The Best iPad POS Systems for Restaurants – [Top Picks]

iPad POS for Restaurants

iPad POS for RestaurantsPOS, or Point-of-Sale, is a computerized operating system popular throughout the retail and restaurant industry.  A POS system helps the restaurant owner or manager keep track of all aspects of their food service business.

Owners and managers can track food inventory, sales, cash flow, and employee production for simplifying all accounting and operational functions.

Finding the right POS system with features needed for your food service is a key to success. You also need an easy to use interface for streamlined employee training.

Some key features to look for in an iPad POS for restaurants:

  • Ease and Speed of Use with intuitive layout and fast software and hardware
  • Inventory Management with easy to input control and reporting
  • Reporting System with actional numeric insight to all business aspects
  • Marketing Module for an internet presence with social media
  • Technical Support with 24/7 support access



The choice of either cloud-based storage or locally located systems depends on the size and type of food service. However, the best systems are cloud-based and have simple interfaces that streamline employee training and restaurant operations. An iPad POS system keeps data available for review and helps simplify the accounting process. Larger systems offer tableside ordering and direct send to the kitchen for efficiency and high-volume restaurants.

Best Restaurant iPad POS System: TouchBistro

When looking for a POS system look at features built for smooth and efficient restaurant operations. While the first inclination is finding the cheapest POS it’s not always the best choice. You need a system with features necessary for running back-office procedures while providing for business growth.

What makes TouchBistro unique over other Takeaway POS systems is its dedicated food service industry features. Unlike many systems with a focus across a multitude of niches, this system is much different. TouchBistro has an exclusive build suited to the food and beverage service industry with its industry-specific functions.

Types of food and hospitality service businesses served by TouchBistro are:

  • Restaurant

Business System for restaurant management.

  • Fast Food Service

POS System

  • Bar

Restaurant POS Systems

  • Cafe

Coffee and Book

  • Stadium Services

Pos System Stadium

The cloud-based iPad POS system provides access to any device which makes TouchBistro a versatile workplace system. The comprehensive features list that’s accessible from anywhere at any time, makes daily operations a breeze.

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Some key features of the TouchBistro POS system:

  • Full Menu Management
  • Tableside Ordering
  • Floor Plan and Table Management
  • Tabs and Order Management
  • Integrated Multi-Payment Processors
  • Print or Email Receipt Configuration
  • Loyalty Program
  • Customer Relationship Management Tools
  • Employee Scheduling and Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Complete Reporting System
  • 24/7 Customer-Technical Support

This is just a fraction of the features that come with the TouchBistro POS system. With over 200 different components, you can manage the whole restaurant from a single device.

Get A Quote from TouchBistro

Taking a Closer Look

ipad pos system

Most POS options are cloud-based which means the system exclusively runs off the cloud through an internet connection. TouchBistro is a uniquely different hybrid that uses the cloud but doesn’t exclusively run off an internet connection.

You get a more stable operating system that has features which continue working seamlessly without an internet connection. There’s no switching to offline mode because TouchBistro doesn’t need it.

Not only is TouchBistro easy to use, but it has a modern interface that’s intuitive with easy navigation. The easy to adapt to system seamlessly runs on Apple iPad which is a mPOS or mobile point-of-sale. While Apple is the preferred hardware for many business owners, TouchBistro does have the downside of no Android device compatibility.

You also have the capability of integrating your TouchBistro system with different cash registers and printers. Being an Apple partner, TouchBistro gives you access to all the hardware you might need.

POS Integrations and Add-Ons

TouchBistro has several integration possibilities and recently partnered with U.K.-based JUST Eat, the online restaurant ordering service. A recent software update allows using the app in Spanish or French for building their European presence.

Other TouchBistro restaurant POS service integrations and add-ons are:

  • 7Shifts: employee scheduling solution
  • Xero: cloud-based accounting platform
  • Shogo: books sales data from POS to accounting software
  • Quickbooks: accounting software

Compatible credit card processing applications:

  • TouchBistro Payments (in house processing)
  • TSYS
  • Worldpay
  • PayPal
  • Square

In addition to the above integrations and add-ons, TouchBistro offers its own loyalty program for creating customer loyalty campaigns.

