POS Reviews

5 Best iPad Restaurant POS Systems

As a restaurant owner, an iPad-based POS system can transform your operations. It streamlines processes, integrates with third-party platforms, and enhances customer experience.

From small food trucks to fine dining, an iPad POS is a versatile tool that can handle everything from customer-facing displays to Kitchen Display Systems and self-ordering kiosks.

With these cloud-based systems, you gain the freedom to access data from just about anywhere, thereby providing you with enhanced control over your operations.

An iPad POS system provides a user-friendly interface, real-time updates, many third-party integrations, scalability, and customization. It’s a future-focused, affordable, and flexible solution.

2 baristas holding iPad POS devices

The Top 5 iPad Restaurant POS Systems In 2023:

  • TouchBistro – Best for restaurants looking for an efficient and well-designed system 
  • Lightspeed – Best for restaurants seeking powerful data insights and retail features
  • GoTab – Best for mobile and eCommerce-oriented restaurants
  • Square – Best subscription-free POS for small restaurants and cafes
  • Shopify – Best for restaurants and cafes that sell products online

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Why Use An iPad Restaurant POS System?

An iPad restaurant POS system is a cloud-based solution that runs on an iPad or other mobile devices, allowing restaurant owners and staff to manage their business from virtually anywhere.

Unlike traditional legacy POS systems, which involve bulky hardware and complicated software installations, iPad POS systems offer a sleek, easy-to-use interface for staff to manage orders, payments, and customer engagement.


TouchBistro POS Website

TouchBistro is designed to accommodate the fast-paced environment of restaurants.

Due to its intuitive design, TouchBistro is easy to learn and operate, a characteristic that can be valuable for restaurants requiring a straightforward, easy-to-master system.

If you’re already used to the iOS ecosystem, you’ll likely grasp TouchBistro even faster. Plus, the system allows you to tweak menus and interfaces to your preference, enhancing long-term efficiency and potentially saving time.

A key feature of TouchBistro is its marketing platform. This integration provides the capability for you to craft custom promotions, launch targeted marketing campaigns automatically, and organize customer information using an embedded CRM.

TouchBistro aims to unify several customer interaction technologies, promoting better communication and comprehension of customer habits and patterns.

Additionally, TouchBistro offers the functionality to create a custom website that reflects your brand.

TouchBistro Dine marketplace
TouchBistro Dine marketplace

TouchBistro also has a reservations platform, called TouchBistro Reservations, which combines reservations and guest management into one service, intertwining effortlessly with the TouchBistro POS. This functionality supports restaurants in personalizing customer experiences while efficiently managing daily tasks.

With its visually appealing, logically structured design, TouchBistro comes filled with diverse features. To ensure data availability and safety, it operates on a hybrid model, incorporating both cloud and server systems.

TouchBistro sales reports

TouchBistro Pricing & Hardware

I like the modularity of the TouchBistro pricing structure. You get a good deal at a low price and can choose from the selection of add-on options as your business grows.

Here is the pricing plan for TouchBistro and its add-ons:

Monthly subscription fee: Starts at $69/month for up to two setups

Add-on pricing (starting at):

  • Online ordering: $50/month
  • Reservations: $229/month
  • Gift cards: $25/month
  • Marketing: $99/month
  • Loyalty: $99/month

TouchBistro Payments (US only)is powered by Chase and provides pricing through an innovative cost plus pricing model. The solution supports all major credit and debit cards, as well as swipe, dip, tap, and digital wallet payments from Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

TouchBistro Payments also offers an offline payments mode, allowing you to continue taking payments even when their internet is down.

Payment processing fees depend on if you use TouchBistro Payments (US only) or one of the available payment processing partners like Square. You’ll be able to use different payment processors depending on which one offers the lowest rate.

For example, Square charges the following: 2.6% +10¢ per transaction.

Please note that hardware and additional fees may apply to these prices. It’s recommended to contact TouchBistro directly for a custom quote.

TouchBistro is available in the US, Canada, the UK, Mexico, and over 100 other countries. (TouchBistro Payments is only available in the US).

