In this TouchBistro POS review, I am to show you why TouchBistro gets ranked as my “Best Honorable Mention POS System”. Now, for the most part, nobody likes to be considered as an “honorable mention” because it sounds like a pity award. Sort of like Miss Congeniality. But in this case, honorable mention still places TouchBistro pretty high up in an uber-competitive market. So really, to be considered in the top five or six systems out there is actually quite an honor.
When it comes down to it, TouchBistro is a very capable POS system with a modern feel to it. It may not be as robust as some of the top systems on my list of best restaurant POS systems, but it is affordable and it can hold its own for small to mid-range restaurants. If you want to check out my #1 rated POS system, you can check it out here.
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. At any time you can click the link right here to go check out TouchBistro if you wish.
As always, I recommend signing up for a live demo with any POS system that you are interested in so that you can see exactly how it works from an expert, and you are able to ask all of your questions at that time. You should always take your research seriously when it comes to finding the best POS system for you and your business.
What We Will Cover
As always, with my restaurant POS reviews, we are going to cover the following:
-Pros & Cons
POS Rating Metric
The POS Rating Metric is basically a 1 – 5 rating, except I put it in words to provide a more descriptive feel for that particular category. Here is the rating metric for each category as it would relate to a 1 – 5 rating.
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Fair
1 – Poor
TouchBistro POS Overall Rating
TouchBistro came into existence in 2010 and since then they have occupied more than 29,000 locations. What I like about TouchBistro is that it is built specifically for restaurants. I’m not a big fan of retail POS systems that at some point adapted their POS system to also work with restaurants like Clover or Square. It’s not that those won’t work for you, but they simply aren’t as intuitive for those of us who work in bars and restaurants and appreciate a POS system that is intuitively set-up to operate and flow with the operations of the restaurant.
Who Should Use TouchBistro?
While TouchBistro does have locations of all sizes, from bakeries to large venues, because of some limitations compared to some of the other top POS systems out there, this is TouchBistro’s sweet spot:
- Independent Bars
- Small to Mid-Sized Restaurants
- Quick-Serve Restaurants
- Coffee Shops
If any of those describes you, then TouchBistro is certainly an option, as this is the lane they should be driving in.
TouchBistro POS Pros & Cons
It’s Specifically Built For Restaurants
I have already mentioned the intuitive factor that comes with having a system built specifically for a certain industry instead of adapting another system to make it work.
Very Easy to Use
Possibly the best “pro” of the TouchBistro POS system.
It Can Be Affordable
The base price of TouchBistro ($69/mo.) is very reasonable. It’s a question of how many add-ons and integrations you want to add when it comes to how much you’re going to pay each month.
Lots of Good Integrations
Speaking of integrations, if you do want to add any of those on, TouchBistro has a nice array of them.
Similar to integrations, if you want to add-on things like online ordering, gift cards, loyalty program, reservations or marketing, you can do so for an extra cost.
Contract Only – No Cancellation Option
TouchBistro has no month to month option or even a free trial. That means if you want to cancel, there will be a hefty penalty for doing so. This is one of the reasons–among many–that I love Lightspeed right now. They have a free trial and they also have a month to month option, and then if you like the system, you can sign on for an annual plan, which saves you even more money. Not so with TouchBistro so make sure you like it.
This is listed as a con because it doesn’t provide both options, but if you like iOS then this ends up being a pro. If you were looking for Android, it remains a con.
Shaky Customer Support
I have experienced this personally with TouchBistro along with other owners and managers. They aren’t the worst in the industry when it comes to customer support, but they certainly are inconsistent.
Reporting Not as Robust as Some
TouchBistro’s reporting is certainly adequate, but not nearly as extensive as Lightspeed or even Rezku.
This of course is only a problem if you’re located outside the U.S.
TouchBistro Ease of Use – Excellent
I have used TouchBistro quite a bit and I love how intuitive and aesthetically pleasing the interface is. It does not take long to figure out the features, both for the front of the house and the admin sections of the system. Servers can easily navigate the menu, add modifiers, add seat numbers, place orders, split checks, etc.
Managers can access the admin section right from the iPad and create or edit the menu, edit the floor plan, manage the staff, as well as payments, printers and kitchen display systems.
TouchBistro Features – Good
TouchBistro features are right in the middle of the pack, with a rating of “Good”. Thus the split pea green color. Again, if you are a smaller venue, they will have everything you need, including:
Floor Plan and Table Management
From here you can create and edit floor plans. You can even designate each section a color so each server’s tables can be quickly identified. You can assign seats to each customer, split checks, transfer checks, etc. Most everything that most POS systems can do.
Employees have the ability to clock in and out, of course. You can set permissions and security settings to give or restrict access to employees based on their position.
From here you can of course create and customize your menu, complete with descriptions, pictures, modifiers, etc. I always highly recommend adding picture and great descriptions to your menu items if your guests are going to be viewing them, as it helps increase your sales. You can also have multiple menus and up to eight courses at each table.
