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In this review, I’m going to share my analysis and evaluation from my hands-on experience with TouchBistro. But first, if you’re just beginning your search for the best Point of Sale systems, check out my picks for the best POS systems. You probably already know that TouchBistro is among the most popular POS tools out there, but you need to better understand what’s good (and not so good) about it.

This in-depth TouchBistro review will walk you through the tool's pros and cons, features and functionality, and more to help guide you to better understand its capabilities and its suitability for your needs.

A screenshot of the cloud sales dashboard of TouchBistro
I like how TouchBistro's cloud sales dashboard, shown here, provides real-time sales data and performance metrics for restaurant owners to monitor and make informed decisions.

TouchBistro Product Overview

TouchBistro is a comprehensive restaurant management system designed to streamline operations from order taking to payment processing. Its primary users are restaurant owners and staff seeking an intuitive point-of-sale (POS) system.

The tool benefits establishments by enhancing table management, improving order accuracy, and speeding up service. It addresses common industry pain points such as slow service, order errors, and table turnover rates. Among its best features are its user-friendly interface, robust menu management capabilities, and reliable customer support.

Pros

  • Intuitive Use: The ease of use stands out; TouchBistro offers a user-friendly interface that requires minimal training.
  • Menu Management: Robust customization options allow for detailed control over menu items and variations.
  • Customer Support: Strong support with accessible representatives helps resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Cons

  • Hardware Compatibility: Limited to iOS devices, which may restrict choice for some establishments.
  • Offline Functionality: Some features are dependent on internet connectivity, posing a challenge during outages.
  • Advanced Reporting: While sufficient for many, the reporting can lack depth compared to some competitors.

Expert Opinion

In my experience, this POS Software strikes a notable balance between functionality and user experience which youll learn more about once you finish this TouchBistro review. Its interface is less cluttered and more intuitive than many rivals, making it a solid choice for those new to POS systems. The software's integration capabilities are impressive, though they may fall short for highly specialized or unique setups. Support is a strong suit, with responsive assistance that outshines some competitors. TouchBistro is particularly well-suited for small to mid-sized restaurants that prioritize ease of use and efficient, straightforward operations.

TouchBistro: The Bottom Line

TouchBistro distinguishes itself with a focus on usability and a tailored approach to restaurant management. It provides unique features like tableside order management and customer-facing display options that others don't always offer. The real-time analytics and reporting tools are excellent, giving restaurant owners actionable insights into their business. Its noteworthy features include a customizable floor plan, detailed inventory tracking, and seamless staff scheduling, making it an astute choice for those who value simplicity and efficiency.

TouchBistro Deep Dive

Product Specifications

  1. Point of Sale (POS) System - Yes
  2. Tableside Ordering - Yes
  3. Menu Customization - Yes
  4. Floor Plan Management - Yes
  5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Yes
  6. Inventory Management - Yes
  7. Staff Management and Scheduling - Yes
  8. Reporting and Analytics - Yes
  9. Multi-location Support - Yes
  10. Kitchen Display System (KDS) - Yes
  11. Loyalty Program Management - Yes
  12. Gift Card Management - Yes
  13. Online Ordering Integration - Yes
  14. Payment Processing - Yes
  15. Reservation Management - Yes
  16. Offline Mode - Yes
  17. Customer-facing Display - Yes
  18. Split Bill Functionality - Yes
  19. Tip Management - Yes
  20. Data Exporting - Yes
  21. Integration with Accounting Software - Yes
  22. Email Marketing Integration - Yes
  23. Hardware Support (Printers, Cash Drawers, etc.) - Yes
  24. Employee Performance Tracking - Yes
  25. Compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Standards - Yes

