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TouchBistro vs CAKE POS Review

By Debra Weinryb

TouchBistro vs Cake POS
Don’t have time to read our full TouchBistro vs CAKE POS review? Here are some highlights:
TouchBistro:
– Restaurant-specific solution
– Runs on iOS and Apple iPad tablets
– A hybrid cloud-based system that keeps working even without an internet connection
– Extensive in-house solutions, including marketing, back office management, and a kitchen display system
– Best for single and multi-location restaurants that are growing and scaling

CAKE POS:
– Not a restaurant-specific solution
– Runs on proprietary hardware and iPads
– Hybrid system with a locally installed connection and cloud-based access
– Various in-house solutions, including reservations
– Best for chain restaurants and retailers

When searching for a new restaurant POS system, you’ve likely compared some of the top names in the industry, including TouchBistro vs CAKE POS.

Before deciding on a new POS system, however, it’s important to take a step back to think about how a new system will fit into your business. For instance, is your POS intuitive to learn? Does it offer in-depth reporting and analytics? And can it empower your staff to work more efficiently?

While TouchBistro and CAKE POS may sound like similar choices, they actually have many distinctions. TouchBistro is a POS system that was specifically built for restaurants by restaurateurs, and it has many features and services that help operators connect with guests and expand their businesses. In contrast, CAKE POS – recently acquired by Mad Mobile – was primarily built for chain restaurants and retailers to help them gain mobility and improve the guest experience. 

With all of that in mind, you’re probably wondering whether TouchBistro or Mad Mobile’s CAKE POS is the best fit for your specific business. To help you make an informed decision, we compared TouchBistro vs CAKE POS with a fine-tooth comb. Based on up-to-date product information and extensive research, we’ll compare the two systems on: 

  • Core POS features
  • Hardware
  • Payments
  • Other add-on solutions
  • Integration partners
  • Pricing
  • Customer Support

Based on a thorough review of each system, you’ll be able to determine which POS provider is right for your restaurant business. You can also extend your search and compare TouchBistro to other POS systems in our Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems.

The information contained on this site is accurate as of the time of publication.

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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TouchBistro vs CAKE POS: An Overview

Before getting into the specifics of how TouchBistro POS compares with CAKE POS, it’s important to understand the main components of each system, including how the POS is set up, the operating system, regional availability, the user experience, and more.  

TouchBistroCAKE POS
POS SystemHybrid cloud-basedCloud-based access and locally installed
Operating SystemiOSiOS, Windows, Linux
Regional AvailabilityCAD, U.S., and moreU.S. Argentina, and Sri Lanka 
HardwareiPads iPads

1. POS System

TouchBistro and CAKE are both modern POS systems that run on the cloud. Since a POS system that runs on the cloud stores data on remote servers, you have the freedom to access your information anytime, as long as you are connected to the internet. It also means you’re never limited to a single location or device because you can access your data from anywhere – even at home, long after your restaurant has closed for the day.

While TouchBistro and CAKE both run on the cloud, they are both also hybrid cloud-based POS systems with a locally installed connection that can keep your POS system running in the event that you lose your internet connection. This feature is valuable because it means you can continue accepting and processing orders even if the internet isn’t available, so service never skips a beat. 

Unlike CAKE, TouchBistro also offers additional offline features to help your business continue running if you temporarily lose Internet connectivity. Such features include access to iPad reports, staff management, and the ability to change or update your menu on the iPad. For restaurants with spotty or unreliable internet, these features can come in handy on a regular basis. 

Young african american woman waitress taking orders from clients in cafe

2. Operating System

In addition to differences in system setup, you’ll also find unique distinctions when it comes to the operating systems that powe​​r TouchBistro and CAKE’s POS software.

CAKE POS runs on iOS, as well as Windows and Linux operating systems. For those who are already familiar with Windows or Linux, the user experience will be familiar and easy to pick up. The flip side is that these systems come with a steeper learning curve for those who have not used them before.

It’s also worth noting that while CAKE POS primarily runs on Windows and Linux – which requires the use of proprietary hardware – the provider’s add-on apps, OrderPad (CAKE’s tableside ordering feature) and Guest Management (CAKE’s reservation and waitlist management feature), require the use of iOS and an iPad. As a result, this blend of different operating systems and hardware can make for somewhat of a disjointed user experience.

In contrast, TouchBistro POS is an entirely iOS-based system. While iOS is less customizable when it comes to creating bespoke applications, for restaurateurs, it is widely considered a much easier system to use. The iOS operating system has a very simple interface – even when you upgrade to the latest version – and all software updated are streamlined automatically across all your devices. That means there’s no need to bring in a technician or spend money on pricey software upgrades. The iOS operating system is also known to be less vulnerable to viruses than other operating systems, making sure your data is secure and your user experience remains consistent. 

