Alex Barrotti, CEOSeven years ago, Alex Barrotti was enjoying sushi on the patio of a restaurant in the Caribbean when the restaurant owner, a personal friend, requested help in finding technology to solve his problem with slow service and poor table turns. He was losing business because his waiters spent so much time running between the patio and kitchen to take and place orders, deliver food, and accept payments.
As Barrotti was on sabbatical following the acquisition of his technology company, he was able to take the time to research solutions to solve the problem. He was surprised to find there wasn’t anything in the market that would provide the functionality needed.
Then Apple announced the iPad. It was perfect timing and the perfect form factor—a mobile device not much bigger than the order pad usually carried by waiters, making it ideal to bring to the table. However, there were no restaurant point-of-sale apps for an iPad, so Barrotti embarked on a new venture to develop mobile technology that would revolutionize the way restaurants operate. A year later, TouchBistro was launched.
Fast forward to 2017 and TouchBistro is now the top selling iPad point-of-sale (POS) solution for restaurants in 37 countries. Thousands of restaurants around the world rely on TouchBistro as it helps them increase sales, improve the customer experience, and make better business decisions.
Orders are entered into the TouchBistro app on an iPad by the waiter, either at the table or while customers are standing in line, and sent automatically to the kitchen for preparation—without all the usual running back and forth. Secure payments can also be processed tableside. TouchBistro works very closely with multiple payment processors and takes security very seriously, ensuring there is full encryption at the hardware level.
“We made a conscious choice when we started this business to focus only on restaurants, which has enabled us to create the best workflows and usability designs,” says Barrotti.
For example, TouchBistro is a hybrid that is cloud connected but not cloud dependent, so if the internet goes down, the restaurant can still transact business.
We made a conscious choice when we started this business to focus only on restaurants, which has enabled us to create the best workflows and usability designs
“I’ve heard restaurant owners say their internet went down and they lost $50,000 business. We have an in-house server that keeps all the data. When the internet comes back, it synchronizes all the data with the cloud again,” Barrotti explains.
TouchBistro generates a full suite of real-time reports that can be accessed in-house or in the cloud to help restaurant operators make better business decisions, such as which wait staff are performing the best, what items are selling the most, and whether the restaurant is running out of any items. TouchBistro is also integrated with accounting, shift scheduling, and other key apps a restaurant owner may need for success.
TouchBistro’s patented design ad¬dresses the specific needs of restaurants, requiring only a tap or swipe for even complex actions like bill splitting or combining orders from different seats. As TouchBistro runs on an iPad and hardware that can be bought off-the-shelf at any retailer, it is affordable for any startup or established restaurant.
“More than 7,000 restaurants provided feedback from their experience with TouchBistro. Their insights and wish lists are the basis for our rich feature set that we enhance every six to eight weeks,” says Barrotti. "It is incredibly rewarding to hear so many great stories from restaurants about how TouchBistro has helped them increase sales, improve the customer experience, and make decisions that have resulted in a whole new level of success.”