As I always say, POS inventory management is not real inventory management. It’s theoretical inventory management unless you actually count your inventory and enter it into the system because it is just deducting what is rung in, not what is actually used. For that, you need an actual inventory system that counts your inventory. If you would like theoretical inventory management though, TouchBistro has it.
And just to clarify, that’s not order and pay at the table where your guests scan a QR code and order and pay for themselves. It means that your servers can carry around an iPad and take the orders at the table.
Kitchen Display System
I believe these are an absolute must to have today in order to be faster, more efficient and cut down on mistakes.
And then wrapping up features, TouchBistro of course has the ability to split checks, transfer checks, like I already mentioned, as well as add gratuity. Every system should have those capabilities.
TouchBistro Pricing – Very Good
Now, I have TouchBistro’s pricing listed as “Very Good” here, because its basic plan can be. But when it comes to how much it might actually cost, I’m not a big fan of TouchBistro’s pricing the way they have it listed on the website. It just has this:
I’m not sure if this could be more vague compared to most other POS websites where they provide transparent pricing and a full list of features. TouchBistro doesn’t even have a list of features that you get for your $69. There are also no tier levels shown. “Get a Quote”? I want an idea of what I’m getting for my money before I start calling people. They do have add-on pricing though, which you can see here:
TouchBistro Hardware Pricing
When it comes to hardware, it’s very difficult to determine what you’re paying, as once again, there is virtually no transparency here. You have to call and speak to a sales person to get a quote, which is a bit annoying but not a deal-breaker. It should also be noted that TouchBistro does not offer payment plans for hardware. Such rigidness is what starts to get under my skin. Why? Why can’t there be a payment plan for restaurants that are struggling to make it? Lame.
Like I always try to do with all the POS systems I review, I tried to get some sort of deal with TouchBistro for my audience to help them out, but they refused. Such stinginess turns me off, and the reason is because other POS companies are happy to do it. So if they can, so can TouchBistro. It’s not like it puts them in the hole or that they are making some grand sacrifice. They make hundreds of millions of dollars.
So, if you want to checkout the POS systems that do generously provide a deal for my audience, you can go check out Lightspeed, Rezku and GoTab. They are giving up to $1,000 to $2,000 off to my audience, as long as they go through my link so they know who sent them. Just click on any of the links above and you will be tagged to get the deal.
But, I digress. TouchBistro pricing is fair, but it’s vague and it can be sneakily expensive if you keep adding a bunch of integrations and add-ons. So I guess it would be helpful to say that when it comes to “Bang for your buck” that there is a bit less bang than buck with TouchBistro.
TouchBistro Reporting & Analytics – Good
For reporting and analytics, TouchBistro ranks “Good” here. They certainly have adequate reporting for what you might need. Just nowhere near the analytics you’re going to get with Lightspeed unfortunately. Lightspeed’s analytics will actually allow you run your business far more efficiently and help you make more money. So the ROI for Lightspeed blows it out of the water.
With that said, let’s take a look at what TouchBistro CAN give you. From the TouchBistro dashboard can run sales insights, including sales history over a certain time period. You can break sales down by categories, sections, servers, food and discounts. It’s going to give you your top menu items and menu categories. You can also run reports on basic staff performance, as well as labor insights.
TouchBistro Integrations – Very Good
For integrations, TouchBistro gets a “Very Good”. If their list of main features leaves a lot to be desired, you can always integrate with a 3rd party software. Things like: accounting, business management insights with Avero (which provides you with more extensive analytics if you want to pay for them). Staff scheduling, like 7-shifts, as well as online ordering and delivery, mobile payments, and payment processing.
TouchBistro Customer Support – Fair
For customer support, TouchBistro gets a Fair rating. As I always say, customer support in the POS industry is tough to come by because they get very busy and overwhelmed, but TouchBistro is more inconsistent than most.
The response time is very slow and there have been many complaints about a lack of genuine caring for the customer. Again, I have personally experienced this with them as well. I’m not impressed at all with the way they handle problems or the way they treat their customers at times.
They do claim to offer 24/7/365 support, but there are many complaints that they only respond via email or take an extremely long time to return calls. Their website does have an extensive tutorial library which is nice. I guess sometimes you just gotta figure stuff out on your own, but who wants to do that anymore?
When it comes right down to it, I like TouchBistro. It’s not at the top of my list, but it is a good system. It’s very easy to use for you and your employees. You are just going to have a few limitations compared to some of the other favored systems out there.
Overall, I give TouchBistro a 4.3 stars out of 5, so not too shabby. If you are interested in checking it out more, make sure to schedule a demo with them so they can show you what it can do and you can ask all of your questions.
I hope this was helpful, and I hope you find the perfect POS system for you and your business. Make sure to check out my other reviews on POS systems. And as always, I hope you make millions and millions of dollars this week. I will see you next time.