If you prefer different processing options, TouchBistro has a gateway option for connecting to any processing solution you choose. However, the gateway carries additional costs through third-party fees associated with alternate payment processing options.

Ease of Use

The intuitive, modern designed interface makes TouchBistro one of the easier to use restaurant POS interfaces. Created with servers in mind, the simple check split feature lets you sort items by individuals or groups.

Customizable menus make ordering easy for the server and the customer. The well-done iPad interface acts as a digital menu and POS. Each menu item has a high-resolution and full-color photo, making menu items attractive to the customer.

This easy-to-use POS means employees learn the system in a matter of hours, saving you training time and money.

Get A Quote from TouchBistro

Top Benefits

  • Subscription-based with no long-term contracts
  • Affordable pricing options
  • Prices based on business size
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use
  • iPad based POS system
  • Tableside ordering capabilities
  • Comprehensive menu building functions
  • Staff and inventory management modules
  • Detailed reporting
  • Selection of available hardware add-ons
  • Customer support available 24/7

Possible Drawbacks

  • Limited integrations
  • No offline credit card processing
  • May take 2-3 weeks for installation scheduling
  • Long customer service wait times

Bottom Line

When it comes to restaurant POS systems, TouchBistro is one of the most popular on the market. The impressive features and credit card processing options let you customize the system for your business needs and size. With a dedicated focus on restaurants, TouchBistro gives you the solutions needed for streamlining operations.

The subscription-based service bills annually, making it more cost-effective than other top iPad POS Systems for restaurants.

Choosing a dedicated hardware bundle through TouchBistro saves even more money while ensuring system compatibility. Depending on how many terminals you need, the upfront costs go up. However, overall, it’s less expensive than traditional systems because with TouchBistro you don’t need additional software licensing.

Even though there are some integration and add-on limitations, TouchBistro comes out as a winner for new and established businesses alike. If you need more information on how it can work for your restaurant, TouchBistro offers a free demo. It’s a great way to see what this iPad POS system can do for your restaurant.

Most Feature-Packed System: Upserve

The iPad-based Upserve POS is another point-of-sale system with the food service worker in mind. Built by a designer team comprised of servers, bartenders, and managers, Breadcrumb reduces many headaches faced by the restaurant industry.

Breadcrumb works with the Apple iPad and comes with a lot of added features and tools for any foodservice business.

Upserve covers over thirteen food service businesses including:

  • Full Service and Fine Dining
  • Small Restaurant and Cafe
  • Fast Food and Drive-Thru
  • Bars and Clubs
  • Brewery and Winery
  • Bakery

Upserve has a long list of features specific to the restaurant business. With features like restaurant management, table management, and customer management, you have the necessary tools for running most restaurants.

Some key features of the Breadcrumb iPad POS system for restaurants:

  • Tableside Service
  • Online Ordering
  • Menu Management and Customization
  • Table Mapping
  • Check Management
  • Split Checks, Split Items, and Item Notes
  • Discounts and Voids

You also get to use the signature on-screen, tip adjustment, tip pooling, employee management, live reporting, offline mode, and training mode features.

Get A Quote from Upserve

Taking a Closer Look

Breadcrumb is only cloud-based and mobile and runs exclusively on Apple iPhones and iPads. Additionally, you need a wireless network and broadband internet connection. However, Breadcrumb does offer an offline mode in the event of internet outages.

Breadcrumb Live provides access to sales and other reports in real-time 24/7. Owners get a food service solution for managing critical business aspects from anywhere using an Apple device.

The feature-rich POS interface makes restaurant operations smooth and easy. You get searchable menu items, menu changes within the interface, and automated item countdown. The menu customization feature lets you build custom menus suited to client business needs.

Not only is Breadcrumb customizable, but it’s also extendable. The system flexibility lets users tailor the POS software to how they operate their business. For example, a café operating a bakery inside can customize the system to combine specific needs from both businesses.

Breadcrumb offers three separate plans:

The Core Plan

Aimed for a single location with a small staff, the Core plan with one terminal. There’s an additional fee for each extra terminal.

