6 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Restaurant POS

After more than a few years of restaurant experience, you might have designed the perfect menu, hired all the right staff, and collected a group of die-hard regulars. But if your point of sale (POS) is still a traditional legacy system, you could be missing out on essential management tools that help you run a better restaurant.

Your POS should be working to streamline, speed-up, and simplify your operations. But older systems can slow you and your staff down, adding unnecessary steps and making it harder to deliver the kind of experience that gives you:

  • Return customers

  • Word of mouth recommendations

  • Glowing online reviews

  • Positive social media feedback

And since 91% of diners choose new restaurants based on recommendations from friends, 68% from positive online reviews, and 41% from positive social media buzz, you want to make sure your dining experience goes off without a hitch. That starts with your POS.


Here are six signs you need to trade in that old POS system for an iPad POS:

1. Your Server Stations Always Have a Line-up

With a traditional POS system, servers have to jot down orders with pen and paper at the table, then race to the server station to place the order. If an item is 86’d, they have to go back to the table, tell the customer that item is no longer available, and get a new order from the (now disgruntled) customer. And, when there’s a sudden rush, your servers end up waiting in line to punch in their orders. All of these things mean there’s a significant delay between a customer placing an order and the kitchen receiving it. Food takes longer to get to the table.

With an iPad POS, you can give servers a hand-held POS to take orders right at the table. No line ups. No standing around. Plus, any menu changes (i.e. 86’d items) can be communicated immediately, reducing the frustration for customers.

2. Your Software Hasn’t Been Updated in Over a Year

Is your system still using the same software all these years later? It makes sense. Legacy software is expensive and inconvenient to update. But running your business on outdated software can make your operations slower and less efficient than what’s possible on the more powerful systems available today.

Subscription-based iPad POS systems give you free access to regular, automatic updates that release new features and improved functionality. You never have to worry about staying up-to-date with changes to the industry or new trends.

3. Your Servers Aren’t Reaching Their Upsell Targets

An easy way to increase your average check size is through add-ons and upselling. But it’s also easy for servers to forget this step.

Using an iPad POS can make sure they don’t. Required modifiers prompt servers to ask about things like gravy when someone orders fries, or chicken when someone orders a caesar salad. And, when taking orders tableside, you can tempt customers into an extra dessert or fancy cocktail with mouth-watering photos directly on the iPad.

4. Your Servers Forget to Add Modifications to Orders

If a lot of your food is being sent back because it was supposed to have bacon or not supposed to have cheese, it’s costing you time, money, and customers. But the issue might be with your POS system – not your staff.

With an iPad POS, you can reduce these errors by letting your servers take orders right at the table. They don’t have to worry about memorizing modifications, forgetting allergies, or deciphering chicken scratch on their notepad.

5. Your Servers and Customers Complain About Splitting Checks

At the end of a meal, customers shouldn’t be afraid to ask for separate checks – and servers shouldn’t be reluctant to give them. But many legacy systems make it difficult and time-consuming to split checks.

But with a modern POS system, you can separate checks – and even items – with a few easy taps. In seconds, you can separate by seat number, evenly by number of guests, or however the customer requests it.

6. Staff Have to Juggle Multiple Tablets for Online Ordering

Third-party online ordering apps – like Uber Eats and DoorDash – offer convenience to customers and a new revenue stream for restaurants. But with a legacy system, your staff might be stuck managing a separate tablet for each app and manually entering orders from those tablets to your POS. Did you know 5% of all manually entered orders contain at least one error? That could end up costing you $4,000 per year in lost revenue!* Not to mention the extra time it takes.

A modern POS can provide an integration that acts as a bridge between your third-party online ordering platform and your POS. The integration takes third-party orders and streamlines them directly into your POS, so you don’t have to manage more than one system or manually enter orders.


Make sure you’re creating the right kind of buzz in the industry, with an iPad POS that helps streamline, speed-up, and simplify your operations.

*Based on TouchBistro’s estimate of a restaurant’s average annual online ordering revenue.

TouchBistro is an iPad POS and integrated payments solution built for restaurant people, by restaurant people. It helps thousands of restaurateurs across the world run better businesses and makes managing a restaurant easier.