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Best POS For Food Trucks

Selecting a POS System for Your Food Truck Business

Selecting a POS System for Your Food Truck BusinessSelecting a POS System for Your Food Truck Business
Food truck POS

Published: March 12th, 2024

Food trucks have come a long way since their "cash-only" days. Today, mobile businesses utilize point-of-sale (POS) systems to manage orders, track food inventory, and advertise to loyal customers. Because of the unique demands of a food truck business, the right POS must streamline nearly every task. Explore the best POS for food trucks in the industry right now.


Specific Needs of POS Systems for Food Trucks

Food trucks are constantly moving from one location to another. Remarkably, some trucks can be on the road for 12 hours nearly every day of the week. With this bustling schedule, a POS must operate in any setting, from cities to rural locations.

Simply put, a POS for food trucks needs to be user-friendly and fast. Operators don't have time for complicated systems. They need something that smoothly handles orders from the front to the back of the truck as customers line up. A good POS might even show menu pictures for quick, face-to-face ordering. Furthermore, a POS system needs offline capabilities. Areas with spotty cell service should still process orders internally and upload them when connectivity is restored. Operators can't afford downtime. Without order processing, they risk turning away business.

Because of these industry requirements, the best POS systems must have specific characteristics that meet them. One of these traits is durability, meaning it can withstand impacts, heat, and humidity. Ideally, these systems should also have a marketing feature with email or QR-code generation to streamline customer communication regarding the truck's next location. POS solutions should incorporate order processing, inventory counts, and accounting features. Lastly, such systems should even incorporate payroll and vendor orders to enhance profit margins.

Importance of a POS System for Food Trucks

In today's fast-paced world, customers want quick service without any delays. For example, customers might line up at the food truck during their lunch hours. Because food truck operators have limited time, they rely on POS systems that streamline every aspect of their business.

For orders at the truck window, a POS can have a customer display for order accuracy. As the operator types in the order, it appears on the display. Naturally, customers appreciate seeing their orders listed out, especially if they're particularly detailed descriptions. Limiting order mistakes encourages customers to return because of the operator's attention to detail.

A POS system might feature a QR code, allowing customers to scan it at the truck, place their orders via their cellphones, and then wait for their food. Inside the truck, this order appears for the cooks to prepare.  Alternatively, your POS can be seamlessly linked to your truck's website, facilitating orders directly from customers' devices into the POS system. This enables operators to efficiently handle more orders than relying on the traditional line in front of the truck. The customer experience is further improved by sending texts directly to their phones when the food is ready—no need to listen for a name or number being called out anymore. A good POS system should let customers relax or even wander to another area without worrying about missing their orders.

Mobility and offline capabilities

Primarily, food trucks require mobility when it comes to POS systems, which is why handheld devices, tablets, and cell phones are indispensable tools in this industry. Technically, an operator can take orders just outside the truck to connect with the customers in line. Because most payment types are via credit or debit cards, operators can simply scan them and move to the next customer. Remarkably, one of the primary reasons for integrating POS into a food truck business is the significant consumer shift from cash to card payments.

Some operators might be concerned about adding technology to their trucks because of connectivity issues. For instance, their service area might have poor cell-site coverage. Luckily, most POS systems come with an offline feature. Imagine a busy lunch line when the truck's Wi-Fi or cellular signal fails. While turning to cash-only transactions was an option in the past, today's businesses can simply save the payment data for processing later on. As a result, customers experience uninterrupted service; they scan their cards to receive their orders, and the system quietly handles the rest in the background.

Having an offline feature is really important, especially for new food trucks. If transactions aren't smooth, customers might not come back. Plus, bad online reviews could hurt the truck's reputation. So, using a system that can work without the internet and is mobile-friendly can help make more money in the end.

Comparison of Top POS Systems for Food Trucks


Square made their name years ago as one of the first companies to offer mobile payments through their square-shaped readers attached to cellphones. Today, Square has expanded into POS for food trucks, empowering you to customize your setup and allowing you to choose the interface that suits you best:

• Square Register
• Square Stand
• Square Terminal
• Square Reader

You can evaluate your needs and select a suitable interface for your truck's setting. The large register, for example, has a bigger footprint than the basic reader. Naturally, this system allows you to process credit and debit cards and has reporting features for cash payments. With additional screens in the back, cooks can prioritize orders as they come in. Square gives you a chance to set up online ordering, too. Customers can order their food through your website or app to pick it up later. This, paired with on-site QR code ordering, eliminates long wait lines and further streamlines your operations. 

Additionally, you can easily manage your inventory, track popular items, and reorder using the Square POS. If you encounter connectivity issues, Square provides an offline feature. Simply connect to the Internet within 24 hours of any transactions to process the data.


TouchBistro offers a custom hardware package to meet the needs of one or several food trucks. Along with payment processing and accounting features, TouchBistro also integrates marketing options. For example, you can create a loyalty program for repeat customers or send a weekly email blast to every previous customer. TouchBistro's intuitive software does the work for you, allowing you to focus on running your food truck.

If you want to improve order accuracy, consider a "Customer Facing Display." which offers a snapshot of the menu items as you input the orders. TouchBistro can also be integrated with other POS options, which makes it a versatile tool. In addition, their systems can operate offline so that you can take your food truck to nearly any corner in town. Meet your customers' needs by managing, editing, removing, or adding menu items so that popular selections are always available. TouchBistro's data can tell you which items are most popular and when and where they’re in demand.


Toast offers the hardware and software necessary to operate a successful food truck. Their displays, mobile app, and easy integration are hallmarks of Toast's vast product line, making some of Toast's unique features attractive to nearly any business size.

The company offers durable products built to withstand rough handling, ensuring reliability in any environment. You can also update your menu on the fly, add a QR code for quick orders, set up multiple payment types in just minutes, and even customize your POS system to suit your specific needs. Remarkably, Toast caters specifically to the needs of the food truck industry with additional features, including optional paper receipts and SMS-texting capabilities. On windy days, you can opt for digital data instead of paper receipts to prevent them from blowing away. Similarly, in quieter neighborhoods, texting is utilized to alert customers of their ready orders instead of calling out to the crowd.

Toast also backs up your data on the cloud and provides offline services when necessary. Simply choose from its "Quick Start Bundle" or "Custom" packages. Because every business is unique, the company allows you to customize their products for optimal operations. Toast even offers Wi-Fi connectivity, so your truck doesn't rely on cell signals alone. Overall, Toast has industry experience and around-the-clock support for any business. Toast provides demos to help you select the appropriate hardware for your requirements.


In conclusion, the specific needs of POS systems for food trucks are vital for ensuring smooth operations in their dynamic and fast-paced environment. These systems must be user-friendly, fast, and equipped with features like offline capabilities to ensure seamless transactions in any setting. Toast, Square, and TouchBistro stand out as top contenders, offering unique benefits tailored to food truck needs.

From Toast's durable and customizable options to Square's versatile hardware and TouchBistro's integrated marketing features, each company provides comprehensive solutions to enhance the efficiency and profitability of food truck businesses. Investing in the right POS system streamlines operations, improves customer satisfaction, and fosters business growth. As food trucks continue to thrive in various locations and settings, the importance of a reliable and adaptable POS system cannot be overstated.

Make informed decisions for your business using our comparison tool, guaranteeing optimal choices. Discover our list of the best POS companies and explore alternative solutions. Stay informed on industry developments with engaging articles available on our blog.

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