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iPad POS Systems


The iPad, despite not being the first, definitely became the most popular tablet. Initially associated with awkward tourists trying to take photos with their twelve inch devices, it evolved into a tool used in a wide array of professional settings, most commonly as a point of selling software platform.

Many business owners are moving away from the traditional cash-based registers onto more modern, versatile alternatives. This in turn forced software developers to create apps designed specifically for the iPad, or at least make their pre-existing solutions compatible with it.

In this article we will talk about various iPad POS systems, their advantages for the common business owner, and how to choose the best one to suit your needs. We have provided a couple of candidates of iPad POS systems that you should consider when choosing the one for you.

iPad POS system – what is it?

The food industry, especially the restaurant business has a set of unique challenges which often require decisive actions to take place in order to not interrupt the service workflow. Thankfully, restaurant managers can now breathe a sigh of relief as they can now employ a digital helper to help them overcome these challenges. iPad POS restaurant systems are quickly becoming the most widespread types of software used in this manner. An iPad POS system is a complex tool packed to the brim with functions that give the tips of your fingers the power to manage your restaurant. It usually includes a wireless ordering system for your restaurant to allow guests order and pay for their food from their iPad or smartphone. On top of that, a good iPad restaurant POS system makes back-house management like tracking inventory and staff easy and cost-effective.

The savvy business owner will easily see the massive advantages of switching to an iPad POS system. This is especially prominent in the food and hospitality industries where an iPad POS system can make or break a business. We would like to look at different ways in which an iPad POS system might help you build up and develop your business.

The advantages of switching to an iPad POS system

Any owner willing to risk investing in an iPad POS system can expect significant savings very soon, especially when compared to traditional POS systems, and all their associated costs. Furthermore, going paperless leads to a noticeable cut in waste. If you’re still not satisfied, you can go fully cashless and keep both your employees and money safe.

Another advantage of iPad POS systems is the ease of use in comparison to traditional cash registers. Despite having been around for ages, cash registers are still inexplicably complicated to use even for experienced staff members, not to mention brand new trainees. On the other hand, iPad POS systems come with an intuitive touchscreen interface which increases the usability to a great extent. This in turn leads to fewer errors, and additional costs that usually come with them.

Digital solutions for problems known to every business owner

Not having to rely on an in-house server, and keeping everything in the cloud is another noteworthy advantage of iPad POS systems. This helps you keep your data and records safe, and allows you to access it anywhere, anytime you want to.

The last but definitely not the least benefit of an iPad POS system is the greatly enhanced customer experience, so important in industries where hospitality is an important part of the whole service. Implementing an iPad POS system allows you to streamline your checkouts, facilitate subscribing to your newsletter, simplify tipping or even email receipts to your customers directly. These little things can make your modern, digitally amplified client feel more at home.

How to choose the right iPad POS system for you?

At a glance, the iPad POS system market can be overwhelming through sheer numbers of competitors. Each of them features a specialized set of functions and tools that cater to a particular business niche. Here are the main factors that you should take into account when choosing your iPad based POS system.

First of all, you should consider both the initial cost and continuous service fees that are required to keep your iPad POS system going. Most services simply require a monthly subscription, others however charge you a seemingly small amount for every transaction processed through them. You have to carefully consider which system is better for your business.

The next thing that is easy to forget about is the service terms and conditions imposed by your potential iPad POS system provider. It’s easy to imagine a situation where an unnoticed early termination clause adds exorbitant costs to your books only because the tool you invested in does not meet your particular needs. Some iPad POS software producers offer agreements that you can end at any time, it’s usually a good idea to take a look at those if you’re only just starting your adventure with this type of system.

Finally, one of the most important features of an iPad POS system is the user experience. It’s not worth investing into software that your employees simply refuse to use. It is crucial to check how complicated it is to perform everyday operations on your iPad POS system candidate. Otherwise, you may just end up calling customer support nearly every day and end up wasting time instead of saving it.

Best restaurant iPad POS systems for 2021

If you’re having a hard time deciding which iPad POS system is best for your restaurant, take a look at our selection. We have evaluated several of the more popular iPad POS systems, chosen the best ones with a brief explanation of their advantages and disadvantages.

Square: Best iPad POS System for Small Businesses

If you are a small restaurant business owner, then Square is definitely for you. First of all, there is no initial nor monthly fee. You don’t even pay for a termination fee, you can stop using Square at any time. The only costs associated with Square is a small cost added to every transaction processed through this POS system.