TouchBistro supports iPads, iPad Pro, or the iPad Mini and runs best on devices from 2018 or later. These tablets are used to take orders and process payments table-side.

A TouchBistro setup can include an iPad stand, receipt printer, card reader, router, and modem.

TouchBistro also sells accessories, such as a Self-Service Kiosk, customer-facing display, KDS, and Digital Menu Boards. TouchBistro may also make use of third-party hardware such as cash drawers, card readers, and receipt printers.

TouchBistro hardware devices

Customizable Additional Hardware: Depending on the unique needs of your restaurant, you can mix and match different POS equipment such as cash drawers and receipt printers.

Hardware Setups for Different Venue Sizes: TouchBistro offers tailored hardware configurations based on the venue size and type of your restaurant. Whether you have a small or large venue, they have hardware solutions designed to fit your specific needs.

Integrated Hardware Support: TouchBistro also offers dedicated implementation specialists to provide round-the-clock support for your hardware.

TouchBistro suggests always purchasing the latest iPad models for the best experience and longevity of support. While they provide iPad stands, they also offer the flexibility for you to use your own. Their iPads are compatible with any iPad stands, allowing you to choose a stand style that aligns best with your restaurant’s look and feel.

Where TouchBistro Stands Out

TouchBistro has many great features which I will discuss later in this review, but these are the features I think make TouchBistro stand out compared to its competitors.

  • Reservations: With TouchBistro’s commission-free reservations tool restaurants can easily manage their reservations and get to know their diners’ preferences, which is key to creating an exceptional hospitality experience.
  • Ease of use: TouchBistro’s POS system is fast, reliable, and easy to use. New employees don’t have to waste precious time going through an extensive tutorial – if they are familiar with iPhones, then they can easily figure out TouchBistro.
  • Payment processing options: Nowadays it’s becoming unusual for a POS system to allow the use of a third-party payment processing solution. Here you have a choice between using TouchBistro Payments or one of the payment processing partners like Square.
  • Floor plan & table management: This feature of TouchBistro is a significant factor that makes the POS system stand out. With TouchBistro’s floor plan and table management software, you can easily arrange your restaurant’s layout, delegate staff to specific sections, and check the availability of your dining room.
  • Offline functionality: TouchBistro’s POS system can process payments even if the internet goes down, ensuring seamless, uninterrupted service.

Where TouchBistro Falls Short

While it is a highly regarded system, there are some areas for improvement and potential drawbacks to consider.

  • Limited integrations: While TouchBistro has some integrations available, it may not have as many options as other POS systems. This could be a limiting factor for businesses that require more extensive integrations with other software and platforms.
  • Online ordering: TouchBistro relies on integration with Deliverect to connect to other delivery services than DoorDash Drive.
  • Limited reporting: There are certain areas where the reporting features need improvement to generate more useful sales, employee performance, and inventory reports.


Lightspeed Restaurant is a popular choice when it comes to selecting a Point of Sale (POS) system for restaurants. Since its establishment in 2005, Lightspeed has become a prominent global provider of cloud-based POS and e-commerce solutions, serving businesses in over 100 countries across North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific.

Lightspeed’s primary focus is on creating commerce platforms tailored for independent restaurants. The unified hospitality platform is designed specifically to cater to the distinct needs of quick-service restaurants.

The platform efficiently merges point-of-sale capabilities, seamless payments, inventory management, and staff management tools, and provides potent reporting insights.

Lightspeed reports

A unique aspect of Lightspeed is its integration of high-tech features. These include a blockchain-based technology platform, real-time analytics, customized workflows, and diverse integrations, all presented within an easy-to-use iOS-based interface. The platform’s ability to operate in offline mode further enhances its reliability across different situations.

Lightspeed is known for its steady improvements to its platform, as it frequently introduces advanced features like machine learning-driven analytics designed for restaurant-specific needs.

If you’re looking to take your restaurant in a new direction, using a restaurant POS that also has retail capabilities could be the key to unlocking success. With Lightspeed, you can easily expand into selling merch, offering cooking classes and launching other retail operations.