3. Regional Availability

Taking a look at regional availability is another useful point of comparison.

CAKE (now Mad Mobile) is an American company based in Tampa, Florida, with a business presence in San Mateo, Houston, and Seattle. CAKE POS primarily serves the U.S. market, however, the company also has offices in Buenos Aries, Argentina, and Colombo, Sri Lanka.

TouchBistro is a Canadian company with its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. Unlike CAKE, TouchBistro serves a wider market, which includes Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. In addition to covering a larger portion of the North American market, TouchBistro has also been used in over 100 countries around the globe. 

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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Core POS Features

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into a review of TouchBistro vs CAKE POS core features.

Core POS FeaturesTouchBistroCAKE POS
Menu Management
Staff Management
Floor Plan Management
Tableside Ordering
Reporting
1:1 Onboarding
Customer Support24/7/36524/7

When it comes to basic restaurant POS features, both CAKE POS and TouchBistro are equipped with the following:

  • Menu management: Build, edit, and manage your menu in real-time.
  • Staff Management: Manage employee-access permissions and keep track of how they are performing.
  • Floor Plan Management: Plan how to seat diners with a custom table layout – move parties to a different table, manage capacity, and more.
  • Tableside Ordering: Take mobile POS tablets tableside to increase order accuracy and turn tables faster.
  • Reporting: Get real-time and up-to-date reports on your restaurant’s performance to help you make better business decisions.

Overall, TouchBistro and CAKE share many similarities when it comes to each provider’s core features. Both have POS features that help improve a restaurant’s ability to handle an influx of guest traffic and orders, and to help operators improve efficiency and streamline operations.

While TouchBistro and CAKE share similar features, it’s also worth noting each company’s unique business model. CAKE POS was designed to be a modern point of sale for both restaurants and retailers. Because the company is pursuing two very different audiences at the same time, CAKE has not been able to dedicate all of its time and resources to support the needs of restaurateurs. In fact, at the time CAKE was acquired by Mad Mobile, Inc., it had only served 5,000 restaurants.

In contrast, TouchBisto specifically built its POS system for restaurants and has never wavered from its dedication to this audience. From order management and payment processing, to cloud reporting, and more, TouchBistro provides essential front of house, back of house, and engagement solutions for restaurants that are built in-house and designed to meet the unique needs of the industry. TouchBistro also continues to develop new features and services that help restaurateurs connect with their guests and grow their businesses.

Hardware

While software often takes the spotlight when it comes to POS systems, it’s also important to take a look at the physical devices that your POS software runs on – your hardware. 

CAKE POS Hardware

CAKE POS primarily runs on the company’s own proprietary hardware. CAKE’s hardware has been designed for restaurants and includes a touchscreen terminal that’s been built to handle regular wear and tear like water spills – a common occurrence in restaurants. 

In addition to its proprietary hardware, CAKE’s OrderPad (the tableside ordering feature) and Guest Manager (the reservation and waitlist management feature) run on Apple iPads and are only available as add-on apps. If you do choose to use OrderPad mobile ordering app, you’ll also need a magnetic stripe card reader to connect to the iPad’s lightning port for $99 and a CAKE WiFi access point for another $299.

Since CAKE POS software runs on multiple operating systems (iOS, Windows, and Linux), CAKE POS requires you to purchase both its proprietary hardware and iPads. This is not only an added expense, but it can also make training more complicated because staff need to be familiar with both CAKE’s proprietary hardware and Apple products.

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
Get the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems

Compare the top restaurant POS systems on features, pricing, payments, and more.

Download Now

TouchBistro iPads

Unlike CAKE POS, TouchBistro is an entirely iPad-based POS system, meaning all of its POS software runs on iOS and Apple iPads, so you don’t need to purchase any proprietary hardware. The benefit of using a fully iPad-based system is that this hardware is incredibly common across the restaurant industry. This means that if you are switching to TouchBistro from another iPad POS system, you can continue using your existing iPads (as long as they are a compatible generation) – a benefit that could end up saving you a pretty penny on hardware costs.

And when it comes to user experience, the iPad is simple enough for virtually anyone to use – whether that’s your front of house staff, back of house staff, or even a customer. That’s because the iPad has an extremely user-friendly and intuitive interface, which is consistent with other products like the iPhone or iMac. If you and your staff are already familiar with these devices, you should be able to pick up the iPad right away, which means less training time is needed overall.

