TouchBistro is a prominent player in the restaurant technology industry, but it doesn’t stand unchallenged. If you are interested in exploring alternatives then you have come to the right place.
In this guide, I will examine five alternatives to TouchBistro: Toast, Lightspeed Restaurant, Square for Restaurants, GoTab, and SpotOn.
I will review each platform, discussing their primary features, pricing, hardware, advantages, and disadvantages, and give my assessment of how they stack up against TouchBistro.
Reasons to Explore TouchBistro Competitors
TouchBistro is a popular POS system but has some limitations that make alternatives worth considering.
- TouchBistro only works on Apple devices, restricting hardware options for restaurants that use other devices.
- It also lacks some advanced features like sophisticated reporting and inventory management that some restaurants may require.
- Additionally, TouchBistro’s pricing may be too costly for some budgets, and it does not offer a free trial version to test out the system.
- Finally, competitors may provide more favorable customer service, support options, contract terms, and partnership perks that are more beneficial for restaurants.
My Top 5 TouchBistro Alternatives
Now, I will review some of the top competitors of TouchBistro worth considering for your business. We’ll look at POS systems like Toast, Square, GoTab, Lightspeed, and SpotOn, examining their standout features, hardware compatibility, pricing models, integrations, and potential benefits compared to TouchBistro.
If you’re feeling limited by TouchBistro’s Apple-only hardware, lack of advanced capabilities, high costs, or poor vendor relationships, one of these alternatives could be a better match for your restaurant’s needs.
The most innovative POS system on the market
Best for food service businesses that want advanced online ordering, take-out, and delivery features.
- Rapid development of new features
- Toast Takeout system
- Rugged mobile hardware devices
- Android only
- Locked into Toast payment processing
Lately, Toast has become a big name in the world of restaurant tech. It has grown fast and acquired other businesses to be a complete solution for people running restaurants. Toast’s goal is to be a complete commerce platform for running your restaurant.
Fast Company named Toast one of 2023’s most innovative companies. It has a big list of features for your restaurant, like handling payments, managing your menu and inventory, marketing and loyalty programs, staff management, controlling food and labor costs, reporting, and a lot more.
Toast can work with many different food and hospitality businesses: everything from full-service and fast-food restaurants to cafes, bars, and food trucks.
Because Toast can handle a lot of growth, and it can suit businesses big and small, and grow with you.
Why Toast is an Alternative to TouchBistro
Hardware compatibility: Toast may be limited in that it primarily operates on Android devices, contrasting with TouchBistro which is iOS-based. However, this could present an advantage for venues that wish to use Android devices, as TouchBistro is restricted to Apple products. It’s worth noting that the choice between iOS and Android can be down to the preference of the individual business.
All-in-one platform: Toast positions itself as an all-in-one restaurant management platform. Its integration of POS, online ordering, loyalty programs, marketing tools, and analytics into a single solution can save time, streamline operations, and increase efficiency.
Advanced features: Toast offers extensive features which give it an edge. It’s continually introducing new functionalities like a unique reservation system (Toast Tables), online ordering, take out services, and an innovative POS system. Its rapid innovation can provide restaurants with the necessary tools to enhance their operations.
Toast Capital: Unique to Toast, it offers a financial solution called Toast Capital, providing quick and hassle-free access to financing solutions for eligible users—allowing them to invest in their business growth and drive success.
Reporting and Analytics: Toast offers advanced reporting and analytics features that help restaurant owners make informed business decisions based on real-time data insights. While TouchBistro provides basic reporting capabilities, Toast’s in-depth reporting options may be preferred by businesses seeking a more comprehensive understanding of their operations.
Innovative Features of Toast
More information on Toast:
My detailed Toast Review provides an even more in-depth look into this restaurant POS system.
And finally, to try Toast out, head over to pos.toasttab.com
Cleverly crafted POS with exceptional design
Best for food service businesses seeking powerful inventory, data insights, and retail features.
- Ease of use & interface design
- Reporting & analytics
- E-commerce capabilities
- Limited offline functionality
- Not the cheapest option
Established in 2005, Lightspeed is a prominent worldwide provider of cloud-based point-of-sale and e-commerce solutions, catering to the retail, hospitality, and golf sectors. With teams spanning North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, Lightspeed supports businesses in over 100 countries across the globe.