Lightspeed Pricing & Hardware

Lightspeed Restaurant Essentials: $90/month (annual plan $69/month)

Features include: Menu manager, Mobile access, Takeout and delivery orders, Integrated payment processing, Reporting and analytics, Inventory, 24/7 support, Dedicated account management, Table Mode. 1 register.

Lightspeed Restaurant Plus: $246/month (annual plan $189/month)

All Essentials features, Loyalty program, Gift cards

Lightspeed Restaurant Pro: $516/month (annual plan $399/month)

All Plus features and Advanced insights, Advanced inventory. 1 register.

Additional registers +$34/mo
Add-on pricing starting at $12/month
Premium add-ons starting at $39/month

Transaction fees: 2.6% plus 10 cents per card-present transaction with Lightspeed Payments. Third-party payment processors are also available.

*Pricing at the time of publishing this guide. For the most current pricing, contact Lightspeed.

Lightspeed Restaurant POS is currently available in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, and Australia.

Lightspeed hardware

There are several hardware options available for restaurants. These include an iPad hardware kit that includes a receipt printer, cash drawer, and kitchen printer but does not include an iPad or payment terminal.

There is also a Lightspeed iPad Stand by Vault, which is a restaurant-grade stand designed to mount an iPad securely.

Lightspeed restaurant examples of handheld hardware

In addition, there are several payment terminals available, including the Verifone e285, Verifone P400, and Verifone 400m, which all support tap, swipe, and dip payments and the e285 also supports tip entry and signature capture.

For a full list of supported hardware options, Lightspeed provides more information.

Screenshot of a sales dashboard in Lightspeed POS

Where Lightspeed Restaurant Stands Out

These are the features I think make Lightspeed stand out compared to competitors.

  • Reporting and analytics: Lightspeed Restaurant offers advanced reporting and analytics tools that help you gain deep insights into your business’s performance. The acquisition of Upserve 2020 has taken Lightspeeds analytics to the next level. This includes detailed sales data, employee performance metrics, and inventory management information.
  • Advanced insights: The insights optimizes server and menu performance, time optimization, and a virtual logbook that improves communication among restaurant staff across different shifts.
  • Ease of use: With its intuitive interface and customizable layout, Lightspeed Restaurant is designed to be user-friendly for both experienced and novice users. The straightforward navigation and simple order entry process help to turn tables faster and make it easy for your staff to get up and running quickly, reducing training time and ensuring a smooth transition. 
  • E-commerce capabilities: With the Lightspeed ecom feature you can build a website with retail capabilities that allows you to sell branded products or gift cards to your customers, helping you to attract new customers and increase your revenue. You can also link your website to delivery platforms such as UberEats or Doordash, and connect to OpenTable to take reservations.
  • Customer Support: According to G2’s 2021 Grid Report on restaurant POS systems, Lightspeed was rated highest in quality of support and ease of use among other competitors in the industry.

Where Lightspeed Falls Short

While Lightspeed Restaurant POS is a highly regarded system, there are some areas for improvement and potential drawbacks to consider.

  • Limited Offline Functionality: Since Lightspeed is cloud-based, it requires a stable internet connection to function. This means that if your internet goes down, you won’t be able to process transactions or access any data. While Lightspeed does have a limited offline mode, it doesn’t offer full functionality.
  • Price: Lightspeed Restaurant POS is more expensive than some other POS systems on the market. While the system offers a range of features and benefits, the cost may be a barrier for some restaurant owners, especially those who are just starting out.
  • Limited Customization: While Lightspeed’s interface is user-friendly, it may not offer as much customization as some restaurant owners would like. For example, some users have reported that it’s difficult to customize the layout of the order screen, which can impact efficiency during peak hours.


GoTab, founded in 2016, is an adaptable and innovative restaurant POS and commerce platform specifically designed for restaurants.

GoTab is compatible with almost any iPad or web-enabled mobile device, which allows you to utilize your existing hardware and save costs.

