NCR Aloha POS Review
This restaurant POS system boasts robust features and a customizable interface, but suffers from poor customer support and unclear pricing.
- Numerous features
- Advanced inventory management
- eCommerce integration
- Highly customizable
- No pricing disclosed online
- Poor customer support
- Limited integrations
NCR Aloha POS has an excellent ordering system and a very functional interface that anyone with experience in the restaurant industry will find to be intuitive. It’s a one-stop-shop product with strong inventory management and employee management, along with loyalty and eCommerce options. It also includes some COVID-friendly features, such as online ordering, QR code payments, and self-ordering kiosks. A recent partnership with Poynt also allows for tableside ordering.
Now for the downsides. Aloha POS pricing is very difficult to pin down, even when you’ve given it some specifics about your business. And when you do end up with even the broadest of quotes, it’s an expensive system. Aloha POS seems to cater to larger chain restaurants that can afford to pay (or overpay) a premium for a good, dependable system that should satisfy a restaurant’s needs. But there are plenty of other systems out there that provide comparable services for less money. And when you factor in the company’s mediocre customer service, the shine wears off even more.
What Is NCR Aloha POS?
NCR Aloha POS is a restaurant point of sale system designed with larger, multi-location businesses in mind. It is a hybrid system with locally installed hardware that boasts a rich feature set including strong inventory management and eCommerce.
Table of Contents
NCR Aloha Pricing
Aloha POS pricing is tricky, to say the least. The company goes out of its way to keep straight answers off of its website and, in fact, off the internet entirely. Technically, the company operates on a quote-based system in that you’ll need to call and speak with a representative, talking them through your specific needs to get a quote. In the roughest of terms, hardware can set you back around $1,000 on top of software fees, customization fees, and standard card processing fees. The long and short of it is that NCR Aloha isn’t cheap by any definition.
NCR Aloha Features
NCR Aloha’s restaurant POS is extremely feature-rich, as you might expect from a system that’s at the higher end in terms of cost. You’re likely to find all of the usual bells and whistles you would expect from a strong POS system.
- Ordering: This POS is built specifically with the busy restaurant owner in mind. It handles the order process quite well with features that can help you through the following tasks.
- Check Splitting: The system quickly walks you through this process, allowing you to assign orders to seats and easily divvy up items. It also allows you to split checks for groups that are all paying with separate cards.
- Tipping: NCR Aloha POS system has a unique Table Service setting that makes pooling tips and splitting them a simple process for employees.
- Modifiers: The system intuitively walks servers through forced modifiers and displays optional modifiers as well, allowing for easy opportunities to upsell. It’s also a simple process for servers to click on orders and make custom changes.
- Contactless Dine-In: Whether your NCR Aloha POS can accept NFC payments (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay) depends on your particular hardware setup, since not all of the system’s payment terminals can accept this type of payment. However, NCR Aloha POS offers another contactless way for guests to pay: using a QR code with their phone. Customers can scan a QR code from a receipt or screen and then pay on their own device. Self-ordering kiosks are another option for contactless dine-in and one that can work well for quick-service, fast-casual. The system also sends SMS updates to your customers’ phones to alert them that their order is ready, or it can display completed orders on your digital signage.
- Online Ordering: When integrated with NCR Aloha POS, NCR’s eCommerce add-on, Off Premise, provides fully integrated online ordering, mobile ordering, contactless delivery, and curbside pickup. The service also integrates orders from third-party delivery apps (such as DoorDash and GrubHub) and includes a QR code payment option.
- Inventory Management: In addition to its register features, NCR Aloha POS also features strong back-office office management features, including inventory management.
- Purchase Orders: The POS comes with the ability to create and track your purchase orders, and you can easily keep track of them in the back end. It can also recommend purchase orders based on your trends.
- Real-Time Ingredient Tracking: Keep tabs on your ingredient levels during busy times at your restaurant, so servers will know if an item becomes unavailable.
- Store-By-Store Comparisons: Easily discern what items are selling well or not at all at a particular location. You can also easily set up transfers of inventory between locations.
- Future Sales Tracking: One of the unique inventory features the system offers, it predicts future sales amounts and guest tracking, running those reports at 15-minute intervals.
- Reporting: NCR Aloha POS system’s sheer number of reports isn’t overly impressive, especially compared to how much it offers with some of its other features. However, the reporting package is designed to be easy to find and interpret and, in this facet, NCR Aloha POS succeeds. It’s easy to get bogged down in a bevy of complicated reports. NCR Aloha point of sale has a little more than a dozen that come standard, and they include the basics, from void reports to sales and labor. If you’re not overly concerned with advanced analytics, this should be fine. If you’re looking to drill deep into sales numbers, you may find the offering lacking.
- Customer Management
- Loyalty: The POS has an add-on loyalty program that is customizable, allowing you to choose the metrics by which customers can gain rewards. It also tracks spending information, so you can reward your top spenders and easily set up efficient marketing campaigns.
