NCR Aloha POS
A competent veteran POS system that is struggling to keep up with modern systems.
- User-friendly interface
- Decent reporting
- Reliability issues with crashes
- Steep learning curve
- Poor customer support
- Long contracts
- Big early termination fees
Aloha POS Overview
The Aloha Restaurant POS has earned a long-time reputation for a viable software solution for the hospitality industry. It possesses good flexibility and an undeniably user-friendly interface. This translates to a positive experience for bar and restaurant owners in terms of employee training. With its proficiency in managing orders and generating detailed reports, the system empowers business owners to make well-informed decisions.
However, it is prudent to take into consideration the potential drawbacks, including the cost implications, reliability concerns, as well as the limited offline capabilities. Additionally, navigating the system might present a challenge for some users, and their customer support has been known to be highly-questionable.
So while it’s not the best POS system on the market, it is certainly a capable POS system.
How These POS Reviews Work
For those of you who don’t know, these are how my reviews work: I basically use my connections to find a restaurant owner I know who is using the POS system I am reviewing and ask them if I can jump on it and get to know it more intimately. I then ask about and get their feedback and experience with the system. I also get the reactions from other restaurant owners and managers I know who are using it, as well as online feedback. In this way, we have a complete collaboration of thoughts and opinions, not just mine.
Who is Aloha POS System Best For?
Though Aloha has updated their systems for restaurants, they have been around a long time and are still considered “old-school”. Though they are capable, they are still not overly popular with quick-service restaurants, though mid-sized to full-service independent restaurants are a key target for them. Larger restaurants are where they feel most comfortable.
- Full-Service Restaurants
- Bars and Clubs
- Hotels and Resorts
- Stadiums and Arenas
In Case You Were Wondering What Our #1 POS System is…
Since merging with Upserve POS, Lightspeed Restaurant has now become the undisputed POS system heavy-weight champ. With Lightspeed’s ease-of-use, fair pricing, exhaustible list of integrations and Upserve’s remarkable analytics for boosting ROI, there is simply no other better system on the market than Lightspeed Restaurant.
Click here to read our review on Lightspeed Restaurant
Click here to sign-up for a free demo with Lightspeed Restaurant
But we digress…
Rating: Very Good
As a restaurant POS system, Aloha cannot be easily categorized as a mere plug-and-play solution. Its readiness not obtainable within mere minutes after extraction from its box. The installation and configuration process is not without its challenges, and while online resources for basic walk-throughs do exist, it remains a comparatively cumbersome POS system.
Nevertheless, once you have completed the necessary setup and configuration procedures, the interface is exceptionally well designed. If you possess even a modicum of familiarity with the Windows operating system, NCR Aloha will feel like second nature to you. Although not ostentatious or cutting-edge, the button layouts are easily discernible and can be adjusted to your preference.
Aloha Pros and Cons
|User-friendly interface||Once everything is up and going, the POS has a fairly easy-to-use interface, which can make training employees on the system simpler.|
|Customizable||The system can be tailored to meet the unique needs of a business, with options for adding or removing features and integrations.|
|Efficient order management||Helps reduce errors in order taking and streamline communication between front-of-house and back-of-house staff.|
|Decent reporting||The system provides detailed sales and inventory reports, which can help businesses make informed decisions about menu offerings and operations.|
|Basic Integration options||Integrates with other software and services, such as accounting and payroll tools.|
NCR Aloha POS has a solid set of key features to help you manage your restaurant, as it should considering its high cost. Their core features are similar to other players in the market. Here’s a look at the major players:
|Expensive||The cost of Aloha POS can be prohibitive for small businesses, as the system requires specialized hardware and software that can be pricey.|
|Reliability||Some users have reported issues with system crashes or glitches, which can lead to lost sales and frustrated customers.|
|Limited offline capabilities||The system is designed to work online, so businesses may experience difficulties processing transactions during internet outages or slowdowns.|
|Steep learning curve||Although the interface is user-friendly, some users may find it takes time to learn how to use all the features and customization options.|
|Poor customer support||Some users have reported difficulties getting support from the company, with long wait times or unresponsive representatives.|
|Long contracts and big early termination fees||Definitely ask the Alhoa rep about this because you might regret getting into a long contract with no way out.|
Aloha POS Features
Rating: Very Good
Aloha POS provides a comprehensive order management system that allows you to customize orders, split checks, and manage orders in real-time.
