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TouchBistro Review

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
Staff writer
  • We selected TouchBistro as the best POS system for restaurants because of its feature-rich suite of tools designed with restaurant owners in mind.
  • TouchBistro supports tableside and self-serve ordering and payment processing.
  • Software pricing starts at $69 a month and includes a 28-day free trial.
  • This review is for any restaurant owner in the market for a POS system that includes inventory management and customer relationship management (CRM) tools.

TouchBistro is our best pick for a restaurant POS system because it is affordable, meets the needs of all types of restaurants, and has tons of features to help business owners run their enterprises. It also supports tableside and self-serve ordering and payment processing. Those features have become very popular during the COVID-19 pandemic and are expected to remain so in a post-pandemic world. TouchBistro uses iPads as the terminal and supports third-party vendors for all the add-on hardware. It also gives you choice in payment processors, supporting Worldpay, TSYS, Square, Chase, and Moneris, though it also has its own internal payment processing service.

TouchBistro

TouchBistro

Best POS Systems for 2021

The Verdict

TouchBistro is the best POS system for restaurants because it's simple and affordable, with table, reservation, and delivery management features. It also has month-to-month subscriptions and offers a choice of payment processors.

TouchBistro Pricing and Terms

TouchBistro makes it easy to figure out how much its system will cost you. It lists the prices for its POS plans and add-ons clearly on its website, so you'll know how much installation assistance and training costs, for example. It also offers a 28-day free trial, so you have plenty of time to make sure TouchBistro is right for your restaurant.

POS Software-Only Plans

TouchBistro has transparent pricing. You can cancel anytime, but you won't get a refund for any prepaid fees. Here's what it charges for its different pricing tiers:

  • POS License: Starts at $69 per month
  • Reservations: Starts at $229 per month
  • Online Ordering: Starts at $50 per month
  • Gift Cards: Starts at $25 per month 

Payment Processing

TouchBistro gives you choice when it comes to payment processing. It works with Worldpay, TSYS, Square, Chase and Moneris. It also has its own processing plan, TouchBistro Payments, through a partnership with Chase.

Key takeawayKey takeaway: TouchBistro POS licensing starts at $69 per month, reservations start at $229 per month, and online ordering starts at $50 per month. It is compatible with third-party payment processors.

POS Hardware

TouchBistro simplifies the POS process by using an iPad as the register. Its software supports the iPad, iPad Pro, and iPad Mini, enabling those devices to take orders and process payments on the go or in your restaurant. With the TouchBistro software, you can use these tablets to take orders and process payments at tables or as self-serve kiosks for customers. You can also connect the POS system to a television or other screen to turn it into a digital menu board.

A big reason we chose TouchBistro as the best restaurant POS is its support of third-party hardware. That gives you more choice and the ability to shop around. If you want to add on a cash drawer or receipt printer, you are not beholden to one vendor. Before you choose TouchBistro, though, make sure its list of compatible equipment meets your needs.

TouchBistro is a hybrid POS system, meaning the software runs from an onsite server but the data is stored in the cloud so you can access it from any internet browser. It also enables you to continue ringing up sales if you lose your internet connection. As a hybrid system, though, it comes with some extra costs. You'll need a router and server if your restaurant requires more than one iPad system.

Did you KnowDid You Know: TouchBistro uses an iPad as its register, supports third-party hardware, and is a hybrid system.

TouchBistro Features

What makes TouchBistro stand out from its rivals is its feature-rich software. It's updated regularly, with new features added frequently. For example, TouchBistro recently launched support for online ordering, which is especially important amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This feature enables restaurant owners to take orders on their website that flow right into the TouchBistro POS. Another nice feature is its gift card tools. TouchBistro walks you through the process of creating custom gift cards that you can sell at your restaurant.

Restaurant Management Feature

Managing your floor plan is easier with TouchBistro, thanks to its drag-and-drop tools and the ability to create a digital floor plan of your establishment. That helps you manage tables and seating, ensuring full occupancy and short wait times. It also means you can customize your floor plan at any time. Updating your system after renovations, for example, is as easy as dragging and dropping the elements of your floor plan to their new positions.

