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TouchBistro vs Focus POS Review (2023)

By Debra Weinryb

TouchBistro vs Focus POS illustration on two tablets.
Don’t have time to read our full TouchBistro vs Focus POS review? Here are some highlights:
TouchBistro:
– Runs on Apple’s iOS and iPads
– A hybrid POS system that continues working, even without an internet connection
– Integrated payments with interchange plus pricing and the flexibility to use popular third-party payment processors
– Extensive in-house solutions, including reservations and marketing
– Best for single or multi-location restaurants

Focus POS:
– Runs on proprietary hardware, Windows tablets, and iPads
– Cloud-based system that relies on an internet connection
– Integrated payments with hidden pricing and less popular third-party payment processing options
– Various in-house solutions, including loyalty and gift cards
– Best for franchise restaurants and large corporate hospitality chains

If you’re looking to find a new POS system for your restaurant, you may have read about some of the top providers in the industry, including TouchBistro vs Focus POS. 

However, before taking the next step, it’s important to think about how your new POS system will meet your specific business needs. For example, is it important for you to have access to 24/7 customer support? Do you want a POS system that’s intuitive and easy to learn? Do you need additional solutions to help your business grow, like a restaurant reservation system or marketing platform?

With these questions in mind, TouchBistro and Focus POS may be two of the providers on your shortlist. And at first glance, TouchBistro and Focus POS may sound like similar choices, but, in fact, they are quite different. Not only does each provider serve a different market, but Focus POS and TouchBistro also differ when it comes to hardware, pricing, customer support, and more.

In light of this information, you might be wondering which POS system is a better fit for your business priorities. To help you make the best decision possible, we compared TouchBistro vs Focus POS down to every last detail. Based on the most up-to-date research and current product information, we’ll compare each system on:

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

After carefully reviewing each system, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision about which POS provider is right for your restaurant business. If you’re looking to compare more providers, beyond just TouchBistro vs Focus POS, make sure to check out the 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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Compare the top restaurant POS systems on features, pricing, payments, and more.

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TouchBistro vs Focus POS: An Overview

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty details of how TouchBistro compares to Focus POS, it’s essential to first cover the basics of each system. In this section, you’ll discover how each POS system is set up, which operating system each one uses, where the systems are available, and more.

TouchBistroFocus POS
POS SystemHybrid cloud and POS-basedCloud-based
Operating SystemiOSWindows and iOS
Regional AvailabilityCAD, U.S. U.S. only
HardwareiPadsiPads and Windows tablets

1. POS System

Both TouchBistro and Focus POS are modern POS systems that run on the cloud. This means that data is stored remotely on servers, and this information is available via the internet. With the cloud, it’s easy to access information that is stored remotely at any time and from any device – whether that’s on an iPad, phone, or laptop computer. 

However, while TouchBistro and Focus POS both run on the cloud, only TouchBistro is a hybrid POS system. TouchBistro’s hybrid POS combines the convenience of a cloud-based modern POS system with the reliability of a locally-installed POS to offer a stable network that never goes down, even when your internet does. This feature is extremely valuable so you can continue accepting and processing orders without WiFi, and service never skips a beat. Plus, when you reconnect to the internet, your locally-saved data will automatically upload to the cloud so you never lose any of your valuable information. 

In addition, TouchBistro offers significantly more offline features than Focus POS. These features include, but are not limited to, making menu changes, printing receipts, managing staff, and sending orders to your kitchen display system.

On the other hand, Focus POS is an entirely cloud-based system, which means a stable internet connection is required to keep the system up and running. And while Focus POS does have an offline mode, only limited features are supported. For example, in the event of an internet outage, Focus POS’ offline mode still allows you to accept credit card payments, but other core POS features are limited.

2. Operating System

Another distinguishing factor between TouchBistro vs Focus POS is the type of operating system that each provider uses to power its restaurant POS software.

Focus POS runs on Microsoft’s Windows operating system or Apple’s iOS operating system, depending on the reseller you purchase the system through. 

While each operating system has its pros and cons, iOS is generally considered the more user-friendly of the two. On the other hand, Windows comes with a steeper learning curve, which can make it more difficult to train staff on. Not to mention, Windows systems are typically more susceptible to virus attacks because of the operating system’s low level of security. 

