If you’ve been following our blog keenly, then you’ve probably noticed that we’re not the type of guys who’d miss out on the trending POS systems.
Yes, that’s right. TouchBistro is certainly one of them, at least going by the numerous TouchBistro reviews posted all over the web.
In fact, according to figures published by the company, more than 23,000 restaurants are currently leveraging the TouchBistro POS system. And guess what? The users themselves are spread out across over 100 countries and counting.
Come to think of think, that’s no easy feat, especially for a specialized POS solution that exclusively caters to the food service industry.
So, what exactly makes TouchBistro an option worth considering?
Well, if you’ve read our previous TouchBistro reviews, then I bet you already got the gist of it. That TouchBistro comes with an array of over 200 solid features, which have even earned it a place in our ultimate list of the best POS systems for restaurants in 2020.
Now, once again, here’s another TouchBistro review. A much more comprehensive one though, because TouchBistro has recently updated a couple of its core features.
Regardless of whether you’re familiar with the POS system or not, this is the ultimate TouchBistro review for you. It dives deep into the POS software and its supplementary hardware peripherals to uncover everything you might need to know – from its user friendliness plus customization capabilities, to its restaurant management functions, payment processing options, and overall pricing. In the end, we’ll even reveal the type of restaurateur the TouchBistro restaurant POS system is built for.
But first, what the heck is TouchBistro? And why are we even calling it a specialized POS system for restaurants?
TouchBistro Reviews – Overview of the Restaurant POS System
While most of the other POS system solutions we’ve reviewed before offer generic, one-size-fits-all features for pretty much any retail business, TouchBistro is different. It offers both software and hardware capabilities that are optimized specifically for restaurants.
Ok. Now hang on a minute there. Restaurants alone? How then has it managed to serve tens of thousands of them?
Well, the truth of the matter is, we’re not talking about typical restaurants alone. For the sake of clarity, “restaurants” here essentially refers to any small business or large enterprise whose operations revolve around menu items. This includes quick service and full service restaurants, nightclubs, bars, cafes, food trucks, etc.
And what do these establishments stand to get from the TouchBistro restaurant POS system?
Basically, TouchBistro is a full-stack point of sale application that offers all the standard management functionalities you’d need to streamline your food service business.
That means as a restaurateur, you can turn to TouchBistro for enhanced digital order management, inventory tracking, staff management, payment processing, table management, menu management, and customer relationship management.
Now, to facilitate all these functions, the Apple iPad based POS software provides tools for daily sales analytics and reports, split tabs, split tickets, tableside ordering, order transfers, menu customizations, credit card processing, customer loyalty programs, and much more.
The goal here is to boost your overall customer experience while making restaurant management much easier and faster. That’s why TouchBistro even attempts to increase convenience through its local network support, mobile iPad software, as well as 24/7 customer support.
Which such a mobile framework, it even becomes easy for your employees to coordinate customer orders right from the tableside. In fact, customers don’t even have to walk to the counter for anything. They can pay for their bills and receive receipts from the comfort of their tables.
Sounds like something you’d want to try out? Can business owners really use TouchBistro to improve their restaurants’ customer experience and possibly attract better reviews on TripAdvisor? And how easy is it to install TouchBistro in the first place?
Let’s find out the truth by reviewing the main features in detail…
TouchBistro Reviews – Main Features of the Restaurant POS System
Ease of Use
TouchBistro is like a cash register that runs entirely on Apple’s iPad and iPad Mini tablets. If you’ve tried out the modern breed of POS systems, then I bet you’re already familiar with this approach. The whole point is helping you manage your restaurant business more conveniently through mobile operability.
Sadly, however, you won’t find an Android version for the TouchBistro POS software. So, forget about running the application on your Samsung tablet. You either settle for the Apple iOS version, or drop the TouchBistro idea altogether. There are no two ways about it.
It’s not all bad news though. On the bright side, at least you won’t have to always rely on an internet connection to run your POS system.
And that’s, in fact, one of the things that set TouchBistro apart from its competitors. Instead of providing SaaS solutions that are entirely cloud-based, TouchBistro comes as a locally-installable app.
What this means is, you should be able to run all the main POS system functionalities directly from your device without relying on cloud hosting. Just install TouchBistro onto your iPad and voila!
But what happens if you have several iPads in your restaurant?
Well, interestingly, you still won’t need the internet to sync your POS system data across the devices. It turns out there’s an app called TouchBistro Pro Server, which you can easily use to establish a local network connection between all your iPads. So, of course, you should be able to proceed with your operations even when you’re running a large restaurant with multiple staff iPads.