 When you feel that your business has outgrown the basic Square POS app, you can always add one or more available premium features which help Square stay relevant for even medium sized businesses. Unfortunately, the low costs come at a price. Compared to it’s bigger competitors, Square’s customer support can sometimes be found lacking. It’s extremely professional, don’t get us wrong, but you may have to wait in line before your service ticket is processed and resolved.

TouchBistro: Specialized iPad POS System for the food industry

TouchBistro is a powerful POS system designed from the ground up to best serve the food and hospitality industry. It is our software of choice because of its set of stock management tools and excellent customer experience. TouchBistro offers a wireless ordering system with self-serve table delivery through any iPad or smartphone with the required app. If your restaurant needs it, you can easily implement almost any third-party device (e.g. barcode scanner, cash drawer, receipt printer, payment processing device) through a seamless integration system.

TouchBistro is also one of the more affordable iPad POS System options, with base pricing options starting at $69. This iPad based POS System includes an in-house payment processor, but can be made to work with almost any third-party tool of this sort. All the features included in TouchBistro were made to help restaurant owners manage their venue in a quick and efficient manner.

Revel Systems: The Most Flexible iPad POS System

If your business is only just beginning to grow, and you are not quite sure how big it’s going to get, then perhaps Revel Systems is the iPad POS System you should consider. Created with primarily the food industry in mind, this POS software offers a wide array of solutions that facilitate location, team, and even enterprise management.

On top of that, it includes a built in CRM feature that tracks and provides insight in your customers’ habits in order to better fulfill their needs and drive up your profits. It even includes an Offline mode, which makes your business impervious to unexpected breaks in Internet service. Although it comes with a rather hefty initial fee, thankfully you can try this iPad restaurant system out in the form of a temporary demo with most of its functions available to you for free.

Lightspeed: Highly Adaptable iPad POS System

Lightspeed is probably the most well-known POS System with an extensive data reporting tool which makes it stand out among its competition. It provides real time information, even while offline, allowing you to answer any concerns or shift the necessary resources at a moment’s notice. It has a robust payment processor, allowing you to take payments from your customers on the spot, emailing the receipts directly to them.

Bundled with the POS System you also get a surprisingly easy to use eCommerce tool which opens this sales channel to your business. As your business grows, Lightspeed can be easily expanded in order to fit the new size. This iPad POS System even has a multi store functionality, allowing you to move your best practices from one location to another. Thanks to these features, Lightspeed can be the POS System for both small bistros, and large restaurant chains. The pricing is divided into adequate tiers for different classes of business users, so you don’t have to pay for features you have no intention of using.

talech: Best Foodservice POS Software on the Market

talech is an industry-leading foodservice iPad POS system used by thousands of businesses to power remarkable hospitality. Specifically designed for this branch of industry, the platform merges an easy-to-use interface with powerful POS features that help to speed up and digitize your restaurant operations.

talech excels in a few different fields, starting with a functional and easy to use inventory management system. You can generate your own barcodes and print them from any suitable device, track product history and performance across multiple sites, and create inventory bundles as complex as you need. Employee management is another strength; talech makes it easy to track an individual’s sales and actions. There is also a feature that makes it so that only chosen employees, via swipe cards, are the only ones allowed to perform returns and voids. All things considered, it is one of the best iPad based restaurant POS systems on the market.

Upserve: Lightspeed’s Child to Fill the Restaurant Niche

When Lightspeed creators noticed the growing need for restaurant POS systems, they designed Upserve, a product made specifically for the restaurant industry. Upserve is a restaurant POS software that fills the specific needs of a variety of food and beverage venues, from the likes of quick service establishments, coffee shops, cafes, delis, bakeries, breweries, wineries, bars, nightclubs, pizzerias, even to the most prestigious fine dining restaurants.

While we considered other first-class iPad restaurant POS systems in our guide, Upserve distinguished itself with highly specialized features including both tableside and online ordering, with the outstanding server performance to boot. Standard features include inventory management, CRM, and payment processing. It’s intuitive and easy to set up, and if something goes wrong, there’s a crew of experienced customer support specialists ready to help. After all, thousands of business owners who keep choosing Upserve cannot be wrong.

We hope that our article helped you familiarize yourself with various advantages for using iPad POS systems at your bar or restaurant. Choosing the best one requires careful consideration with poor choices being punished with inconvenience at best or exorbitant costs at worst. Our aim was to present the best representatives among iPad POS systems that will help you streamline your operations and lower your overall costs.

Monika Kamińska

Monika Kamińska

Marketing and communication enthusiast with 20+ years of experience, a psychologist by education.

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