Inventory Management

Tracking inventory is simple with TouchBistro's robust inventory management system. You can track orders at the ingredient level, ensuring you never run out of popular menu items. It can help you manage your recipes, flag items that are running low on supply, and take items off the menu when you run out. You can't reorder items through TouchBistro, but you can add inventory via barcode scanner or manually. We were impressed with the ability it gives you to see the cost of items on the menu based on the ingredients. That really helps you decide what menu items are making you money and which ones you should reconsider.

Customer Management

TouchBistro's built-in customer management software lets you create customer accounts to track preferences, look at past purchases, and create promotions and programs around that information. Through its customer loyalty features, you can collect data on customers to help you develop and offer branded loyalty and gift cards and other rewards.

For $99 per month, TouchBistro Loyalty gives you access to these features:

  • CRM platform
  • Customer loyalty accounts
  • Customer web application
  • Marketing tools for targeted email marketing promotions
  • Reward options
  • Marketing and rewards reports

Coming soon is TouchBistro Loyalty Premium. With it, you will gain access to everything in the traditional Loyalty plan, in addition to these features:

  • Customer feedback
  • Marketing automation
  • In-app messaging
  • Mobile payments

Employee Management

We like flexibility in a POS system, and TouchBistro constantly delivers on that front. One of the reasons TouchBistro is our best pick for restaurants is the unlimited number of users you can add to your account. Several employees can ring up and seat tables without you paying for more accounts. You can create user profiles for each employee and assign staff roles within the software, so you're in the driver's seat when it comes to who gets access to what. The POS also has a built-in timeclock, in-app messaging to help you communicate with your employees, and an integration with 7shifts to help you with scheduling.

Reporting

TouchBistro stores all your POS data in the cloud, so you can run reports and look at your sales data anytime and from anywhere you have internet access. You can also use its Reports-to-Go app on Android or iOS. TouchBistro lets you run these reports:

  • Total sales
  • Menu item, category and promotion sales
  • Statistical summaries
  • Payments
  • Staff shifts, activity and tips
  • Discounts, deletions and voids
  • Taxes and general accounting
  • Inventory tracking (by ingredient)

Integrations

TouchBistro may not stand out when it comes to integrations, but it offers enough to make your job easier, including options for bar inventory, employee scheduling, customer loyalty programs, online ordering, accounting and analytics. The software has an API for custom integrations, but it's only available to select TouchBistro partners. 

TipTip: TouchBistro has everything you need to run a restaurant, whether it's a food truck or a 10-table dining room. Its software includes inventory management, employee management, customer relations, advanced reports and integrations.

Drawbacks

There's a lot to like about TouchBistro, but there are a few drawbacks that may influence your buying decision. For example, as a hybrid system, it tends to be more expensive than a cloud-based system and requires a more hands-on approach, as you'll need an onsite server for the software.

It also doesn't have as many integrations as some of the other POS systems on the market. TouchBistro is a full-service POS option on its own, but integrations with any software you already use for your business operations tend to make POS systems more streamlined and convenient.

Customer Support

TouchBistro provides stellar customer service, giving business owners 24/7 access by phone and email. That will be welcome news to bar owners and other establishments that might need help late at night. TouchBistro also has a knowledgebase, video tutorials, and how-to guides on its website and runs an active blog.

Ready to choose a POS system? Here's a breakdown of our complete coverage:

Image Credit: DERO2084n / Getty Images
TouchBistro

TouchBistro

Best POS Systems for 2021

The Verdict

TouchBistro is the best POS system for restaurants because it's simple and affordable, with table, reservation, and delivery management features. It also has month-to-month subscriptions and offers a choice of payment processors.

Skye Schooley
Skye Schooley
Business News Daily Staff
See Skye Schooley's Profile
Skye Schooley is an Arizona native, based in New York City. She received a business communication degree from Arizona State University and spent a few years traveling internationally, before finally settling down in the greater New York City area. She currently writes for business.com and Business News Daily, primarily contributing articles about business technology and the workplace, and reviewing categories such as remote PC access software, collection agencies, background check services, web hosting, reputation management services, cloud storage, and website design software and services.