7.5/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #16 in category Restaurant POS Systems
NCR is one of the world's largest POS companies, with over 135 years of experience. NCR Aloha Essentials is a restaurant POS software with an all-in-one subscription-based service that includes robust features for enterprise-level restaurants. The downside is there is a lack of pricing transparency, unlike most other POS companies.
Easy to Use
8
Value
7
Support
7
Functionality
8
Feedback
7.5
PROS:
  • Robust and easy to use menu building options
  • Tons of excellent custom features for different restaurant-types
  • Both mobile and fixed hardware
  • EMV technology available
  • Easy reporting access -- and mobile data reporting features
CONS:
  • Pricing isn't transparent
  • No hardware flexibility -- can't bring your own system
  • No payment processing flexibility
  • Setup can get complicated
  • Issues with customer support

Aloha POS Review


 

Aloha POS Systems Review

Updated as of July, 2021

My in-depth Aloha Essentials Restaurant POS review will explore all the features and benefits available in this powerhouse POS system. If you’ve been searching the market for the perfect point of sale partner, it’s critical to understand as much as possible about each provider. Is this popular POS service right for your restaurant? Let’s explore!

Overview of Aloha POS

If you’ve been in the restaurant business for any length of time, you’ve heard of Aloha. Aloha POS is a titan point of sale solution provided by NCR — a large payment technology provider that first started operating over 130 years ago. Aloha POS is backed by one of the most experienced payment technology companies in the United States and serves more than 75,000 restaurants worldwide. NCR is a larger public corporation that trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

NCR Aloha Essentials was released in October 2019, which includes the best features of its signature NCR Aloha platform for fixed terminals and mobile devices. It’s an all-in-one subscription-based service that includes payments, mobile alerts, advanced reporting, takeout functionality, and centralized site management. It also includes hardware and support services, all for one monthly fee.

The system is a hybrid cloud-based solution, which means you won’t risk losing important information if something happens to your hardware. You can access vital reporting information from an offsite location. It also includes mobile POS functionality, which helps servers to increase table turns and reduce order errors.

Aloha POS also offers in-house payment processing that accepts all major forms of payment. EMV technology is also available. It’s easy to build menus and offer seasonal promotions to customers — you’ll also be able to split tabs and tips with ease. Aloha has adjusted with COVID by offering important tools like online ordering, QR code payments, and self-ordering kiosks.

With a list of hundreds of integrations, there are many ways to upgrade your POS system and improve your business. It’s time to explore the specific components of this POS platform in more detail below.

Don't have time for reviews?
Visit this page to compare the top restaurant POS systems in a few easy steps. Answer a few simple questions, and we’ll present the best option(s) for your business with the combination of being the perfect solution and affordable based on your business needs. Or do you want to look at Aloha competitors? Visit our list of the top restaurant computer systems.

Pros vs Cons


PROS:

  • Online ordering available
  • Robust and easy to use menu building options
  • Attractive interface
  • Tons of excellent custom features for different restaurant-types
  • Both mobile and fixed hardware
  • EMV technology available
  • Cloud-based system
  • Easy reporting access — and mobile data reporting features
  • 24/7 customer support

CONS:

  • Expensive for small business
  • No hardware flexibility — can’t bring your own system
  • It doesn’t offer payment processing flexibility
  • Pricing isn’t transparent
  • Setup can get complicated
  • Reports of outages
  • Reports of too many ‘clicks’ to perform transactions or take orders


Pricing

How much does Aloha POS cost? Unfortunately, you won’t find any publicly available information about Aloha Essentials POS pricing. You have to directly contact their sales team for a quote to find out their exact pricing structure. This is always a bit of a letdown — I believe good POS providers like Square for Restaurants typically list their pricing clearly to provide users with straightforward information.

Pricing for the traditional Aloha hospitality software is via licensing fees, which is a bit antiquated. However, the new Aloha Essentials POS for restaurants is based on a monthly subscription.

After some additional research, I’ve found that some clients report pricing at around $199 per month, per terminal, depending on the service you’re looking for. There may be lower prices that include basic apps or other ‘limited function’ platforms. Prices may also increase drastically if you need additional features and multiple terminals or multiple locations.

The bottom line is you’ll need to contact the company to get price quotes based on the number of users, terminals, and locations. This isn’t uncommon but is annoying. Larger providers sometimes will not display pricing to protect their dealers, who resell the product.