- Feedback: NCR Aloha restaurant POS also has a unique analytics device that tracks how customers leave feedback about your business. Owners can track what platforms their customers are using and what information is being sent out into the ether of the internet.
Is NCR Aloha User Friendly?
NCR Aloha POS is certainly not a plug-and-play system that you can have up and ready minutes after pulling it out of the box. It takes some time to set up and configure. There are some basic walk-throughs online, but the installation can be a bit of a hassle compared to other POS systems. That said, once you’re ready to go, Aloha’s interface is very well designed. If you’re at all familiar with Windows, NCR Aloha will be like second nature to you. It’s not flashy or particularly modern, but the button layouts are easy to read and customizable to your liking.
Customer Service & Support
NCR Aloha’s customer service has improved in recent years at least according to reviews. Here are a few ways to get in touch with them:
- Phone: NCR Aloha POS has a call center for tech support that is available to contact 24/7/365. There are also on-site and on-call services if they can’t diagnose a problem over the phone or email.
- Email: Representatives are usually prompt when replying to general email questions, usually getting in touch within 48 hours.
- Support Tickets: You can file a ticket with NCR Aloha through its website if you’re not in need of an urgent solution.
- Live Chat: NCR Aloha has a live chat option on its website that will provide prompt responses within their normal business hours.
- Social Media: NCR is active on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook and can be reached through those avenues.
- Tutorials: There are a wide variety of support videos on YouTube that can help you navigate through a number of issues including set-up.
Payment Processing With NCR Aloha
NCR Aloha POS has a built-in credit card processing system in NCR Merchant Solutions. It accepts all forms of payment and integrates with all major credit cards. It also includes hardware, software support, and services. It integrates with Tablesafe and Poynt as EMV payment devices.
Contract Length & Early Termination Fees
You’ll definitely want to read the fine print with NCR Aloha. You will likely find yourself in a three-year contract for processing which, in most circumstances, is a huge red flag. There are early termination fees in their terms and conditions as well. This is another reason why NCR Aloha isn’t the best fit for smaller restaurants. That said, if your company is larger and has the money for a more advanced system like this, you might be more suited to be in it for the long haul.
NCR Aloha Integrations & Add-Ons
Aloha POS system counts on its built-in features to have you covered, so it’s a little skimpy in terms of the number of companies it integrates with, but it covers the basics. It integrates with QuickBooks and Xero for accounting. It also integrates with Paychex payroll software, Craftable restaurant management software, OpenTable for reservations, 7Shifts for employee scheduling, and NCR’s eCommerce/online ordering platform, which is called NCR Off Premise. The POS does feature an open API for developers.
Overall, user reviews of NCR Aloha POS are mostly positive, but there are a few persistent negative trends that keep showing up.
Negative NCR Aloha Reviews & Complaints
- Customer Service: Some customers complained of being bounced around during customer service calls and then ultimately didn’t get the answers they needed. Others complained that the onboarding process was difficult and time-consuming.
- Fees For Features: Multiple users were disappointed that features such as loyalty and gift cards weren’t included in the software, bringing up the price.
- Functionality: A handful of customers were overwhelmed by the Aloha POS system’s feature-set. Some needed to watch an instructional video to talk them through how to use some of the features, and others could never figure out how to use certain elements.
- System Crashes: More users than I would expect talked about the system crashing at inopportune times, causing customers to lose data.
Positive NCR Aloha Reviews & Testimonials
- Ease Of Use: Many customers find the POS to be simple to use and particularly easy to train employees on. Customers with previous experience using a POS system seem to like Aloha’s design.
- Robust Features: If you need it, Aloha POS offers it — at least in some capacity. Many users appreciate that this POS system offers everything they need, from robust reports to inventory management. They claim that the feature offerings are more robust than other POS systems they had tried.
- Customization Options: Experienced users appreciate that they can make the system their own and add details to make their business run efficiently.
NCR Aloha POS clearly knows the restaurant business, and its product is catered specifically to a restaurant owner’s needs. There’s a reason why so many businesses use it, after all. The system’s feature-set is very impressive. If you’re at a point where you want a robust system and cost isn’t of consequence, you may want to give it a try. Aloha is a decent addition to NCR’s product line and it does have some nice modern adaptations, particularly for our socially-distanced times, with tableside ordering, QR code payments, and the ability to access and control your restaurant remotely.
However, the NCR Aloha POS system falters in a couple of areas that are sticking points for me. The lack of upfront pricing and user complaints about unexpected costs are of significant concern, especially for small businesses just getting started without a ton of financial leeway. And the myriad complaints about shoddy customer service are never a good sign. But if you like what you see after doing your research, feel free to set up a demo with the company and see if it might be a good fit.
NCR Aloha FAQs
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.
We've done in-depth testing of each and confidently recommend them.