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By Katherine Pendrill
If you’re making the tough decision of choosing between a modern restaurant POS system and a legacy one, you’ve probably compared TouchBistro vs Micros POS.
While both TouchBistro and Micros (formally known as the Oracle MICROS Simphony POS system) are popular options for restaurants around the world, the two systems couldn’t be more different. Micros is a legacy POS system that has been around for decades and is now owned by the multinational technology corporation Oracle.
A legacy POS system is sometimes referred to as an “on-premise” POS system because all your POS hardware and software is stored on-site in your restaurant. This means that your sales data is stored on local servers and runs on a closed internal network, so you can only access that information from the devices installed in your restaurant.
On the other hand, TouchBistro is a newer, cloud-based system that was designed to give restaurants flexible, mobile POS solutions to help grow their business. Unlike legacy systems of the past, cloud POS systems store your data in the cloud via remote servers. This means that your information is available over the Internet from any device, at any time.
Whether you’re shopping for your very first restaurant POS system or you’re in the midst of switching POS providers, understanding the difference between systems like TouchBistro and Micros can help you pinpoint the best solution for your specific business.
To help you wrap your head around these differences, we’ve put together a head-to-head comparison of TouchBistro vs Micros. Based on current product information and detailed online reviews, we’ll cover:
With the information in this guide, you’ll not only get the inside scoop on TouchBistro vs Micros POS, but you’ll also learn what to look for (and what to avoid) when shopping for a new restaurant POS system.
If you want to compare more POS providers, you can also check out our Ultimate Guide to the Best Restaurant POS Systems.
The information contained on this site is accurate as of the time of publication.
Compare the top legacy POS systems for restaurants on features, hardware, integrations, pricing, and more.
Before diving into the nitty gritty, it’s important to start with the basics. Below, we’ll provide a brief overview of TouchBistro vs Micros, including how each system is set up, ease of use, and regional availability.
The most important difference between TouchBistro and Micros is that TouchBistro is a modern restaurant POS system, while Micros is what’s referred to as a legacy POS system.
Micros was originally established back in the late 1970s as a high-tech alternative to the cash register. At this time, POS systems like Micros consisted of bulky hardware fixed to a specific location in the restaurant. This hardware had to be loaded with the appropriate POS software by a trained technician. Because everything had to be done on-site, legacy systems are sometimes referred to as on-premise POS systems.
However, Micros POS has come a long way from its original legacy setup. Since the company was purchased by Oracle Corporation, Micros has augmented its older technology with cloud capabilities. Micros is now a hybrid system with a locally installed connection and a cloud-based app. This means that users can now access POS data from anywhere, including from mobile tablets.
In contrast to Micros, TouchBistro was founded in 2010, just as legacy POS systems were being replaced by modern cloud POS systems. TouchBistro is a modern POS system that runs on wireless iPad tablets and POS software that stores your restaurant’s data in the cloud via remote servers. This means that instead of all your information being stored on-site in your restaurant, you can access your POS data from any device, at any time, as long as you have an Internet connection.
However, to ensure an unstable Internet connection never causes an interruption to service, TouchBistro is also equipped with a hardwired, local connection for your POS that can act as a backup if the Internet goes down in your venue. The main benefit of this kind of hybrid POS setup is that you enjoy all the freedom, mobility, and speed of cloud computing, without the risk of any downtime.
Just like their POS setup, TouchBistro and Micros also differ when it comes to the operating system that each POS software runs on.
Like many legacy POS systems, Micros runs on a Windows operating system. Though Windows is common among older, legacy POS systems, it’s worth noting that Windows is no longer the operating system of choice for modern POS systems. This is because Windows can be difficult to learn if you are not already familiar with Windows systems. Not to mention, Windows is also more likely to be the target of malware and is therefore at a higher risk of security breaches than other operating systems like iOS.
Unlike Micros, TouchBistro runs exclusively on iOS, which is the operating system of choice for most modern POS systems. The reason iOS is more common in restaurant tech, is because Apple owns both the hardware (the iPad) and the software (iOS), allowing for a seamless integration between POS software and Apple devices, as well as the automatic rollout of system updates. Additionally, iOS is a closed platform, meaning it’s less virus-prone than other operating systems.
Regardless of how the POS system is set up, it’s important to know how easy it is to use. And when it comes to ease of use, there are some big differences between TouchBistro and Micros POS.
As mentioned above, Micros runs on a Windows operating system, so anyone who is familiar with Windows or has used Windows-based POS systems in the past will likely find Micros easy to navigate.
But while familiar to some, Windows is not a common operating system for restaurant POS software because it comes with a steeper learning curve than other systems like iOS. This means that if you (or your staff) are not already accustomed to Windows, the Micros POS system will take longer to properly set up, configure, and learn to use.