That being said, on top of software fees, programming fees, credit card processing fees, and ongoing support fees, you’ll also need to purchase NCR POS hardware from the company as well. The long and short of it is that Aloha POS is going to be expensive and better suited for enterprises that can afford this high-end product.


Compare prices fast, find the best deals as of July, 2021

Compare Prices

Aloha Testimonial Video

 

Key Features

If you want to know the real nuts and bolts of a POS system, it’s essential to understand its core features. In this section of my review, I’ll break down Aloha restaurant POS’s primary features. Check it out:

NCR Aloha Restaurant POS Terminal

  • Cloud-based POS system that also has an offline mode that ensures you don’t lose transactions
  • Access key reporting data from offsite locations — there’s also a mobile application available
  • Quickly build menus, offer promotions, and customize orders and transactions
  • Manage tabs and split checks with just a few touches of your screen
  • Touchscreen hardware systems that are built to last in a restaurant or hospitality environment
  • In-house payment solutions that provide you with EMV options and the ability to accept all primary forms of payment
  • A long list of outside integrations and add-ons that can add to the capability of your POS platform
  • Manage all your restaurant’s menus, data, and promotions from a central location — you don’t need to be onsite to customize your point of sale platform
  • Specific features for a range of different types of hospitality businesses, including pizza and wing stores
  • Mobile POS options that allow you to offer quick service and tableside ordering
  • Set up mobile alerts that notify you of certain events or irregularities
  • Access to customer support via telephone 24/7 — every day of the year
  • Takeout ordering features that allow you to track past customers and store information — plenty of features that also help streamline the takeaway order and fulfillment process
  • Robust security protocols that help you prevent intrusions and other issues
  • Inventory management enables you to keep track of important ingredients and products

Data Reporting

Aloha POS allows you to access reporting data from external locations quickly. You’ll be able to break down different data sets, such as labor costs, sales, employee trends, and more. It’s a great way to access various aspects of your operations and improve your business. Here are some additional features of advanced reporting:

    • Includes 380 standard reports and an export builder that enables customization
    • Schedule reports and alerts emailed periodically
    • Integrates with many accounting packages – QuickBooks, Great Plains, Lawson, MAS 90/200, Solomon, ACCPAC, and others
    • Integrates to payroll packages including Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Millennium, and others

Best of all, you can access all your core data from your mobile phone. You’ll be able to track staff hours and a range of other data points in “real-time.” You can even set up automated alerts that notify you of certain events.

Aloha Mobile Reporting App

Deployment Type

Aloha offers fixed and mobile POS stations and self-service kiosks. Aloha POS pitches itself as a cloud-based platform but may also require a local onsite POS server hardware device for larger installations. So, what does this mean? Aloha POS stores all your reporting information and menu templates locally but synchronizes your data to the cloud — which means you’ll be able to access your data remotely and make customizations when you’re offsite.

In reality, because Aloha POS is physically installed on your hardware system, it’s more of a hybrid platform than an exclusively cloud-based system. This is the modern standard for many POS systems. It’s also an excellent choice because it tends to be more reliable, and it means you won’t have to worry about losing important information if your hardware is stolen or damaged. The downside is this can add complexity to your installation and more expense.

Industries Served

You can use this platform across a broad range of industries, but tons of excellent hospitality features help you customize Aloha POS depending on your type of restaurant. For example, there are features specifically for cafes, bars, and quick-service restaurants (QSR) — you can even find custom features for pizza shops.

In terms of industry size, Aloha is geared towards and markets to enterprise-level restaurants. However, the software is purpose-built for full-service, quick service, and everything in between. So I’d recommend this platform from mid-sized to large restaurants or hospitality businesses looking to scale with multiple locations.

NCR Silver is probably a better option for small restaurants or businesses that only need a few terminals and require less robust features.

Ease of Use

Aloha Essentials software is easy to use and familiar to staff — it also has a straightforward interface that makes finding items much more convenient. Most servers that have been in the business have worked with Aloha; it’s a very prevalent system in the industry. Also, the best POS platforms are those that are the easiest to use. If you’re going to invest in a new point of sale provider, it must save you time and money.

Aloha Point of Sale Terminal

While there is plenty about Aloha POS that’s easy to work with, there are also a few complaints from users. Some clients claim that it can take too many ‘clicks’ before you’re able to take an order or perform a transaction. This may slow down how quickly you and your staff can perform transactions in the workplace — it’s essential to keep this in mind.

Hardware

Aloha POS seems to keep its cards close when it comes to hardware requirements. The company doesn’t provide any information about compatible devices — their main priority appears to be selling their own hardware systems to clients. In many cases, this means that you won’t be able to bring your own iPad or Android device with you. This may be a bit of a letdown for some business owners.