Bar and restaurant owners can keep track of their inventory, set par levels, and receive alerts when items are running low.
Reporting and Analytics
The system generates detailed reports and analytics, providing insights into sales, labor costs, and inventory management.
The loyalty feature allows you to create and manage loyalty programs for your customers, providing rewards and incentives to encourage repeat business.
Take orders tableside, increasing efficiency and improving the overall guest experience.
Supports a variety of payment processing options, including credit cards, gift cards, and mobile payments.
Includes tools for managing employee schedules, tracking labor costs, and monitoring performance.
Most of these are add-on features, though it’s impossible to know because there is no information on the NCR website with any substance that talks about their basic features.
How Much Does Aloha POS Cost?
Price Rating: Poor
The intricacies of Aloha POS pricing are nothing short of perplexing, to say the least. They give the name “hidden costs” a new meaning. The corporation deliberately obscures any upfront costs on its website and even from the worldwide web at large. That includes monthly plans, as well as hardware costs or payment processing fees.
As a matter of fact, the company works on quotations alone, requiring a restaurant business to call and engage with a representative to obtain a quote. In case you didn’t know yet, we hate when companies are not transparent about their monthly plans or upfront costs.
In broad terms, NCR Aloha is in no way a frugal option by any means when it comes to a restaurant POS. Especially for full-service restaurants. And while we would love to help you more here, transparency is not something NCR Aloha believes strongly in, which goes to show that their monthly plans and hardware bundles are a pretty penny.
Like any other information on the NCR website, the hardware costs are non-existent. You will need to call to find a quote. Even so, here is a list of the most common pieces of hardware for additional costs.
|POS Workstation||The primary hardware component for the Aloha POS system, which includes a touch-screen display, a card reader, and a cash drawer.|
|Kitchen Display System||Enables kitchen staff to receive orders and communicate with the front-of-house team.|
|Mobile POS Devices||Handheld devices allow servers to take orders and payments tableside.|
|Kitchen Printers||Used to print order tickets in the kitchen for efficient and accurate preparation of food.|
|Kitchen Video System||Allows kitchen staff to view orders on a screen instead of using paper tickets, increasing speed and accuracy.|
|Digital Menu Boards||Allows kitchen staff to view orders on a screen instead of using paper tickets, increasing speed and accuracy.|
|Payment Terminals||Used for processing payments made with credit and debit cards.|
Aloha POS Integrations
The Aloha point of sale (POS) system, while being touted for its intrinsic capabilities, falls a bit short on the integration front, aligning with only a meager number of third-party integrations. Nonetheless, it manages to get the fundamental tasks done.
|QuickBooks and Xero||Aloha POS integrates seamlessly with these accounting software, allowing businesses to streamline financial management tasks.|
|Paychex||The system works harmoniously with Paychex, a prominent payroll software that simplifies payroll processing for businesses.|
|Craftable||Aloha POS integrates with this restaurant management software to enhance operational efficiency, from menu management to tracking inventory levels.|
|7Shifts||This employee scheduling software synchronizes perfectly with Aloha POS, making staff scheduling a breeze.|
|NCR Off Premise||The Aloha POS system can integrate with NCR’s eCommerce/off-site ordering platform, opening up a world of possibilities for businesses looking to expand their online presence.|
|OpenTable||The system can connect with OpenTable, an online reservation platform, allowing businesses to manage reservations effortlessly.|
|Open API||Aloha POS also features an open API, enabling developers to create custom integrations and add-ons that cater to specific business needs.|
These are not all the third-party integrations but they are the most popular ones.
NCR Aloha’s customer service has made a bit of a comeback in recent years, at least according to reviews. Here are several methods to get support:
NCR Aloha’s call center: For technical support via phone, you can call Aloha which is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. In the event that a problem cannot be diagnosed over the phone or via email, there are both on-site and on-call services available as well.
