TouchBistro – Support and troubleshooting
7th August 2022
TouchBistro software for restaurants / bars.
Runs on iPads and Mac devices. Pretty good for serving customers / taking orders directly at the table. Seems to do what most restaurants need / want. Software appears to be mature and their helpdesk support team are available without being on hold forever and know the software well.
What doesn’t work so well is when your network has other things on it apart from the TouchBistro things. Unsurprisingly TouchBistro support can’t / won’t support networks that aren’t using exactly the subset of hardware that they specify.
- Printers that don’t always appear at the same place on the network.
This causes tickets to not appear at the kitchen printer, or to appear hours later.
- Card machines (if you have that integration), unable to take payment because TouchBistro can’t find them.
- iPads moving around on the network and TouchBistro controller having trouble keeping track of them.
iPads are slow, complain about being offline etc.
- Poor wireless coverage.
If an iPad doesn’t have good wireless strength, then order-at-table functionality is very hit and miss.
Add all these together and you wonder why you’re not just using paper and pen…
There are 2 paths for making it all work and work reliably.
- Use only the TouchBistro recommended network kit, follow their requirements to the letter.
Don’t add anything that isn’t TouchBistro to the network.
- Run a self managed network.
For many venues, this is the most appropriate solution.
Running a self managed TouchBistro network:
Do’s and Don’ts
The key thing is recognise who is responsible for what parts:
- Your internet service provider is responsible for the internet into the building.
Provided the router that they supplied is showing as online at a decent speed, then that’s the end of their responsibility.
If your iPad isn’t getting decent network speed, but the router that they supplied is, then that is NOT their problem.
- TouchBistro are responsible for the smooth functioning of the software.
If it can’t add up, or food order tickets are coming out of the kitchen printer in a string of emojis rather than English, then that’s a TouchBistro issue for them to fix.
If your iPad isn’t getting decent network speed, but the TouchBistro software is behaving, then that is NOT their problem
So, there’s a gap there.
The “self managed” network means that you are responsible for that bit in the middle.
- Have up to date / fast enough / new enough Mac or iPad running TouchBistro.
That old iPad from 2013? it’s not going to work.
- Use cabled network connections whereever possible rather than wireless ones
- Have a single wireless network that gives decent coverage everywhere
- Use business grade networking hardware.
The cheap stuff from PCWorld / eBay is not going to give the reliability needed.
- Use an old Mac
And have it running Spotify / Sonos, doing email and Excel, connected over wireless.
Too many areas for things to go wrong.
- Use a cheap internet service provider.
The router that they supply will be junk.
Either use a decent provider or get your own, business grade, router instead.
- Have wireless repeaters.
These only exist for the home market (because businesses will install cables and another wireless access point instead).
This means that any wireless repeater on the market is very cheap and so inherently unreliable.
They should not be used in a business environment – ever.
- Allow Guest WiFi onto the same wireless network.
Customers should not be able to see kitchen printers or any of the TouchBistro items. You’re asking for trouble by allowing customer’s potentially virus infected devices onto your network
A common complaint is that the internet is “slow” and that’s why TouchBistro is slow.
This is not the correct diagnosis.
TouchBistro only needs internet access to be able to process card payments (very small amounts of data), do updates (every now and again) and when their support team need to connect. So for day-to-day operation, a very slow but reliable internet connection is fine.
The problem is often that the internal network is not performing well, that’s why TouchBistro is slow, that’s why internet connection appears to be slow, that’s why you’ve got chaos during service.
What is the “fix”?
- Use decent network hardware.
- Have a comprehensive, business grade, wireless network.
- Be able to see what’s going on on your network and diagnose problems.
- Have a good internet service provider and connection.
This does, of course, mean spending a bit of money, but it’s either that or complete chaos during service.
Can Astaris help? of course we can. Reliable, fast, secure managed networks for hospitality is the “thing” that we’re really good at.