Still, Aloha POS offers its own durable hardware devices built specifically for the restaurant industry’s requirements. They offer ever-evolving NCR POS terminals that make it easy to take orders and process transactions.

m70 OrderPay Device

They also offer proprietary mobile devices like the Orderman for table-side ordering and line busting. You can also get a Kitchen Display System (KDS) that integrates nicely with the POS.

If you want to use an iPad or Android device, there are plenty of other competitors on the market that offers this option.

So how much does NCR Aloha hardware cost? Generally speaking, you can expect to pay about $1,000 per terminal.


Compare prices fast, find the best deals as of July, 2021

Compare Prices

Integrations

Integrations and add-ons help you quickly upgrade the features available with your POS provider. Fortunately, you have a lot of integration options on offer via Aloha POS. These integrations can help you with accounting, payment processing, online ordering, and a range of other functionality.

Aloha Online Ordering Screen

Two popular integrations you’ll find with Aloha include Clover and Microsoft Dynamics GP. There are actually over 200 third-part integrations available at Aloha POS, but you’ll need to contact Aloha POS directly to find out more information.

Payment Processing

Aloha POS is a bit elusive about its credit card processing compatibilities. As NCR is a major provider of payment technology, it appears that Aloha POS wants you to work with its in-house solutions — though the prices of these solutions are not publicly available. This is certainly something that you’ll want to clarify with Aloha POS before you make any financial commitments.

Still, you can accept all major credit cards and EMV payments via Aloha POS — which is a distinct advantage in having all components in one solution.

Customer Service

At Aloha POS, you’ll be able to contact their customer support team 24/7 via telephone. If you run a restaurant that’s open late at night, it’s critical to have a customer support team that you can contact if something goes wrong. NCR claims to be back by 35,000 employees globally with a large force of value-added resellers (VARS).

It’s also essential to see what past customers think of Aloha restaurant POS. After searching for negative feedback about Aloha POS, I found a few things that consistently annoyed some clients. One of the most significant issues highlighted is outages on the platform — this can prove costly if you can’t perform transactions.

The other issue I noticed was the “ease of use” problem highlighted earlier in this Aloha POS review. Some users report that the screen flow can be challenging, and you have to click too many buttons to finalize an order or transaction. While not a deal-breaker, this can be a pain if you operate a busy restaurant. More importantly, there are quite a few reviews of customers having problems with response times from support.

Our Verdict

There are definitely some strong points associated with Aloha POS; they have the restaurant business down. Like Micros, it’s one of the industry’s biggest players, and they have years behind the system’s impressive list of features.

As Aloha POS is backed by one of the largest payment technology companies in the United States, there will always be some apparent benefits associated with this platform. They’ve adapted with the times by offering a cloud-based solution with tableside ordering, QR code payments, and remote reporting, plus there is an extensive list of integrations that can take the platform to the next level and help you expand locations.

Unfortunately, Aloha POS is a bit too vague about the individual components of its platform. They don’t release information on pricing or payment processing fees. This leaves me to assume the worst: this is not the best platform for restaurant owners that want a clear and transparent POS provider.

Aloha fits in the medium to large enterprise category. They provide many tools you need to provide great service and grow your business during these crazy times, but at what cost? When considering the overall price with software licenses, hardware, credit card fees, ongoing support, the price might be hard to swallow.

In my opinion, Aloha is a solution for companies that have very have specific needs and requirements, that wants to work with an industry leader, and can afford it. But you still should weigh the positives and negatives of working with a large “corporation.” The bottom line, if you need a robust solution and the cost isn’t a factor, then definitely check them out.

If you want to try out Aloha Essentials POS, contact their team directly for a demo. Always ensure that you seek clarification about costs and terms before you make any financial commitments.

Before you decide, compare 2021‘s best POS systems fast & save


Compare POS Systems

Specification: Aloha POS

Best For

Full Service, Quick Service, Restaurants, Bars

Business Size

Medium, Large

POS Type

Cloud, Windows

Software Type

Cloud/SaaS, On Premise (Windows)

Free Trial

Demo Only

Merchant Services

In-House Only

Pricing Model

Monthly Payment, Contract

Price Range

$$$$-$$$$$

Videos: Aloha POS

Photos: Aloha POS

User Reviews

0.0 out of 5
0
0
0
0
0
Write a review

There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Aloha POS”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

POSUSA.com
Logo
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Compare
0