Ambur is a great feature rich iPad point of sale (POS) for quick service and full service restaurants. It offers all the functionality restaurant owners expect without overloading them. This POS system is easy to use for wait staff given its supports all iOS devices - iPads, iPods and iPhones. The management console, called Ambur Cloud, has the controls and reporting needed for restaurant owners to be in control of their business. While Ambur offers a lot of features for the price (more on that later), it is missing a few features that similarly priced POS systems offer. The biggest drawback is not having an API or an App Marketplace, this limits the customization of the point of sale system. Gift card and loyalty support are also lacking.
WHO IS AMBUR A GOOD FIT FOR?
Ambur offers a few different pricing plans based on the number of iOS devices (iPad/iPod/iPhone) needed and gives the option to pay monthly (higher fee but more flexibility) or annually (lower fee for being locked in) The only difference between the plans is the number of devices; functionality is the same across the board.
FRONT OF THE HOUSE
Ambur offers an intuitive and clean ordering interface for both full service and quick service restaurants and can be customized to suit each business type.
For example, full service restaurants can have their servers redirected to the table layout and have the default ‘order type’ set to ‘Dine In’, while quick service or delivery businesses can bypass the table layout and go straight to adding items to an order.
The table layout offers two options – square or round tables. It’s functional but it would help if more customization was allowed. A few different options for table types would make it easier to reflect the actual floor layout in the app. Servers can quickly start an order by selecting a table and then specifying the number of guests. After which they are brought to the order screen where they can view the categories and items on the menu.
Sending orders to the kitchen is a breeze. With one button, servers can send the order to multiple kitchen or bar printers. Default receipt printers can be set for stationary iPads while mobile iPads can choose different printers each time they print something.
As expected, Ambur has full support for categories, modifiers, splitting and merging checks, flexible discounts, gratuity charges and other features the front staff will need to deliver a great customer experience.
Ambur’s built in customer tracking lets restaurant owners engage with their customers at a personal level. Full service restaurants like to track order history, record dish preferences, link discounts to regular customers while quick service restaurants like to track addresses for deliveries, collect emails and search orders & customers by phone number.
Ambur has a lot of great management features and customizable options in the iOS app and Ambur Cloud (online app accessible from any popular browser). While we can’t get through every feature, we’d like to highlight our favorites and talk about areas that need improvement.
Ambur’s ‘User Groups’ feature allows managers to customize exactly what each user can do. Managers can determine which users can add/modify orders, apply discounts, change the table layout, etc. This granularity allows the manager to distinguish between the different front staff roles – busser, runner, server, head server, manager.
Ambur also allows granular control over discounting. A manager can set maximums for percentage based discounts, exclude certain items from discounts (ex. Employee discount not applicable on alcohol) and have open discounts whose percentage or dollar amount can vary by order.
Multi-tax and VAT support is there for businesses that need it along with the ability to customize the receipt to your liking. A few other notable features include time clock management, audit logs and support for multiple order types.
Most importantly, Ambur offers great reporting for both full and quick service restaurants. Plain text and CSV reporting is available through the iPad app and Ambur Cloud. This ensures that managers and owners have access to data on the go.
If the internet connection is down, Ambur is not able to run credit card transactions but can do everything else. Servers are still able to send orders to the kitchen, apply discounts, open the cash drawer, print receipts and more. This is because Ambur relies on the local WiFi network for all these activities.
In addition to not having an API or support for gift cards, Ambur is missing a few other features that we see in other popular restaurant POS apps. Online ordering and reservations, signature on screen and raw goods tracking. All these features help restaurants grow revenue, simplify operations and keep costs down.
One drawback of Ambur Cloud is that it is read only. Owners and managers are not able to add items, users, etc. unless they are on-site. This can be a problem if the menu or settings need to change frequently.
Ambur is compatible with a variety of printers, cash drawers, credit card readers and barcode scanners.
Ambur officially supports Star TSP100 (thermal printer) and SP700 (impact printer). The Ambur Sales Team and customers have confirmed that they are compatible with Epson TM T88 (thermal) and U220 (impact) printers. Since the Epson printers are not officially supported, the Ambur Support Team may not offer support if something goes wrong.
Ambur will work with any cash drawer that is compatible with the Epson and Star printers, which is most drawers.
The Magtek iDynamo reader is the preferred reader while Socket barcode scanners will work with the app.
Most of the hardware purchased from Ambur directly comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty.
Ambur offers a CSV upload feature that can be used to quickly get the menu imported into Ambur. The Sales Team does offer to configure the system (menu, employees, management settings, etc.) for a fee which varies based on how complex the setup is.
The Ambur Team offers 24/7 phone and email support. Ambur’s phone support is a fairly new offering.We will continue to provide further updates about it based on feedback from more customers.
Ambur is a great point of sale system for full service and quick service restaurants. It has a good set of features that meet the needs of most food service businesses at an affordable price. We recommend Ambur for most small to medium food service businesses. Larger businesses will want a more customizable solution.