The only kicker is, TouchBistro doesn’t provide in-house card processing. That means you’ll need a valid internet connection to process your customers’ payments.
But then again, the entire process is fast and effortless, thanks to TouchBistro’s well-designed interface. The whole layout is quite sleek and it’s built to offer the simplest-possible routes to managing your restaurant business.
I guess another reason why it’s incredibly smooth could be the fact that TouchBistro is not exclusive to business owners and their employees alone. Yes, that’s right, it’s also designed to interact directly with customers.
Therefore, its overall navigation framework, as well as the accompanying tools, are placed neatly to help you serve your customers faster and more efficiently.
Check-splitting, for instance, has been simplified for both single and multiple customers. It only takes a couple of clicks to distribute items and split checks accordingly.
Don’t get me wrong though. Although the default interface is pleasant and user friendly, TouchBistro doesn’t restrict you. You can go ahead and customize pretty much anything to customize the overall outlook based on your preferences. It allows you to adjust even the button arrangement, redesign your menus, and apply custom modifiers.
Right off the bat, TouchBistro allows you to set up your own floor plan based on your restaurant’s overall table arrangement.
Now, the best way to proceed would be creating a layout that resembles even the seat placement. This shouldn’t be difficult at all, since the table management function provides a visual system for design plus coordination of operations.
And from the look of things, TouchBistro seemingly manages to prioritize ease of use without compromising the corresponding management functionalities. Therefore, you should be able to easily do stuff like reserving tables, shifting items from one table or seat to another, introducing or eliminating seats from a table, as well as moving customers between tables.
You can also count on TouchBistro to keep tabs on the tables at all times, consequently helping you assess your employees’ performance levels based on their table numbers.
And speaking of the numbers, of course restaurant owners would want to have their tables fully booked at all times. That would be the first step to generating good returns.
But then again, customers don’t just come from nowhere. You have to entice them with exceptionally great food service. And that begins with an attractive menu, which is quite achievable with TouchBistro.
The menu management function here allows you to create your own custom list, complete with unique menu items, as well as modifiers. And for better sales numbers, you could even consider introducing upsell prompts, which would then appear automatically to guide your employees on various supplementary suggestions they can offer customers.
It doesn’t end there though. TouchBistro gives you additional opportunities for boosting sales through its promotion tools. Bars, for example, might want to capitalize on happy hours to attract revelers.
Speaking of which, another feature such establishments would really appreciate here is TouchBistro’s bar tabs management.
Then when it comes to full service restaurants, it’s possible to set up a flexible coursing system that supports varying customer order sequences. And as your staff work on the subsequent course orders, TouchBistro will be tracking their progress to help you evaluate the order completion times.
But, make no mistake about it. Meal orders don’t always have to be completed within the restaurant. Quite a number of TouchBistro reviews are from users who claim that they’ve been able to use the restaurant POS system for managing outside catering.
In fact, you can have your customers making their orders online. However, since this is not a default feature, you’ll have to integrate an external app to enable it.
If your restaurant is expanding progressively, the good thing is, there are no limits to the number of employee accounts you can introduce from your end. You’re free to add as many new staff members as you want, without worrying about user restrictions.
And since restaurant employees usually work in varying positions, TouchBistro gives you the privilege of specifying even the roles for each new staff account. You can, for instance, assign managerial roles to the highest-ranking employees, and then reserve chef, server, or host accounts for the rest of the staff.
Then to streamline everything accordingly, you should consider setting the respective access privileges for each of these account roles. TouchBistro will subsequently apply the account rules as you add new staff members.
Now, if you need to keep a close eye on your workers, TouchBistro’s offers robust employee management tools. Its built-in timer, for example, is quite handy for clocking staff members in and out of the restaurant point of sale application, while in-app messaging facilitates communication between all the stakeholders.
It’s worth noting, however, that the default TouchBistro POS system doesn’t offer employee scheduling. But, on a brighter note, this function not entirely unavailable. The trick is to simply take of advantage of third-party integrations like 7shifts.
Customer Relationship Management
In addition to employee accounts, TouchBistro provides customer accounts. The principal difference between the two is, staff accounts are for coordinating and managing orders, while the latter is reserved for customer relationship management. So, of course, it would be a good idea to capitalize on customer accounts if you intend to maximize your sales opportunities.
That said, some of the details you can expect to record through your customer accounts include their preferences, purchase histories, and account balances.
For restaurant owners that would like to take things up a notch, TouchBistro has partnered with ReUp to offer a range of tools for managing customer loyalty programs, in the form of extra packages.
The TouchBistro Loyalty package, for instance, starts at $49 a month for a single reward. With it, you can collect and store customer information, as well as offer a physical loyalty card, a gift card, or maybe a key tag.
