Considering switch from traditional POS to tablet based system

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by vegasoperator, Oct 24, 2016.

  1. vegasoperator

    vegasoperator

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    Restaurant Manager
    I'm not sure if this is the correct forum and allow me to apologize in advance if it is not.  I operate a very busy quick-service restaurant in Las Vegas.  I am considering a change from our current POS system (cash drawer w/monitor style) to a new tablet based system.  I know I am speaking to chefs but I am sure several of you have experience with the POS systems.  It seems like today there are hundreds of the new type of POS on the market.  I have been researching them for a few weeks and after a while they all blend together.  I am looking for something that can handle basic inventory management (not to the recipe level) along with basic labor and of course data reporting.  Good support is also important.  Anyone have any experience w/these newer system that you would recommend?  If it is improper to actually name the system then maybe just some features that your system has which are good or not so good.  Again, I apologize if this is the wrong place to ask this.  Thank you all for your help.
     
  2. backtobasics

    backtobasics

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    Just Graduated From Culinary School
    Ditto to the above. Researching tablet style POS for a while now & my head is spinning. I've narrowed it down to: Toast, Talech, Clover & Revel, maybe shopkeep. I have a bakery & cafe, no table service. Any real life weigh ins would be greatly appreciated!!!
     
  3. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Professional Cook
    I have a friend who just started using one. I'll ask which and how she likes it and get back to you.
     
  4. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Owner/Operator
    I have been using TouchBistro since I opened a place last May.  Dead easy, intuitive, and extremely customizable.  Well worth looking into.
     
  5. backtobasics2

    backtobasics2

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    Just Graduated From Culinary School
    Thank you for the feedback!!!  You never know when you read reviews if they are paid/fake or not!  I looked at touch bistro. Demo looked good, but read lots of negative feedback on customer times & having to do everything from the tablet (no cloud dashboard to revise menus etc from back office or remote location).
     
  6. backtobasics2

    backtobasics2

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    Just Graduated From Culinary School
    Can this post be added to the pastry chef forum too?
     
  7. allanmcpherson

    allanmcpherson

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    Owner/Operator
    I can see that...I have a 24 seater so getting log jamed at the POS isn't really an issue.  I also kinda like being able to "view only" via the cloud.  Makes me feel more secure.  
     
  8. internetbandito

    internetbandito

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    Hi all,

    First time posting on this forum, I saw this thread and thought I should share some of my experience! My family runs a restaurant in a small town. About a year ago they switched to a tablet based system. I figured I would leave a little review of the system.

    The platform they chose to go with is called Talech. It is a cloud based system, which means most of the data is stored on their servers but you can grab access from multiple places. I won't get into to much detail about the system (unless requested!), but over all it seems to be a good tablet system. Their customer support is good, and I enjoy the reporting the system offers. It can also do clock in/clock out. Although I would say its not its best feature (but not horrible either). 

    As far as switching from a full POS to a tablet, there are a few things I would keep in mind. While I personally love the concept of how these cloud based tablets work, there are a few downfalls. the tablet systems I have been able to play with so far feel slower than a full POS system. I would guess that it's because most of these systems are cloud based. On top of that, you will have to keep on top of what generation of tablet you have. Example being, at my family's restaurant, we run on 3 ipads. 1 iPad is a generation behind, and you can feel a difference in speed from that alone. 

    I grew up working in the restaurant, but I am now a web developer. So take my views with a grain of salt! Although I will say, if someone would have asked me to design a Ipad based POS... I would have made similar choices as Talech. 

    If you have specific questions, I might be able to answer some of them!

    Best of luck!
     
  9. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    Okay. Just got back from a visit. My friend has a Clover system (cloud based). She just recently opened a small specialty foods market and uses it for inventory, point of sale, price labeling, payroll and scheduling. First Data is the credit card processing system.  

           She bought the hardware outright and then buys apps as she needs them. Most are a monthly subscription.  There is an online Apps Market which she showed me. Some are free but there are Apps for just about anything you could want to do. Buy/subscribe as needed so you can customize to your individual business needs. 

    There is one for doing table service by tablets. I assume you can buy as many or as few tablets as you need but I realize I forgot to ask about that. 

    She's only been open for a few months but so far hasn't had a problem. She was an accountant's assistant for years so I am assuming she knows what she's doing with financials. 

    She didn't mention any annoyances with the program other than little problems she created.

    It looked like a pretty impressive system from my perspective but I have nothing to compare it to.

    Hope that helps.
     
