Best Eftpos for Cafes & Restaurants: Pay at table, split bills, tipping, bar tabs and more

Tyro integrated eftpos is the best eftpos for cafes and restaurants. They offer the best hospitality features, including pay@table, split bills, tipping and bar tab mode. Plus, it integrates with major hospitality point-of-sale solutions and caters well to foreign guests.

Restaurant table with dishes
Tyro Integrated EftposTyro Integrated Eftpos Westpac Presto SmartWestpac Presto Smart Saf2Pay EftposSafe2Pay Eftpos Square ReaderSquare Reader & Stand
Fees 1.17% 1.43% Speak to provider 1.91%
Summary Clearly the best hospitality eftpos, with low transaction fees, best hospitality features, and hundreds of POS integrations. Best hospitality eftpos from a major bank, most hospitality features, POS integrations, and modern hardware. Well suited to cafes and restaurants that cater to foreign tourists, as it accepts many card types and digital wallets. Square Reader is a beautiful and functional hospitality solution when paired with the Square stand, but fees are high.
The Good Hospitality features like pay@table, split bills, tipping and bar tabs, low transaction fees, integrates with over 300 POS. Also has hospitality features like pay@table, split bills, and tipping, integrates with over 130 POS, and modern hardware. Accepts WeChat Pay, AliPay and international cards in customers' home currency, and integrates with 30 POS. Square Reader can take payments at table, pairs with Square Restaurant POS, beautiful design fits will in a cafe or restaurant.
The Bad Terminal looks quite bulky and dated, and Tyro does not currently accept WeChat pay through the eftpos machine. No Wechat Pay or Alipay through the eftpos machine, no bar tabs, limited dynamic surcharging capability. No dynamic surcharging, least cost routing, and same day settlement only available if you have a Westpac bank account. Missing key hospitality functionality such as split bills, and transaction fees very high.
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Our Pick: Tyro Integrated Eftpos

Tyro’s integrated eftpos solution is the best eftpos for cafes and restaurants. Not only does it offer low transaction fees, it also includes best-in-market hospitality functionality, including:

  • Pay@table, split bills and tipping: Staff can bring the eftpos machine to the table, press a button to retrieve the table’s bill, then split the bill and allow each diner to add a discreet tip and pay for their order.
  • Bar tabs: Customers can easily open a bar tab with a fixed limit and then purchase without their card, and the bar tab automatically settles at the end of the evening.

It also integrates with over 300 point-of-sale solutions, including the most popular hospitality solutions, such as Kounta, Impos, Ordermate, H&L and Abacus.

Finally, they offer a decent solution for cafes and restaurants that serve foreign visitors. They accept all major card schemes, including American Express and Diner’s Club (US), JCB (Japan) and UnionPay (China). Plus they accept Alipay payments through the eftpos machine. It would be great to see them accept WeChat Pay soon.

Tyro terminals

Tyro Integrated Eftpos is our pick for best cafe and restaurant eftpos.

What do customers expect in cafes and restaurants?

Australian cafe and restaurant culture is on a resurgence; powered by a growing mix of cultures, the freshest produce, and resurgent interest in food (thanks Masterchef!).

We love going out, meeting at cafes and restaurants, and spending quality time with family and friends. And hospitality businesses have stepped up to the challenge with welcoming, customer-focused dining experiences.

Because of this, not only do Aussie diners expect good food, but also a great experience from the moment they walk into the door to the moment they finalise the bill.

How do we determine the best hospitality eftpos?

In order to offer great dining experiences, cafes and restaurants need to be underpinned by flexible point-of-sale and eftpos technology. With this in mind, we considered the following criteria when assessing the best hospitality eftpos machine:

  • POS Integration: The point-of-sale is the heart and soul of your cafe or restaurant. Not only does it manage your orders, but also monitors stock and ingredients levels, supports customer loyalty programs, and provides dashboards and analytics. By integrating your eftpos and point-of-sale, you can also enhance your customers’ payment experience.
  • Pay@Table: Your customers don’t eat at the counter, so why should they pay at the counter? Bring your eftpos machine to the table and allow customers to split, tip, tap and pay!
  • Tipping: Tipping can be uncomfortable, so you should allow customers to discreetly add a fixed-amount or percentage-based tip to their order.
  • Split Bills: Australians love to dine with friends but splitting the bill can feel like quantum physics. You need an eftpos machine that can split a bill into multiple payments based on ‘who ate what’ or an even split.
  • Multi-Currency and Digital Wallets: If you have a business in a major tourist spot, you’ll not only know that Australia has lots of Asian tourists, you’ll also know that they use apps to pay for things. Improve their experience by accepting Alipay and Wechat Pay for their orders.
  • Transaction Fees: Cafes and restaurants can run on reasonably thin margins, so it’s important to minimise your expenses. By choosing the right eftpos machine, you can literally save thousands of dollars per year on fees.
Cafe counter

Cafes and restaurants needs to meet customers’ growing expectations of the dining experience

POS Integration

Why is this important?