Lightspeed’s comprehensive hospitality platform is tailored to address the specific requirements of restaurants, cafes, bars, and other food and beverage businesses. The platform brings together powerful point-of-sale capabilities, integrated payments, inventory management, workforce management tools, and impactful reporting insights.
Additionally, Lightspeed offers cutting-edge features such as a blockchain-based technology platform with offline functionality, real-time analytics, customized workflows, accounting, PMS, and other integrations, all within an easy-to-use iOS-based interface.
Lightspeed POS caters to many restaurant types with its flexible features and customization options. Especially full-service independent restaurants but also cafes and bistros, quick service restaurants (QSRs), food trucks, pop-up restaurants, or multi-location restaurants.
Why Lightspeed is an Alternative to TouchBistro
Hardware Compatibility: Both Lightspeed and TouchBistro operate on the iOS platform. In this respect, Lightspeed and TouchBistro are on par with each other and may not cater to the hardware preference of those seeking Android or Windows compatibility.
Advanced Features: Lightspeed offers robust analytics and reporting, e-commerce capabilities, workforce management tools, loyalty programs, and menu management – these may exceed what’s offered by TouchBistro. Particularly, Lightspeed’s machine learning-driven analytics and simplified online order and inventory management could provide enhanced insights and efficiency to restaurant operations.
E-commerce Integration: One of Lightspeed’s standout features is its e-commerce platform, allowing businesses to create an online presence seamlessly. With the ability to manage both a physical store and an online one on the same system, inventory management becomes significantly easier. Especially in the current circumstances with the increase of online ordering, this integration allows restaurants to adjust to new modes of operation without needing a separate system.
Flexible Customization and Scalability: Lightspeed offers a high degree of customization—it’s designed to adapt to a business’s specific needs, allowing operators to modify the system for their preferred interface and usage. Additionally, it can scale with your business, making it a good choice for growing establishments. In contrast to other POS systems which can be limiting, Lightspeed’s flexibility can be a major asset for diverse and evolving restaurants.
Noteworthy Features of Lightspeed
More information on Lightspeed:
My detailed Lightspeed Review provides an even more in-depth look into this restaurant POS system.
And finally, to try Lightspeed for free, head over to lightspeedhq.com
Square for Restaurants
The fast and easy-to-use system
Best for new or smaller food service businesses that want to start on a free plan and want to sell products online.
- Subscription free plan
- No long term contracts
- Integrates with the Square ecosystem
- Lacks some advanced features
- No on-site support
Square began as a generic POS system, but it has impressively developed Square for Restaurants to suit the distinct demands of restaurant businesses.
With its modern, user-friendly interface, the POS is a fitting solution for many types of food service ventures. What makes it unique? Its user-friendly design, complimentary basic plan, and powerful marketing features.
Who should opt for Square?
- Smaller Restaurants: Ranging from quick service eateries to upscale dining venues.
- Cafes: Perfect for establishments serving coffee, tea, and light fare.
- Food Trucks: Apt for on-the-move businesses seeking a mobile-friendly solution.
- Fast-Casual Restaurants: Offers quick service without cutting corners on quality.
- Bars and Breweries: Handles custom drink menus and ensures age verification.
- Ghost Kitchens: Ideal for delivery-only ventures without a traditional dining area.
However, for high-traffic venues or full-service restaurants with complex operations, Square might fall short in some respects.
Why Square is an Alternative to TouchBistro
Hardware compatibility: Unlike TouchBistro which operates only on Apple iOS devices, Square has a broader hardware compatibility offering as it works across multiple platforms including Android, giving users more flexibility.
Advanced features: Square offers an array of robust capabilities, such as payment processing, Square Team Management & Payroll features, Square Online for Restaurants, Square Marketing & Loyalty, and a useful Square Kitchen Display System (KDS). All these features create an integrated and easy-to-use ecosystem for restaurant operations which might enhance efficiency in ways that TouchBistro may not match.
Affordable pricing: Square includes a free basic plan, and the Plus plan starts at $60 per month, which can be considered more affordable and transparent pricing plus than TouchBistro’s starting cost of $69 per month.