GoTab is primarily geared towards contactless service, mobile ordering, payment, and efficient communication. Its intuitive interface, compatibility with various systems, and real-time analytics provide ghost kitchen operators with the necessary tools to modernize their operations, enhance efficiency, and stimulate growth.

GoTab offers simple-to-use and easy-to-integrate technology with features like order management, centralized menu management, kitchen display system (KDS) function, as well as the capability to integrate with other POS systems and more.

GoTab also offers flexible service model capabilities, allowing operators to adjust their service models on the go. For instance, in the event of an unexpected staff shortage, operators can activate QR ordering, or extend ordering to non-traditional service areas like a patio or waiting area, making it a versatile solution suited for large, medium, and small venue formats.

GoTab’s KDS feature also enables operators and managers to maintain direct communication with customers through text, providing transparency and unmatched hospitality, like notifying a customer if an order’s delivery is delayed.

Lastly, GoTab’s 100% cloud-based platform offers flexible hardware options, eliminating barriers for ghost kitchens wanting to transition to more advanced technology without having to make a costly initial investment. The transitions to new technologies and the operational adoption of new systems are seamless, unlike traditional, complex, and confusing transitions in hospitality technology.

GoTab Pricing & Hardware

GoTab stands out with potentially significant cost savings and flexibility through its transaction-based pricing model.

  • No additional charges for essential products or support.
  • Option to buy your own hardware or opt for GoTab-branded hardware.
  • Feature-rich offerings catered to diverse business needs without additional costs.
  • Savings on processing fees through the “Open Tabs” feature.
  • Customized enterprise pricing available.

Processing Fees:

  • 2.25% + $0.15 for Card Present Transactions. (When a card is tapped, dipped or swiped in person).
  • 2.5% + $0.25 for Card Not Present Transactions. (When an order is placed through mobile ordering, card on file or manual entry).

Contact GoTab for a pricing quote for the Quickstart, Premium and Enterprise pla

GoTab is only available in the US.

GoTab offers a diverse range of hardware options to suit various business needs. GoTab can run on any Internet-connected Android, iOS, or Windows tablet or phone.

Some key features of their hardware offerings are:

Kitchen Ready: GoTab provides responsive, high-quality touch displays designed to withstand high-volume kitchen environments.
Buy Online: Restaurants can purchase GoTab hardware such as tablets, handhelds, printers, and displays from the GoTab Store.
At Your Service: A dedicated onboarding team is available to help restaurants set up their hardware, whether live and onsite or over the phone.
More Choices: GoTab allows restaurants to use any hardware that works best for their operation, ensuring they are never locked into a specific device.

GoTab POS hardware

Where GoTab Stands Out on an iPad

Mobile Order and Pay: With GoTab, your guests can order and pay directly from their mobile devices, reducing the need for physical menus and payment processing. This not only provides a convenient and contactless dining experience for customers but also helps to increase table turnover and reduce labor costs.

GoTab POS customer facing order screen

Contactless Service: GoTab offers robust contactless self-service options, including QR ordering and check control. Your guests can order what they want when they want, with both parties able to add to the digital check simultaneously, leading to higher customer spend and lower transaction processing fees.

Flexibility and Customizable Menu Management: GoTab can run on any Internet-connected Android, iOS, or Windows tablet or phone, offering flexibility in hardware options. It also allows restaurants to easily create, update, and customize their menus directly within the system, ensuring that you’re offering a menu that appeals to your guests.

GoTab POS KDS screen

Integrated Solutions: GoTab’s solutions for mobile ordering, payment, kitchen, back-office management, and inventory management are integrated to work seamlessly together. The system also seamlessly integrates with various payment processors, kitchen display systems, and accounting systems for secure transactions, real-time order management, and streamlined financial management.

Guest Data: GoTab supports access to first-party data for opted-in guests, helping you establish a direct connection with your guests and improve your restaurant’s affinity with customers while saving time and money.

Real-Time Analytics: GoTab provides real-time analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing you to make data-driven decisions. View sales and order summaries, refund summaries, and an overview of discounts and fees. The Manager Dashboard allows you to manage your operations on the go and view reports and orders in real-time, enabling quick decision-making.