The Core plan includes:

  • Breadcrumb POS Software
  • Payment Processing + EMV
  • Sales and Labor Reporting
  • Marketing
  • Workforce
  • Mobile App

The Pro Plan

Designed for multi-location restaurants the Pro Plan comes with one terminal. There’s an additional fee for each extra terminal.

The Pro plan includes:

  • Breadcrumb POS Software
  • Server Performance
  • Payment Processing + EMV
  • Menu Optimization
  • Online Ordering
  • Inventory
  • Sales and Labor Reporting
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Marketing
  • Workforce
  • Mobile App

The Pro Plus Plan

Designed for large multi-location restaurants with 50 to 500 locations the Pro Plus Plan with one terminal. There’s an additional fee for each extra terminal.

The Pro Plus Plan includes:

  • Breadcrumb POS Software
  • Server Performance
  • Payment Processing + EMV
  • Menu Optimization
  • Online Ordering
  • Inventory
  • Sales and Labor Reporting
  • Custom Reporting
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Marketing
  • Workforce
  • Dedicated Success Manager
  • Data API Access
  • Mobile App

Get A Quote from Upserve

POS Integrations and Add-Ons

Breadcrumb offers some great basic features. But to get what you need out of this iPad POS for your business may mean adding a few integrations.

Upserve partnered with some restaurant industry experts to bring additional services to their Breadcrumb POS for accelerating sales and profitability.

Some popular Breadcrumb integrations:

  • Resy: reservations and waitlist system
  • Upserve Workforce: employee time clock and scheduling
  • Upserve Inventory: restaurant inventory management
  • Chowly: Third-party online ordering integration
  • Gusto: HR management
  • Plate IQ: Accounts Payable platform
  • GrubHub: Online ordering platform
  • Open Dining Network: Online ordering platform
  • Synergy Suite: Critical business operations platform
  • BarVision: Liquor and beer monitoring system
  • Upserve Loyalty: Customer loyalty program platform
  • Swipe It: Gift and Ecard program platform
  • Trustwave: Credit card processor
  • Upserve Payments: Credit card processing

No two businesses are the same and some need specialized solutions adjusted to their restaurant type, size, and business offerings. You won’t find the ideal software but having good features and integrations lets you adapt it to your needs.

Training

This intuitive restaurant POS and its iPad platform let most employees quickly learn how to use the system. The app offers internal training to give your staff the confidence needed to quickly maneuver within the system. However, if you prefer live training from professionals, Breadcrumb offers in-house staff training or training in your store.

In addition, Breadcrumb has representatives that walk you through using the program for the first time. The initial walk-thru helps you with learning the POS setup and explains the available extra features of your system.

For continued system training, Breadcrumb has a substantial library of how-to videos for new and ongoing training. For more complex issues, a live representative is available through their technical support line.

Top Benefits

  • Intuitive layout
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Good analytics and reporting
  • Good selection of third-party integrations
  • Customizable to most restaurants

Possible Drawbacks

  • Frequent outages and downtime
  • Limited customer support
  • Higher cost than other systems

Bottom Line

Now an Upserve product, Breadcrumb is an improved service with new tools needed for making it a competitor in the POS industry. An intuitive design and customizable interface offer a feature like menu creation, floor plan arrangements, and streamlined order taking. View your business through real-time from anywhere 24/7. Manage your back office by monitoring your sales or reading reports from any place that has an internet connection.

While there are a lot of great things about Breadcrumb, it’s not without a few downsides. Breadcrumb has a substantial number of integrations, but it still runs behind comparable services when it comes to variety. Larger food establishments may need a more comprehensive management integration with more options. Another major complaint is the number of crashes and downtime experienced with the software.

If you’re looking for a restaurant POS system, check out the Breadcrumb demo. Even though the system needs a few improvements, it’s still a well-designed platform that delivers what most restaurants need.

Get A Quote from Upserve

Easiest to Customize Menus: Shopkeep POS

Shopkeep is not a restaurant-specific platform. Even though the popular platform isn’t exclusive to the foodservice, it’s a good starter platform for small restaurants needing affordability. However, ShopKeep continues growing and now services a broader range of foodservice establishments.