Unlike Focus POS, TouchBistro exclusively runs on Apple’s iOS operating system. One of the greatest benefits of using iOS is that it is generally less susceptible to viruses than other operating systems thanks to frequent and automatic updates. And while iOS is less customizable than Windows, something that’s often perceived as a disadvantage, it ultimately provides a simpler and more consistent user experience, which can help save time and money when it comes to training new staff. 

3. Regional Availability

Despite the stark differences between the two providers, TouchBistro and Focus Point of Sale both operate in the same North American market.

Focus POS exclusively serves the U.S. Market through resellers located throughout the U.S. The company’s headquarters is based in Houston, Texas. 

In contrast to Focus POS, TouchBistro serves customers across the U.S., Canada, and beyond. The company’s headquarters is based in Toronto, Ontario.

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

Core POS Features

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at TouchBistro vs Focus POS’ core features. 

Core POS Features TouchBistroFocus POS
Menu Management
Staff Management✔ 
Inventory Management
Floor Plan Management
Tableside Ordering
Reporting✔ 
1:1 OnboardingDepends if your local reseller offers onboarding
Customer Support✔ 24/7/365Depends on your local reseller’s availability

As you can see, both TouchBistro and Focus’ POS systems are equipped with many similar restaurant POS features:

  • Menu management: Create, manage, and customize multiple menus on the go. 
  • Staff Management: Manage employee performance, attendance, and access permissions.
  • Inventory Management: Monitor daily inventory, prevent overstocking, and keep track of food costs.
  • Floor Plan Management: Set up a customized table layout, rearrange it on the fly, assign orders to tables, split checks, and more.
  • Tableside Ordering: Take guest orders at their tables and bust lines with mobile POS terminals.
  • Reporting: Get real-time and end-of-day reports, which provide insights on how you can improve your business performance.

All in all, TouchBistro and Focus POS share many similarities when it comes to each POS system’s core features. For example, both providers offer tableside ordering and floor plan management features, helping restaurants accept more orders, turn tables faster, and keep guests satisfied.

While Focus POS does offer an impressive set of features, some Focus POS reviews suggest that not all of these features are easy to use on a day-to-day basis.. For example, with the Focus POS system, you have the ability to pull a wide variety of reporting types, from sales to labor to product mix reports. However, pulling and understanding the format of these reports isn’t always straightforward. According to some Focus POS reviews, some general complaints include dates changing, items disappearing, and difficulty extracting reports. 

Unlike Focus POS, TouchBistro’s reporting platform was designed with ease of use in mind. This means you can spend more time analyzing trends, and less time figuring out how to pull your reports in the first place. Plus, export options and relevant software integrations make it easy to share sales data with your bookkeeper or import it directly into your accounting software.

Hardware

As mentioned above, TouchBistro runs on Apple’s iOS operating system, while Focus Point of Sale system can be run on either Windows or iOS. As a result, there are some important distinctions when it comes to hardware.  

Focus POS Hardware

Your specific hardware setup will depend on whether you choose to use the Focus POS software on Windows or iOS and the specific hardware your reseller offers.

If you choose to use Windows, Focus POS offers a range of proprietary hardware, including a touchscreen terminal that boasts a user-friendly interface and custom mounting options to keep counters clutter-free. Focus also offers a Windows tablet that can be used as a stationary POS, or for tableside ordering and payments.

While Windows hardware can be affordable, it also has its disadvantages. Windows’ touch screens are generally considered less robust and harder to use when compared to other interfaces, like Apple hardware. This means you’ll have to put more time and effort into training staff, especially if they are already used to using popular iOS devices, like iPhones and iMac computers.

If you prefer to use iOS, you can use Apple iPads as part of your Focus Point of Sale hardware setup. Apple iPads are known for their intuitive user experience from the moment you pick them up. This is a major advantage for restaurateurs who want their staff to quickly get up to speed with technology with the least amount of training. 

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’s Apple iPad

Unlike Focus POS, TouchBistro is an entirely iPad-based System, so all of the software runs on Apple iPads and Apple’s iOS operating system. This means that you don’t have to worry about buying proprietary hardware, or figuring out how different pieces of hardware work with one another. Not to mention, if you are switching from another iPad POS system, you may be able to save on costs by using your previous iPads, as long as they are from a compatible generation.

