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Square for Restaurants

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9.2/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #3 in category Restaurant POS Systems
Square Restaurant POS is one of the significant new entrants to the restaurant POS market. The company acts both as a POS provider and a payment processor. Square is currently offering a free version and up to 25% off POS hardware.
Easy to Use
  • Free version to get started
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Built for the restaurant industry
  • Affordable monthly price points
  • Restricted to Square’s payment processing
  • Limited hardware options

Square for Restaurants Review

Square for Restaurants Review

Get 25% Off Square

For a limited time, Square is offering up to 25% off POS hardware. Find the latest Square promo code here.

Square is a popular POS and payment transaction platform. Today in this review, I’ll be taking a look at its POS system for restaurants: “Square for Restaurants.” In this review, we’ll dig in to determine if it’s the right POS system to bring your restaurant into the 21st Century.

If you manage a restaurant or café, your place of work can get jam-packed with customers. Managing orders, accepting payments, splitting checks, preparing food, and keeping customers happy can all get overwhelming. If you’re currently using an outdated POS platform, you may be lagging behind the competition and hurting your profits.

There are various types of POS systems on the market, but modern restaurant management platforms have emerged to help restaurant owners improve their operations. If you haven’t been using one of these newcomers, or worse, if you’re still using a cash register vs a POS, you may be missing out on features to increase your productivity and your bottom line. Let’s get started with the pros and cons of Square for Restaurants.

Overview of Square for Restaurants

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New - Square for Restaurants (Free Version)

Square POS for Restaurants is now offering a FREE POS plan including online ordering, menu management, and M-F 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST support. The free plan comes with all the essentials you need to run a small restaurant with zero monthly charges and unlimited devices/locations. There are no hidden fees, and businesses can cancel or change their subscription at any time.

Square for Restaurants is one of the significant new entrants to the restaurant POS market. The company acts both as a POS provider and a payment processor. As a point of sale system, Square offers a few different software applications that help specific business niches, like retail and hospitality, benefit from tailor-made POS platforms.

Square for Restaurants is a restaurant-specific iPad App for the Square POS system platform (see our in-depth Square POS review). It is specifically designed to help restaurant owners manage their businesses and process transactions effectively. The product incorporates a range of different menu-building and transaction tools that help you streamline your business processes. The new software also integrates into Square’s ecosystem so you can tap into services like Payroll, Loyalty, Marketing, and Capital.

Square is famous for its small ‘square’ magstripes that attach to portable devices. This payment processing company changed the way that many small business owners approached transactions. Square is well-suited for those who have flexible needs — the software can be installed on a range of different devices, both purchasable through Square and independently. You can even use Square on your cell phone!

While Square also offers retail and general POS services, my review today will focus solely on its product for restaurants. If you’d like to take a look at their other POS systems, you’ll find additional POS reviews here on our site!

No time for reviews?
Visit our page to compare the top restaurant POS systems in a few easy steps. Answer a few simple questions, and we’ll present the best option(s) for your business with the combination of being the perfect solution and affordable based on your business needs. Or do you want to look at additional options? Visit our list of the best software for restaurants here.

Pros vs Cons


  • Free version with essentials to get started
  • Extremely easy to use and learn
  • Built specifically for the restaurant industry
  • Affordable monthly price points
  • Built-in payment processing that accepts all major credit cards
  • You can quickly deposit earnings to your bank account.
  • Flat rate payment processing fees
  • Easy to build menus, easy to customize orders
  • A range of add-ons that help improve customer experience
  • Process payments with Offline Mode
  • Accept payments at the table with the all-new Square Terminal


  • Restricted to Square’s payment processing
  • Limited hardware options
  • A track record for freezing funds after suspicious transactions


Depending on your restaurant’s current size, your POS system’s price may have a major impact on your restaurant’s viability. Before you can decide if a POS system is right for your restaurant, you need to decide if you can afford it. Below, I’ve created a bullet chart that takes an in-depth look at the different pricing options available to US, UK, and AU-based customers.

