- author: Amrita Biswas
TouchBistro is the a highly popular iPad POS system for restaurants used by entrepreneurs from all over the world. The company was founded in 2010 by a group of passionate restaurant industry enthusiasts looking to enhance the service industry with groundbreaking technology. As the winner of multiple awards, it’s clear that TouchBistro is keeping true to its original goal.
Plans & Pricing
TouchBistro has a series of flexible pricing plans that cater to the needs of restaurant, cafe, and bistro owners of all shapes and sizes. Every plan includes all of the software’s features from the box. There are no hidden costs or elements of functionality locked behind a paywall.
Additionally, TouchBistro offers a free trial for everyone looking to try out their software before investing in it. Keep in mind that you’ll need an iPad to access the free trial. If you don’t have one, you can check it out via booking a live demo with a representative of the company.
This pricing plan includes 1 license meaning you’ll have 1 iPad running the software. You’ll still have as many users as you like. The plan costs $69 monthly billed annually.
This plan costs $129 per month (billed annually) for 2 licenses or 2 iPads running the software.
The team plan includes a package of 5 software licenses. It costs $249 per month and it is also billed annually.
This plan is probably the best option for larger teams and networks of restaurants as it offers unlimited software licenses for $399/mo (billed annually).
If you are looking for hardware, you’ll get a bundle of everything you need from the iPad stand to a cash box and a printer for a starting price of $44 per month (based on 0% interest over a 3-year term). Do note that you’ll have to pay an additional set up fee of $200.
Features and Functionality
TouchBistro is more than just a mobile payment processing application. It is a platform that covers nearly every aspect of running a restaurant business from staff to inventory to customer relationships management.
Tableside ordering test
You don’t need us to tell you how fast things move in a restaurant. Apparently, the guys from TouchBistro have received the memo as well, because they have specifically designed a set of tableside ordering mechanics to both help your staff fulfill orders faster and upsell margin menu items while doing so. Your staff will see pop-up modifiers of what they can suggest to complement the initial order.
Floor plan & table management
TouchBistro allows you to lay out your restaurant in the system. This helps with managing the tables and the guests on the fly. Everybody from your team knows about the availability of seats, who ordered what, and more, all visualized seamlessly on a digital map of your establishment.
Reporting & analytics
You’ll be able to keep your finger on the pulse of the restaurant regardless of where you are at the moment. Access the app and check who is doing what, which items are running out of stock, how many guests are there at the moment, etc.
Recurring guests can make or break a restaurant business. Their loyalty can be worth more than gold, and gold needs a lot of tracking. Thankfully, you can launch and run a variety of loyalty programs with TouchBistro’s built-in CRM system. Learn more about your guests, make personalized accounts for them, offer exclusive deals, or simply send out push notifications directly into their phones if you have an event coming up that they might enjoy.
TouchBistro has great functionality for managing activity of your employees, maintaining payroll details in personalized accounts, and giving instant feedback via the integrated in-app messaging system.
TouchBistro itself is compatible with any and all iPad models with the exception of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gen devices. Still, you’ll need other hardware to run your business, such as:
- Mac computer: This will be the heart of your business’s digital side that stores the data and manages synchronization between all other devices. You can go for the iMac, Apple Mac Mini, or the Mac Pro.
- Wi-Fi: An Airport Extreme should do the trick just fine, though any decent router will work as well.
- Printers: You’ll need an Impact printer for the kitchen, and a thermal printer to print receipts in front of the house.
Integrations & Add-ons
TouchBistro is integrated with a couple of handy apps like 7shifts for scheduling, Shogo for accounting, BarVision for inventory management, etc. The current total of available integrations is 6 apps. You can manually set them up from the TouchBistro app.
As for TouchBistro’s own add-ons, they are:
- Customer facing display: your guests will see what they have picked from the menu on the display of the iPad. This is a great app for visual confirmation of an order.
- Kitchen display system: this app is a handy solution for improving the workflow on the kitchen turning the existing kitchen printer into an insights machine that shares a lot of intel on the orders.
- Kiosk: if you feel like letting the guests order themselves, this app should do the trick just fine.
Ease of Use
Setting everything up for the first time (especially all the hardware) may seem like a challenge, but you’ll get a professional who will take care of everything for you. As for using the software, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn about its every nook and cranny during the live tour you can book at any time.
That said, you probably won’t need any professional help with mastering the system as it is pretty straightforward and intuitive.
Pros & Cons
- Simple and intuitive
- Constantly updated and improved upon
- All features available from the box
- Unlimited users
- Award-winning customer support
- Few integrations
- Slightly more expensive than the competition
- The trial version is for iPads only
TouchBistro has won awards for a serveral reasons, with their outstanding support team being one of them. It manages to combine years of restaurant experience with some of the most advanced communications-oriented tech on the market into a 24/7/365 troubleshooting machine.
Phone SupportSpecialists are available via phone days, nights, weekends, and holidays.
Video TutorialsIf you'd like to fix a simple issue on your own, there are plenty of videos online for that.
Community ForumPurchasing a TouchBistro license grants access to a VIP forum where you can look for advice from like-minded restaurant owners and entrepreneurs.
TouchBistro is a popular POS software for a number of reasons. There are 200 features that arrive out of the box with every package. They offer a simple, intuitive interface that actually helps run a restaurant rather than focusing on a single aspect of the process. Lastly, their support team is available 24/7/365 and offer fantastic support when you need it.