POS Reviews

5 Best TouchBistro Alternatives & Competitors

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.

Note: Our reviews are reader-supported. We may earn affiliate commissions from links on this page. Learn more…

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.


Toast customer facing display

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.

Here is the pricing plan for the Quick Start Bundle, Core, and Growth plan:

Quick Start Bundle: Starting at $0/month

A great match for food trucks or single-location cafes, this shop-and-go option includes initial hardware and our basic POS software. Features include cloud-based point of sale and hardware setup including one terminal (additional charges apply for subsequent devices).

Core Plan: Subscription starting at $69/month

Ideal for any restaurant looking to streamline operations and provide faster service, with flexible options to meet your specific needs. This package includes powerful cloud-based point of sale with reporting and analytics, simple, flat rate payment processing with real-time fraud monitoring, mobile dining solutions, including digital menus and mobile payments, and 24/7/365 customer care, with installation support.

Growth Plan: Subscription starting at $165/month

A software bundle including online ordering and delivery software for restaurants looking to add more revenue streams. This plan includes everything in Core, plus Toast Online Ordering, Toast Delivery Services, and Toast TakeOut App.

Please note that additional features and software are available for each plan, and you can pair each plan with a hardware setup of your choosing.

Credit card processing fees: You cannot opt to use a third-party payment processor as Toast will handle all credit and debit card transactions for you.

Toast believes that customers should receive more than just transaction reports from their card processor. To achieve this goal, they combine their card processing service with technology that engages with customers.

The information gathered from customers can then be used by restaurants to understand them better and create more targeted marketing campaigns.

As for the fees, Toast customizes the rates for processing card transactions based on the specific needs of your restaurant. 

Toast is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland.

Toast Flex is a handheld device constructed for you to swiftly take orders and process payments. Its design is spill-resistant, allowing you to conveniently manage contactless payment types like swipe, dip, or tap.

Toast Go device

Designed for smaller establishments such as coffee shops and restaurants with minimal counter space, Toast Go is an all-in-one portable device. You can take orders, process payments, and print receipts without swapping gadgets.

Toast Kiosk offers your customers a self-ordering experience. They can pick their dishes using a large, interactive touchscreen display. Particularly beneficial for quick-service restaurants, this device plays a helpful role in reducing wait times and enhancing the customer experience.

The Toast Terminal is a comprehensive countertop setup, covering a touchscreen display, card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer, all ready to go.

Toast customer facing display

Toast Display, a customer-facing setup, supports you in managing restaurant orders. It gives you the ability to monitor orders in real-time and handle your inventory.

Bear in mind, that hardware costs differ based on the configuration you opt for, and some devices come included in certain plans. Should you require a tailored quote, you should reach out directly to the Toast team.

Toast Tables waitlist dashboard

Innovative Features of Toast

Toast Tables is an exciting new platform for you to make restaurant reservations that compete with other services like OpenTable and Resy. The platform allows your customers to book a table or be put on a waiting list directly through your restaurant’s website or app.

In addition to these features, Toast Tables has extended its partnership with Google, enabling your restaurant customers to make reservations on Toast Tables directly from your restaurant’s Google Business Profile.

Toast Tables booking with Google dashboard detail

Key features for you as a restaurant owner:

Integrated Reservation and Waitlist Management: Toast Tables integrates with other Toast POS and Kitchen Display Systems. By using this system, you are able to handle reservations, waitlists, and orders in a single platform.

Real-Time Table Updates: You can use real-time updates for the table status to keep track of guest orders, order fulfillment, and payment for their meals.

Personalized Guest Profiles: With Toast Tables, you can make individualized profiles for guests. This feature can aid your restaurants in predicting customer preferences, acknowledging special events, and appreciating loyal customers or important guests.

Toast online ordering screenshot

Collaboration with Google: The collaboration with Google allows guests to book a reservation through Toast Tables directly on your restaurant’s Google Business Profile. This means that users who are searching for restaurants on Google can book a table on Toast Tables without leaving the search results page.

Cost Savings: You can use the system to avoid the expenses of third-party reservation platforms. You can pay a fixed monthly fee without any per-cover charges and select from various package options based on your seating policies.