How much does Square for Restaurants cost? Here is the pricing:

Square For Restaurant’s Free

  • Monthly – $0
  • Extra POS Device – $0
  • Square Reader Charge – 2.6% + 10c
  • Square Stand Charge – 2.6% + 10c
  • Typed Number Charge – 3.5% + 15c
  • Team Management – Free tier, $35/mo for Team Plus
  • Online Store – Free tier included
  • Payroll Manager – +$29/mo then $5/month per employee
  • Square Loyalty – From $45/mo per location
  • Square Marketing – From $15/mo per location
  • Next-Day Deposit – Free
  • Same Day Deposit – 1%

Square Restaurant’s Plus

  • Monthly – $60
  • Extra POS Device – $40
  • Square Reader Charge – 2.6% + 10c
  • Square Stand Charge – 2.6% + 10c
  • Typed Number Charge – 3.5% + 15c
  • Team Management – Team Plus included
  • Online Store – Free tier included
  • Payroll Manager – +$29/mo then $5/month per employee
  • Square Loyalty – From $45/mo per location
  • Square Marketing – From $15/mo per location
  • Next-Day Deposit – Free
  • Same Day Deposit – 1%

Square for Restaurant’s Premium Plan

  • Monthly – Starts at $299 + 30-day free trial.

*These prices are subject to change at any time.

As you can see, Square charges its customers a monthly fee and a range of different transaction costs. These are the transaction costs you would typically have to pay to a separate payment processing company — Square takes care of this for you. When you consider the features that Square offers its customers, the pricing structure is undoubtedly a good bargain.

Another few costs to pay attention to in the table are the payroll management costs and the deposit costs. If you want Square to manage your payroll and your employee’s hours, you’ll have to pay $5 per month. Fortunately, if you want a next-day deposit of your restaurant’s earnings, you won’t have to pay anything at all. You can even get your earnings instantly deposited into your account for a 1% fee — you won’t find this feature with many other POS platforms.

Still, some new entrants to the restaurant industry may find that Square is an expensive option – this is especially true when you consider that you have to invest in your hardware. We’ll explore Square for Restaurants hardware costs in more detail in a dedicated section of this review!

Keep in mind: Square for Restaurants is happy to work with companies on an individual basis. If you have a large volume of transactions, you may get a cheaper payment processing rate. If you process high ticket items or do a lot of processing volume, then you’ll want to explore this avenue – that’s because Square’s flat processing fee can end up costing you more in the long run compared to an Interchange-Plus pricing model you can get with most merchant providers.

You can get a free trial of Square before you make a purchasing commitment, which we highly recommend with all systems. Sign up for free here.

Demo Video

Getting Started With Square for Restaurants


Key Features

If you want to choose the right POS platform for your restaurant, you need to make sure that you look at the features it has to offer. Below, I’ll take a look at the different benefits you can find packed inside Square for Restaurants:

Square Restaurant POS System Screenshot

  • You can quickly build menus – you can also store and manage different menus for different meal times and seasons.
  • You can design menus from the POS interface or a remote computer.
  • Custom color coding allows you and your staff to navigate the restaurant interface better.
  • Full table and ticket management are available via the Square for Restaurants portal.
  • Create floor plans and track covers.
  • View all your location data from a central location.
  • Staff can send live order updates to the kitchen if customers change their mind.
  • Mobile payments and orders are available for food trucks.
  • A comprehensive employee management system is available for an extra charge.
  • A cloud-based reporting system that allows you to analyze performance.
  • Tableside ordering and payments are available with Square Terminal.
  • Directly email receipts to customers, or print them on-location.
  • Process payments with Offline Mode.
  • Access free catering contract templates.
  • Instant deposits to your bank account.
  • 24/7 technical support available.
  • Build a loyalty program for frequent customers (extra cost).