TouchBistro runs on iOS, which is the operating system of choice for most modern POS systems. iOS is more common because there is a consistent user experience across all Apple devices. So if you and your staff are already familiar with Apple devices – like the iPhone or iPad – they will easily be able to learn how to use an iOS POS system like TouchBistro.
And even if your staff isn’t familiar with Apple products, they will have no trouble picking up TouchBistro. TouchBistro was specifically designed to be a plug-and-play POS system so restaurateurs and their staff can get up and running immediately – without a lengthy training process.
Finally, to complete our overview of TouchBistro vs Micros POS, we’ll examine regional availability.
Micros’ parent company Oracle is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, making it well situated to serve the U.S. market. However, because Oracle is a global business, the Micros POS system is used in restaurants, bars, cafes, and clubs around the world. In fact, Micros POS supports multiple languages and currencies, including Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and more.
TouchBistro, on the other hand, is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. TouchBistro primarily serves Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and the U.K. Beyond these primary markets, TouchBistro is also used in more than 100 countries around the world.
Moving past the basics, lets see how TouchBistro vs Micros compare when it comes to core POS features.
Both TouchBistro and Micros POS are equipped with the following core features:
For the most part, TouchBistro and Micros offer a very similar set of core features. However, Micros’ features are a bit more robust and let you do a little bit more. For instance, Micros’ inventory software not only helps you track stock levels, but it also connects you with vendors and suppliers. This makes it incredibly easy to reorder, access invoices, and create menu models, all from your POS.
Micros’ reporting feature is also very advanced. In addition to basic sales and labor reports, Micros also provides advanced reporting and analytics for tracking multiple locations. With Micros, you can view reports by restaurant, region, type, or across all your locations at once, on any device.
In contrast, TouchBistro’s core POS features certainly lack some of the bells and whistles that Micros offers. However, TouchBistro was specifically designed with independent restaurants in mind, and most of these venues don’t actually need enterprise-level functionality. In fact, TouchBistro’s more streamlined list of functions not only makes each feature easier to learn, but also faster to navigate during service. In other words, TouchBistro’s core POS comes with everything you need to run an independent restaurant, and nothing you don’t.
Because of their different operating systems, TouchBistro and Micros each use different POS hardware.
In order to use the Micros POS software, you’ll need to purchase Oracle’s proprietary Micros restaurant POS hardware. There is a wide variety of Oracle hardware to choose from, including the brand’s flagship large-screen Workstation 6 Series display, and the mobile Tablet 700 Series device. Oracle even offers a Workstation 3 Series display ideal for venues with limited space and electrical outlets like food trucks.
For many restaurateurs, having a wide range of devices to choose from is a plus, because it allows them to fully customize their setup to suit their space. However, the downside of Micros’ strict hardware requirements is that you’re obligated to commit to these proprietary Oracle devices, instead of shopping around for less expensive tablets. It also also means that if you decide you don’t want to use Micros in the future, you’ll be stuck with some pricey hardware that won’t work with other POS systems – an issue you won’t have if you use more common devices such as iPads.
TouchBistro runs on iOS and uses iPads as the POS terminals. This means there’s no need to purchase proprietary hardware in order to use TouchBistro, and you may even be able to save money if you are switching from another iPad-based POS system (as long as the devices are a compatible generation).
Beyond cost, iPads are also incredibly easy to use. The user experience is the same across all Apple devices (e.g. iPhones and MacBooks), so any staff already familiar with these devices will easily be able to navigate the iPad interface. If you have a lot of front-of-house and back-of-house staff to train on your new restaurant POS system, opting for user-friendly hardware like iPads can make the training process significantly faster.
In addition to core features, both TouchBistro and Micros offer additional add-on solutions. These include everything from loyalty programs to integrated payment processing.
In order to accept credit, debit, and digital payments, most restaurants work with a payment processing partner. To simplify things, most POS providers will offer POS-integrated payment processing as an add-on solution. Your provider may also offer its own in-house payments solution.
In the past, Micros has worked with the payment processor Heartland Payment Systems to create an easy integration between credit card processing and the Micros POS. However, Micros doesn’t currently require the use of any one particular processor. This means that Micros customers have the freedom to choose from a wide variety of integrated payment processing partners. Many restaurateurs appreciate this level of flexibility because it means they can shop around, compare rates, and ultimately choose the best payment processor for their specific business model.
TouchBistro also offers customers the flexibility to choose from several integrated payment processing partners, including big names such as Chase Merchant Services, TSYS, and Moneris. Having a long list of payment processing partners to choose from not only helps you end up with a better rate, but it also ensures you don’t get locked into a long-term contract with a payment processor that isn’t a good fit for your business model.