The point-of-sale is the heart and soul of your cafe or restaurant. Not only does it manage your orders, but also monitors stock/ingredients levels, supports customer loyalty programs, and provides dashboards and analytics.

The best eftpos machines can integrate with your point-of-sale software. This means that you can initiate a transaction on the point-of-sale like normal, and that transaction will automatically be sent to the eftpos machine. And once that purchase is completed, the confirmation is sent back to the point-of-sale and the transaction is closed automatically.

There are a number of benefit of point-of-sale integration for cafes and restaurants:

  • Bank statement reconciliation: You no longer have to key-in the purchase price on the eftpos machine, which means there’s no chance of fat-finger errors. This means that you won’t spend hours combing through your eftpos and bank statements to figure out why the numbers don’t reconcile (hint: it’s because you keyed-in a $3.00 coffee as $0.30).
  • Stock level management: Because your point-of-sale automatically monitors your stock and ingredients levels, you can be sure that you adjust your levels for every coffee, meal or side that you sell.
  • Faster payments and better customer experience: High volume cafes will know how easy queues can form. Queues result in impatient customers that take their business elsewhere. Integrated eftpos makes purchases faster, helping bust those queues before they form

What are we looking for?

The point-of-sale software industry is highly fragmented, so retailers can literally choose from hundreds of solutions. The best integrated eftpos solutions will integrate with a wide range of point-of-sale software, especially the most popular hospitality solutions, such as Kounta and Ordermate.

In addition, we’ll be scouring review sites and forums to find the eftpos solution that has the most stable and reliable integration. Nothing worse than drop-outs and downtime.

The Winner: Tyro

Tyro is our pick for best point-of-sale integration, as it integrates with almost 300 point-of-sale solutions, including the most popular solutions for cafes and restaurants, such as Kounta, Ordermate, Impos and Abacus.

Not only does Tyro’s point-of-sale integration enable purchases initiated from the point-of-sale, it includes integrated pay@table, split bills and tipping (more on these soon!). And Tyro boasts 99.9% uptime for transactions and terminals can be switched to 3G mode if your store wifi goes down.

It also comes highly recommended by retail point-of-sale companies. Tower POS and Links POS both publically recommend Tyro over competitor PC-EFTPOS. In particular, Tower POS claims that Tyro is easier to set up, transactions are faster, and reconciliation is easier.

Tyro Impos integration

Tyro integrates with 300+ POS solutions, including all the major cafe and restaurant POS

Pay@Table, Tipping and Split Bills

Why is this important?

Customers don’t eat at the counter, so you shouldn’t make them pay at the counter. When time comes to settle the bill, bring the payment to table, and make it easy for your customers to split the bill and add a tip.

Splitting bills the old fashioned way forces your customers to have difficult across-the-table negotiations, requires some advanced mental arithmetic, and always ends up with one pesky entree that nobody has paid for — and nobody wants to pay for.

And then how do they agree on a tip? It often takes an FBI-negotiator level of skill to find a compromise on the table’s tip.

If you don’t solve the end-of-meal payment experience, you risk letting your customers leave with a full belly but a sour taste in their mouth.

What are we looking for?

It’s not enough for an eftpos provider to offer one or two of these features. A good hospitality eftpos solution will provide all three.

This is because the value of these features comes with them being used together. For example, when a large group of friends are eating together at a table, they should be able to pay at their table by easily splitting the bill and each adding their own tip.

The Winner: Tyro

Tyro offers best-in-market split, tip and tap at the table functionality. Staff can bring the eftpos machine to the table, press a button to retrieve the table’s bill, then split the bill among the diners at the table.

Each diner has the choice of how much of the bill they want to pay for. They can agree to split it evenly or everybody can pay for their own meals. And during payment, they are presented with a discreet tipping prompt, which allows each diner to add their own tip

All of this automatically reconciles with the point-of-sale, so your business continues to operate seamlessly.

Tyro Pay@Table

Tyro offers the best pay@table, split bill and discreet tipping functionality in market

Multi-Currency and Digital Wallets

Why is this important?

For some cafes and restaurants, accepting cash, eftpos, debit cards and credit cards in Australian dollars is enough. But many businesses operate in large cities and tourist hubs that cater to foreign visitors.

In fact, Australia receives over 9.5 million foreign visitors per year, who spend a total of $45 billion dollars in Australian cafes, restaurants, hotels and retail stores. And the biggest inbound tourist market is China, which accounts for almost 1.5 million visitors alone.

