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Updated Sep 22, 2023

CAKE Review

author image
Jamie Johnson, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst

Table of Contents

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Editors Score:8.9/10

CAKE by Mad Mobile is our choice for the best POS system for an excellent customer experience. It features seamless self-checkout options, online ordering, online reservations, mobile ordering and more options that will appeal to your restaurant guests.

Plus Sign Pros
  • CAKE's POS system comes with an intuitive interface that's easy to use. 
  • The company provides 24/7 customer support via phone, text, email and online chat.
  • CAKE's hardware is durable and designed to hold up in a busy restaurant environment.
Minus Sign Cons
  • CAKE's POS system requires a two-year contract. 
  • The company charges activation fees.
  • CAKE is our pick for the best POS system for the customer experience because of its self-checkout features, online ordering and additional guest-focused options. 
  • CAKE is an excellent all-in-one restaurant POS system that provides business owners with intuitive software and top-notch customer service. 
  • CAKE’s proprietary hardware was created specifically for the restaurant industry and is designed to handle everyday wear and tear.
  • This review is for restaurant, cafe and bar owners who want to learn more about CAKE and why we chose it as the best POS system for the customer experience.

CAKE is an all-in-one restaurant-focused point-of-sale (POS) system that provides the hardware and software business owners need to run their restaurants, cafes, food trucks and bars. CAKE helps business owners accept payments, manage menus, and access detailed analytics. Notably, CAKE’s guest-focused features can help restaurants improve the customer experience. 

CAKE Editor's Rating:

8.9 / 10

Affordable pricing
9/10
Free trial
8.5/10
Robust integrations
9/10
Customer service
9.5/10
Mobile app
8.5/10

Why CAKE Is Best for Customer Experience

CAKE is our pick as the best POS system for a great customer experience because of its wide array of guest-focused features. Its guest management functions let you accept online reservations, set up a waitlist, and provide waiting guests with real-time status updates. 

CAKE equips servers with tablets for tableside order-taking and payments to help you boost service speed and turn tables more quickly without rushing your customers. This service reduces the likelihood of mistakes as well. 

CAKE also provides restaurants with self-service POS kiosks and helps them accept QR code payments. Customers can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of ordering and paying on their own, further reducing wait times and freeing your staff to focus on other tasks. 

Cake mobile POS

CAKE helps business owners maximize restaurant operations with intuitive software that connects the front and back of the house. Source: CAKE

Did You Know?Did you know

CAKE is a cloud-based POS system. Its cloud data storage ensures reliability and enhances security, efficiency and real-time management.

Usability

CAKE’s usability is one of its primary POS system benefits. We like how user-friendly the system is and how easy it is to operate and navigate. CAKE’s system usability is a huge benefit for restaurants that must quickly and effectively train employees

We were also impressed by how easy it is to edit menu items in CAKE’s system. Menu changes happen frequently at restaurants, and CAKE’s software lets you make adjustments with just a few clicks. This functionality was more intuitive than many POS system competitors we reviewed. However, enabling many third-party integrations into CAKE’S system will make your learning curve steeper. 

CAKE Features

Hardware

CAKE’s durable hardware solutions were created specifically for restaurants.

Online ordering

CAKE’s software comes with integrated online ordering and curbside pickup.

Contactless payments

CAKE offers contactless payment options like QR code payments and self-service kiosks.

Menu management

Menu-management features make it easy to customize menu items from any device.

Hardware 

We appreciate that CAKE’s proprietary hardware was created specifically for the restaurant industry. The terminal comes with a touch screen designed to handle everyday wear and tear. We also like that the screens are flush with the frames, so nothing can get stuck inside the gaps. 

Cake mobile POS hardware

CAKE’s proprietary hardware is designed to withstand a busy restaurant environment. Source: CAKE

Did You Know?Did you know

While CAKE has proprietary hardware, it also has an option called the POS Orderpad that allows you to turn an iPad into a POS with an app that mirrors the terminal software.

Online Ordering

CAKE’s mobile POS system functions — including online ordering and curbside pickup — shine compared to some competitors. You can personalize the platform to include your company’s logo, custom branding, and images of your most popular menu items. 

Once customers place their orders, they’ll receive text messages telling them when their items are ready for pickup. We also like that guests can opt for contactless payment options like Apple Pay and Google Pay. 

If you want to provide customers with delivery options, you can integrate your POS system with a third-party delivery service. CAKE offers third-party app integrations with DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and ChowNow. 

Cake online ordering

CAKE offers integrated online ordering and curbside pickup. Source: CAKE

Contactless Payments

We appreciated the wide variety of contactless payment options CAKE lets you offer customers. For example, you can include QR code payments on every receipt. Customers will scan the QR codes on their phones and pay from their devices. 