Additionally, TouchBistro also offers its own in-house payment processing solution: TouchBistro Payments powered by Chase. Though currently only available to customers in the U.S., TouchBistro Payments is a great option for many restaurants because the fees are structured according to a cost plus pricing model.
The main benefit to a cost plus pricing model is that you pay a custom rate for each transaction, instead of a flat rate for all transactions – regardless of what type of card or method of payment your customers are using. Though this means that your credit card fees are a little less predictable, the tradeoff is that cost plus pricing generally ends up being the more budget-friendly option for restaurants.
Of course, restaurants have many other needs outside of payment processing, which is why most restaurant POS providers offer a wide range of other add-on solutions. Some common add-ons include loyalty programs, online ordering tools, reservations, and more.
Both TouchBistro and Micros offer many of the same add-on solutions, including:
For the most part, TouchBistro and Micros offer comparable add-on products. However, Micros POS is an enterprise system, which means that it does have a few niche add-on functions that may be a benefit to major restaurant brands.
For instance, Micros offers a unique online ordering solution for restaurants. Micros has an open API, so you can work directly with Micros to build the best online ordering system for your restaurant. This includes adding next-level features, such as a GPS-enabled web app, or location-aware technology to automate contactless pickup.
Though some of TouchBistro’s add-ons lack some of the bells and whistles that Micros offers, other solutions are more built-out than Micros’.
For instance, TouchBistro Reservations is an end-to-end reservation system and guest management platform that integrates directly with your POS. Unlike Micros’ own reservations system, TouchBistro Reservations allows guests to make online bookings through many different channels, including your restaurant’s website, Facebook page, or from the TouchBistro Dine platform. The TouchBistro Dine platform is especially valuable because it puts your restaurant in front of thousands of potential customers looking to book a table for their next meal – a major marketing advantage.
In addition to add-ons, both TouchBistro and Micros offer integrations with various third-party partners. This includes integrations for services such as accounting, delivery, advanced inventory management, and more.
When you compare TouchBistro vs Micros head-to-head, you can see that both POS providers offer integrations for the following types of services:
Though TouchBistro and Micros may offer third-party integrations for similar types of services, there’s no question that Micros comes out on top when it comes to the sheer number of third-party integrations available to its users. In fact, Micros POS users have access to the Oracle Cloud Marketplace, which features more than 85 local and global partners that can help food and beverage businesses.
Of course, the reason Micros offers such a large number of third-party integrations is because the Micros POS is geared towards enterprise-level restaurant brands that often need to extend their POS capabilities to support their growing business operations.
In contrast, TouchBistro supports fewer third-party integrations than Micros because it is geared towards independent restaurants, most of which have fairly straightforward needs that can be met with in-house solutions.
For anything not offered as an in-house solution, TouchBistro has a curated list of integration partners consists of industry-leading solutions that are already used by – or at least familiar to – most restaurateurs. For instance, TouchBistro supports 7Shifts for employee scheduling, MarketMan for advanced inventory management, and Avero for multi-unit reporting. As a result, most independent restaurants will be able to carry out just about any additional function they might need with their preferred software partner.
No review of TouchBistro vs Micros POS would be complete without a comparison of how much each system costs.
Unfortunately, it’s tough to say exactly how much the Micros POS system will cost you because the company isn’t very transparent when it comes to pricing. Unlike most modern POS systems, Micros does not make it’s pricing publicly available online. Instead, the company states that it’s POS systems are “are competitively priced” and encourages anyone interested to reach out for a custom quote – an extra hurdle to jump through that can be off putting.
While Micros promises a custom rate for each customer, you should expect these costs to be on the higher-end. Micros is primarily designed for enterprise-level restaurants and that kind of feature-rich system often comes with a big price tag to match. Not to mention, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of purchasing Micros’ proprietary hardware from Oracle.
In contrast, TouchBistro is much more transparent with its pricing. TouchBistro’s plans start at an affordable $69 USD per month for one license. TouchBistro offers tiered pricing so the price per license decreases for each additional license purchased. TouchBistro also clarifies that all of its plans include its core POS features, cloud-based reporting and analytics, unlimited users, free integrations, and free 24/7/365 support.
To use the TouchBistro system, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of hardware. Fortunately, if you’re switching from another iPad-based POS, you can most likely reuse your existing iPads.
And if you don’t already own iPad tablets, a regular iPad will set you back around $300 to $400 for a brand-new device. While this may seem a little steep, this is actually significantly less than the cost of most legacy hardware. For comparison, the Oracle MICROS Compact Workstation 310 with 10.1-inch touchscreen display will cost you $1,415 USD per device.