Man taking orders from women sitting in the cafe. Male waiter wearing apron holding digital tablet taking orders from female customers.

Add-On Solutions

To complement your core POS features, TouchBistro and CAKE POS also offer add-on features that can further boost your system’s functionality. Add-on features include integrated payment processing, customer loyalty programs, email marketing, and more. With these added features, restaurants can run, manage, and grow their entire business from one central system. 

Payments

When it comes to restaurant payment processing, CAKE POS and TouchBistro both offer an integrated payment processing solution that can help you keep all your operations under one umbrella.

PaymentsTouchBistro CAKE POS
Payments Pricing ModelCost plus (interchange plus) pricingFixed rate pricing
Payment Processing FeesTouchBistro Payments (U.S. only): Interchange + processing fee

Integrated Payments for Online Ordering: 2.9% + $0.30 / transaction (CAD)Competitive card-not-present processing fees (U.S.)
CAKE Payments (a white-labeled Worldpay solution): 2.5% + $0.10

Integrated Payments for Online Ordering: 5% of the sale

If you would like to use CAKE POS in your restaurant, you need to use the provider’s in-house payment processing service, CAKE Payments, which is a white-labeled Worldpay solution. Worldpay is one of the largest payment processors in the world in over 40 countries including the U.S. and U.K. However, this merchant services provider has unfortunately received some negative complaints under its former names RBS WorldPay and Vantif. While it’s not uncommon to come across negative reviews for any payment processor, this is something to take into consideration before signing any contract.

In contrast, TouchBistro’s integrated payment processing solution is powered by JPMorgan Chase Bank. This means you enjoy a fully integrated payment processing solution for your restaurant, backed by Chase’s best-in-class payment processing technology, advanced security, and the support of experienced payments experts.

Another major benefit of TouchBistro Payments is that the solution supports multiple use cases so you can accept payments at the counter, at the table, or online. Plus, you enjoy some of the most competitive rates on the market so you can rest easy knowing you won’t face any surprises on your monthly bill.

Other Add-On Solutions

On top of payment processing, the majority of POS systems also offer other in-house add-on solutions to support different functions of a restaurant business. These add-on solutions can include everything from online ordering to gift cards, reservations, and more.

Add-On SolutionsTouchBistroCAKE POS
Integrated Payments
Online Ordering
Integrated Delivery
Reservations
Gift Cards
Loyalty and Customer Relationship Management
Marketing
Inventory & Back Office Management
Self-Serve Kiosks
Kitchen Display System
Customer Facing Display

When comparing TouchBistro and CAKE POS, it’s apparent that they both share many similar POS add-on solutions:

  • Online Ordering: Customers can order from a restaurant’s website and the order is automatically streamlined through the POS.
  • Delivery: Restaurants can leverage a local network of on-demand drivers to get orders delivered directly to customers’ homes.
  • Reservations: Keep tables full with guest management features including online reservations and digital waitlists.
  • Loyalty: Gain the ability to create customer loyalty programs that allow guests to earn points and redeem them for rewards.
  • Gift Cards: Allow guests to send and redeem custom gift cards in-venue and online.

When it comes to customer engagement solutions, CAKE offers add-on solutions for gift cards, reservations, loyalty programs, and online ordering. All of these features provide CAKE POS system users with the ability to expand their POS system beyond its basic functionality.

While TouchBistro offers a similar set of add-on solutions, what makes TouchBistro different is that all of its customer engagement products are fully integrated and designed to work together seamlessly. For example, TouchBistro Loyalty integrates with TouchBistro Marketing, so you can leverage guest data, like order history or birthdays, to send targeted promotions that customers can redeem in-venue or online. And with TouchBistro’s Online Ordering and Loyalty integration, guests can participate in item- and spend-based loyalty programs, even if they order from home. Not to mention, Gift Cards also integrates with TouchBistro Online Ordering and Loyalty, so guests can redeem gift cards when placing online orders and earn loyalty points while doing so. All of these integrations make for a powerful 360-degree guest engagement solution that can be managed from one single system.

Another point of differentiation when it comes to add-ons is TouchBistro Profit Management Powered by MarginEdge. A perfect companion to the POS, TouchBistro Profit Management is a robust back office management solution that gives operators 360-degree visibility into their entire operation. Providing the tools needed to track food costs in real time, adjust recipes for maximum profitability, process invoices digitally, streamline accounting processes, standardize inventory management across multiple locations, and more, TouchBistro Profit Management is a game-changer when it comes to running a more efficient operation – something CAKE POS has no comparable solution for.

