Finding the right merchant services for your small business can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor. However, as the platforms that allow you to accept and process payments, they’re also vital to your business.
As you consider POS systems for your small business, you’ll likely come across a multitude of options with varying price points. If your business budget is especially tight, you’ll be relieved to know some POS systems are free to use. One such free POS software option is Floreant POS.
Floreant POS is a free, open-source software that anyone can download and modify for their specific needs. This specific POS software was created with restaurants in mind; however, you may be able to use it for different business needs.
Choosing a POS system is all about which is best suited for your business’s needs. In this Floreant POS review, we’ll take a closer look at the features, pricing, and pros and cons of this system, as well as POS alternatives, so you can decide if this is the right software for you.
What Is Floreant POS?
Floreant POS is a free, open-source point of sale (POS) system that’s available for download. Anyone can download the Floreant POS software and use it as their restaurant POS system. The Floreant POS software can be used for most businesses but is best suited for restaurants, pizza shops, coffee shops, fast food restaurants, delis, bakeries, liquor stores, and a few other similar establishments.
The application is made by Orocube LLC, which also offers a paid “pro” POS software, called ORO POS. With this added cost comes more robust capabilities, though.
Floreant POS, on the other hand, is known for being a bare-bones option that is easily adaptable and can be changed to fit your business’s needs. It first began in 2008 to update the POS system of a Denny’s restaurant in New York state, and in 2009 the open-source code was released to the public. Since then, Floreant POS software has been downloaded more than 122,000 times. Let’s learn more about Floreant POS.
Floreant POS Features
Floreant POS offers the basic features that you’ll find with most POS systems, as well as some more robust capabilities. Let’s dive in to see if Floreant POS can work for your business.
Floreant POS can work without an internet connection, so you can still complete transactions even when you’re offline. It can be downloaded onto laptops, tablets, or smartphones and only requires 16GB of storage and 2GB RAM on a dual-core processor so you can run it from a variety of different pieces of hardware. You can run the Floreant POS software on Windows, Mac, Linux, or Raspberry PI.
Kitchen Management Tools
With Floreant POS you can manage how the kitchen receives and fulfills orders. You can either use kitchen displays or set up printers, which Floreant POS can group and route accordingly to make things as efficient as possible.
Available tables, orders by tables, and the status of tables can all be displayed and managed with Floreant POS, as well. These features make it easy for servers to view their tables’ orders and make adjustments if necessary. They can also then split the check and print it for their guests.
Floreant POS also has a bar tab feature, which allows your servers to name a tab and even pre-authorize it for a certain amount.
Standard reporting functions of Floreant POS include sales analysis and summary, productivity, hourly income, tips, and all card transactions. Additionally, if there are any reports you want that aren’t already included in the Floreant POS software, you can easily connect other reporting tools for that information.
Floreant POS Pricing
Floreant POS is an open-source product, meaning it’s free to access and for you to use. But, because it’s free to use, keep in mind that you won’t be getting everything you would with a POS service you pay for. If you’re just starting a restaurant though and budget is a top concern, it might be worth trying out to see if Floreant POS can work for you before moving on to more costly options.
Also important to note, you will still have to buy any hardware you plan to use this Floreant POS software on, but the actual software won’t cost you anything.
If you do find that Floreant POS is lacking in some features your business needs, you may also consider upgrading to the “pro” version, known as ORO POS. Additional features you’ll find with this software include more robust reporting capabilities, tips payout, gift cards, the ability to merge or split tickets, and more. You will also receive customer support with ORO POS, which costs $19.99 per terminal, per month.
Floreant POS Pros
Now that we have a more complete picture of what exactly Floreant POS can do for your business, let’s take a closer look at what we consider to be the benefits of this system.
Free, Open Source
The fact that Floreant POS is open source and available to anyone is a big positive for this system. This is also an active project, meaning Floreant POS is updated daily. You can also make any changes you want to the code, which means you can customize it to your exact business needs. Of course, this also means you, or someone on your team, will need to have the knowledge to use this open-source code. You can also easily add other upgrades or plugins so that you can customize it further.
Quick, Easy Set-Up
It takes only a few minutes to download Floreant POS and once you do, setting it up is quick and easy if you want to use it as is. Floreant POS doesn’t have an installer; instead, it’s released in a zip format. They also claim to have a 90-second installation, meaning you can be up and running in no time.
Floreant POS Cons
While Floreant POS has some notable pros, there are understandably some drawbacks to using a free system, as it won’t be as robust as paid versions.
