease of use is very important for kiosk solutions because they are customer-facing. However, they should also be easy for businesses to customize and manage.
- Implementation – We looked at how easy each kiosk solution is to set up, what kind of kiosk hardware is required, and what type of support is provided for setup.
- Payment Processing – We looked at what kind of payment processing each kiosk has included or available as an integration, including gift cards and mobile wallets.
- Security – We only considered solutions that offer Payment Card Industry-compliant (PCI-compliant) payment processing. We also considered the security of each POS system and its kiosk hardware.
Our top choice for the best overall self-serve kiosk for small restaurant businesses is Toast. Toast also has an excellent restaurant POS system, a kitchen display solution, and a built-in payment processing system. This all-in-one solution offers small businesses a robust kiosk and restaurant management system at an affordable price.
Toast: Best Overall Self-Service Kiosk for Small Businesses
Toast is a customizable restaurant management software specifically designed for the food service industry. In addition to the self-service kiosk function, this cloud-based Android software system includes point-of-sale (POS), inventory management, online ordering, reporting, and analytics. It’s rare for a POS to include all of these functions in an easy-to-use system and at a mid-level price range, which is why Toast is our top choice for self-service kiosk.
Toast POS software starts is $79/month, but features like self-service kiosk are an additional quote-based fee. Kiosks operate on Android tablets that are purchased through Toast for a custom price, with 36-month financing and 0% interest. A hardware package with one 10-inch terminal, flip stand, and magnetic card reader is $899. Otherwise, kiosk hardware is quote-based. Installation fee starts at $499. Credit card processing is a flat custom rate that’s negotiated when you sign up with Toast.
The kiosk operates on a touch screen where customers can browse the menu with pictures, choose their orders (which get sent directly to the kitchen), and pay for their meals right at the kiosk. Restaurants customize menu categories, photos, and product descriptions. Toast’s POS has advanced back-end features like inventory management and menu costing, as well as front-of-house tools like built-in customer profiles and a broad range of order modifiers.
Additional Toast kiosk software features include:
Toast Ease of Use
Toast is very user-friendly, which is important when customers are also operating the software. Restaurants can upload pictures for each menu item so customers know exactly what they are getting. Toast has POS systems dedicated to full service, quick service, pizzeria, and bar restaurants, and each comes with features designed for that type of business. Restaurants can also set up unlimited modifiers so customers can customize each order.
Toast Payment Processing
Toast has built-in payment processing. When businesses sign up for Toast, they are given a flat-rate fee that is locked in with the software agreement. Toast accepts all major credit cards, cash, and checks, and businesses can set up branded gift cards. Toast payments are end-to-end encrypted and PCI-certified. Toast can process transactions both online and offline.
What Toast Is Missing
Toast is a really robust solution. Almost every feature a restaurant business would need is either included in Toast, available as an add-one, or available through a partner integration. Toast comes with a hefty installation fee, but, if you are looking for help with setup, a mandatory installation process could be a benefit. Businesses that use Toast are also locked into Toast’s payment processing system, and don’t have the benefit of shopping around for lower rates.
There aren’t many reviews specifically for Toast’s kiosk feature. But, reviews for Toast overall are overwhelmingly positive. In fact, Toast is also our top choice for restaurant management software. Visit our Toast POS Review Page to read more.
TouchBistro: Best Self-Service Kiosk for Quick Service Restaurants
TouchBistro is an iPad point-of-sale (POS) and management software built for restaurants, bars, food trucks, and breweries. The TouchBistro software includes front-of-house and back-of-house features at an industry-standard rate. TouchBistro Kiosk works seamlessly with TouchBistro POS and kitchen display system, making it a great option for quick service restaurants that want to streamline operations and boost sales.
TouchBistro kiosk is priced as an additional license to the TouchBistro POS, which starts at $69/month. The recommended hardware bundle for TouchBistro Kiosk includes an iPad Pro 12.9-inch, Stand for iPad, Receipt Printer, and Payment Terminal. Hardware is also provided at a custom quote. For more specific pricing, book a demo with a TouchBistro representative.
TouchBistro POS Tiers
|Kiosk Software Price|
TouchBistro was built by a team that collectively has hundreds of years’ worth of restaurant experience, so the software is designed to be especially intuitive and functional. TouchBistro POS has hundreds of front-end features like menu, staff, and customer management. On the back-end, TouchBistro has over 50 different reports and analytics. The kiosk works seamlessly with TouchBistro management and kitchen display systems.
Additional TouchBistro Kiosk features include:
TouchBistro Ease of Use
Similar to Toast, TouchBistro Kiosk is also very user-friendly. Restaurants can completely customize their menus and add photos, modifiers, and upgrades to each item. TouchBistro also has a combo deal function that lets restaurants create deals that patrons can customize and view pricing for as they are ordering. These prompts help increase average check sizes. Guests can pay for their orders with a credit card at the kiosk or with cash at the counter.