Another benefit of exclusively using Apple hardware is that iPads have an incredibly intuitive user experience, which makes it easier and faster to onboard staff, with minimal training required. Your staff should be able to get up to speed effortlessly, especially if they are already familiar with other Apple hardware, such as MacBooks or iPhones.

Not to mention, an Apple-based system comes with the peace of mind of knowing that iOS app updates are automatic and roll out regularly across all of your devices. And by having streamlined security updates, you can ensure that your iPads are always running smoothly and optimally so your restaurant never skips a beat. 

Other Add-On Solutions

In addition to core POS features such as menu management and table status tracking, TouchBistro and Focus POS also offer a number of in-house add-on solutions, including integrated payments.

Payments

When deciding on the right POS, payment processing is incredibly important. And when you compare TouchBistro vs Focus POS, you’ll notice that each company’s approach to payment processing is quite different.

PaymentsTouchBistroFocus POS
Payments Pricing ModelInterchange plus pricingNot publically available
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.)
Not publically available 
Payment Processing PartnersSquareTSYSWorldpayChase Merchant Services (Canada)Moneris (Canada)Barclaycard (U.K.)Shift4 PaymentsWorldPayTruistEVO

Both Focus Point of Sale and TouchBistro offer integrated payments. This means that transaction data flows directly into your POS from your payment processing terminals so that no manual data entry is required. 

By using a payment processing solution that is directly integrated with your POS system, you can provide guests with quick and easy payments right at their table. Plus, you can give guests the flexibility to choose their preferred payment type, whether that’s by debit, credit, or mobile payment.

While Focus POS does offer an integrated payments solution, the payment processing pricing structure for this solution is not publicly available. To find out what payment processing fees you’ll be paying, you will have to contact your local reseller. 

In regards to other payment processing solutions, Focus POS partners with four big payment processors. Though these processors are widely known, they do not have the best reputation among customers. For example, Shift4 Payments has more than 150 customer complaints listed under the company’s BBB profile. To date, customers have mentioned Shift4’s vague cost structure, surprise monthly fees, and a total lack of customer support, among other concerning issues. 

Unlike Focus POS, TouchBistro is much more transparent when it comes to payment processing pricing. For example, TouchBistro’s integrated payment processing solution, TouchBistro Payments Powered by Chase, follows an interchange plus pricing model (also known as cost plus). This pricing structure is widely considered one of the most popular and transparent pricing models due to its easy-to-understand terms and fees. With an interchange plus model, different rates are charged depending on the payment type that is used, allowing you to save on fees when low-rate cards are used. For instance, the rate is lower for basic cards like no-fee credit cards and debit cards than for premium cards. 

Chase is also well known for its transparent business practices and easily accessible support. Chase is one of the largest merchant account providers and boasts fewer than 30 customer complaints under the company’s BBB profile – a figure that’s considered low for a very big company. Additionally, Chase offers 24/7 phone support to all of its customers.

In addition to its in-house payment processing solution, TouchBistro also integrates with popular third-party payment processing partners. The flexibility to partner with processors like Monaris or TSYS means that you’re able to choose the payment processing solution that fits your specific business model.

Other Add-On Solutions

Next, it’s important to consider add-ons that can help you extend the functionality of any potential new POS system.

Add-On Solutions  TouchBistroFocus POS
Integrated Payments✔ (U.S. only)
Online Ordering✔ (CAD and U.S. only)
Delivery✘ 
Reservations
Gift Cards
Loyalty and Customer Relationship Management
Self-Serve Kiosk
Kitchen Display System
Customer Facing Display✔ (CAD and U.S. only)
Digital Menu Board

A quick comparison between TouchBistro and Focus POS reveals that both systems offer the following add-on solutions:

  • Payments: Integrated payments, as well as standalone processing services.
  • Online Ordering: A direct ordering solution that allows guests to order from a restaurant’s website and the order is automatically processed in your POS system.
  • Gift Cards: Physical or digital gift cards that are easy to redeem online or in-venue.
  • Loyalty and Customer Relationship Management: An integrated loyalty program that encourages repeat guest orders.
  • Kitchen Display System: A digital screen system that displays customer orders for back of house employees.

In addition to looking at similarities, it’s also important to point out some differences when it comes to the add-on solutions that each provider offers. Like TouchBistro, Focus POS also offers many add-ons that support the needs of restaurant businesses. However, Focus POS is also missing many add-ons that are essential to restaurant operations. For instance, Focus POS does not offer an in-house reservations system, which is a solution that’s essential to many full service restaurant concepts.