You can also provide self-service kiosks to reduce wait times and increase the average order value (AOV). CAKE’s self-service kiosks let customers choose between dine-in and takeout options — another perk customers will appreciate. 

Cake POS QR code

With QR code payments, customers can pay their bills from their own mobile devices. Source: CAKE

Menu Management

We were impressed by CAKE’s menu management features that make it easy to customize menu items. You can edit your menu from any device, and changes will appear online and in your restaurant. Real-time menu management ensures your staff is always on the same page — and you’re not selling menu items that are no longer available.

CAKE also provides POS inventory management features that help you track inventory and adjust prices as needed. We particularly liked its ingredient-tracking option, which makes ordering easier for customers who have dietary issues.

Cake mobile inventory tracking

Use CAKE to track your inventory and edit your menu in real time. Source: CAKE

Did You Know?Did you know

CAKE also provides real-time POS reporting features, including POS sales reports that help you compare data across various periods.

CAKE Costs

CAKE’s POS system is an affordable option whether you’re just starting a restaurant or running an established eatery. Costs start at $69 monthly and include the following features:

  • Online ordering
  • Menu management
  • Secure payment processing
  • 24/7 customer support
  • QR code payments
  • Reporting and analytics tools
  • Smart chargeback assistance
  • Offline mode
  • Access to the CAKE University training portal

If you run a large restaurant or operate multiple business locations, you may need a more customized POS solution for your business. In that case, contact CAKE for custom pricing options.

CAKE Setup

We were impressed that setting up your POS system with CAKE is easy and seamless. Its onboarding resources surpass many of its competitors. 

As a CAKE customer, you’ll have access to an implementation team that will schedule training for you and your staff. You’ll also have access to CAKE University training, which will walk you through installing and activating your POS system

Cake University resources

CAKE University provides detailed resources for implementing and managing your CAKE POS system. Source: CAKE

CAKE Customer Service

We were pleased with CAKE’s customer service options. When you sign up for the CAKE POS system, you’ll have access to CAKE’s excellent customer support. The company is available 24/7 via phone, text, email or chat. This is especially important for restaurant owners, who often have emergencies outside 9-to-5 business hours. 

The company also provides a resource center filled with white papers, e-books, case studies and videos. You should always be able to get your questions answered. 

TipTip

Are you interested in learning more about CAKE’s software and how its POS system can help your business? Contact the company directly for a free demo.

CAKE Drawbacks

There’s a lot to like about CAKE’s POS system, but there are a few drawbacks to consider. 

  • Activation fees. CAKE’s activation fees are a significant downside. You’ll pay $199 in addition to the monthly fee. This could be a significant expense for small businesses just getting started with a POS system.
  • Contract required. We were also disappointed to learn that the software comes with a two-year contract. That means you must be sure CAKE is the right POS system for your business before you sign up. 
Did You Know?Did you know

If you’re interested in comparing and contrasting restaurant POS systems, check out our Toast review and our review of TouchBistro.

Methodology

When researching the best POS systems for customer experience, we looked at self-service features, online reservations, online ordering, mobile ordering and other guest-focused functions. We attended an hour-long demo with the CAKE team to see CAKE’s software and hardware in action and ask questions. Our in-depth process included comparing CAKE to over a dozen competing POS systems. Our research helped us understand where CAKE shines and where it falls short compared to competitors. 

CAKE FAQs

Yes. CAKE provides the hardware and software restaurant owners need. You can use the POS system to accept customer payments, change your menu, and access detailed analytics about your business. And the POS system comes with many features that will improve the guest experience.

CAKE’s full-service POS system starts at $69 monthly. This includes features like online ordering, menu management, payment processing and QR code payments, as well as 24/7 support and an offline mode.

Overall Value

We recommend CAKE for …

  • Restaurants of all sizes looking for an easy-to-use POS system. 
  • Eateries in need of durable hardware options. 
  • Restaurants looking for ways to improve the guest experience.

We don’t recommend CAKE for …

  • Restaurants looking to avoid lengthy contracts.
  • Restaurants that want to avoid activation fees. 
author image
Jamie Johnson, Business Operations Insider and Senior Analyst
For more than five years, Jamie Johnson has been guiding business owners on financial matters both big and small. This includes investment advice, insights on business loans and funding options, recommendations on insurance and more. Johnson excels at delivering easy-to-understand direction so entrepreneurs can make the best financial decisions for their businesses and, as a solopreneur herself, she regularly tests business strategies and services. Johnson's expertise can be found in a variety of finance publications, including InvestorPlace, Credit Karma, Insurify and Rocket Mortgage. She has also demonstrated a deep understanding of other B2B topics — including sales, payroll, marketing and social media — for the likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. News & World Report, CNN, USA Today and Business Insider.
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