TouchBistro Loyalty Plus, on the other hand, gives you the privilege of offering multiple rewards, as well as running targeted email and SMS marketing campaigns. The only problem is, it will cost you at least $99 per month.
But, that’s nothing compared to the $189 starting price for the TouchBistro Loyalty Premium package. It combines loyalty program capabilities with CRM functionalities for a holistic, more aggressive approach. I’m talking about engaging your customers further through push notifications, and running a white label app with custom branding.
TouchBistro is not one of those POS system solutions that double up as card processors. The only way you can begin accepting payments here is by integrating a dedicated payment processor.
Now, the main options when it comes to card payments are PayPal, Square, Worldpay, and Chase Merchant Services. They are all secure and pretty reliable in facilitating both credit and debit card transactions.
It’s worth noting, however, that their transaction charges are different. So, you should compare your options accordingly before proceeding.
But, whichever service you settle for, you can be certain that your restaurant won’t have any issues accepting all the dominant global cards. Your customers can choose between contactless, dip, and swipe payment methods.
Cash is also a payment option in TouchBistro’s POS system, along with gift cards, and mobile payment services like Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, plus Google Pay.
While you’re at it, you can go ahead and split bills between various customers if they insist. Or, on the contrary, accept different payment forms for one bill.
And in case you’d want to include taxes or maybe a gratuity, you could tweak TouchBistro and have it apply the rates automatically during checkout.
Although we’ve already mentioned a couple of embeddable third-party apps, it runs out TouchBistro doesn’t support as many options as you might presume.
The few integrations it offers, however, are quite solid. They come with powerful supplementary capabilities for enhancing your restaurant POS system.
Some of the most popular apps you’ll find include; MarketMan, Wisk.ai, ItsaCheckmate, Avero, Shogo, Xero, Quickbooks, and 7Shifts.
Then to top it off, TouchBistro throws in 3 more add-on products, all of which seek to optimize the customer experience. TouchBistro Loyalty is ideal for loyalty programs and CRMS, while TouchBistro Digital Menu Board engages customers through an intuitive menu. The last one is TouchBistro’s Online Ordering, which goes beyond the standard tableside ordering system to give customers the option of placing their orders online.
Reporting and Analytics
It just so happens that TouchBistro steps out of its comfort zone when it comes to reporting and analytics. While you can only use the restaurant POS system on an iPad, things turn out to be a bit different when you need to view your business KPIs.
Well, apparently, iOS isn’t the only platform where you can access your numbers from. This POS system for restaurants has a secondary cloud reporting app called TouchBistro Reports To Go, which comes in an Android version for tablets and smartphones, as well as an iOS version for iPad and Apple phones.
Alternatively, it’s possible to follow up on the reports through a standard internet browser. And that means you can comfortably monitor your business from anywhere using a PC.
Whichever method you choose, the TouchBistro restaurant POS system has an analytical engine that generates more than 50 different reports.
On the dashboard itself, you should be able to view your tax summaries, audit reports, labor summaries and shift details, discounts and void summaries, hourly sales heat map, gross margin by day, plus sales by day, menu item, category, section, and order type.
Otherwise, you could also opt to prepare your own custom reports, complete with custom fields, based on the specific parameters you consider to be your principal KPIs.
TouchBistro Reviews – Restaurant POS Hardware
The current TouchBistro POS system is fundamentally built to run on either the iPad Mini, iPad Pro, or the iPad.
While you use it for managing and streamlining your restaurant business, your employees should be able to process tableside orders and payments, as well as create countertop checkout stations using their iPad devices.
Chefs and other kitchen staff, on the other hand, get to use their TouchBistro iPad apps for powering their kitchen display system. They connect with the rest of the workers’ devices through a local network for quick relaying of customer requests.
So far so good. But, it doesn’t end there. Customers too have not been left behind. They also get their own iPad POS system in the form of a customer-facing display, which is incredibly handy for visual order confirmations. Otherwise, you could also set up a dedicated self-service kiosk, through which customers would proceed to make order requests.
All these iPad devices are then networked locally through an Apple router and a MacBook computer to form a real time synchronized restaurant POS system. The Mac is the one that acts as a central server, and you can choose to proceed with either Mac Pro, iMac or Mac Mini.
Beyond that, you can complete your POS system by integrating compatible third-party hardware peripherals like receipt printers and cash drawers.
👉 TouchBistro sells a wide range of them and they include:
- Thermal receipt printers
- Impact receipt printers
- Cash drawers
- Mesh routers
- Mac computers
TouchBistro Reviews – Overall Features
- Employee access to ingredient levels.