In contrast, all of TouchBistro’s add-on solutions were created with restaurants in mind. For instance, TouchBistro offers a fully integrated, in-house reservations system that can help you maximize your restaurant’s capacity with multiple online touchpoints. Guests can book through your online restaurant website, tbdine.com, or directly through Google. Plus, you can track table status so you can give guests estimated waiting times to keep them in the loop while they wait. 

Beyond reservations, TouchBistro offers a few additional in-house add-ons that Focus POS does not. For instance, TouchBistro offers delivery through its DoorDash Drive and TouchBistro Online Ordering integration. This means customers can order directly from your restaurant’s website, commission-free, and you can tap into DoorDash’s network of delivery drivers to offer on-demand delivery without the hassle of having to hire or oversee your own delivery fleet.

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

Integration Partners

To complement its in-house add-on solutions, most providers integrate with third-party partners that extend the capabilities of the core POS system.

Integration Partners TouchBistroFocus POS
Online Ordering and Delivery
Reservations ✘ (in-house solution)
Customer Relationship Management and Loyalty✘ (in-house solution)✔ 
Payroll
Staff Scheduling
Inventory Management
Accounting
Reporting and Analytics
eCommerce
Payment Processing Solutions

A quick look at TouchBistro vs Focus POS’ partners shows that both POS providers offer third-party integrations for many of the same solutions:

  • Online Ordering and Delivery: Online ordering aggregators to integrate third-party delivery apps with your POS system.
  • Payroll: Time-saving software to simplify HR and payroll processing.
  • Inventory Management: Inventory management solutions for restaurants.
  • Accounting: Cloud accounting tools and financial management software.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Business insights and advanced reporting tools.
  • Payment Solutions: POS-integrated payment processing partners.

Overall, Focus POS boasts an impressive list of integration partners for restaurants. For instance, Focus POS partners with FOOD-TRAK, a robust food and beverage inventory accounting tool that integrates directly into your POS. Some of Focus POS’ other integration partners include SevenRooms for reservations, MarginEdge for reporting and analytics, and ADP for payroll. 

Ultimately, Focus POS offers a much larger list of third-party integrations than TouchBistro. This is largely because Focus POS supports a wide range of hospitality businesses and needs a lengthy list of integration partners to support niche functions.

In contrast, TouchBistro’s list of integration partners is shorter because TouchBistro only supports the restaurant industry. Additionally, TouchBisto already offers in-house solutions for most critical restaurant functions, like reservations and loyalty. It is only when an in-house solution isn’t available that TouchBistro partners with best-in-class software and payment partners to provide restaurants with an all-in-one solution. Such partners include Restaurant365 for inventory management, Push Operations for payroll, and 7shifts for staff scheduling. 

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

Pricing

Before completing a review on TouchBistro vs Focus POS, it’s important to take a look at pricing. After all, you want to make sure the POS system you choose fits your budget.

Software PricingTouchBistroFocus POS
Software PricingStarting at $69 a month for a single license
Tiered pricing (cost decreases for each additional license)
Starting at $100 USD/month for a single user

Focus POS’ software pricing starts at $100 a month per user, while TouchBistro charges $69 a month for a single license. TouchBistro also offers tiered pricing, which means as you purchase more terminals, the price decreases for each additional license that is added. This also means that if you add multiple licenses, you can achieve significant savings over time. 

Another cost to consider, aside from monthly software fees, is hardware pricing. The Focus POS system runs on Windows tablets or iPads. This means that, depending on what your local reseller offers, you will most likely need to purchase an entirely new set of hardware to use the Focus POS system and all of its features. In short, it’s a big investment to make up front, especially if you end up switching providers again down the line.

In contrast, the TouchBistro POS system only runs on iPads and other standard restaurant hardware like Epson printers, all of which are easy to find and purchase at a reasonable rate, helping you keep hardware costs in check 

Customer Service

Lastly, when looking for your dream POS system, it’s important to find a provider that can help you with onboarding and solve any problems you run into along the way.

If you take a look at Focus POS’ support page, you’ll notice that the system is sold and supported by a network of local resellers across the U.S. This means that Focus POS does not have an internal customer support team that can help customers with issues before a sale, during installation, or at any time a question comes up. Some resellers also offer online resources that provide tips on how to fix software and hardware issues by yourself.