Ease of Use: Square is known for its user-friendly layout and interface that enables quick learning, even for people not technologically inclined. This reduces the learning curve for restaurant staff, helping them to work more efficiently and make fewer errors.
Integration with Other Square Services: Square provides a range of additional services such as Square Online, Square Appointments, and Square Capital. These integrated services can help businesses manage online sales, scheduling, and access to capital—making Square not just a POS system, but a comprehensive business solution.
Noteworthy Features of Square
More information on Square:
My detailed Square for Restaurants Review provides an even more in-depth look into this restaurant POS system.
And finally, to try Square out, head over to squareup.com
Excellent hardware options and no long term contracts
All-in-one POS solution with modern restaurant-specific features for fine-dining, QSRs, cloud kitchens, bars, and food trucks.
- Very feature rich
- Robust hardware devices
- Low credit-card processing fees*
- Requires SpotOn devices
- *Requires SpotOn Payment for low fees
SpotOn is a leading cloud-based restaurant POS system that competes with other modern platforms like Toast, TouchBistro, Lightspeed, and Square. These new digital systems are replacing outdated legacy POS solutions.
Ideal for various restaurant types including fine dining, casual dining, quick service, bars, and food trucks, SpotOn offers all the core POS features and hardware you’d expect. Despite being a relatively new player founded in 2017, SpotOn provides many advanced functions and add-ons comparable to longer-standing rivals.
Based in San Francisco, SpotOn initially focused on restaurants, sports, entertainment, and retail. But the restaurant and sports/entertainment industries remain its primary markets. For any restaurant looking to upgrade to a contemporary cloud-based POS, SpotOn should be considered along with top competitors like Toast and Lightspeed.
Why SpotOn is an Alternative to TouchBistro
Cross-platform Hardware: SpotOn is a Windows-based system, that provides its own excellent hardware devices as well as support for Android and iOS devices.
Advanced Features: SpotOn offers many modern features such as online ordering, digital waitlisting and reservations, labor management and reporting, which address some of the advanced capabilities restaurants might look for. These features are designed to integrate seamlessly with other software and systems, potentially offering improved versatility.
Affordable Pricing: SpotOn offers budget-friendly pricing, with plans beginning at $25 per month when using their payment processing services. Even without using their payment processing services, the software is available at $195 per month – providing a potential lower-cost alternative to TouchBistro. Additionally, SpotOn offers low credit card processing fees, often lower than other POS systems, making it a potential cost saver.
Payment Processing: SpotOn offers competitive credit card processing fees when using their own payment processing with rates as low as 1.99% + $0.25 per transaction. However, if you choose not to use SpotOn’s payment processing services, your monthly cost increases from $25 to $195, making it less cost-effective for those who prefer an alternative payment processor.
Flexible Contract Terms: SpotOn offers a month-to-month payment model without requiring any long-term contracts. This gives restaurants the flexibility to try out the system without making a long-term commitment.
Noteworthy Features of SpotOn
The key advantages of SpotOn for restaurants include the integrated suite of features, user-friendly interface, robust hardware options, competitive payment processing rates, and advanced capabilities like online ordering and marketing tools. Its emphasis on customization also allows it to adapt to specific restaurant needs.
More information on SpotOn:
My detailed SpotOn Review provides an even more in-depth look into this restaurant POS system.
And finally, to try SpotOn out, head over to spoton.com
Easy-to-use mobile POS with a focus on eCommerce and contactless ordering and payment features. Card present processing fees: 2.40% + $0.15.
- Use your iPad or GoTab-branded hardware
- Excellent mobile order & payment solutions
- Free starting plan & no long-term contracts
- Complex Reporting Functionality
- Only available in the US & Canada
GoTab, founded in 2016, is a modern restaurant POS system focused on contactless service, online ordering, mobile payments, and streamlined communication.
With its user-friendly interface, broad integrations, and real-time analytics, GoTab aims to help restaurants modernize, boost efficiency, and spur growth.
Working on any web-enabled device, GoTab allows restaurants to use their existing hardware without added costs. Key capabilities include mobile ordering, seamless payments, staff communications, and data insights.