Flexible Hardware Options: GoTab works on virtually any web-enabled mobile device, including iPads, meaning you can use your existing hardware and save costs. The company also offers excellent customer support, with a team of experts available to assist with setup, training, and ongoing support.

In conclusion, GoTab offers a comprehensive set of features that can help you modernize your operations, improve efficiency, and enhance the guest experience. Its user-friendly interface, contactless service, flexibility, integration, data access, real-time analytics, flexible hardware options, and excellent customer support make it a strong choice for your restaurant POS system.


Square for Restaurants is the perfect solution if you need a free plan and want to use your existing iPad devices.

Square provides speed and operational efficiency, ensuring quick order entries, and Square’s unique feature, the conversational modifiers, simplifies how orders are written, modernizing this duty and making it more effortless.

Using the Square Kitchen Display System (KDS), cafés can manage orders centrally and adeptly on a single screen, easing the creation of digital tickets and precise order preparation. The integration of online orders with your POS system is easyt, with no additional monthly costs or commissions.

Square marketing assistant dashboard

Additionally, Square offers effective marketing and loyalty program tools, helping restaurant owners in connecting with their customers effectively.

With Square, you get all the basic features such as sales reporting, payments, and employee management that are essential for cafe operations – no matter the size of your establishment.

Ease of use: I really like this system because it is intuitive and easy for beginners to use. The interface is modern and looks great on both iOS devices and Android smartphones and tablets.

Square Pricing & Hardware

Free plan: There’s no monthly fee, but there is a transaction fee for each in-person sale. 2.6% + 10¢ for swiped or tapped card transactions. 3.5% + 15¢ when the card number is keyed in. Online payment: 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.

Plus: Includes more advanced features designed specifically for restaurants. $60/month for one device per location. +$40/month per added countertop POS device. (+ processing fees).

Premium subscribers get everything in the Plus subscription and custom pricing for add-ons like Square Payroll, Square Marketing, and Square Loyalty.

Example pricing of some add-ons:

Square Payroll +$35/mo then $5/mo per employee
Square Loyalty From $45/mo per location
Square Marketing From $15/mo per location

(Hardware is not included in the subscription. See hardware costs in the section below).

Contract length

A key advantage of Square’s payment processing is the absence of long-term subscriptions, providing flexibility in the usage of its services. You can opt for month-to-month payments and easily cancel your subscription anytime without penalties.

As a result, you can experiment with different business strategies while staying agile and adaptable to changing market conditions.

The Square app is available worldwide. Card payment acceptance is available in the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, France and Spain (Source).

Square terminal

The Square Terminal can read all types of cards. You can use it for everything from taking payments to accessing your Square POS system to printing receipts to using all the features of Square’s app. The price for the terminal is $299.

Square contactless card reader

Square Reader for Contactless and Chip: Restaurants can now process payments more easily with the new Square Reader, which has improved Bluetooth connectivity, enhanced security, and longer battery life.

Square Stand Restaurant Station with cash drawer, receipt printer, and kitchen printer.

Square restaurant POS mobile kit device

Restaurant Mobile POS Kit for Square for Restaurants. Includes a Square Reader for contactless and chip (2nd generation), a phone case, and a Samsung Galaxy A32.

The Square Register is a countertop setup and a fully integrated point-of-sale system. No extra tablets or apps are required. Includes a touchscreen card terminal facing the customer and a built-in card reader. Costs $799.

Where Square Stands Out

Ease of Use: Square has a modern and familiar user interface design that simplifies learning and operation. The system is easy to set up and doesn’t require much training. This means your staff can focus on guests rather than learning the system.

Affordable Pricing: The Free plan includes fundamental services, such as online ordering and POS. The Plus plan costs $60 per month and includes advanced features like coursing as well as 24/7 support. For in-person payments, all plans include a processing rate of 2.6% plus 10 cents.

No long-term contract: Getting started with Square for Restaurants is simple because there are no installation fees or long-term commitments required. Additionally, you have the flexibility to upgrade, downgrade, or terminate your plan whenever necessary.