No Customer Support
Floreant POS is released “as is,” according to their website, and they don’t offer much in the way of customer support. Instead, they recommend that you explore the software and learn through using it.
They do have guides on their website that can help you through the various processes of installing and using the software, but there is no customer support line or email you could call should you have trouble getting the POS to work. If customer support is important to you, you have the option to purchase plugins or opt for the ORO POS paid software plan.
No Gift Cards or Customer Management Tools
Most POS systems offer you the ability to process gift cards in addition to credit and debit cards, as well as provide tools for managing customer relationships. Collecting information about your customers, and offering them promotions or the option to purchase gift cards, can be a huge boost to your business. When deciding whether Floreant POS is the right system for you, you’ll want to consider whether these features are important to your business.
Floreant POS is software only, but you will need various hardware to process payments and manage your restaurant’s processes. Not only will this be an additional cost, but you will also need to find a separate hardware provider.
They do note some pieces of hardware that would work with their software but Floreant POS doesn’t offer bundles or deals that are a combination of hardware and software for you to purchase, as other POS systems do.
Floreant POS Reviews
Floreant POS users are generally pleased with the performance of this free POS software. They note that the user guide makes the software pretty self-explanatory and easy to use as long as you follow the directions. They also love that it’s free, because who doesn’t like something free that makes running their business easier? Some Floreant POS users noted that they’ve been using the software for years to help them run their business.
Some areas where Floreant POS users say they would like to see some improvement are with the possible integrations and the difficulty of figuring out how to execute the actual integrations that are available.
Top Alternatives to Floreant POS
Floreant POS sets themselves apart by being a free option among more costly ones, but if this review has left you wondering whether they can meet all of your business’s needs, you may want to consider some alternatives before you make a decision. Here are some other POS options.
Linga POS is specifically created for restaurants and bars, and they identify themselves as the first company to create a cloud-based POS system. Like Floreant POS, they offer offline service, but beyond features offered by Floreant, they also offer customer management tools, in-depth reporting, and Nest integration so you can keep tabs on temperature and security features.
Pricing for Linga POS starts at $19.99 per terminal per month, and offers unlimited users and products for one store. Beyond this basic plan, Linga also offers additional plans at increasing functionality and price points.
TouchBistro is a great option for businesses that are looking to grow, and looking to use a POS that will grow with them. They work in more than 100 countries worldwide and with almost any type of restaurant or food-services business. That means fast-food joints and bars to nightclubs and full-service restaurants can all use TouchBistro.
Beyond the features that Floreant POS offers, TouchBistro also offers customer relationship, employee, menu, and inventory management capabilities. The software also comes preloaded with over 50 reports, and their customer services representatives are available via phone or email 24/7/365.
It is worth noting that TouchBistro runs specifically on iPads and iPad minis, so if you don’t already have that hardware, you’ll have to buy it to use their services. But they do offer hardware and software bundles for you, the least expensive of which is $105 a month.
Our last Floreant POS alternative is Toast, which is more of a hands-on POS system. Some of their more unique features include allowing you to upload your menu and then digitizing it, as well as robust reporting capabilities. With this feature, you’re able to see which menu items are performing the best, and you also have the option to make some menu items available only during specific timeframes.
Toast also lets you take orders via tablet, either by server or by the customer themselves with a self-service kiosk. This makes it easier to split any checks too.
Toast is a pricey solution, though. Outside of the cost of your hardware, installation, and payment processing, they’ll charge a monthly fee for continued use of their software. Subscription prices start at $79 per month for one terminal, so you’ll have to consider the cost when deciding whether the perks of Toast are worth it for your business.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a free POS system and feel confident in your ability to use a software that comes with no customer support, Floreant POS might be the perfect fit. They’re an open-source software that is available for anyone to download. You can add some personalizations to make it better for your business and save money while you’re at it.
All you really need is the hardware to run the Floreant POS software on and you’re ready to start taking orders at your restaurant or bar. Users who have already implemented Floreant POS give it solid reviews and considering that it’s free software, it may not hurt to try this POS solution out. However, if you decide you’re willing to pay for a POS solution that offers more powerful features, as well as customer support, you may try one of the above Floreant POS alternatives, or even Floreant’s pro version.
Nina Godlewski is a former staff writer at Fundera.
Nina worked to help make complicated business topics more accessible for small business owners. At Fundera, she focused on complex topics ranging from payroll management to launching a business. She was previously a staff writer at Newsweek covering technology, science, breaking news, and culture. She has also worked as a reporter for Business Insider and The Boston Globe.