Improved Capacity Management: The system simplifies seating capacity management for your restaurants, offering helpful features such as estimated wait times, automated notifications, and two-way SMS messaging. These features aid you in managing customer expectations and cutting down on no-shows.

Marketing and Loyalty Program Integration: Before their visit, guests are able to check out your menu and sign up for your restaurant’s loyalty program. This helps to encourage repeat visits by providing guests with valuable offers and allowing for ongoing communication.

Although Toast Tables has impressive features, it will be challenging for Toast to enter the reservation market that is currently dominated by major players such as OpenTable and Resy. However, Toast’s history of successfully introducing new services, such as online ordering, establishes a solid basis for this feature.

Toast Tables also allows you to manage your tables from anywhere in the restaurant using handheld devices.

This enables you to see who’s waiting for a table, add them to the queue as they arrive at the door, assign them seats when they arrive at your restaurant, monitor their progress through their meal, collect payment from each guest, and keep track of how many tables are occupied versus empty throughout each shift.

Toast Tableside Ordering and Payments

Tableside ordering and payments are becoming increasingly popular in the restaurant industry, and Toast POS offers solutions for both. With Toast’s tableside ordering feature, you can take orders directly at the table using a handheld device.

This allows for faster and more accurate order entry, as well as the ability to customize orders on the spot. Additionally, the tableside ordering feature can integrate with your kitchen display system, allowing orders to be sent directly to the kitchen for preparation.

Toast’s tableside payment feature allows for a seamless and secure payment process at the table. Your guests can split the check, add tips, and pay with a credit card or mobile wallet all from the convenience of their table. This feature not only improves the guest experience but also increases your table turnover and reduces wait times.

A key feature of Toast POS for your restaurant is its robust online ordering and delivery management capabilities. This allows you to easily manage online orders and deliveries.

This is one of Toast’s strong points and explains part of its huge growth. Your customers can place orders and pay directly online, with orders automatically sent to your kitchen display system.

The delivery management feature lets you manage deliveries in real time. You can track orders, assign drivers, and provide delivery status updates to customers. This streamlines your delivery operations, reducing errors and delays while improving the customer experience.

Toast order from Google search

Toast Online Ordering with Google

Toast recently launched Order with Google integration, allowing you to unlock a new online ordering channel. This enables smooth ordering directly from Google search for potential customers. They can order from your menu right on the search results page without visiting your site first.

Toast Mobile Order & Pay offers you a convenient, all-inclusive mobile ordering and payment solution. Your guests can simply scan the QR code to explore your menu, place an order, and pay right on their phone.

This feature is designed to help your restaurant cover more tables with reduced staff and increase revenue by allowing guests to order and pay from their phones.

According to Toast, restaurants that add Toast Mobile Order & Pay typically see an average increase between 10% and 12% in Toast processing volume.

Toast Contactless Payments

In the wake of the pandemic, contactless payments have become increasingly important in the restaurant industry. With Toast’s contactless payment feature, your guests can pay for their meals without having to touch a shared credit card machine or exchange cash. Toast offers you several contactless payment options, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and tap-to-pay credit cards.

Toast Go mobile device

Toast’s card reader is also EMV-compliant, meaning it meets the latest security standards for credit card transactions.

Toast’s contactless payment feature is fully integrated with the Toast POS system, allowing you seamless payment processing and real-time reporting.

Contactless payments not only provide a safer and more hygienic payment option for your guests, but they also allow you faster table turnover and reduced wait times.

As a restaurant owner, you want a POS system that integrates with a wide range of third-party apps and services, allowing you to customize your system to meet your unique needs.

Toast third party integrations screenshot

What I like about Toast is its open API, so you can integrate with popular apps and services like online ordering platforms, loyalty programs, accounting software, and more.

For example, Toast integrates with popular online ordering platforms like Grubhub and Uber Eats, allowing you to manage online orders directly from your Toast POS system.

Toast also integrates with loyalty programs like LevelUp and Paytronix, allowing you to easily track and manage your customer rewards programs.

In addition to these popular integrations, Toast’s open API allows for custom integrations with other third-party apps and services. You can even work with Toast’s development team to create custom integrations that meet your unique needs, whether it’s integrating specialized inventory management or custom reporting tools.

You will appreciate Toast’s robust integration options.

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


Lightspeed restaurant POS graphic

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.

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.