TouchBistro Feature Overview

  1. Point of Sale (POS) System: TouchBistro’s POS is designed specifically for restaurants, facilitating smooth transactions, which is paramount in fast-paced dining environments.
  2. Tableside Ordering: Servers can take orders directly at the table with an iPad, reducing errors and improving service speed, a necessity for modern dining experiences.
  3. Menu Customization: An easily navigable interface for customizing menus allows for quick updates, specials, and item changes, reflecting the dynamic nature of restaurant menus.
  4. Floor Plan Management: A visual layout of the restaurant helps with efficient table management, directly impacting turnover rates and customer satisfaction.
  5. Inventory Management: Real-time tracking of ingredients and supplies helps prevent stockouts and reduce waste, directly benefiting cost control measures.
  6. Staff Management and Scheduling: With integrated scheduling, TouchBistro aids in efficient staff allocation, which is critical for labor cost management.
  7. Reporting and Analytics: Comprehensive data insights help restaurant owners make informed decisions to drive profitability and enhance operational efficiency.
  8. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Keeping track of customer preferences and order history enables personalized service and marketing, fostering loyalty.
  9. Multi-location Support: For restaurant groups, the ability to manage multiple locations within one system ensures consistency and streamlined operations.
  10. Offline Mode: The capability to function without the internet ensures uninterrupted service, an often overlooked necessity in the restaurant industry.

Standout Functionality

What's unique about TouchBistro compared to other software are features tailored for the restaurant industry’s specific needs:

  1. Integrated Reservation Management: Unlike many POS systems that require a separate reservation system, TouchBistro incorporates this into the platform.
  2. Customer-facing Display: This feature not only enhances customer engagement but also ensures order accuracy and transparency in billing, which is not a standard in all POS systems.
  3. Loyalty Program Management: TouchBistro’s built-in loyalty program fosters customer retention without the need for third-party software, which is not always a direct feature of POS systems.

Integrations

TouchBistro offers a range of out-of-the-box integrations with popular software and tools to enhance its capabilities:

  • Payment Processors: Integrates with various payment processors for flexible payment options.
  • Accounting Software: Syncs with accounting tools like QuickBooks for real-time financial management.
  • Online Ordering Platforms: Connects with online ordering systems to integrate with the POS for seamless order-to-kitchen processing. TouchBistro provides an API for custom integrations, catering to the unique needs of different restaurants. Add-ons are available to extend the platform's functionality in areas like online reservations, online ordering, and advanced inventory management.

TouchBistro Pricing

TouchBistro’s pricing plan for its POS system starts at $89/month, making it competitive but not necessarily the cheapest option on the market.

Users can also add on back of house and guest engagement solutions to create an consolidated, customized solution. Pricing for add-ons and forms for booking a demo and receiving a quote are available on the company's website.

Additionally, please note that the base price for the TouchBase POS system does not include the cost of hardware.

Ease of Use

You'll find out in this TouchBistro review that it provides a user-friendly experience overall, with a straightforward onboarding process. The interface is clean and organized, making navigation logical for restaurant staff. However, the depth of features can introduce complexities, especially in inventory management and back-end settings that require a learning curve for new users.

Customer Support

TouchBistro offers responsive customer support with various channels available, including phone, email, and live chat. Their extensive documentation and tutorials are useful for troubleshooting. However, there can be frustrations with response times during peak hours or for less common issues, which might require more in-depth technical support.

TouchBistro Use Case

Who would be a good fit for TouchBistro?

TouchBistro is well-suited for small to medium-sized restaurants, cafes, and bars that prioritize ease of use and require robust restaurant-specific features. Businesses that value detailed reporting and efficient customer service would find TouchBistro a reliable partner. Its avid customers are often those who manage multiple service types, from fine dining to quick service.

Who would be a bad fit for TouchBistro?

Large enterprise-level restaurants or chains that require highly complex, customized systems might find TouchBistro limiting. Establishments outside the food service industry, or those without an existing Apple device ecosystem, may not benefit as much from the software. It is less ideal for venues that need advanced third-party integrations not supported natively by TouchBistro.

TouchBistro FAQs

Can TouchBistro process all types of credit card payments?

Yes, TouchBistro is compatible with various credit card processors, allowing restaurants to accept a wide range of credit card payments.