As an innovative POS platform for hospitality businesses seeking to improve operations and better serve guests, GoTab provides the versatile tools restaurants need to thrive in a digital-first market.
Why Gotab is an Alternative to TouchBistro
Payment Processing: GoTab has its own payment processing with competitive transaction-based pricing, meaning no monthly fees unless you’re actively processing payments. This makes costs scalable.
Affordable for Small Businesses: Without monthly subscriptions, GoTab avoids burdening small restaurants with regular fees during slow periods. Pricing aligns with transaction volumes.
Flexible Contract Terms: Restaurants have maximum flexibility with GoTab since no contract is required. You can adopt the POS without long-term commitments.
Cross-Platform Hardware: Support for Android, iOS, and Windows devices means you can use your existing or preferred hardware without limitation.
Contactless Ordering and Payments: GoTab supports a robust contactless dining experience, which allows customers to order and pay directly from their own mobile devices.
Innovative Features of GoTab
GoTab enables a personalized ordering and payment process for every guest at your restaurant. With features like mobile ordering, diners can enjoy quick, secure service without the need for an app. This versatility allows customers to order and pay in the way that suits them best, either in-person, online, or via mobile.
More information on GoTab:
To learn more and to try GoTab out, head over to gotab.com
5 Things to Watch for in TouchBistro Competitors
However, here are five reasons your restaurant might want to consider TouchBistro alternatives:
- Hardware compatibility – See if competitors work across multiple devices like Android and Windows, not just Apple. Systems like GoTab and Square support various hardware.
- Advanced features – Look for robust capabilities like inventory management, reporting, and integrations that TouchBistro lacks.
- Affordable pricing – Find alternatives with lower costs and transparent pricing models versus TouchBistro’s high fees. Square and SpotOn are budget-friendly options.
- Free trials – See if competitors offer free trials or demos so you can test drive the system first. Many allow this whereas TouchBistro does not.
- Customer service – Check for alternatives with more favorable support reputations and contract terms compared to some mixed reviews of TouchBistro.
If you need specific hardware, features, pricing, trials, and service, exploring competitors to TouchBistro can provide systems better suited for your restaurant.
Summary: What is The Best TouchBistro Alternative for You
Here’s a summary of why each POS system—Toast, Lightspeed, Square, SpotOn, and GoTab—might be a good alternative to TouchBistro:
Hardware compatibility: Toast runs on Android devices, offering more flexibility in hardware choice when compared to TouchBistro’s iOS-only compatibility.
Advanced Features: One of Toast’s significant advantages is its range of features that scale with restaurant size, making it an adaptable option for various restaurant needs.
Affordable Pricing: While the pricing scheme is not low-cost, the comprehensive range of features provided increases its value for many establishments.
Hardware compatibility: Lightspeed functions seamlessly with both iOS and MacOS devices, implying a level of versatility similar to TouchBistro.
Advanced features: Lightspeed’s wide range of robust features, from detailed sales reports to comprehensive inventory management, could offer more extensive capabilities than TouchBistro.
Free trials: In contrast to TouchBistro, Lightspeed offers a 14-day free trial that allows businesses to test out the POS system before committing.
Hardware compatibility: Square’s advantage is its ability to work across platforms including Android, providing greater flexibility over TouchBistro.
Advanced Features: Square’s robust services, from payment processing to team management, potentially offer a more integrated and easy-to-use ecosystem than TouchBistro.
Affordable Pricing: Square’s transparency and affordability in pricing, including a free basic plan, could offer an attractive alternative to TouchBistro’s pricing.
Advanced Features: With numerous modern features like online ordering, digital wait-listing, and labor management, SpotOn could offer more advanced capabilities than TouchBistro.
Affordable Pricing: SpotOn’s month-to-month basis service with no long-term contracts required can offer affordability and flexibility over TouchBistro.
Hardware compatibility: GoTab operates on a variety of devices providing broader compatibility compared to TouchBistro’s Apple-only approach.
Advanced features: GoTab supports a robust contactless dining experience, which allows customers to order and pay directly from their own mobile devices.
Remember, the best choice will largely depend on the unique needs and resources of your restaurant or food service establishment.