Perhaps just as important as pricing, is the issue of customer support.
And when you compare TouchBistro vs Micros on customer support, Micros reviews suggest that the company often comes up short. Though the company boasts that customers “can count on 24/7/365 global support,” Micros POS reviews note that the quality of support has suffered since the company was purchased by Oracle.
Even if it’s phone and email support is sometimes lacking, Micros does offer fairly extensive online resources that can help with training or troubleshooting common issues. In fact, there is an entire My Oracle Support portal full of resources for Micros customers.
On the other hand, TouchBistro shines when it comes to customer support. TouchBistro offers award-winning 24/7 customer service and technical support, 365 days of the year. TouchBistro’s support team can be reached by phone or email, and is largely staffed by former restaurant servers, owners, and managers. This means that when you call in, you’re usually speaking with someone who knows the industry inside and out, and has first-hand experience with all of the issues you’re experiencing.
For more minor issues, TouchBistro also has an extensive online resource library, complete with step-by-step guides and video tutorials. These guides are designed to help you troubleshoot issues quickly on your own so you can get right back to regular service.
Having read a full review of TouchBistro vs Micros, you’ve likely gathered that while the systems are comparable, each provider has specific strengths and weaknesses.
Overall, it’s clear that the Micros POS is best for well established, global restaurant chains, such as Pizza Hut or Outback Steakhouse. Micros not only has extensive POS features designed to support and manage multiple locations, but the system also supports multiple languages and currencies – something that’s essential to any global enterprise.
While Micros is a great fit for global restaurant brands, TouchBistro is the better all-around solution for independent restaurants based on the following reasons:
If you’re going to go through all the trouble of setting up a new restaurant POS system, you want to make sure you choose one that your staff can learn quickly and use confidently on a daily basis. TouchBistro runs on an iOS operating system and uses Apple hardware, which is widely considered to be the most user-friendly option when it comes to POS software and hardware. Even if your staff are not familiar with Apple devices, the plug-and-play nature of TouchBistro means that training is straightforward and the system is intuitive enough for virtually anyone to understand.
Unlike TouchBistro, the Micros POS runs on a Windows operating system and uses proprietary Oracle hardware, which comes with a much steeper learning curve. And when you combine this kind of system with Micros’ vast array of features, it can make completing even the simplest daily tasks a lengthy process.
In other words, unless your staff have specifically used Micros in the past, the system may not be the most user-friendly and may require more extensive training to get everyone up to speed – time that you don’t always have in a busy restaurant.
Few restaurateurs put great customer services at the top of their POS wish list, but they should. That’s because running a restaurant is a round-the-clock job and you need support to be there when things go wrong.
TouchBistro offers best-in-class support 24/7, 365 days of the year to make sure someone is always there when you need them. TouchBistro’s award winning customer service team is also made up of people with years of first-hand restaurant experience so the person on the other end actually understands what you’re dealing with and how to fix it.
While Micros also offers 24/7/365 support, Micros POS reviews suggest that actually getting a hold of support isn’t quite so simple. While some problems can certainly wait, lengthy call wait times can spell disaster if you’re dealing with major technological issues. And in the restaurant industry, a malfunctioning POS system could mean hundreds, if not thousands, in lost revenue.
If you run a tiny juice bar or coffee cart, you might be able to get by with a retail POS. However, if you’re running a full fledged restaurant, you need a dedicated restaurant POS system.
TouchBistro was designed by restaurant people, for restaurant people, to help make running your business easier and more profitable. This wealth of industry knowledge is the reason why TouchBistro’s core POS is equipped with features that are robust enough to support a wide variety of functions, but also intuitive enough for all your front-of-house and back-of-house staff to use.
With Micros, you’re not getting a dedicated restaurant POS. Micros is owned by Oracle, which makes POS systems for hotels, resorts, casinos, stadiums, airports, and more. This means when you go with Micros, you’re not getting the focus of a company dedicated to the restaurant industry. Rather, you’re signing on with a major corporation that’s working on POS features for a vast array of businesses – many of which have wildly different needs than you.
While it’s clear there are plenty of similarities and differences between TouchBistro and Micros, both are certainly great POS options for restaurants. Deciding which system is the better fit for your business simply comes down to your specific needs and the must-haves you can’t run your restaurant without. We hope that with this head-to-head review of TouchBistro vs Micros POS, some of those must-haves are now a little easier to identify.
Katherine is the Content Marketing Manager at TouchBistro, where she writes about trending topics in food and restaurants. The opposite of a picky eater, she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. Whether it’s chowing down on camel burgers in Morocco or snacking on octopus dumplings in Japan, she’s always up for new food experiences.
By Korry D.
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