It’s also worth noting that CAKE charges for a number of add-ons that come standard with TouchBistro POS. For instance, if you want to take payments with CAKE POS via tableside ordering, you will need to buy OrderPad, CAKE’s tableside ordering solution, separately. This allows your servers to take orders from an iPad for an additional $49/month, plus a one-time payment of $299. In contrast, TouchBistro includes Tableside Ordering as a core POS feature, which is included as part of your monthly POS software fee, so there is no extra cost.

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
Get the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems

Compare the top restaurant POS systems on features, pricing, payments, and more.

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Integration Partners

Third-party integrations are another major consideration for restaurateurs who want to extend the capabilities of their POS systems. While most POS providers offer powerful in-house integrations, third-party integrations can help you improve your services further by leveraging other companies’ areas of specialty, like accounting, operations, and inventory management. 

Integration PartnersTouchBistroCAKE POS
Online Ordering and Delivery
Reservations✘ (in-house solution)✘ (in-house solution)
Customer Relationship & Loyalty✘ (in-house solution)✘ (in-house solution)
Staff Management, HR, and Payroll
Inventory Management
Accounting
Business Reporting and Analytics
Kitchen Display System✘ (in-house solution)✘ (in-house solution)

When you compare TouchBistro and CAKE POS, it’s clear that both offer integrations for the following services:

  • Online Ordering: Aggregator tools pull orders into your POS from third-party delivery platforms for easier order management.
  • Accounting: Bookkeeping tools eliminate manual bookkeeping and data entry errors.
  • Inventory Management: Intelligent inventory management tools help restaurants make informed purchasing decisions.
  • HR, Staff Management, & Payroll: Employee scheduling and labor forecasting tools help optimize labor costs, simplify shift management, make payroll easier, and more.
  • Reporting: Timely reports in areas such as sales, payroll, and labor help you make informed business decisions.  

CAKE has an adequate list of integration partners for restaurants. For example, CAKE partners with the online ordering aggregator Checkmate, which helps restaurants drive sales from over 40+ third-party services including DoorDash, GrubHub, and Uber Eats. Some of CAKE’s other integrations include PayPal online payments, gift cards through eCardSystems, and Xero’s accounting capabilities. 

In contrast to CAKE POS, TouchBistro offers a slightly smaller and more curated list of third-party integration partners. This is largely because TouchBistro already offers in-house solutions for many critical restaurant functions, including online ordering, gift cards, and reservations. Where TouchBistro doesn’t offer in-house solutions, the provider offers a list of carefully selected integration solutions from best-in-class software and payment partners. These partners include 7shift for staff scheduling, Push Operations for payroll, MarginEdge for streamlining inventory management, and Avero for advanced analytics and multi-unit reporting.

Like CAKE POS, TouchBistro also uses an aggregator app, Deliverect, to connect TouchBistro POS to multiple takeout and delivery platforms. Additionally, TouchBistro also offers a non-branded, white-labeled delivery solution through DoorDash, called DoorDash Drive. With DoorDash Drive, you can accept online ordering through your restaurant’s website and orders are delivered by DoorDash’s network of delivery drivers, also known as Dashers. Another advantage of using DoorDash Drive is that you pay a flat delivery fee, instead of the pricey commission fees that third-party delivery platforms typically charge. Plus, you have the option to pass that flat delivery fee onto your customers to keep your margins healthy. 

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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Compare the top restaurant POS systems on features, pricing, payments, and more.

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Pricing

No review of TouchBistro vs CAKE POS would be complete without comparing each POS system’s pricing.

PricingTouchBistroCAKE POS
Software PricingStarting at $69 USD/month for a single licenseStarting at $69 USD/month for a single license plus a $49 fixed fee for each additional terminal 

Both CAKE POS and TouchBistro start their pricing at $69 per month for a single license.

In addition to monthly software fees, it’s also important to account for the cost of hardware. TouchBistro POS runs entirely on iPads, which are reasonably priced and easy to purchase. On the other hand, CAKE POS runs on proprietary POS hardware and iPads, which means you have to purchase an entirely new set of hardware that will only work with CAKE POS to start using the system. This is a major investment for hardware that will not work with any other POS system if you decide to switch providers.

Customer Support

Finally, when looking for your next POS system, it’s essential to find the right customer support that can help you through the onboarding process and provide assistance in the event you encounter a problem.

If you read CAKE POS reviews, you’ll notice that many customers are satisfied with the service CAKE offers. CAKE’s customer support is convenient because it is accessible 24/7 via phone, email, chat, and text support. Additionally, CAKE also has a knowledge base of help articles, which is called CAKE University. It includes text-based articles on how to use the provider’s core products, as well as links to a few helpful webinars. 