  10. proktools

    proktools

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    Hi all. I had the same question my father owns a bagel store and like all of the above I am looking for a good POS system. But can anyone of the POS System above do promotional stuff like email marketing? What about coupons? Or website ordering? Please help me answer these questions

    Thank you
     
  11. internetbandito

    internetbandito

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    proktools,

    I would assume all of the systems listed so far would offer basic discount abilities. Though I'm not sure how many will actually generate coupons. If we wanted to run a coupon, I would put a code on the coupon, and then in the POS create a discount and name it the same as the code. So technically the POS is not creating any sort of coupon, but we recreate the same effect.

    I would doubt that any of them could do email marketing. And even if they did, I bet there are much better services out there. I have been doing a lot of work for a company that uses MailChimp. Its a great service for email marketing! Im not sure how you can integrate it directly into the POS, but its a great standalone. It is available for free, for X amount of emails per month. But if you go over X amount then you start to pay (I forget what X amount is lol).

    Online ordering is a tricky thing! As far as I know, Toast is the only one mentioned so far that has built in online ordering. I've read it functions pretty well!
     
  12. backtobasics2

    backtobasics2

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    Just Graduated From Culinary School
    I've decided to go with toast.  I'm in the set up phase now, but will report back with updates!  I mainly decided on toast because of the inventory feature, down to the recipe level detail, so I can do all my recipe costing in one program that ties into my inventory and accounting.  Also I liked the idea that toast uses hardwired durable tablet style hardware that is not effective by iOS updates (since it's not an ipad).  toast has a loyalty program and on line ordering.  They don't directly do email marketing but partner with mail chimp (I think).They do have a loyalty program, but we'll see how well it works, I don't like the idea that client's have to take time to add their email address in every time (can really drag down a line during high volume times).

    I looked at outside services for loyalty and marketing, such as FiveStars and Belly, they looked great, quick telephone number entry & look up, but are too costly for me at this time.  FiveStar wanted $199 a month and belly was $130 a month for basic & $160 with a social media tie in. But,  Belly doesn't tie directly into your POS, it's separate system, and FiveStar is only compatible with Clover POS.  So any other POS you need to manual enter the dollar amount for each sale on a separate screen at the time of sale.  I tried to get info on a company by the name of Spendgo, a loyalty program that is supposed to tie into any POS through the Epson receipt printer.  What I read sounded great, but no one from the company ever got back to me. I gave up after several attempts!

    Back to the on-line ordering.  I wasn't interested in that feature so my notes aren't super clear, but I think SQUARE  has on line ordering and SHOPKEEP might as well.  My notes say that talech has in house marketing & loyalty based discounts and integrate with mailchimp.  No sure about on line ordering. You may want to look at TOUCH BISTRO too.

    two more cents:  my accountant recommended talech.  Another client of her's (a bagel shop) uses them and is VERY happy.
     
  13. stephengilliard

    stephengilliard

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    Professional Chef
    Thanks for this inquiry VegasOperator. I was going to ask this same question of POSs. I've been searching and Toast at the moment seems to offer the best features but they all pretty much appear the same.
     
  14. internetbandito

    internetbandito

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    Quick update for anyone keeping tack of this thread, Talech now offers online ordering. I tried to get it set up, but our payment processor (elavon) claims we need to create a whole new account with them to take online orders. (While I think it is a ridiculous request) I tried to sign up for a new account with them, and it was a terrible experience. Elavon claims that it is "industry standard" to require two separate accounts to process both, one for online and one for in person. What they dont like to mention is that they will charge you account and service fees for both accounts! I highly doubt that it's industry standard. But I digress.

    I still have a positive look on Talech. When ever I need to communicate with them it's a very good experience and they listed to requests and add them into their updates!

    tldr: Talech now offers online ordering, but a pain to set up. +1 for Talech, -10 for Elavon.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  15. Guest

    Guest Guest

    all i can say is beware contracts, i was working with someone that had revel, the system itself is very adaptable but the contract was almost "linen company" shady and then when we decided to not renew our contract all the past sales data was no longer retrievable. 

    one good thing about a standard POS is that its housed in your establishment and nobody can take your data away from you if you no longer have access to a cloud 

    also, in a lively restaurant environment, tablets get dropped and damaged regularly, i know they are on the cheaper side but can you fork over the money to have an extra 2 or 3 always around as backup? 

    from a security standpoint you'll have to have a separate wifi channel for the tablets than for the public, also i am not to sure how the electronic signature stuff works if someone disputes a restaurant charge, or you can have people walk around with receipt printers on their waist  
     
  16. matt tieken

    matt tieken

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    I am thinking of going with Lavu because they offer a non-subscription plan and it seems pretty simple if you don't have a very extensive menu.