- Customize menus for optimal ingredient efficiency.
- Track costs of various recipes.
- Assess menu items profitability.
- On-screen options for tipping and signing.
- Customer checks can now have multiple tax amounts.
- Split bills by the seat or by a group of seats/table.
- Gift card payments.
- Fast Bar option for quick payments.
- Void multiple items at once.
- Add a tip guide to customer checks and bills.
- Customize customer checks and bills.
- Email bills and receipts to customers with one tap.
- Accept multi-tender payments.
- Track employee breaks.
- Assign specific staff members sections of the restaurant.
- Assign security privileges (low/medium/high) to track staff activity.
- Define staff permissions and passcodes.
- Assign account roles based on job descriptions.
- Staff clock in and out of their shifts.
Kitchen Display System
- Runs on any iPad with iOS 6 and above.
- Sort and track individual item cook times, ticket history, ticket priority, etc.
- Instant ticket transmissions.
- Works hand in hand with kitchen receipt printers.
- Connect with the main TouchBistro POS through a local network.
- Takes cash or card payments.
- Checkout in two clicks.
- Customizable menus provide details about pairings, portions sizes, or nutritional value.
- Direct upselling.
- Simple menu layouts.
- Create up to 8 different courses.
- Switch between breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
- Duplicate menus.
- Apply additional costs to special items or orders.
- Customize modifier groups.
- Customize menu with various categories.
- Reserve tables.
- Change an open table order into a bar tab.
- Assign and reassign waiters.
- Pair orders with seat reservations.
- Manage multiple tables simultaneously.
- Design the table layout using the floor plan.
TouchBistro Reviews – TouchBistro Pricing
- Solo – For a single license, the Solo hardware and software bundle will cost you $105 per month, while the software only option goes for $69 a month. Both of these options are payable annually. The package itself comes with only 1 restaurant POS system installation license, along with free 24/7/365 support, free and easy product updates, menu management, staff management, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, restaurant table management, tableside ordering, payment processing integrations, reporting and analytics, plus unlimited users and logins.
- Dual – Dual is almost double the Solo plan since it grants you 2 licenses at a cost of $209 per month if you choose the hardware and software bundle. This rate is billed annually and it falls to $129 a month if you go with the software only bundle. Some of the accompanying restaurant POS system features include full-time customer support, simplified product updates, menu management, staff management, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, restaurant table management, unrestricted users and logins, tableside ordering, payment processing integrations, reporting and analytics, plus access to TouchBistro's VIP community.
- Team – The Team plan comes with five licenses, which start at $359 a month for the hardware and software bundle, which is payable on a yearly basis. The accompanying software-only bundle, on the other hand, starts at $249 a month. Some of its highlights include full-time customer support, simplified product updates, menu management, staff management, TouchBistro's VIP community access, customer relationship management (CRM), inventory management, restaurant table management, unrestricted users and logins, tableside ordering, payment processing integrations, plus reporting and analytics.
- Unlimited – This is the plan if you’re looking for 6 or more licenses. Its hardware and software bundle starts at $539 a month, while the software only bundle costs at least $399 per month.
TouchBistro Reviews – Pros and Cons
TouchBistro Pros 👍
- TouchBistro comes with an elegantly-designed user-friendly interface.
- The pricing here is pretty reasonable, making TouchBistro one of the best budget POS systems for restaurants.
- Since TouchBistro largely operates through a local network setup, it doesn’t rely on an internet connection.
- TouchBistro supports a wide range of payment methods.
- TouchBistro can be easily integrated with third-party apps and hardware.
- TouchBistro was specifically designed by restaurateurs.
- TouchBistro provides responsive 24/7 customer support.
- TouchBistro is extensively customizable.
TouchBistro Cons 👎
- TouchBistro only supports a handful of integrations and add-ons.
- You won’t be able to process payments offline.
- The TouchBistro restaurant POS system does not run on Android devices. It’s exclusive to iPads.
TouchBistro Reviews – Who Should Consider Using TouchBistro Restaurant POS System?
Clearly, the more you learn about TouchBistro, the more it becomes apparent that what they say about this software is indeed true. That the TouchBistro restaurant POS system was designed by restaurateurs, for restaurateurs.
And going by our TouchBistro reviews so far, I guess we can agree that this is one solid POS solution for typical food service establishments. Since it covers everything from employee management and customer relationship management to inventory tracking and sales analytics, it should fit right into quick service and full service restaurants.
In essence, that means TouchBistro is worth considering if you’re running an outlet like a brewery, food truck, nightclub, coffee shop, café, bar, bakery, etc.