If you’ve ever used your credit card overseas, you’ll know how annoying it can be. Not only do you need to find a place that accepts your specific type of credit card, but the transaction value is often shown in a foreign currency. Do you really know how much that 1,288.92 Yen breakfast bill will cost you? (Hint: It’s about $17.50).

Chinese inbound tourists have an even greater challenge. They are more accustomed to paying with mobile digital wallets, such as WeChat Pay and Alipay. By using these apps when spending in Australia, Chinese tourists can make a purchase with instructions in their own language and lock in preferential exchange rates.

What are we looking for?

The best hospitality eftpos solution for cafes and restaurants with foreign visitors will have:

  • A wide range of card schemes: Not only will they accept the usual eftpos, Visa, Mastercard and American Express. They will also accept Diner’s Club and Discover (US), JCB (Japan), and UnionPay (China).
  • Multi-currency: The eftpos machine should automatically identify that a customer is using a foreign card and present the purchase price in their home currency.
  • Digital wallet acceptance: Enable foreign visitors to pay using WeChat Pay, Alipay and other digital wallets, usually by presenting a QR code on the terminal that the customer can scan to pay.

The Winner: Safe2Pay Integrated Eftpos

Safe2Pay offers the best hospitality eftpos solution for merchants that serve foreign tourists.

Firstly, they accept eftpos, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and UnionPay. And although they don’t accept Diner’s Club, Discover or JCB, these only account for less than 1% of total card transactions.

Secondly, they have multi-currency support. This means that Safe2Pay terminals automatically identify a foreign-issued card, convert the purchase price to the cardholder’s home currency, and display it on the eftpos machine.

Finally, Safe2Pay are one of the only eftpos solutions that accept both AliPay and Wechat Pay. The merchant commences a transaction as normal, a QR code is displayed on the eftpos machine screen, the customer scans the code, then the payment goes through.

Alipay on eftpos machine

Safe2Pay accepts both Alipay and Wechat Pay through the eftpos machine

Transaction Fees and Other Costs

Why is this important?

Keeping costs low is an important discipline for any cafe or restaurant. Margins can be tight — you need to pay staff, overheads, suppliers — and your eftpos transaction fees can feel like a tax on every transaction.

But choosing the right eftpos solution for your cafe or restaurant, you can save thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs. Let’s look at an example:

On average, hospitality businesses serve about $40,000 worth of orders per month. If they paid 2.30% in transaction fees (which is not unheard of), then they would pay $920 per month or $11,040 per year in fees. And this is before any establishment fees, monthly fees, or other hidden charges.

However, if that same hospitality business decided to shop around and found an eftpos provider that charged 0.90% in transaction fees, then they would pay $360 per month or $4,320 per year. This is a 61% reduction in fees!

What are we looking for?

There are three main ways that a good hospitality eftpos solution can save you fees:

  1. Low quoted fees and bespoke pricing: Most eftpos providers will quote fees and charges on their website. However, cafes and restaurants that transact above a specified minimum amount can access bespoke or customised pricing. The minimum amount sits somewhere beween $12,000-30,000 per month, depending on the provider. A good hospitality eftpos solution will have both low quoted fees and even lower bespoke pricing.
  2. Least-cost routing: Most debit cards are dual network cards, which means they can process the transaction through both the eftpos network and the Visa/Mastercard network. Annoyingly, most providers will process tap-and-go transactions through the more expensive Visa/Mastercard. But providers with least-cost routing will automatically identify dual network cards and process them through the eftpos network. According to Tyro, this can save cafes and restaurants up to 9.1% on fees.
  3. Dynamic surcharging: Some cafes and restaurants may choose to pass their eftpos fees onto customers but this can be difficult to calculate. In response, a number of providers have developed a dynamic surcharging feature that automatically calculates eftpos fees and adds them as a surcharge to transactions.

The Winner: Tyro

Given that transaction fees are generally calculated based on the unique characteristics of a business, we can only offer general pricing guidance.

Tyro offers the lowest quoted eftpos pricing in the market at 1.10% per transaction. This pricing applies to cafes and restaurants that transact less than $20,000 per month. This is significantly cheaper than comparable plans from banks, which work out to be closer to 1.35-1.55% per transaction. And if you transact more than $20,000 per month, speak to Tyro and they’ll offer you a bespoke rate.

On top of that, Tyro also offer both least-cost routing (which they market as Tyro Tap & Save) and dynamic surcharging. Tyro claims that least-cost routing saves their hospitality merchants an average of 9.1% on their transaction fees.

Tyro countertop eftpos terminal

Tyro offers cheap quoted pricing, least-cost routing (Tyro Tap & Save) and dynamic surcharging as standard