Lightspeed menu management

Noteworthy Features of Lightspeed

Benefit from Lightspeed’s advanced insights and analytics features to make informed decisions for your business. Customizable reports, dashboard overviews, and sales analysis help you identify trends, top-selling items, and areas needing improvement.

Speed up order entries and modifications with Lightspeed’s Order Management. Its table management tools keep track of occupied, reserved, and ready-to-reset tables. The feature also supports takeout and delivery options, offering your customers more convenient ways to order.

Lightspeed’s payment processing platform integrates AI and blockchain technology for a single, universal sign-on at any point of purchase globally. Each transaction is recorded on a private blockchain, potentially enhancing security and traceability.

Incorporated with its POS system, the eCom feature lets you streamline online orders and inventory management. Display menus online and let your customers place orders for delivery or pick-up. The integrated reservation system simplifies the table booking process, while options like in-store pickup and curbside services enhance the convenience for your consumers. You can lure customers with special promotions via discount codes and manage digital gift cards effectively.

The inventory synchronizations ensure a balance between your online and in-store inventories, preventing overstocking or understocking. With the platform’s seamless integration with delivery platforms like UberEats, Doordash, and a reservation platform, OpenTable, you can effectively widen your customer reach.

Lightspeed KDS is a software solution that displaces the traditional kitchen printer and positions orders on an iPad for your kitchen staff. It helps you to keep track of preparation time, lets your staff interact with orders, and sends automated alerts to the front-of-house on order completion. You can personalize display options according to different restaurant and kitchen necessities.

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

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.

Read more: Top Restaurant Challenges Square Aims to Resolve

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.

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.

Square mobile POS kit

Noteworthy Features of Square

Square allows payments through Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, and all major credit and debit cards. Payments can be processed even in offline mode and also tableside via the Square Terminal. The platform is compliant with the Payment Card Industry standards.

  • User-friendly Interface: Easy to navigate
  • Affordable Payment Processing: Flat rate of 2.6% + $0.10 per transaction
  • Strong Omnichannel Support: In-person, online, and mobile payments
  • Device Compatibility: Supports both Android and iOS devices

Square employee management feature offers scheduling, handling time-off or shift requests, access customization, and real-time reports of staff sales and costs. This feature is integrated with Square Payroll, offering automatic payroll, multiple pay rates, online accounts, and accounting integration with QuickBooks.

Square Online offers businesses a free platform to create their own mobile-friendly websites for online ordering. This can be a full website or a sales page integrated with your existing site. Orders are synced with your Square POS and kitchen equipment.

Square online website builder

The platform eliminates commission costs by offering options like curbside pickup, staff delivery, or courier delivery. For deliveries, couriers from DoorDash or Uber can be dispatched automatically. Your staff can also handle deliveries, with options for pickup also available.

Additional features include multi-location support, order tipping, multiple payment options, and connection to social media.

Order with Google

Restaurants can increase online orders with Order with Google. Customers can find the restaurant’s Square Online page using Google Search or Maps. They can order directly from the restaurant’s website, saving commission fees and improving profit margins. This also enables restaurants to collect useful customer data.

Square Marketing is an affordable, user-friendly tool designed for restaurants to manage their marketing, sales, and customer service. It offers benefits such as increased customer engagement, more repeat business, and improved brand awareness.

Square marketing assistant dashboard


  • Increased Customer Engagement: Personalized email/text campaigns targeted to specific customer segments, along with social media integration, encourage interaction and relationship building.
  • More Repeat Business: Automated campaigns and loyalty program help retain customers by offering personalized discounts or promoting new menu items.
  • Improved Brand Awareness: Collecting customer reviews and sharing promotional content on social media enhance brand visibility and awareness.

Square Loyalty

Reward regular customers with Square Loyalty through rewards or gift cards. Enroll customers at checkout with their phone numbers and send automated text messages on points or rewards. Customize reward levels and promote the program via automated text campaigns.

Square KDS streamlines back-of-house workflows for restaurants by offering features such as:

  • Real-time order synchronization between front and back of house.
  • Customizable ticket layouts, timers, and alerts.
  • Insights on prep times to identify and resolve bottlenecks.
  • Consolidated order views for organized fulfillment.
  • Prep station routing and expeditor mode to enhance order accuracy and speed.
  • Adaptable configurations for various kitchen setups and ordering channels.