What do POS reviews say about TouchBistro's reliability?

POS Reviews often highlight TouchBistro as a reliable and efficient point-of-sale system, especially suited for the restaurant industry.

Is a card reader provided with TouchBistro, or do I need to purchase one separately?

TouchBistro offers its own card readers as part of TouchBistro Payments, but you also have the flexibility to purchase compatible third-party card readers if you prefer.

How does the cloud-based feature of TouchBistro enhance restaurant management?

TouchBistro's cloud-based capabilities allow for real-time data syncing and remote access to your POS, giving you the flexibility to manage your restaurant from anywhere.

Can I customize menu items with modifiers in TouchBistro?

Yes, TouchBistro allows for a high level of customization with modifiers, making it easy to accommodate customer preferences and special requests.

Is TouchBistro suitable for small businesses?

TouchBistro is designed with small businesses in mind, offering scalability, ease of use, and a range of features that cater to small to medium-sized restaurants.

What are the benefits of using TouchBistro Payments?

TouchBistro Payments is integrated directly into the POS system, which simplifies the payment process, reduces errors, and offers competitive processing rates.

How do TouchBistro's point-of-sale systems handle multiple locations?

TouchBistro’s point-of-sale systems are built to support multiple locations, allowing for centralized management, reporting, and consistency across all your restaurant locations.

Alternatives to TouchBistro

If TouchBistro doesn’t seem like a great fit, or you want to check out a few more options, you should check out our pick of the best alternatives. Here is a quick overview of a few tools that people often compare with TouchBistro:

  • Square for Restaurants: Square for Restaurants often stands out for its seamless integration with Square’s broader ecosystem of financial products, which can be a major plus for businesses already using Square for payment processing.
  • Toast POS: Toast POS is frequently recognized for its all-in-one hardware and software solution that includes built-in payment processing, a feature that's particularly beneficial for restaurants looking to streamline their tech stack.
  • Lightspeed Restaurant: Lightspeed Restaurant is noted for its extensive reporting and analytics features, making it a better choice for restaurant owners who prioritize in-depth business insights and data-driven decision-making.

TouchBistro Company Overview & History

TouchBistro is a company that specializes in providing point of sale (POS) systems tailored for the restaurant industry, utilized by a variety of dining establishments, including small independent cafes, upscale restaurants, and mid-sized eateries. As a private enterprise, TouchBistro remains under the ownership of its founders and investors, with headquarters situated in Toronto, Canada.

Among its notable personnel is Alex Barrotti, the CEO and founder, who has been instrument tal in shaping the company's direction. TouchBistro's mission is to provide intuitive and reliable technology that simplifies the business of running a restaurant so that owners can focus on the customer experience. Since its inception in 2010, the company has hit several milestones, such as securing over $100 million in funding by 2019 and being named the Best POS System for Restaurants by Business News Daily for three consecutive years.

Summary

In this TouchBistro review, you have learned that the tool emerges as a highly capable and specialized POS system designed with the unique needs of the restaurant industry in mind. Its intuitive design, robust feature set, and strong focus on restaurant-specific functionalities make it a solid choice for small to medium-sized food service establishments.

I recommend TouchBistro to those seeking a system that streamlines operations and enhances the dining experience. I invite you to share your thoughts or experiences with this TouchBistro review in the comments, whether they mirror this review or offer a different perspective. Your feedback is invaluable to others making an informed decision.

Simon Litt
By Simon Litt

Simon Litt is the Editor of The CFO Club, where he shares his passion for all things money-related. Performing research, talking to experts, and calling on his own professional background, he'll be working hard to ensure that The CFO Club is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to stay informed on the latest financial trends and topics in the world of tech.

Prior to editing this publication, Simon spent years working in, and running his own, investor relations agency, servicing public companies that wanted to reach and connect deeper with their shareholder base. Simon's experience includes constructing comprehensive budgets for IR activities, consulting CEOs & executive teams on best practices for the public markets, and facilitating compliant communications training.