TouchBistro Payment Processing
Unlike Toast, TouchBistro does not have a built-in payment processor, so businesses can choose from a variety of providers to get the best deal. TouchBistro integrates with Square, Chase, Worldpay, PayPal, Cayan, and more. Like Toast, TouchBistro has an offline function so businesses can still accept payments offline.
What TouchBistro Is Missing
TouchBistro Kiosk integrates directly with TouchBistro POS and kitchen display system, and other features like customer directories, loyalty programs, and inventory management are included or can be added on. However, TouchBistro does not have a built-in payment processing system, so businesses will have to find a separate provider.
Reviews for TouchBistro as an overall restaurant management solution are very positive. Business owners like that it is easy to use and comes with responsive customer support. Some reviewers state that they would like more flexible reporting options. Visit our TouchBistro Review Page for more details.
Lavu: Best Self-Service Kiosk for Displaying Nutrition Information
Lavu is a cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) system designed for the restaurant industry. Lavu offers highly-customizable self-service kiosks for quick service restaurants, ice cream shops, food trucks, cafes, and more at prices similar to Toast and TouchBistro. Overall, Lavu Kiosk is the best option for restaurants that want to display nutrition information for each item
Lavu POS starts at $69 per month per terminal. Kiosk solutions are priced individually for each business. Lavu hardware kits start at $399 for the iPad stand and magstripe card reader. iPads are an additional $399 each. Lavu has its own payment processing system, but restaurants can also integrate other payment processing solutions.
Lavu includes standard features for self-service kiosks, including menu customization, modifiers, upgrades, and payment processing. What sets Lavu apart is the fact that businesses can upload nutritional data for each menu item, including allergen information and alerts for gluten, dairy, soy, and vegan and vegetarian options while also providing calorie, fat, sugar, and carbohydrate data.
Additional Lavu features include:
Lavu Ease of Use
With Lavu, customers can easily make informed choices on menu items based on their dietary needs and preferences. This level of transparency provides an easier ordering process and eliminates concerns or guesswork for guests with dietary restrictions. Like with Toast and TouchBistro, restaurants can also upload pictures for each menu item so customers have a visual reference.
Lavu Payment Processing
Lavu offers Lavu Pay, which is Lavu’s own payment processing solution and is PCI-compliant. However, unlike Toast, Lavu does not force restaurants to use this service. Lavu POS and Kiosk are also compatible with third-party payment processing services such as PayPal, Square, and Vantiv, so restaurant owners can shop around for the best rate.
What Lavu Is Missing
Lavu’s kiosk feature is one of the most robust solutions for small businesses offered as part of a larger restaurant POS system, plus it is highly customizable and user-friendly. However, Lavu does not offer the same combo-deal upselling feature that TouchBistro has, but that is about the only thing it is missing.
Overall, reviews for Lavu are positive. When up and running, business owners like that the system is easy to use and can be personalized to each businesses’ needs. However, some reviewers state that the customer service is slow to respond or to address issues related to getting the software up and running. Visit our Lavu Review Page to learn more.
MobileBytes: Best Solution for Mobile Ordering
MobileBytes is a cloud-based restaurant management solution that includes point-of-sale (POS), kitchen display, online ordering, iPad self-service kiosks, and mobile ordering. MobileBytes takes self-ordering one step further by also letting customers order via mobile when they are in-store, which is why MobileBytes is the best option for restaurants that want multiple in-store ordering options.
All of MobileBytes’ solutions, including kiosks and mobile ordering, are provided through custom pricing. Once you contact MobileBytes for more information, they will put you in touch with a local reseller to install hardware, software, and offer support services.
MobileBytes’ kiosk includes standard features like menu customizations, item modifiers and add-ons, and the ability to upload an image for each item. Once customers place an order, they pay right at the kiosk and orders are sent directly to the kitchen. Mobile ordering works the same way: customers pay online and then pick up their food when it’s ready.
Additional MobileBytes features include:
MobileBytes Ease of Use
Out of the options on our list, MobileBytes is arguably the easiest for customers to use because it offers multiple ordering options, either through the kiosk or over mobile. Customers who order through the kiosk have a standard self-ordering experience. As with Lightspeed, a MobileBytes customer can also receive a text when their food is ready
MobileBytes Payment Processing
MobileBytes has fully-integrated credit card processing. They offer EMV processing, with Bridgepay as the payment gateway. So, businesses can still choose from different processing companies like First Data, Vantiv, Chase, and more.
What MobileBytes Is Missing
MobileBytes has a ton of extra features like online ordering, SMS text notifications when a customer’s food is ready, and built-in loyalty programs. However, they don’t have the same options for nutritional data display like Lavu does. Hardware is also purchased through a third-party reseller, not directly through MobileBytes.
There aren’t many user reviews available for MobileBytes. However, the ones that are available are mostly positive. Reviews like that the program is all-inclusive and offers so many different features in one system.
Get Started with MobileBytes
MobileBytes is a great solution for restaurants that want to offer mobile ordering in addition to kiosk ordering. Overall, the feature-rich platform is intuitive and user-friendly. Visit the MobileBytes site for more information and to get a custom quote. Click here to get started.