Square Table Layout

Deployment Type

Unlike many POS systems of the past, Square has a cloud-based component that allows you to upload reporting data and store vital information. While the software is locally installed via an App on your hardware device, like the components of most POS systems, you can access your sales data and staff information via a cloud – this is an excellent feature if you’re managing multiple restaurants from an outside location.

This hybrid design also ensures you don’t lose track of valuable reporting data and information. If your hardware system is stolen or damaged, you’ll still be able to get up-and-running on a new device without any hiccups.

Industries Served

Square for Restaurants is exclusively for businesses operating in hospitality that need a point of sale solution for counter and table service. It’s excellent for a restaurant, café, coffee shop, food truck, or small bar. While Square for Restaurants can handle large order volume, it’s not quite as powerful as some of the high-end options on the market. For this reason, it’s best suited to small and mid-sized restaurants.

Ease of Use

One of Square for Restaurant’s major selling points is how easy it is to use. Many older POS systems have clunky and confusing interfaces that increase the chances of a mistake. If you want to process transactions quickly, using an intuitive platform is your best option.

Square Restaurant POS Example

Square for Restaurants makes it easy to take orders, seat patrons, accept payments, split tickets, and view reporting data. If you’ve been using an outdated system, you’ll be blown away by how quickly you can learn Square. It’s a great POS option if you want a platform that allows you to onboard new staff members without hours of training time.


Another reason Square is an easy option for restaurant owners is the availability of complete POS kits to help you get up and running quickly. It takes the guesswork out of your hardware needs. With Square for Restaurants, you can use your iPad (if it’s a compatible generation) or purchase one from Square. You can also purchase a Square Stand restaurant station if you want to fix your payment portal in a specific location. With the Square Terminal device, you can even take payments table-side, which is an advanced feature of restaurant management systems.

Square offers implementation services to assist with onboarding. Here are details from their website – partner with an onboarding expert for one-on-one help with menus, floor plans, team training, onsite technical support, and more. Starting at $600.

For the Square hardware setup, we recommend purchasing all your hardware from the POS vendor to get everything that’s compatible, making it easier to support issues that may arise.

Square Restaurant POS Hardware

Here are some of Square’s hardware prices to give you an idea of cost:

Square Stand Restaurant Station (iPad Not Included) – $1,074

What’s included:

  • USB Receipt Printer
  • Receipt Printer Paper (25 Rolls)
  • Ethernet Kitchen Printer
  • Kitchen printer paper (25 rolls)
  • 16 in. Printer-Driven Cash Drawer
  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip Square

Stand Restaurant Station with Square Terminal (iPad Not Included) – $1,473

What’s included:

  • Square Stand for Contactless and Chip
  • Square Terminal
  • USB Receipt Printer
  • Ethernet Kitchen Printer
  • Receipt Printer Paper (25 Rolls)
  • Kitchen printer paper (25 rolls)
  • 16 in. Printer-Driven Cash Drawer

Square Terminal – $299

  • Square Terminal has changed its price from $399 to $299 with the option of $27/mo for 12 months of financing.

*These prices are subject to change at any time.


In terms of integrations, most of Square’s current partnerships are with accounting software platforms. You can integrate your Square for Restaurants’ data with QuickBooks or Xero — this can help you save a lot of time when tax season comes calling.

As mentioned previously, you can get Square to add payroll management services for a small monthly fee. You can also pay to have a loyalty program set up to help you reward your regular customers. You can use this program to create loyalty points or bonuses and track your most loyal visitors’ spending habits.

Also, you can sell gift cards for a small fee per card. As you can tell, plenty of great add-ons are available to help you affordably improve the benefits you can offer your staff and customers.

The Caviar integration with Square for Restaurants will allow you to see delivery and pickup orders directly within the point of sale.

Payment Processing

As mentioned previously, Square also acts as a payment processor. Unlike many POS systems, which give you the flexibility to choose your payment processor, Square requires you to use its platform. With Square, you can process all major credit cards, including Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express. You can also process contactless transactions. You can also accept payments tableside with the Square Terminal.

  • Square has updated its standard processing rate for tapped, dipped, and swiped payments accepted with the Square Point of Sale app to 2.6% + 10¢.

