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How Crosstown Pub Increased Sales and Efficiency with TouchBistro’s iPad POS Solution

Known for its speed and 36 flavors of chicken wings, Crosstown Pub is no stranger to a busy, fast-paced Saturday night.

Serving great tasting food and creating a comfortable and friendly culture for their guests are top priorities for Crosstown Pub & Grill, a popular gastropub with two locations in Illinois. Crosstown Pub prides itself on being a local neighborhood establishment where guests enjoy fresh, gourmet food, a wide selection of beverages, and excellent service. For chef and owner Jim Nichols Sr., Crosstown Pub fulfills a passion and dream of owning his own restaurant.

Unwilling to sacrifice service for speed, Crosstown Pub was in need of a full-service point of sale solution that would enable them to serve their customers more efficiently, while preserving the quality of service their customers had grown to expect. Speed, mobility, and ease of use were all at the top of their point of sale wishlist. But what the team at Crosstown didn’t know was that today, all that’s needed to run any fast-paced restaurant or bar is an iPad, loaded with a sleek restaurant POS software.

Pain Points

Over 100 major businesses are located near Crosstown Pub, making it a popular lunchtime destination. With the typical 60-minute lunch break, customers need to come in, eat, and pay their check very quickly. “The customer experience is very fickle. If it takes thirty minutes for their food to arrive, they’re not going to want to come back,” says Nichols. Crosstown servers need to be able to work quickly and on the fly since they could be needed at anytime in the restaurant’s various dining areas, including a bar, outdoor patio, and dining room. Crosstown opened with a traditional POS system that didn’t allow for any customization or mobility, making the order process slow and inefficient – up to 25 minutes with cooking time. Nichols wanted a smart and customizable POS solution, that would allow Crosstown to decrease wait time for customers and increase efficiency for wait staff.

The Goal? Increase Efficiency

After an unsuccessful trial run with another POS solution, Nichols discovered TouchBistro™, an iPad® POS specifically designed for restaurants. TouchBistro’s all-in-one functionality allows servers to quickly place orders and process payments tableside. With integrated Mercury® payment processing, Crosstown now has a seamless mobile ordering and payment solution.

“The top three reasons why we chose this solution were simply on the front end – being able to accommodate custom requests on the fly…and the ability to swipe the payment card securely at the point of sale. Next, having the customer sign on-screen, and emailing them the receipt. Everybody loves that,” said Nichols.

Nichols explains that the system not only streamlines the ordering process so food comes out faster, but also allows for order changes and additions, and the ability to close out tabs quicker. “You can’t do all that with a written format,” said Nichols. “You have to do that with technology.”

Full Speed Ahead

The ability to get customers in and out in 15 minutes – as opposed to 30 minutes or longer – has tremendously increased Crosstown’s business and ensured more repeat customers. Nichols states that during the restaurant’s highest periods, Crosstown Pub turns over 176 more tables than they previously could with a traditional POS system, which equates to at least $2,000 Portrait or Landscape View a night, four nights a week.

“People from the business community can come in and leave within 15, 20 minutes,” he says.

“Technology helped us reduce over seven minutes of wait time off what it took to get an order.

Customers like the format of the iPad POS because they get their check and are able to make a credit card payment right from their seat, without requiring a paper receipt. As one loyal patron notes, “It makes life easier!”

Employees are happy too; “We use the iPads to complete all of our transactions…as soon as I punch in orders on the iPad and click ‘send’ it’s already being made…so that makes my life a lot easier”, explains a Crosstown server. Jim’s serving staff also say they make higher tips because of the experience they are able to provide to customers with TouchBistro’s intuitive interface and ease of use. For Jim, this means quicker onboarding, less errors, and a lower staff turnover rate.

Food for Thought

Crosstown Pub’s great staff, quality of service and amazing food are all critical to the restaurant’s success, but Nichols is quick to credit progressive technology from TouchBistro as an important element of the Crosstown experience. “Technology helped us reduce over seven minutes of wait time off what it took to get an order,” said Nichols. “It’s a really streamlined process for a POS.

And for the restaurant industry specifically, it’s great. “This is the future of ordering.”


Dana is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, sharing tips for and stories of restaurateurs turning their passion into success. She loves homemade hot sauce, deep fried pickles and finding excuses to consume real maple syrup.

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iPad Screenshot with TouchBistro software