Unlike CAKE, TouchBistro goes the extra mile to offer 24/7/365 support, which means you can reach a product specialist any time of the day or the year, including during the holidays when most other businesses are closed. Not to mention, TouchBistro’s support team is all locally-based here in North America. In terms of help content, TouchBistro has an extensive support site that’s filled with in-depth tutorials, guides, and videos to help you get the most out of using TouchBistro’s products and solutions.

TouchBistro vs CAKE POS: The Bottom Line

After reading the full review of TouchBistro vs CAKE POS, you now have a stronger understanding of the key benefits and weaknesses of each POS system.

CAKE is a modern POS system with functions for many facets of restaurant operations, including tableside ordering and loyalty. However, CAKE’s bread and butter is primarily retailers and chain restaurants like Spaghetti Warehouse and Ike’s Love & Sandwiches. As a result of the company’s split focus, there is less dedicated time and energy going into the development of solutions that will specifically meet the needs of non-enterprise operators.

While Mad Mobile’s CAKE POS system may be a great fit for some chain restaurants and retailers, TouchBistro is a better all around option for single and multi-location restaurants for the following reasons:

Young woman using a digital tablet while working in a coffee shop

1. Intuitive, Non-Proprietary Hardware

TouchBistro is an entirely iPad-based system, which means you don’t need to purchase any proprietary hardware for your restaurant. And since iPads are such a popular choice for modern POS systems, you might already have an iPad you can use from a previous POS system – offering you more ways to save on upfront costs. Not to mention, if your staff already have experience using iPhones and iMacs, they should have no problem learning how to use iPads as POS terminals, ultimately saving you the time and expense of lengthy training sessions.

Unlike TouchBistro, CAKE POS runs on proprietary hardware plus an iPad, meaning you have to buy more equipment, which is an added expense. There may also be a steeper learning curve for your staff to learn how to use multiple different types of hardware. Plus, your staff can’t access all of the same features on both devices, which makes for a more difficult training process and a more disjointed user experience day-to-day.

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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2. All-in-One Solution

When it comes to running and growing your restaurant business, you want to make sure you have all the tools you need at the ready. TouchBistro is a truly all-in-one solution for restaurant management, with front of house, back of house, and guest engagement solutions all available on a single platform. This includes everything from must-have tools like integrated payments processing, to more specialized solutions such as marketing, back office management, and kitchen display systems. Even for restaurateurs that may not need all these tools initially, knowing that these tools are available to add onto your system in the future means that you can feel secure in the knowledge that your POS system can grow and scale with your business.

While CAKE POS certainly offers a lot of add-ons, it’s missing some key solutions that are essential to business expansion. Without basic tools like a customer-facing display or kitchen display system, it can be tough to help front and back of house staff stay in sync and for you to run a more efficient operation. And without tools like back office management and marketing, it can be tough to maximize margins and build a growing audience over time. Without these solutions, you’re left with a POS that you may quickly outgrow or be forced to rely on a mishmash of third-party integrations – neither of which is ideal when you’re trying to run your business.

3. Customer Engagement Tools That Work Together

In addition to a robust suite of add-on solutions, perhaps TouchBistro’s biggest strength over Mad Mobile’s CAKE POS and other providers is that TouchBistro’s customer engagement tools all integrate with one another. None of them are standalone solutions, but instead, all of TouchBistro’s products run on the same iPad POS system and the software is designed to work together seamlessly. 

One of the key benefits of TouchBistro POS is that it seamlessly integrates with TouchBistro Online Ordering, Loyalty, Marketing, and Reservations, as well as other guest engagement solutions – so your data automatically flows from one solution to another. Having an all-in-one restaurant management system can help restaurants run more easily, by having all the tools and reporting an operator needs to run their business under one umbrella. That also means you can control every aspect of your restaurant operations from one central location. 

Like TouchBistro, CAKE also offers a number of add-on solutions for customer engagement. However, these products do not offer the same kind of seamless integration and syncing of data. This makes for a more disjointed user experience and one that does not allow you to harness the full potential of a restaurant POS.


When considering a POS purchase, TouchBistro and CAKE POS (formerly Mad Mobile) may have been some of your top contenders. Hopefully, with the help of this overview and an in-depth look at TouchBistro vs CAKE POS reviews, you now have a better understanding of the difference between the two systems and can make the best decision for your restaurant’s unique needs.

Debra Weinryb author photo
by Debra Weinryb

Debra was a Content Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro, writing about the latest food and restaurant industry trends. In her spare time, Debra enjoys baking and eating together with family and friends.

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