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


new SpotOn hardware

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.

SpotOn offers three main pricing plans for restaurants, each with different features and costs. Here’s a simple breakdown of each plan:

Quick Start

  • Ideal for: Small counter-service restaurants or cafes.
  • Subscription Cost: $0 per month.
  • Transaction Fees: 2.89% + 25 cents per transaction. (There are processing minimums that apply.)
  • Included Hardware:
    • 15” Station hardware bundle with a guest-facing display, among other items.
  • Software:
    • Cloud-based Restaurant POS software.
    • Access to a powerful dashboard for marketing, reporting, review management, and SpotOn Capital.


  • Ideal for: Counter-service restaurants needing essential employee and guest engagement features.
  • Subscription Cost: $99 per month plus $3 per employee each month.
  • Initial Hardware Cost: $850 outright or available through financing.
  • Transaction Fees: 1.99% + 25 cents for most card transactions.
  • Included Hardware:
    • 10″ Counter hardware bundle with a guest-facing display, among other items.
  • Software:
    • Cloud-based Restaurant POS software with added employee management features.
    • Commission-free online ordering system.
  • Additional Features:
    • More features and software options are available upon request.


  • Ideal for: Full-service restaurants looking for a fully integrated system with tools to boost revenue.
  • Subscription Cost: $135 per month plus $3 per employee each month.
  • Initial Hardware Cost: $1,350 for a Station and Kitchen Display System (KDS) hardware bundle or available through financing.
  • Transaction Fees: 1.99% + 25 cents for most card transactions.
  • Included Hardware:
    • 15″ Station hardware bundle.
    • Kitchen Display System (KDS) touchscreen monitor with Fresh KDS software.
  • Software:
    • Cloud-based Restaurant POS software with employee management.
    • Online ordering and QR order & pay functionalities.

Considering all of the features offered by SpotOn POS, the price is worth it. SpotOn Payments has very low commission rates on the Counter-service and Full-service plans, so for many types of restaurants, this is a good deal.

At the moment SpotOn is only available in the US.

Your restaurant’s success is deeply intertwined with your choice of hardware. I believe that SpotOn’s hardware, a cornerstone of the complete solution it provides, could be a transformative asset to your operations.

Handhelds: Experience the advantage of speed and simplicity with SpotOn’s handheld point-of-sale (POS) systems. Compatible with your iOS and Android devices, these handheld systems also support peripherals like barcode scanners, cases, and Bluetooth printers.

SpotOn handheld POS devices

These handheld devices come with two functionalities – order only or full payment, enabling your staff to process orders or payments swiftly, from any location within your establishment. Tailored for ease of use, they are available in various sizes, and include cases, belt hooks, and hand straps.

Kiosks: Invest in enhancing customer experience with SpotOn’s self-service kiosks. These tools are engineered to eliminate long queues and serve more customers, offering personalized interactions. Quick add buttons, favorites, add-to-cart button scrolls are only some of the features that expedite the ordering process.

There is an added benefit: the kiosks suggest combos, add-ons, and upsell items, stimulating revenue increment. You can select from different models – countertop, freestanding, and outdoor – with screen sizes of 15″ and 22″.

SpotOn KDS

Kitchen Displays: SpotOn’s Kitchen Display System (KDS) augments your operations, presenting real-time order tracking. As soon as an order is placed, it heads directly to the kitchen, paving the way for customization. Your orders or individual items are also efficiently routed to dedicated stations.

Payment Devices and Accessories: SpotOn offers a variety of accessories like cash drawers, payment devices, barcode scanners, scales, and customer-facing displays. What makes it better is the ability to integrate them easily with leading payment providers, without overhauling your existing workflows.

To sum up, SpotOn’s arsenal of hardware devices offers an all-encompassing suite to meet any restaurant’s requirements. If you’re considering a POS solution tailored precisely for the food and beverage sector, SpotOn can become your ideal partner.

New SpotOn Hardware Devices for 2023

new SpotOn hardware

Announced in May 2023, SpotOn’s latest line of restaurant POS hardware includes devices such as the 15.6” Station, the 10” Counter, and the 6.5” Handheld.

