TouchBistro POS Review

touchbistro logo

By Dan Barraclough

Will TouchBistro will give you the touch you need to take your restaurant to the next level?

touchbistro pos

Founded in 2011, New York-based TouchBistro has since gone on to become a best-seller in over 37 countries. Its iPad POS solution is as adaptable as it is simple, allowing you to turn a single iPad (or dozens) into a point of sale system.

With a TouchBistro POS system, your staff will be able to take orders and payments at tables and generally provide a more efficient service, helping you to increase the number of covers you do in a day.

Industries Served

Anyone who appreciates a restaurant with a small menu – one that’s carefully curated, leaves nothing to chance, and gets every detail right – will understand the philosophy behind TouchBistro. Unlike many POS systems, which are designed to fit nearly any industry, TouchBistro is purpose-built for restaurants, and it shows. While it’s easy to use, its features and reporting are all designed to help restaurants run more efficiently. Its installations range from single terminals at neighborhood coffee bars to multi-location installs for nationwide chains and their franchisees.

TouchBistro Features

TouchBistro offers literally hundreds of customization options backed by robust reporting features that present both real-time and historical data that you can leverage to get a bit of extra breathing room when margins are tight. You can hide menu items based on time of day (so your breakfast customers aren’t ordering from the dinner menu) or based on inventory (so they’re not ordering the porterhouse special you ran out of at 6:30).

Restaurateurs can manage staffing and payroll, process credit cards and gift cards, customize gratuities, assign tables, customize orders (extra cheese, gravy on the side), combine bar tabs, issue separate checks, add custom receipt messages, and more. For customer satisfaction, you can program alerts for unsent items, configure tableside ordering, or show photos and information for popular dishes. Needless to say, these features only scratch the surface of what’s available.

touchbistro ipad

Check out a more detailed list of Touch Bistro’s features below:

Key Features

Tableside Ordering

If you opt for multiple iPads you can offer your customers tableside ordering.

This is a great experience for your customers as servers can split bills right at the table and give up-to-the-minute deals and menu items. You can also transfer a customer’s bar tab to a seated table once they’re ready to eat, keeping everything in one place under one check.

Tableside ordering could also improve your bottom line thanks to pop-ups that can be configured to remind servers to upsell and make it easy for them to do so at the right time.

Floor Plan & Table Management

Visually manage your restaurant with TouchBistro’s floor plan & table management features. Create a virtual version of your space complete with tables, seats, bar stools, outdoor spaces, and multiple levels.

This feature has more functionality than simply displaying your restaurant; it allows managers to lock servers into specific sections and allows servers to add/remove seats from tables, assign reservations to tables, identify high-value tables and more.

Mobile Payment Processing

TouchBistro integrates with multiple EMV devices, digital wallets, and merchant accounts meaning that you can take payments from your customers in virtually any form right at the table.

Not only does this speed up the payment process but additional features such as splitting bills, taking multiple payment types on one bill and sending e-receipts hugely improves the customer experience.

iPad Menu Management

One of the great things about having your menu set up on your iPad POS is that you can easily update it if items run out or are replenished. Items can also be automatically discounted for seasonal or daily offers.

You can even create color-coded menus to highlight sales of specific items, or switch easily between breakfast and lunch items.

Staff Scheduling & Management

Manage staff rotas and oversee clock-in/clock-outs and overtime all from one place. You can set staff up with individual accounts that help them to manage their time and you can even configure their account to their needs, e.g. left-handed, light/dark modes.

Communication between front and back of house staff is greatly improved with the staff messaging feature.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) & Loyalty

A restaurant that offers a personalized service for their top customers is a restaurant that will be remembered and recommended for years. With TouchBistro it’s easy to do just that.

Customer accounts let you charge repeat customers at a later time, save and store contact information, and offer loyalty points programmes through select payment processing partners.

Restaurant Inventory Management

Keep track of what’s in your pantry and notify wait staff immediately if an item becomes unavailable.

TouchBistro can become an invaluable tool for inventory management by identifying ingredient-level food costs and prompting the re-order of ingredients when stocks get low.