Comprehensive CRM Capabilities: The system has CRM features that allow for customer profiles, order history tracking, and integration with Square Loyalty and Marketing. This creates a complete solution for managing customers.

Square online website

Square Online is a free add-on that allows restaurants to build and design their own websites for online ordering. Square Online integrates with Order with Google so when a customer searches for the restaurant on Google Search or Maps, they will see an ordering button on the search result that they can select to choose an ordering channel. Square Online also has e-commerce capabilities for restaurants that want to sell products online.

Integration with the Square Ecosystem: Square for Restaurants is part of a larger ecosystem of Square products, which means it can integrate with other Square services. This includes Square Payroll and Team Management for handling permissions, schedules, timecards, and tips, and Square KDS.

Where Square Can Improve

Limited Advanced Features: Square for Restaurants may lack some advanced features offered by other POS systems, such as in-depth inventory management and comprehensive reporting tools

Complex Reporting: The reporting features are causing concerns because they lack sufficient detail and are complex, making it difficult to search for specific information. Additionally, the process of reconciling sales to receivables is lengthy.

Lack of On-Site Support: Square for Restaurants does not provide on-site support, which may not be suitable for businesses that rely on in-person assistance.

Limited Support for Complex Menus: For restaurants with frequently changing or complex menus, Square for Restaurants might not be the best choice. Making changes to the menu can be slower than other systems.

Shopify POS

Shopify POS is available in most countries where Shopify is available, including Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and many other countries.

Shopify is the go-to for restaurant owners who want to open up shop online or add retail to their income stream.

Offering a comprehensive e-commerce system tailored for businesses of all sizes, Shopify also has something special just for restaurants; a POS system that tracks orders and inventory, manage employees, and process payments quickly – it’s great if your restaurant is small or just starting up.

Shopify POS table management dashboard

Plus, it’s suitable even if you’re serving customers from a restaurant kitchen – the point-of-sale system makes taking orders, tracking inventory and managing employees fairly simple.

Shopify for Restaurants is no doubt an attractive POS system with many features, but it also comes with a few drawbacks. Offline mode and customization options are not available – and in some cases, you need to invest in additional integrations as well.

Key tools such as variance reporting may be missing too so if that’s important to your restaurant business then Shopify won’t be the right choice for you.

But don’t discount this solution just yet; its positive aspects like ease of setting up an online store, versatile integrations and cost-effectiveness make up for these shortcomings. So give it some thought before deciding how best to serve your own restaurant needs.

Pros and Cons of Shopify For Restaurants

While Shopify for restaurants is a great POS system, it’s not perfect. Here are some pros and cons of using Shopify for restaurants.


  • Easy to use: Shopify for restaurants is easy to use, even for those who are not tech-savvy
  • Numerous integrations, including payment gateways – Shopify for restaurants offers numerous integrations, including payment gateways, which make it easy to accept payments from customers
  • Modern UI – Shopify for restaurants has a modern UI that is easy to navigate
  • Flexible pricing – Shopify for restaurants offers flexible pricing, which means you can choose a plan that fits your budget


  • Lack of offline mode – Shopify for restaurants does not have an offline mode, which means you will need an internet connection to use it
  • No in-built loyalty program – Shopify for restaurants does not have an in-built loyalty program, which means you will need to use a third-party loyalty program or create your own
  • Limited customization – While Shopify for restaurants offers many features, it is not as customizable as some other POS systems

Shopify Pricing

Shopify has three pricing plans: Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify.

  • The Basic Shopify plan starts at $29 per month and includes two staff accounts, unlimited products, 24/7 support, and fraud analysis.
  • The Shopify plan starts at $79 per month and includes five staff accounts, unlimited products, 24/7 support, and an advanced report builder.
  • The Advanced Shopify plan starts at $299 per month and includes 15 staff accounts, unlimited products, 24/7 support, and Advanced Shopify Plus.

Please note that the specific pricing for Shopify can vary depending on the package and hardware. It’s recommended to contact Shopify directly for a custom quote based on your business’s unique needs.


