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 restaurant POS in New York. 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

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.