Reporting & Analytics

Reports can show which areas you’re excelling in and can flag up where you need to improve. You can access TouchBistro reports at any time on any device, making it convenient for on-the-fly decision making and longer term planning.

There are over 50 report templates already set-up meaning you don’t need to be experienced in analytics to get important insights from your data. You can also bring in data from supported 3rd parties, including QuickBooks accounting, for a more comprehensive view of your business.


An award winning customer service team made up of industry experts is on hand to support you in setting up and running your POS system. Combined with online tools and resources, TouchBistro offers an extensive 24/7 support network for its customers.

TouchBistro Products and Services

TouchBistro puts its emphasis on the software side of the equation. Peripherals and hardware are offered only via third parties, including APG and MMF POS (cash drawers), Griffin Technology and Heckler Design (iPad stands and protection), BlueStar and Star Micronics (printers), and POS Portal (general POS hardware). While TouchBistro doesn’t make and supply this hardware themselves, they are happy to advise on which products would best suit your needs.

TouchBistro Applications and Installation

TouchBistro runs on a local wifi network. As such, it doesn’t require an internet connection to work. That being said, the application can also be run from the cloud, which is useful for many administrative functions. This is especially true if you’re providing back-office support for several locations. It should be noted that as of this writing support is only offered for iOS installation and not for Android or Windows-based tablets.

TouchBistro Partners

In addition to the hardware providers listed under Products and Services, TouchBistro partners with a number of payment gateway providers and other technology providers. These include Avero and Sculpture Hospitality (business analytics), SmoothPay (customer loyalty programs), 7Shifts (schedule management), Shogo and Xero (accounting and QuickBooks integration), Chase, PayPal and Square (payment processing).

TouchBistro Pricing

TouchBistro offers a free trial period, after which it has four pricing tiers, billed by the number of licenses issued (one license covers one tablet). All plans are billed annually.

Solo$69/monthOne license
Dual$129/monthTwo licenses
Team$249/monthUp to 5 licenses
Unlimited$399/monthUnlimited licenses

24/7 support via phone and email is free, as are automated data backups and remote troubleshooting. Users can opt for premium support on installation and hardware, but this comes with a cost that depends on the scope of the POS setup.

TouchBistro Case Study

Crosstown Pub and Grill, owned by Jim Nichols, currently has two locations in Illinois. They are known for their great atmosphere, which compliments their amazing wings and burgers.

Jim’s two locations are popular and very busy, so he needed a solution that would increase order speed and efficiency without sacrificing the level of service his customers have come to expect. With multiple dining areas both indoors and out, Jim needed a solution that would allow his servers to take accurate orders on the move, turning tables at a higher rate while ensuring order accuracy.

The TouchBistro system can handle a large party with several custom requests and multiple checks just as easily as it handles a single customer with a simple lunch order. Food comes faster, tabs are closed faster, and even Nichols’ most demanding customers leave satisfied. The upshot? Nichols estimates that he’s turning over 176 more tables – to the tune of an extra $8,000 – per week than he was on his old POS system.

Expert Verdict

Laser-like focus on a single niche has allowed TouchBistro to develop a platform that’s narrowly tailored to restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and food trucks, and it does what it’s designed to do very well.

It’s simple enough for those used to pen-and-paper ordering systems to learn quickly, yet robust enough to scale with your business. Best of all, its functions go beyond a simple POS to encompass inventory control and HR utilities that keep front-of-house and back-of-house alike running efficently.

TouchBistro is compatible with iPads and a host of other hardware so you can find the solution that best suits your space and service style.

If you run any kind of businesses in the food and hospitality sphere TouchBistro could revolutionize how you take orders, process payments, and manage your staff and inventory.

Before you commit to a TouchBistro POS system, why not compare it to a range of other POS suppliers? You can do so quickly and easily by simply clicking here to provide us with a few details about your business. We’ll then match you with the best suppliers for your requirements, and they’ll get in touch with prices and more information.

Dan Barraclough

Dan’s a writer for Expert Market, specialising in a range of cool topics. He loves web design and all things UX, but also the hardware stuff like postage metres and photocopiers.

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