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Harbortouch POS review

Simple, affordable POS for restaurants and retail

Harbortouch POS review
(Image: © Harbortouch POS)

Our Verdict

Harbortouch POS is a great option for small businesses in need of an affordable and simple-to-use POS. The system comes with 24/7 customer support and flexible cloud-based management software.

For

  • No upfront hardware cost
  • 24/7 support

Against

  • Requires one-year contract
  • Must use Shift4 for payments

If you run a bar, restaurant, or another service business, Harbortouch POS (point of sale) is one of the best POS systems available to you. This inexpensive POS comes with all the hardware you need to start taking payments with no upfront costs. Plus, the software offers a high degree of customization and business operation tools like employee scheduling.

In our Harbortouch POS review, we’ll help you decide if this POS system is right for your business.

Harbortouch POS: Plans and pricing

Harbortouch offers two POS systems: Echo and Onyx.

Harbortouch POS review

Harbortouch offers two POS systems at different price points (Image credit: Harbortouch POS)

The Echo POS system costs $29 per terminal per month and includes a 13.3” touchscreen monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, five employee cards (for employees to quickly log into the terminal), and a keyboard. This system is easy to set up on your own and accepts most payment types, including contactless payments. One thing to note is that the Echo POS is not configured for tableside ordering, online ordering, or online reservations.

The Onyx POS costs $39 per terminal per month and includes a 15” touchscreen monitor, cash drawer, receipt printer, barcode scanner, 10 employee cards, and a keyboard and mouse. The system is custom programmed for your business by a Harbortouch service rep, and it can be set up to handle online or tableside ordering.

Regardless of which system you choose, the monthly cost is for payment processing, not the hardware. The hardware itself is free as long as you commit to a one-year payment processing contract. 

One important thing to note is that even though you technically own the POS hardware, with the Harbortouch POS, as Harbortouch is owned by Shift4, you can only use Shift4 to process your payments. And on top of the monthly fee, Shift4 charges a variable fee for each transaction. Rates vary based on the type of business you own, your average transaction volume, and the type of credit card used, but you can anticipate paying around 1.79% plus $0.20 per credit card transaction.

Harbortouch POS: Features

Despite being relatively inexpensive, the Harbortouch POS systems offer a wide range of features for service and retail businesses.

One of the key aspects of the Harbortouch POS is that it’s more than just a digital register. Harbortouch makes a whole ecosystem of hardware add-ons for your POS to help your business thrive.

To give some examples, restaurants can integrate a kitchen receipt printer or an electronic kitchen display system. Servers can use 10” tablet to take tableside orders. Delis and other over-the-counter shops can add an electronic scale to the POS for weight-based payments. Retail stores can integrate a barcode printer and scanner.

Another key element to the Harbortouch POS is  Lighthouse. This is a cloud-based, back-office web portal to which your transactions are automatically uploaded for safekeeping and PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance.

Harbortouch POS review

Harbortouch uses Lighthouse software to record and analyze transaction data (Image credit: Harbortouch POS)

Lighthouse comes with dozens of built-in reports and is flexible enough to enable you to create your own custom data products to monitor your business. In addition, the web portal gives you the option to remotely modify pricing, menu items, and discounts on all connected Harbortouch POS hardware.

What’s especially nice about this online dashboard is that it goes beyond just pricing and payments to help you run your entire business. Lighthouse has a built-in shift manager to help you schedule employees. It also includes customer engagement tools, including an email marketing feature and a social media management dashboard.

Harbortouch POS: Interface and in use

The Harbortouch POS is incredibly easy to use. The POS software operates using modules, so you can simply hide any features that your business doesn’t need to eliminate confusion. In addition, the flow, from choosing a server or cashier to entering order information to dealing with payment, is nicely categorized into tabs.

Harbortouch POS review

The Harbortouch POS software is very easy to use and enables you to hide modules your business doesn’t need (Image credit: Harbortouch POS)

All of the items that your business offers can be organized into categories, assigned tags, or saved as favorites. Harbortouch’s POS software also enables you to search the entire inventory database.

On the whole, we were impressed with the Harbortouch user interface. It’s simple to set up, seamless to navigate, and does an excellent job of putting the items you typically need within one or two taps. 

Harbortouch POS: Support

Harbortouch developed a poor reputation for customer support in years past, but the company has worked hard to prove to customers that it can be relied upon. Harbortouch now provides 24/7 support by phone, email, and live chat.

That’s huge if you run a business, like a restaurant or bar, that makes most of its money outside of standard business hours. No matter what time it is, you can get technical support from Harbortouch if you’re having trouble accepting payments.

Harbortouch POS review

Harbortouch offers an online knowledge base for basic troubleshooting (Image credit: Harbortouch POS)

Harbortouch POS: Security

The Harbortouch POS system uploads all of your transaction data to the cloud for safekeeping as soon as it’s recorded. All payment data is encrypted, and the platform is fully PCI-compliant. On top of that, all Harbortouch POS hardware accepts chip-based payment cards, which are more secure than traditional payment cards and reduce the likelihood of chargebacks.

Harbortouch POS review

Harbortouch POS works with chip-based and touchless payment cards and is fully PCI-compliant (Image credit: Harbortouch POS)

The competition

If Harbortouch POS doesn’t have the tools your business needs, you may be interested in a more bespoke POS solution like Lightspeed. Lightspeed is built with restaurants in mind and offers a level of customization that Harbortouch simply can’t match. On top of that, Lightspeed offers inventory tracking for restaurants, which can be a big advantage.

The downside is that you pay for Lightspeed’s extra features. The POS starts at $99 per month for one terminal plus $59 per additional terminal and 2.6% + $0.10 per card transaction.

Final verdict

Harbortouch POS is a robust and flexible system for restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses. The company offers a very inexpensive pricing model with no up-front cost for basic hardware, and there are plenty of add-on devices available for your business to purchase.

Although Harbortouch doesn’t have the same level of customizability as some competing systems, we thought the cloud-based Lighthouse software does a nice job with reporting and analysis.

Overall, Harbortouch is a great option for small businesses looking for a plug-and-play POS solution.

Final Verdict

Harbortouch POS is a robust and flexible system for restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses. The company offers a very inexpensive pricing model with no up-front cost for basic hardware, and there are plenty of add-on devices available for your business to purchase.

In addition, we thought the cloud-based Lighthouse portal does a nice job with reporting and analysis.

Overall, Harbortouch is a great option for small businesses looking for a plug-and-play POS solution.