User-friendliness is built into these devices: the updated software and larger screens on the Station and Handheld simplify menu and modifier navigation. For easy navigation, the Handheld’s user interface now clusters menu items, enables search, illustrates floor plans, and provides table status updates.

The new lineup of SpotOn’s hardware devices, set to launch later this year, promises to boost SpotOn’s standing in the restaurant POS market. Here’s a sneak peek into why:

Customization and Flexibility: The new devices offer multiple configurations, adjusting to the evolving needs of your restaurant. Choose the Station with an option of an attached or detached guest-facing display, a base payment reader, or a side-mounted payment reader. This customization ensures you select a setup that ensures streamlined operations.

Efficiency and Speed: Sporting an 18% larger touchscreen display and an easy-to-hold leather strap, the Handheld empowers seamless tableside payment. The Counter, specifically designed for quick-service restaurants and cafes, accommodates contactless and dip payments and includes an optional guest-facing display for enhanced speed and precision.

Durability and Reliability: Equipped with high-definition touch screens, these are IP54-rated devices, ensuring protection against dust and drink spills, making them reliable and durable.

Enhanced Customer Experience: These devices are primed to augment customer satisfaction. To illustrate, the Handheld’s screen rotates to face the customer during payment, whilst the Station and Counter’s customer-facing displays boost order accuracy and speed up checkout.

Future-Proofing: SpotOn has collaborated with FIS to evolve into a payment facilitator for its customers, offering improved control over payment processing. Furthermore, this partnership enables tokenization, facilitating SpotOn customers to understand their patrons’ preferences and buying habits for highly personalized experiences.

In conclusion, these new additions promise to strengthen SpotOn’s hardware portfolio with their superior customization, efficiency, durability, and user experience. Backed by robust support and service, the new devices are future-proof, making SpotOn an even more competitive player in the restaurant POS market.

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.

  • A customizable interface allows for menu customization and table layouts
  • Integrated features like online ordering, reservations, loyalty programs, etc.
  • Handheld devices for taking orders and payments at the table
  • Robust order management system with modifiers and special requests
  • Integrated payment processing with competitive rates
  • Inventory management with low stock alerts and automatic reordering
  • Employee management for scheduling, time tracking, and payroll
  • Detailed sales and analytics reporting
  • Table management with layouts and table status indicators
  • Easy-to-use menu management with drag-and-drop and search functions
  • Advanced features like marketing, reservations, online ordering, e-commerce
  • Integrations with accounting, inventory, and delivery partners
  • Offline mode allows limited functionality without internet

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


GoTab POS website

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.

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.


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.

Dynamic Menu Management

GoTab’s system allows for rapid adjustments to your menu as and when required. This provides you with the ability to respond in real time to changes in inventory availability, reintroduce previously discontinued favourites, or introduce seasonal specials. Such agility assists in maintaining a lively, responsive menu.

Touch-Free Ordering and Payment

GoTab empowers your customers to explore your menu and place orders entirely via their smartphones. This non-contact ordering and payment strategies limit in-person interactions, potentially improving safety and convenience. The system that operates without conventional point-of-sale terminals ensures maximum flexibility for an enhanced customer experience.

Integrated Service

GoTab combines all aspects of the dining experience into a single unified system under your management. This encompasses everything from accessing menus to settling bills. It simplifies the process of ordering meals, beverages, condiments, managing tips, and more, aiming to streamline your operations and boost efficiency.

Future-proof Competitive Advantage

Contact-free and mobile ordering are fast becoming a standard expectation among consumers. GoTab equips your restaurant to proactively meet these emerging trends, offering a competitive advantage. It enables you to rapidly adapt to evolving protocols, safety requirements, and technology advancements.

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

TouchBistro is a popular system for independent restaurants and is included in our review of the best restaurant POS systems.

However, here are five reasons your restaurant might want to consider TouchBistro alternatives:

  1. Hardware compatibility – See if competitors work across multiple devices like Android and Windows, not just Apple. Systems like GoTab and Square support various hardware.
  2. Advanced features – Look for robust capabilities like inventory management, reporting, and integrations that TouchBistro lacks.
  3. Affordable pricing – Find alternatives with lower costs and transparent pricing models versus TouchBistro’s high fees. Square and SpotOn are budget-friendly options.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Square for Restaurants

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.

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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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