Aldelo POS Reviews

When budgets are tight, restaurants sometimes want only the basics in a point-of-sale (POS) software solution, reserving the option to upgrade later when purse strings loosen. This sums up the attitude of many Aldelo POS Pro users who just want what they need now. Aldelo POS Pro is delivered in a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model that begins at $59 per month; it positions itself as full-featured and great for table service and quick service restaurants and bars around the world. For the most part, its customers agree, citing a product that generally has the features they need, at a price they can afford.

Affordable and Intuitive

The main reason we went with it was that it was affordable, said Susanna Jade Angolani, General Manager of Michael Js Restaurant, a family-style Italian restaurant in New Mexico. For the money, Micros (her previous POS company) has got everything but its expensive. Its a tradeoff. And Aldelo never crashes.

Angolan added that the Aldelo POS Pros back-office reports are more paper-intensive in that you print report after report. The Micros system had more consolidated reports. Back-office features are critical throughout the restaurant space, being stressed by POS software offerings including Posera Maitre’D $50.00 at Posera and PAR Brink POS$90.00 at Brink Software. Aldelo POS Pro has some advanced features available in its product portfolio, including kitchen display functionality, liquor controller, and even a fingerprint reader, but these are all separate Adelo products that require separate deployment, integration, and pricing.

Andrew Bloom is General Manager of Brenas Meat Three, a full-service diner—with a Southern menu—in San Francisco. Bloom said he liked the uncomplicated interface of Aldelo POS Pro. I really like the user experience. Its easy to maneuver around the menus. The time-hold feature for orders, for coursing, and to-go orders, we use that all the time, Bloom said.

Darin Wallace is the CFO for Flos Restaurants, which are three full-service Asian restaurants in Arizona. Wallace said the Aldelo POS Pro system handled check-splitting well and that the intuitiveness of the interface made training easier. Its easy to split checks. The first Friday we had it in one restaurant, there was a $150 check and the customers wanted it split seven ways, Wallace said. The server figured it out on his own in a few minutes. He asked me if he did it right and he had.

Splitting checks is an increasingly in-demand feature, fueled by consumer mobile apps that customers repeatedly want to use. But, given that its far more convenient for the restaurant to handle the check-splitting automatically—servers get better tips that way and customers find it a good reason to bring large groups such as office gatherings to facilities that support check-splitting—its popular. That said, its complicated to do unless its handled from the very beginning of the order process. Aldelo POS Pro handles it well, but check-splitting is also a key issue with Square$29.00 at Square, which doesnt handle it well.

Tino Tsutras, General Manager of Katch Astoria, a sports lounge in Astoria, NY, said he is now happy with Aldelo POS Pro, but he said that the process to get to a good POS system was rather painful. The distributor wanted to make a sale, said it was a simple download, wont have to change any equipment. But tickets stopped going to the back, the kitchen, the bar. We needed new printers, our servers couldnt handle it, new monitors, Tsutras said. The distributor said $250 but it cost thousands. Aldelo helped us, got us trained. Gawdawful transition but it led to an amazing product.

Glitches and Missing Features

Tsutras wasn’t alone in expressing concern about the process of getting Aldelo POS Pro in place and functioning properly. Bloom also said the process was cumbersome.

We’ve felt a little bit like a beta tester. A lot of updates to fix glitches. I would have preferred it to have been more of a finished product. We wanted to be able to open everybody elses checks, Tsutras said. With Aloha, their previous POS company, you could do that on any terminal; with Aldelo, only on the cashier terminal. Slows us down a little for card processing.

Bloom also had some initial back-office report accuracy problems. Some reports were wrong at the beginning, the numbers were just wrong, Bloom said. Took months to figure that out. We really like it when its working but weve had crashing problems. Theyre going to try swapping out some hardware to fix it. We feel a little like weve been an experiment.

Users mentioned a few other items that they wish the Aldelo POS system did differently. Transferring a check, say from the bar to a server, is convoluted, Angolani said. And I tried for months to figure that out before I finally did so.

Wallace described one item as less of a bug and more of a desired new capability. Specifically, Wallace said he wanted role-based security capabilities. If a manager is also a server, they cant be restricted to just what the server is allowed to do, Wallace said. For example, managers who are also servers can void their own transactions, which isnt a good policy.

Id like them to wall that off, Wallace said. I found out I could give the employee multiple login accounts to do that, but it would be easier if they just walled it off based on how they clocked in.

Tsutras described a lack of a consistent view between back office and front office. He gave an example of the restaurant running out of one kind of beer. When the back office disables access to that now-unavailable beer, the bartender sees the item disappear instead of being grayed out. Its not clear that its sold out unless someone explains it to the bartender staff. And the back-office team cant see what the bartender is doing without going to the bar and literally looking at that screen.

Access to the back office functions is a pain; have to shut down the POS or go to a different computer. And when you 86 (disable) something in the back office, you cant see what the bartenders see, Tsutras said.