Types of foodservice companies using Shopkeep:

  • Full Service
  • Quick Service
  • Coffee Shop and Juice Bar
  • Ice Cream Shop
  • Bakery
  • Deli
  • Specialty Food
  • Food Truck
  • Attractions and Concessions
  • Kiosk

The hybrid set-up means Shopkeep runs locally from an iPad, syncing through the cloud, from anywhere with an internet connection. If there’s an internet outage, Shopkeep continues running with all features except credit card transactions. Using a backup hotspot router or cellphone data plan through your iPad keeps your card transactions functioning.

The Shopkeep restaurant capabilities continue to expand, helping users manage operations from inventory to marketing.

Some key features of the Shopkeep restaurant POS system:

  • Easy to Use
  • Payment and Credit Card Processing
  • Gift Cards
  • Employee Management
  • Employee Time Clock and Attendance Tracking
  • Inventory Management and Tracking
  • Barcode Scanning
  • Customer Database
  • Marketing
  • Discounts
  • Reporting and Analytics
  • Integrations and Add-Ons
  • Access Control

This is a sampling of the large variety of features found in the Shopkeep POS system. If your plans include adding retail, the platform offers everything you need.

Get A Quote from Shopkeep

Taking a Closer Look

Close up magnifying glass

This POS system is simple and comprehensive, geared toward small businesses. However, it continues expanding its services, delivering features aimed at food and beverage services.

The best feature of Shopkeep is the price. The POS platform remains as one of the best values available to small business owners.

Previously a by-the-month plan, Shopkeep changed their flat-rate pricing to sales by a quote system. By talking to a sales representative, they know what you need the software to do before giving you the price. The complete POS package includes unlimited users, the register, employee management, inventory with unlimited items, analytics, and free support.

ShopKeep and its long list of features and integrations are an excellent choice for small specialty vendors. The system has a design made for food service applications like food trucks and mall kiosks. Their newest addition is server-less syncing and open check letting servers open checks on one device and close on another.

The ShopKeep point-of-sale system makes an ideal platform for small to medium-sized restaurants. While you can use it for multiple locations, it’s not built for large companies. The POS offers tableside ordering but has yet to offer table mapping.

Even though larger businesses may find it lacking, small businesses get the advantage of the company’s feature expansions. ShopKeep POS now has more back-office functions like unlimited users and unlimited inventory items but scaled for small restaurants.

POS Integrations and Add-Ons

ShopKeep believes in growing with the user and integrates with several third-party services. With the ability to add integrations at any time, you grow your business when you want.

Some small business Shopkeep integrations:

  • MailChimp: Email marketing service
  • QuickBooks Online: Accounting and finance integration
  • AppCard: Personalized loyalty program
  • BigCommerce: Online storefront
  • Gift Cards: Design and offer company gift cards

In addition to their own credit card processing add-on, Shopkeep also offers several third-party processor options. If you prefer to keep your current merchant account, check with Shopkeep to see if they support the processor.

Customer Support and Service

ShopKeep prides itself on its success in their customer-focused operations. The company has several Stevie Awards for customer service and sales.

Unlimited customer support 24/7 comes included in the price. Contact their support team through web inquiry, live chat, text, and email. This feature is a bonus compared to other low-cost restaurant POS companies.

For ongoing training and support, Shopkeep maintains a comprehensive library of support video tutorials and articles. The support library covers every feature and aspect of their point-of-sale system. In addition, Shopkeep offers support and information through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Their social media channels deliver relevant information and news, with links back to their Shopkeep blog. The blog connects to their Small Business section where they post advice and tips for the small business owner. There’s a large compilation of information for everything from zoning, permits, and licensing to social media use.

Get A Quote from Shopkeep

Top Benefits

  • Easy to use
  • Easy web management
  • Offsite data backup and storage
  • Multiple menu items on each screen
  • Easy to manage inventory
  • Unlimited inventory items
  • Barcode scanning
  • Great sales analytics reporting
  • Support 24/7
  • Entry-level pricing

Possible Drawbacks

  • Only compatible with iPad
  • Requires merchant account and credit card processor
  • Bugs with inventory management
  • Customer support not knowledgeable with more complex problems

Bottom Line

Shopkeep continues improving its features and functions geared toward the small foodservice industry. Recent feature and integration additions include an updated reporting suite, matrix inventory, EMV transactions, and BigCommerce integration. Currently, Shopkeep doesn’t support table mapping but has plans to add it to a future update.