While this is convenient, it’s also a disadvantage. If you’re someone who wants to keep your current processing partner or shop around for the best deal, you don’t have that benefit with Square.

Customer Service

There are plenty of POS systems that talk a big game — unfortunately, many of these providers have horrible reputations when looking at different consumer watchdog groups. To get a better idea of Square’s customer support reputation, it’s essential to look at common complaints.

One of the most common complaints that you see about Square is actually from processing customers, not restaurant owners. Many people complain they were double-charged using the Square payment platform. While this isn’t your fault, it can reflect poorly on your business if a customer believes they’re being scammed.

The other complaints primarily revolve around frozen funds and suspended accounts. Some business owners complain their funds were frozen or their accounts were suspended without warning – this can be a significant pain if you have a lot of money tied up in the platform.

While this is certainly annoying, it’s the result of strict anti-crime measures from Square. All indications point toward a company that values the legal use of its services. If anything, this is an overall positive attribute.

In terms of real customer support, you’ll find that Square has recently begun to offer 24/7 customer support to its Square for Restaurants clients.

Our Verdict

At the end of the day, other than it being a newer product, it’s hard to find much wrong with Square for Restaurants for a reasonably inexpensive software and hardware combo. However, I mainly like the product for smaller environments, and I think it’s a simple solution for restaurateurs opening a new restaurant. If you process a lot of credit card volume, especially if your average ticket price is high, Square for Restaurants will not be your best option due to the flat credit card rate and the potential of money being held.

As far as the App itself, it’s a practical, restaurant-specific POS software built by one of the industry’s most trusted names. If you want a mobile POS for restaurants on the iPad platform that is flexible and easy to use, this is undoubtedly one option to consider for smaller restaurant or bar environments. The Square App’s familiar touchscreen nature makes it extremely easy to learn and use on the iPad.

While Square’s hardware options are relatively limited, it does provide you with almost everything you need to get started with the ability to bring your iPad to the table. If you have your own iPad, you can start using the App right away.

Its restaurant features will get better with time, but the existing App will genuinely improve your ability to manage your venue, train your staff, and keep your customers happy. On the other hand, if you want payment processor flexibility and more options with hardware, Square for Restaurants will not be the best option available to you.

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Is Square good for restaurants

Quite simply, yes! Square has a dedicated version of its software called Square for Restaurants that addresses restaurants’ specific needs. Square for Restaurants is designed for small to medium-sized restaurants with key features like online ordering, integrated payment processing, mobile capabilities, inventory control, curbside pickup and delivery, and social media marketing. We like that there is a free version to help merchants get started, then upgrade to more features when you’re ready.

How much does Square for Restaurants cost?

The entry-level version of Square for Restaurants is free to start with no monthly fee. The paid version offers more advanced features and costs $60 per month with $40 per extra device. The hardware cost is extra. You can check current pricing here.

Does Square for Restaurants have online ordering?

Yes, Square offers Square Online so that you can take orders on your restaurant website. This is also a great option for contact-free and self-serve ordering. There are no monthly fees or commissions. You pay for in-house or on-demand delivery fulfillment and processing fees. It’s integrated with many popular restaurant delivery services like DoorDash, Postmates, Caviar, and Chowly. Orders placed online display on your POS and relayed to your kitchen printer or KDS.

Is Square for restaurants free?

Square offers a free version of their software, including online ordering, menu management, and M-F 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST support. The free plan comes with all the essentials you need to run a small restaurant with no monthly charges and unlimited devices/locations. There are no hidden fees, and businesses can cancel or upgrade their subscription at any time.

Specification: Square for Restaurants

Best For

Restaurants, Quick Service, Full Service

Business Size

Small, Medium

POS Type

iPad POS

Software Type


Free Trial


Merchant Services

In-House Only

Pricing Model

Free, Monthly Payment, No Contract

Price Range


Videos: Square for Restaurants

Photos: Square for Restaurants

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