A quick glance at Focus POS reviews on websites like Capterra highlights some issues with the provider’s fragmented support model. General complaints include poor customer support, limitations to integrations, and software that’s hard to learn.

In contrast, TouchBistro’s customer support is straightforward, accessible, and available around the clock. TouchBistro customers can contact the company directly 24/7/365 to get help with any software or hardware via chat, phone, or email. TouchBistro also has an extensive library of help articles filled with how-to guides and step-by-step instructions that can help customers overcome challenges quickly.

TouchBistro vs Focus POS: The Bottom Line

After taking a close look at TouchBistro vs Focus POS, it’s clear that each platform has unique strengths and weaknesses.

Focus POS is a reliable and robust POS system that is equipped to support the needs of franchise restaurants and large corporate hospitality chains. Not only does the system offer proprietary Windows hardware that is easy to customize, but it also offers a wide range of integration partners that can help support the needs of more niche business types such as sports complexes.

However, the company’s business model relies on a network of resellers, which can create a fragmented and inconsistent experience for users. For independent restaurants or restaurant groups, not having access to specific hardware or reliable support can be a major drawback.

In contrast, TouchBistro is the more well-rounded option for single and multi-location restaurants. Here are three reasons why TouchBistro is the better choice for restaurants: 

1. Hybrid POS System

TouchBistro is a hybrid POS, which means it combines the accessibility and remote capabilities of a cloud-based POS system with the reliability of a locally-installed POS. Instead of a completely cloud-based system that is reliant on an internet connection, you can still keep your business functioning even if your WiFi cuts out because your data is saved to a local server. And when your connection comes back, your locally-saved data will be automatically uploaded to the cloud so you can keep service moving.

While this might not be the first thing on your mind when picking a POS provider, you want to make sure that you choose a POS system that doesn’t rely too heavily on the cloud to avoid disrupting your business operations. Imagine having a packed restaurant but not being able to send orders to the kitchen because your WiFi cut out – a situation that you might run into with an entirely cloud-based system like Focus POS. 

photograph of the Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems booklet
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2. 24/7/365 Customer Support 

When choosing the right POS system, it’s essential to consider the level of customer support you’ll receive. This is especially important in the event that you run into unexpected technical issues and need help troubleshooting. 

Focus POS does not have an internal customer support team. Instead, the system is sold and supported by a network of local resellers across the U.S. This means that the level of support you receive can vary widely depending on the reseller that you choose. 

In contrast, TouchBistro shines when it comes to customer support. TouchBistro offers customer care and technical support from in-house support specialists, based out of North America. The support team is available 24/7/365 by phone, chat, or email, so you can always get an answer when you need it.

In addition to impressive customer support services, TouchBistro also offers customers an extensive knowledge base library, filled with helpful documentation, articles, videos, FAQs, and step-by-step guides that restaurateurs can use to fix virtually any issue.

3. Transparent Fees

Perhaps the most compelling reason that TouchBistro is the best POS system for restaurants is that you can count on clear and transparent payment processing pricing.

Focus POS does not publicly list its payment processing pricing structure. To find out what payment processing fees you’ll be paying, you have to contact your local reseller. This means that you may end up stuck with unfavorable payment processing terms that hurt your bottom line.

In contrast to Focus POS, TouchBistro Payments Powered by Chase offers transparent, interchange plus pricing for payment processing so your monthly bill never comes as a surprise. With this pricing model, different rates are charged depending on the payment type that is used, and all of these fees are clearly listed on the card brand’s website – no hidden fees to be found. Plus, TouchBistro also gives you the added flexibility to select another popular payment processor if that is a better fit for your unique needs.

At the end of the day, every POS system has its own unique features and benefits. That’s why it’s so important to first research the ins and outs of each solution that you are considering. With this thorough, side-by-side comparison of TouchBistro vs Focus POS, you now have all of the information you need at your fingertips to decide which of these top restaurant POS systems will work best for your business.

Debra Weinryb author photo
by Debra Weinryb

Debra is the Content Marketing Specialist at TouchBistro, where she writes about the latest food and restaurant industry trends. In her spare time, Debra enjoys baking and eating together with family and friends. Her favorite creations include chocolate cake with Italian meringue buttercream, mile-high lemon meringue pie, and fresh naan with tahini sauce.

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