With a new partnership with First Data, Shopkeep plans to add the Clover terminal to their list of compatible hardware. This new hardware partnership will make Shopkeep available on Android and iPad devices.

Shopkeep remains a top choice for small restaurant and iPad based point-of-sale solutions. This POS system is so user-friendly that you can have your staff up and running straight from the box. You get a flexible, hard-working system with the features you need at a reasonable price.

Get A Quote from Shopkeep

Best Cloud-Based Solution: CAKE POS

CAKE POS system offers guest management for full and quick service restaurants with cloud-based software and an offline function. The CAKE solution streamlines your business by offering functions and features that cover all restaurant operations. With customizable solutions, your restaurant profits increase, and your business growth expands.

Offline operations mean your restaurant continues working and payments process even with an internet interruption. A special feature called Guest Manager delivers faster seating while reducing walk-away and no-show with more accurate wait times. Customers can check-in before arriving and receive notification texts when a table is ready.

CAKE is a specialized POS system serving the foodservice and restaurant industry for several decades. Their restaurant experience and technical know-how deliver a simple and robust system for most food service types, including:

  • Fine Dining
  • Full Service
  • Quick Service
  • Food Trucks
  • Bars and Clubs

CAKE has a comprehensive feature list for all areas of restaurant management. With the CAKE point-of-sale system, efficient management and growth become a reality.

Features like intuitive and easy to use and learn interface, orders take less time with more accuracy. A customizable workflow lets you make quick adjustments to your menu and table setup.

Some key features of the CAKE iPad POS for restaurants system:

  • Intuitive and Easy-to-Use
  • Offline Mode
  • Employee Management
  • Guest Manager and Waitlist Management
  • Menu Admin and Immediate Menu Adjustment
  • Item Modifiers and Stock Item Counts
  • Customizable Real-Time Floor Management
  • Tableside Service
  • Kitchen Display
  • Payment Processing
  • Accounting Integration
  • Dynamic Reporting

Optional hardware bundles mean you have a full-service system for all your restaurant needs.

Get A Quote from CAKE

Taking a Closer Look

close up of ipad

CAKE is a complete point-of-sale platform with everything you need for any size restaurant. In addition, you have options for an all-inclusive hardware bundle including the POS terminal, printer, and thermal printer. The software and services, accessible with cloud capabilities and 24/7 customer support, round out the CAKE POS system.

Besides the amazing features, CAKE offers integrations with the most popular small business and retail software options including PayPal payments.

Reporting tools give the user dynamic real-time tracking and reporting from anywhere at any time across different devices. Streamline operations and take control of your business with weekly sales reports by category and employee performance and management.

Full-service restaurant managers consider the Guest Manager system one of the top features of the CAKE POS system. Guest Manager helps manage waitlists while improving your reservations process. Text alerts inform guests when you have a table for them, reducing the no-shows and walk-outs from missed table calls. The guest database and visitor tracking let staff greet your guests personally by name, setting the stage for repeat customers.

POS Integrations and Add-Ons

CAKE grows with your restaurant and offers a wide variety of integrations to choose from. Everything you need from accounting to marketing.

Popular integrations for CAKE iPad POS for restaurants:

  • QuickBooks: Accounting and finance integration
  • Xero: Accounting and finance integration
  • Orca: Inventory and ordering system
  • Guest Manager: Guest management system
  • Swipe Cards: Employee timecard and management
  • Gift Cards: For offering gift cards
  • PayPal: Payment option
  • ChefTab: Kitchen display system and software
  • OrderTab: Ordering system

This is just a sampling of the Cake integrations. Contact Cake for more information on the various integrations and features offered.