Revel Systems: Best Self-Service Kiosk for Delis
Revel Systems is a point-of-sale (POS) and management system that can work for both food service and retail businesses. Revel Systems kiosks can process orders that have a combination of touch screen food orders and barcode-scanned items, making it a great option for delis that offer a mixture of packaged, prepared, and made-to-order food.
Revel Systems Pricing
The monthly software fee for Revel is $99 per terminal. Kiosks are an additional custom fee. Installation fees are quote-based, but start at $649 and include system onboarding, menu consultation, hardware installation, and payment processing setup. Payment processing is at a flat rate that depends on your business type, although businesses can choose to use a third-party payment processor.
Revel Systems Features
Revel POS is an iPad POS system designed specifically for restaurants, bars, and retail shops. It offers users solutions for payment processing, order management, delivery tracking, inventory, kiosks, and more. The self-ordering kiosks have the same basic functions as the other solutions on our list, including custom menus and pictures.
Additional Revel Systems kiosk features include:
Revel Systems Ease of Use
Revel Systems kiosks operate on an iPad touch screen and are very user-friendly. The customer-facing features are aesthetically pleasing and have intuitive navigation, through which customers can browse menus, select or edit items and quantities, and place orders with their name. Orders can be completed by paying with credit, debit, or gift card, or cash.
Revel Systems Payment Processing
Revel has a proprietary payment processing solution. But, similar to Lavu, businesses can choose to use their payment processing or choose a third-party provider. Revel’s transaction rates are not published, but they promise to be “competitive.” Revel has an “Always-on” mode that ensures payments can be accepted even if you lose internet connection.
What Revel Systems Is Missing
Revel Systems offers a pretty standard solution—there are no major holes. However, it does not have the nutritional display options that Lavu has or the SMS texting options when an order is ready that MobileBytes and Lightspeed have.
Revel Systems Reviews
Reviews for Revel Systems are generally positive. Business owners like that the software is easy to use and easy to set up. Negative reviews mention that they have had issues with the kiosk hardware and were not satisfied with the customer support they received. Visit our Revel Systems POS Review Page to read more.
Lightspeed Restaurant: Best Self-Service Kiosk for Chain Restaurants
Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based POS system for the food service industry. It offers comprehensive front- and back-end management features for multiple locations, including a kiosk solution. Everything can be managed from one dashboard, which is why Lightspeed is our top choice for chain restaurants that want a self-service kiosk solution, even though it’s a bit pricier than other options.
Lightspeed Restaurant Pricing
Lightspeed Restaurant software starts at $69 per month for one register. This price does not include kiosks, which are an additional quote-based price. Each business receives a custom quote for the entire Lightspeed system depending on the size and type of their business. Lightspeed runs on iPads with iOS 9.3 and later, which can be purchased for less than $400. Transactions are through third-party processors so that businesses can choose a competitive rate.
Lightspeed Restaurant Features
Lightspeed Restaurant is a full POS and management system with robust inventory features. The self-service kiosk has standard features like custom menus and items, and restaurants can upload pictures of each menu item. Once a customer places their order, it is automatically sent to the restaurant’s kitchen display system.
Additional Lightspeed Restaurant kiosk features include:
Lightspeed Ease of Use
Like the other kiosks on our list, Lightspeed operates on a touch screen and is very user-friendly. Customers can browse through different menus and read item descriptions before placing an order. What sets Lightspeed apart from other self-order solutions is their customer notification feature. If customers are picking up their own orders at a counter, they can opt-in to receive an SMS text notification when their food is ready.
Lightspeed Payment Processing
Unlike Toast, which has a built-in payment processing system, Lightspeed does not. So, same as TouchBistro, businesses that opt for Lightspeed kiosks will need to find a third-party payment processing solution. Lightspeed works with Vantiv, Cayan, and First Data, among other payment processing solutions.
What Lightspeed Restaurant Is Missing
Lightspeed kiosks do not have the same nutritional display features as Lavu. But otherwise, Lightspeed is a pretty all-encompassing suite of restaurant management software that is geared towards managing multiple locations.
Lightspeed Restaurant Reviews
Though there is not much feedback available for Lightspeed kiosks, reviews for Lightspeed Restaurant as a whole are very positive. Businesses like that there are a ton of inventory, management, and reporting features. Reviewers also mention that the customer service team is very responsive. Some reviewers wish that there was an implementation team that could help them with setup. For more information, visit our Lightspeed Restaurant Review Page.
Self-service kiosks are a great solution for any quick service restaurant, casual dining, cafes, or on-the-go food service business. They reduce customer lines, reduce cashier labor costs, increase average ticket sales, and overall can really improve the customer experience.
Our top choice for self-service kiosks is Toast. They offer an easy-to-use, flexible platform that operates on the affordable Android system. Best of all, the Toast kiosks tie in with Toast POS and restaurant management software, which has robust reporting, inventory, and analytics to help your whole business run smoother. Visit Toast to request a free demo.