Aloha POS System Review for 2022

NCR's Aloha POS system has a user-friendly design, but subpar customer support, and pricing isn't transparent.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

The Aloha point-of-sale, or POS, system for restaurants is a software product by NCR, a technology and professional services company. Aloha POS is one of the oldest POS systems on the market, but according to recent reviews, it’s struggling to keep up with the rest of the industry.

Despite Aloha’s user-friendly design and long-standing popularity, its lack of transparent pricing and abundance of reviews citing high costs and poor customer service makes it a so-so choice for most small businesses. Other POS systems like Square or Toast may be better alternatives for your restaurant.

Deciding factors

Software cost

Quote-based monthly subscription; reviews estimate $99 or more per month.

Hardware cost

Quote-based; systems resell online for $895 or more.

Payment processing cost

Quote-based.

Contract length

Monthly subscription; no contract required.

Live support

24/7 dedicated customer support.

Ease of use

User-friendly for daily employee use; difficulties with setup and integration, according to reviews.

How does Aloha POS work?

Aloha POS software gives restaurant owners the ability to take orders, accept and process payments, manage employees, and perform several other business operations. NCR also offers Aloha POS hardware options, including traditional countertop and handheld terminals.

Software capabilities

Orders and fulfillment

With the Aloha POS software and hardware combo, you can take and process customer orders in the way your business requires, including quick service, table service, fast-casual and bar operations.

You can also manage your menu, create food order modifications and prompt sale suggestions. Takeout and delivery options and contactless ordering are also available.

You can automate kitchen scheduling, integrate loyalty programs and gift cards, and store customer information. Other features include check-splitting and seat-by-seat payments, multilingual versions and store location management.

Payment processing

With Aloha, you have the ability to process payments by credit card (including EMV chip cards), as well as cash, debit card and mobile wallet. Aloha's payment processing offers both point-to-point encryption and tokenization.

You can also receive end-to-end transaction support on payments, as well as multi-level integration with direct connections to all major credit card associations. There's next-day funding so your business can receive deposits quickly.

Employee management

The Aloha POS system provides you and your employees with tools to manage time and responsibilities, including features for overtime and task management.

There’s a built-in feature for tip-sharing distribution, making it easier for employees to divvy up checks fairly.

Site and system operations

Since Aloha POS is a cloud-based application, you have access to your restaurant operations wherever you have an internet connection. You can remotely monitor your system and manage your menu, promotions, items and price changes.

Mobile tools

If you’re on the go or managing your time between restaurant locations, you can check in on your operations using the Aloha POS mobile app. With this app, you can access your business’s performance and metrics, including net sales by hour, employee working hours, and inventory levels.

You can also see tables, number of guests, full check details, staff clocked in and more.

When using the app, you can connect your phone to NCR hardware in the same location, increasing your number of devices without additional hardware cost.

Reporting

With your Aloha POS dashboard, you have access to sales, product and employee reporting information. You can compare and contrast your restaurant data points across multiple stores and time periods, look at operational targets vs. actuals, see product trends and changes, and calculate labor costs by month or as a percent of sales.

Hardware

You can choose from several Aloha hardware terminals to run your POS software. NCR offers two main categories of hardware: traditional countertop terminals and mobile POS terminals.

Countertop terminals

Aloha POS can be run on NCR’s PX and CX Series terminals.

The PX series terminal comes in a 10-inch or 15-inch size and runs either Windows 10 or Android. It has an LED-backlit touchscreen. You can also mount a 7-inch display on the back of the PX10 so that customers can visually track their order as it’s entered.

The CX series terminal comes in 7-inch and 10-inch options for the CX5, and 15-inch and 18-inch options for the CX7. According to NCR, the CX hardware is more upscale and versatile than the PX Series, and can be paired with other software, not just Aloha POS.

Mobile terminals

For more flexibility with your POS system, NCR also offers two mobile hardware options.

The first option is the NCR 7779 tablet, which operates with Windows in 8-inch and 10-inch sizes. It has near-field communication capabilities for contactless tags and non-payment cards.

Another option is the Ingenico M70, a 7-inch Android tablet that supports contactless payments.

Additional hardware

NCR also offers receipt printers, several kitchen operations components and other payment processing devices.

Pros

User-friendly

Generally speaking, Aloha POS reviews from happy customers tend to focus on how user-friendly the system is; they say it's easy for employees to use and has a clear, simple display. The system can handle complicated orders like split tabs or checks by seat. It also has built-in features like tab payments and combo ordering, which reduces the price of certain items when they're ordered together.

Industry standard

As one of the first restaurant POS systems, Aloha POS is widely used across the restaurant industry. Because so many restaurants, bars and cafes use it — and have for decades — many employees you hire will be familiar with its main functions. This may minimize the system training necessary for new employees, especially if you tend to hire based on previous experience.

Cons

Pricing

There are very few details online — including on the NCR website — about Aloha POS prices. This makes it difficult for new customers to estimate their initial and future costs, or to compare the system with others. For pricing, you'll need to request a quote.

Customer support

Aloha POS users report subpar customer support. Many reviewers say they were unsatisfied with the service they received from Aloha support staff, especially during system setup and when working with add-ons and integrations.

Reviewers also report that customer service response times can range widely; some say it took days to weeks to receive help from the right department.

Alternatives

Square POS for Restaurants

Square for Restaurants offers a variety of industry-specific features, including ones for quick-service eateries, bars and ghost kitchens. Its pricing is transparent and straightforward, with a free software plan and an upgraded plan for a $60 monthly subscription, as well as premium plans with custom pricing.

The platform allows you to run front-of-house operations, from menu setups to table maps to tabs and gratuity. It also provides reporting and employee management features, as well as customer insights. Like Aloha POS, Square for Restaurants is an all-in-one POS system with fully compatible software, hardware, payment processing and add-on options.

Square POS

Square
Shop Now

on Square's website

Clover POS

Clover is a popular POS system for restaurants with a variety of hardware and software options, though it’s become difficult to find Clover pricing information online. The Clover Register plan, which is most similar to Aloha POS, offers features like employee management, loyalty programs, inventory management, promotions and more.

For the restaurant and retail industries specifically, Clover Register allows you to manage tables, take payments without Wi-Fi, set up low-stock alerts, schedule shifts for your team, and more. You can also add multiple hardware devices to your account for no additional monthly fee.

Clover

Clover
Shop Now

on Clover's website

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.