Top Benefits

  • Easy-to-use and intuitive
  • Easy training for anyone
  • Easy to add and change menu items
  • Good reporting functions
  • Real-time reporting
  • Guest management option
  • Great price

Possible Drawbacks

  • No price adjustments after order sent
  • Occasional screen freezes
  • Can’t customize reports
  • Small lag time in touch screen

Bottom Line

Cake is a comprehensive and all-inclusive iPad POS system for restaurants. You get everything you need to operate a restaurant or other food service business. The company also offers a variety of integrations including merchant accounts through CAKE or use your own credit card processor.  User satisfaction with CAKE point-of-sale system remains high and Sysco consistently makes changes according to user reviews.

Get A Quote from CAKE

Before You Get a Restaurant iPad POS System

With a continuously changing restaurant industry, owners should always look for new ways to improve their business. The latest restaurant operation innovation with the most efficiency is the addition of the iPad to the POS system. iPads bring convenience, efficiency, and quicker table to kitchen times.

Running the right iPad restaurant POS system makes a difference in the success of your business. Before buying, read the customer reviews, try out the demos, and talk to other restaurant owners.

Here are what we consider the most important options to look for in your iPad POS for restaurants.

Restaurant Menu Management

Most owners can tell you the menu is the most consistently changing item in any restaurant. When you have a solid iPad POS system for restaurants, keeping up with menu changes become smoother and easier. If you have numerous menu items and make frequent changes, you need an effortless menu feature in your POS. The ideal menu feature makes menu item changes as easy as pressing a few buttons and waiting for device sync.

The automated menu system streamlines the ordering process and some POS menu features support tableside ordering. Some restaurants even place ordering stations on the tables, putting order control in the customer’s hands, better ensuring correct orders.

Inventory Management

Inventory is possibly the most dreaded aspect of any business. It’s not easy and logging and calculating by hand causes errors. With an iPad restaurant POS system, inventory management makes inventory more manageable and less stressful. A good inventory management feature lets you see low stock items directly from the POS system. The inventory management feature sends notifications when it’s time to restock.

In addition to keeping informed on stock levels, inventory management features can quickly create purchase orders for restocking. Also, get a food cost analysis informing you of the cost of preparation for each menu item. With this handy function, you can set menu prices according to the best profit margin.

Cloud Reporting

Working through the cloud is a must for any business regardless of the industry. Storing valuable data in the cloud is something that certain POS systems excel in. TouchBistro is one POS that exceeds expectations when it comes to using the cloud. The TouchBistro syncing process occurs across all devices regardless of the WiFi connection.

With the cloud, you get to see all transactions and data. The cloud makes it easy to monitor what’s selling and what isn’t. Check restaurant peak times for the work shift preparation or keep your books in order with the accounting feature.

Guest Management

While this feature isn’t necessary for all restaurants, it is for establishments offering reservations and waiting lists. With guest management, you can make, and track reservations made months in advance. No more writing down dates and guest numbers on paper calendars. The guest management tool lets you efficiently manage your reservations.

In addition to reservations, guest management should manage waitlists and send text alerts when the guest’s table becomes available. This system avoids skipped list names leading to walkouts.

Front and Back of House Communications

A reliable POS system ensures restaurant customers get their orders promptly and get what they order. The software helps with communications between the front of house and the kitchen. When the server takes the order, the chef has the ticket before the server leaves the table. Effective communication between the dining area and the kitchen means short wait times, fewer mistakes, and happier customers.




Our Final Verdict

Restaurant owners need a dependable and efficient restaurant iPad POS system. A point-of-sale system not only adds a professional look, but also provides a memorable experience to your customer.

The right iPad restaurant POS system for your business should help you manage the day-to-day functions of the establishment. After reading the reviews and looking at the features and functions, we believe the most comprehensive POS system is TouchBistro. This iPad POS is less expensive but has a large variety of features the other systems don’t have.

TouchBistro’s starter plan has a price like ShopKeep’s making it an affordable solution for new restaurant owners. With the services you get for the price, TouchBistro comes out ahead.

While we recommend TouchBistro it doesn’t mean the other POS systems aren’t a good choice. It all depends on what you need; if you are planning any expansions, and how much you want to pay. TouchBistro, however, offers more features for the cost. Finally, an honorable mention is UNION POS.

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