All five of these iPad restaurant POS systems are versatile and feature-rich, and they can be tailored to meet the needs of a wide variety of restaurants.

Explore these systems further by visiting their websites and scheduling demos or free trials. Get hands-on experience with the platforms that catch your eye.

Start exploring TouchBistro’s streamlined operations or GoTab’s mobile ordering and payments. Dive into Shopify’s online retail tools or Lightspeed’s customizable layouts and inventory management capabilities. Or consider Square’s efficiency-focused features.

Read more: 14 Restaurant POS Features That Are Essential


An iPad restaurant POS system refers to a point-of-sale solution that uses iPad tablets as the hardware terminals. Here are some key things to know about iPad POS systems for restaurants:

  • The POS software has an iPad-optimized interface and is available as a native iPad app or web-based for access from the iPad’s browser.
  • iPads provide mobility so servers can take and input orders tableside rather than at a fixed cash register location. This improves customer service.
  • Table management features allow servers to associate orders with specific table numbers and track table status.
  • Order taking is streamlined on the iPad with an intuitive interface and the ability to rapidly enter/modify items. Many systems sync menus and prices from a central database.
  • The iPad camera can scan barcodes or QR codes to input items. Some also work with Bluetooth printers for tableside receipt printing.
  • Managers can access reporting and analytics dashboards on the iPad to view real-time sales, labor costs, and other data on-the-go.
  • iPads can integrate with other restaurant tech like kitchen display systems, payment processors, accounting software etc.
  • Multiple iPads can be deployed to serve as additional terminals during peak periods, providing flexibility.
  • The portable nature allows transferring devices across locations for multi-site management.

With mobile order taking, tableside payment processing, and manager capabilities, iPad POS systems provide a modern, flexible restaurant tech experience. They bring versatility and mobility over traditional fixed POS terminals.

An iPad Restaurant Point of Sale (POS) system presents you with numerous advantages compared to a traditional or legacy POS system. Here are some reasons why an iPad POS might be a superior choice for you:

Mobility: iPads are portable and lightweight, enabling your staff to take orders and process payments right at the table, which can enhance efficiency and customer service.

Ease of Use: iPads boast a user-friendly interface that is simple to navigate, making it quicker and easier to train your staff.

Cost-Effective: Conventional POS systems often demand significant upfront expenses for hardware and software. In contrast, iPad POS systems typically operate on a subscription basis, rendering them more affordable for many businesses.

Real-Time Updates: iPad POS systems can deliver real-time updates on inventory, sales, and other crucial metrics, assisting you – the restaurant owner or manager – in making well-informed decisions.

Integration: iPad POS systems can effortlessly integrate with other software systems, such as reservation platforms, online ordering systems, and accounting software, offering a more seamless operation.

Scalability: As your business expands, it’s easy to incorporate more iPads into your POS system, whereas traditional systems may necessitate more substantial hardware upgrades.

Cloud-Based: The majority of iPad POS systems are cloud-based, meaning you can access your data from anywhere and at any time. This also implies that your data is backed up automatically and safeguarded against local hardware failures.

Customizability: iPad POS systems often provide more customization options than traditional systems, permitting you to shape the system to your restaurant’s specific needs.

Limited Customization: iPads operate on Apple’s iOS, which is a closed environment compared to Android. This could limit the flexibility developers have to customize the experience within an application.

Software Updates: Apple’s software updates can sometimes cause apps on iPads to crash or break. These updates don’t happen automatically. A POS company must get access to the new version of the OS, update and test the app, and then publish the update. 

Hardware Limitations: Apple offers a limited range of device sizes. This might not suit all restaurant environments, which may prefer different sizes for different uses.

Durability: iPads are consumer-grade devices that may not be as durable in the demanding restaurant environment. They might not handle extreme daily usage, spills, or drops as well as dedicated hardware.

Avatar photo

Jan is a writer and content creator at KitchenBusiness.com with a focus on the restaurant and food service industry. Drawing from his background in tech and UX design, Jan breaks down complex systems into digestible, actionable insights.

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