Email: General email inquiries can be submitted. I wouldn’t recommend this though, as it can take up to 48 hours to even receive a response.
Support ticket: If your matter isn’t urgent, you can submit a support ticket. If email is 48 hours, not sure how many days it takes to receive a response from a support ticket, but it’s most likely comparable.
Live chat: Available during the weekdays on their website, though if you are still exploring your POS options and go to their website, there is no chat available to ask questions.
Furthermore, there are a wide variety of support videos on YouTube that can aid in navigating through a myriad of issues, including set-up.
In recent times, there have been some negative feedback and complaints concerning the NCR Aloha system, particularly in the areas of customer service, fees for features, functionality, and system crashes.
Negative Reviews of Aloha POS
Customer Service: Some customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the customer service provided by the NCR Aloha system. They reported being bounced around during calls, leading to a lack of resolution of their queries and concerns. Additionally, the onboarding process was reportedly time-consuming and challenging.
Fees For Additional Features: Multiple users have aired their grievances regarding the pricing model of the NCR Aloha system. They were disappointed that certain features, such as loyalty and gift cards, were not included in the software, resulting in an increase in the overall cost.
Functionality: A handful of customers have struggled with the NCR Aloha system’s feature-set, finding it to be overwhelming. Some of these customers needed assistance through instructional videos to understand how to use some of the features. Meanwhile, others could never figure out how to use certain elements of the system.
System Crashes: A surprising number of users reported that the NCR Aloha system experienced system crashes at unexpected times, causing customers to lose valuable data. This issue raises concerns about the system’s reliability and its ability to protect sensitive information.
Positive Reviews of Aloha POS
The NCR Aloha system has garnered some positive reviews and testimonials from its users, with a focus on ease of use, basic features, and customization options. Here’s a breakdown of some of the positive aspects of the system:
Ease Of Use: Many customers have found the NCR Aloha system to be simple to use, which makes training employees a breeze. The system’s design has also impressed customers with prior experience using a POS system, making it easier to navigate.
Core Features: The NCR Aloha system’s feature set has impressed some users, providing everything they need, from inventory management to reporting. Compared to other POS systems they have tried, they find that Aloha’s feature offerings are more comprehensive, making it an all-in-one solution for their business needs.
Customization Options: Experienced users appreciate the NCR Aloha system’s customization options that allow them to tailor the system to their specific business needs. They can add details to make the system work efficiently, enhancing its functionality.
What is NCR Silver?
As if they needed to make things more confusing, Aloha (by NCR) has something called NCR Silver. What is NCR Silver?
NCR Silver is a tablet-point-of-sale system created in 2012 by NCR, targeting small businesses.
NCR Silver is an app available on iOS devices, the Silver Register closed Android POS system, and is free to acquire. Subscriptions offer features such as integrated loyalty, email marketing, reporting, live support and more for a monthly cost.
To tell the truth, we are still confused on when you’re supposed to get an Aloha system and when you’re supposed to get an NCR Silver system.
The NCR Aloha POS system is not a bad option for restaurant owners, considering its highly specialized feature-set, decent features and ease-of-use. Though Aloha has had some trouble keeping up with the newer generation of cloud-based POS systems that came out a few years ago, it has made up some ground.
Having said that, there are a few shortcomings associated with the NCR Aloha POS system that are worthy of contemplation. First, the lack of transparency concerning monthly costs, additional hardware costs and termination fees is off-putting to potential users. Furthermore, the Aloha insists on long-term contractual obligations that are nearly impossible to wriggle out of. Lastly, there have been reports of suboptimal customer service, a matter that warrants attention.
Despite the aforementioned drawbacks, the NCR Aloha POS system remains a practicable option for individuals in the restaurant industry. The feature-set it offers is sufficiently compelling, and businesses may find that the advantages outweigh the downsides.
Which POS Systems are Best?
Overall, after all my thousands of hours using and testing POS systems and speaking with owners and managers, I have found these four POS systems to be the cream of the crop. You can click on any of them to schedule a demo, which I highly recommend doing.
#1 – Lightspeed Restaurant POS
#3 – Toast POS System
#4 – Rezku POS System
Thanks for being here. We’ll see you next time.