Aldelo POS Beer Selections
Aldelo POS Beer Selections

Overall, though, the customers we spoke with paint a very satisfied picture with Aldelo POS Pro. The trick is having a solid handle on what features are important to your operations and which you can do without. With a nice price and a good mix of basic features, Aldelo POS Pro is worth a look if you’re watching your pennies. And, with its ability to integrate with the company’s host of additional offerings, it might even be able to grow with your organization if you’re willing to take on some integration hurdles. But, with customer tales of initial deployment headaches and a limited set of included back-office features, it remains slightly behind Square, our Editors Choice winner in this POS software solution review roundup.

How to Choose a Restaurant POS System?

Ever since Square made it possible for small time businesses to easily take credit cards, merchants have begun to take notice of new possibilities for the way they take payments. Cloud-based POS software is exploding in the market, and with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to know where to start. This quick guide will help you narrow your focus to make sure that you’re not wasting time looking at the wrong apps.

  1. Dont even think about hardware. Historically, a hardware dependent POS forced you to take whatever hardware you had or needed to buy into consideration. This is an obsolete way of making software decisions. With affordable bandwidth flowing around the world, theres no need to take on the responsibility of buying servers and maintaining them. Run your software as a cloud service and let someone else handle the computing. Youre trying to run a restaurant.
  2. Define your needs. Even within the seemingly narrow space of the Restaurant POS category, there are a variety of offerings catering to many different needs. Some may be geared towards a coffee shop with a limited menu, and some can be designed around full service kitchens that needs to track ingredients, not menu items. Still others take a modular approach by offering software that can be expanded through add-ons developed in-house or by third parties. Some areas to consider as you define your requirements (this should by no means be considered a definitive list, but a suggestion for starting points as you determine your requirements):
    1. Payment/Accounting If youre happy with your credit card processor, youll want to make sure the new POS will integrate with them. The same goes for your accounting software. Its also crucial to make sure the POS supports the new EMV security standard. By October 2015, merchants are going to need to be ready for it or risk liability for data breaches.
    2. Inventory What do you need to keep track of? How detailed do you need to get to manage your inventory?
    3. Order Flow Do you offer table service? How do the orders get to the kitchen? A wireless, tablet-based system can manage the flow of information, from table to kitchen and back again.
    4. Reporting Always make sure the type of reporting a system offers would actually be useful to you, and that you have the ability to filter results based on your own criteria.
    5. Customer Relationship Management You might not think you need this, but odds are you do. Besides, any POS worth its monthly price is going to include ways to get customer information and store it.
    6. Other Restaurant Related Features to Make Sure Of There are tons of little things that you dont want to forget about: tipping capabilities, split payments, open tabs, table management, ability to add modifiers to orders, and item variants (S, M, and L, e.g.), to name a few.
    7. Support Is it available during the hours youll need it?
    8. Offline Support Will it work even when youve lost connection?
  3. Think about your budget, but dont overthink it. Conventional wisdom has it that your POS budget is somehow related to your revenue by way of a percentage (for example: many think you should spend 1% 2% of your annual take). This is a recipe for overspending. A POS is no longer an investment in hardware and software and support; its just another service coming in over a wire. Youre not going to spend more on electricity just because you earn more revenue. Theres no $10,000 a month cable package for people who make $7 million or more annually. You need some kind of POS, so this service is a necessary expense. After youve narrowed your search to some options, figure out what each will cost—upfront and then monthly—and plug the numbers into your business plan. Then work through a reseller and negotiate a better deal. If the numbers dont work out, the problem may be with your business plan, not the POS.
  4. Figure out a 5-year plan. Maybe youre starting small, and plan to add services and space as it becomes possible. A quick serve coffee kiosk can grown into a full service cafe just by knocking down a wall and cleaning up the debris. Having a POS that can grow with you prevents you from having to go through all this again. A vendor thats forged strong partnerships with other developers and shares its API freely will give you the greatest degree of future proofing possible.
  5. Take a test drive. Once youve narrowed your search and gone through some pricing exercises, determine which 2 or 3 options are your favorites, and then just try them. Ive only seen one cloud POS company that doesnt offer a free trial, and even they will if you ask them nicely. Test the software for ease of use. How is it configuring the POS for the first time? What about adding inventory and ringing up an order? Is the layout intuitive? You can get a pretty good feel for a POS just by monkeying around with it for a few hours.
  6. Test their support, too. Assuming youve verified that technical support is available when you need it, and that your test run went smoothly and youre satisfied with the stability/utility of the software, this is still a crucial step. Make sure their support is worthwhile. Make up a problem. Ask them how to do something. Call or e-mail or both. Just because all looks good now doesnt mean something wont break in the future, and its good to be sure youll have a competent and responsive support team to reach out to. Dont forget to look through their support website, too.
  7. Make a decision. There is no universal wisdom to picking your final choice. If youve followed all the steps, chances are there will be one standout.