If you’re running a restaurant, cafe, bar, or even a food truck, you need a point of sale system that not only offers you basic functionality, but truly helps you optimize and manage the whole of your business operations. Luckily, with all of the POS systems out there, you have a variety of options to choose from, including those designed specifically for restaurants and service-based businesses, like Kounta POS.
However, although this variety can be a benefit, it can also be a little overwhelming—how do you know which POS is right for your business? With this Kounta POS review, we’re here to help you answer that question. We’ll break down the point of sale system that Kounta offers, including software features, hardware, and pricing. We’ll also explore Kounta reviews from customers and compare Kounta to top restaurant POS system alternatives—so that you have all the information you need to decide if this is the best POS for your business.
What Is Kounta POS?
Kounta POS is a cloud-based point of sale system that caters specifically to restaurants and food-service businesses—including food trucks, cafes, quick and full-service restaurants, bars, breweries, and wineries. Kounta was first developed in Australia, but has since added a location in California and currently serves businesses all around the world. Kounta POS gives you the ability to run the entirety of your business operations using their system—from taking orders to accepting payments to managing customer relationships.
Kounta offers three different core versions of their POS software, each with an increasing amount of functionality. Kounta also offers an enterprise solution for larger businesses, as well as a free, lite version of their software. Kounta POS can run on a variety of hardware terminals, including iPads and iPhones, Android tablets and phones, Windows PCs, and the all-in-one Albert POS device.
Kounta POS Features
With that brief overview in mind, let’s dive deeper into the features that the Kounta POS system can offer business owners.
The Kounta POS gives you the ability to customize your system to accommodate your specific needs. With Kounta, you can manage multiple sites and multiple registers. You can sync all of your information and manage products, pricing, and payment methods in one place. Additionally, the Kounta POS allows you to create your menu, adding all of your products including options for variations, modifiers, and notes. You can also set up option sets for staff to follow in the order process and sell items by quantity or amount.
Moreover, Kounta gives you the ability to build your table layout, connect to printers and payment POS terminals, and customize the sale screen with images and categories. You can also manage prices and taxes, as well as automatically apply discounts and surcharges when certain rules are met, like for a happy hour special.
Order Management and Production
Using the Kounta POS system, you can accept orders from any location and any device. Your servers can record order variations, assign orders to specific tables (as well as pickup and delivery), and see table statuses to find out which tables are open and which have or have not placed orders.
The Kounta POS also gives you the ability to refund orders, set up online ordering apps, and print order lists in the kitchen, at the bar, or wherever you need that information. Additionally, using a “bump screen” add-on, you can manage order production, seeing all orders that need to be completed and their details. Finally, you can use Kounta to manage your inventory—you can input stock information, record wastage from expired or damaged products, and automatically deduct sales from your stock levels.
Example of the Kounta POS screen. Source: Kounta
With Kounta POS, you can accept payments at the counter, at the table, and on-the-go. Kounta gives you the ability to split bills, add tips, calculate taxes and apply surcharges, promotions, or discounts. Although Kounta does not offer their own payment processing service, they offer a few native integrations to allow you to accept credit cards.
In the U.S., you can download the SumUp or Blackline add-on to your Kounta POS software and connect a fixed or mobile payment terminal to accept credit card payments. Furthermore, you can also connect a cash drawer to your Kounta POS to accept cash.
Kounta allows you to assign specific permissions to different staff members. You can designate certain employees to only take orders, while giving others the ability to add discounts or give refunds. Additionally, you can use the Kounta POS to track employee time and attendance, as well as manage scheduling.
Kounta gives you the ability to build your customer relationships by collecting and saving customer information and offering incentives like VIP discounts and free items. Kounta also allows you to integrate with customer relationship tools for loyalty programs, email marketing, and feedback surveys.
From the Kounta POS interface, you can track real-time metrics for your business. Kounta allows you to track you big picture data, like overall sales, orders, and revenue, as well as look more specifically at sales over time, sales by product, and sales by staff. You can also track your discounts, promotions, refunds, and payments. Kounta allows you to access your reporting data from any device at any location. Moreover, you can export your data from Kounta to Excel or other business tools to share and utilize it as you need.
As we’ve already mentioned, Kounta offers integration options for payments, email marketing, loyalty programs, and feedback surveys. However, this POS also gives you the ability to integrate with other third-party tools like online ordering apps, time management tools, and accounting software. Notably, Kounta POS can connect directly with QuickBooks, Mailchimp, Xero, and Sage One.
Additionally, Kounta has two of their own add-on options, Insights and Purchase. Insights is a team data tool that gives you advanced reports, dashboards, comparisons, and filters for the information your POS collects. Purchase, on the other hand, allows you to manage your suppliers and purchase orders. Both Insights and Purchase are available at an additional monthly cost.
Kounta provides all of their customers with free, 24/7 support via email, phone, or chat. The Kounta website also contains a support center with resources like FAQs, video tutorials, webinars, and support guides. In addition, Kounta service team members are available throughout your setup process for any assistance you may need. You can even connect with a Kounta specialist, who can come to your business, help you select hardware, guide you through installation, and provide ongoing training and support.
Kounta POS Hardware
As we briefly mentioned earlier, Kounta offers a number of different hardware options for you to choose from. You can run the Kounta POS software on the following devices:
- Samsung Galaxy
- Samsung tablet
- Windows tablet
- Windows PC
- Legacy Windows POS
- Albert device (an all-in-one POS tablet and credit card terminal)
All of these devices can be connected to a variety of peripherals, including credit card terminals, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and receipt printers. Kounta also gives you the option to buy hardware directly from them, buy from a third-party seller, or you can simply utilize their software on a compatible device you already have.
Kounta POS Pricing
Now that we’ve gone through everything the Kounta POS software can offer, as well as the available hardware options, let’s discuss the cost of this point of sale system. As we mentioned earlier, Kounta has three different core software plans, as well as a free, lite plan and an enterprise solution. The lite plan gives you the ability to test the Kounta POS features for free, but only allows 10 transactions per day. The enterprise solution, on the other hand, is available for larger businesses by contacting Kounta and working directly with their sales team on a pricing plan.
The core Kounta POS plans, however, are available on a monthly subscription basis, per site and include one register. The first plan, called Sell, costs $60 per month and includes the following features:
- Option sets
- Offline mode
- Bar tabs
- Bump screen
- Edit receipt footer
- Third-party integrations
- Accounting integrations
Kounta recommends this plan for espresso bars, pop-ups, and food trucks. The second plan Kounta offers is the Manage plan, which costs $120 per month. This plan has all of the features of the Sell plan, as well as:
- Staff level order control
- Time and attendance
- Permissions override
- Price lists
Kounta recommends this plan as the best POS for bars, cafes, and quick service restaurants. The final plan, Extend, is available for $180 per month. In addition to the capabilities of the first two plans, the Extend plan includes:
- Advanced production printing
- Automatic promotions
- Guest tracking
- Refund reasons
According to Kounta, this plan is well-suited for full service restaurants, pubs, breweries, and wineries.
For any of these plans, Kounta gives you the option to pay $40 for each additional register you want to include. Furthermore, if you want to connect either of Kounta’s add-on tools—Insights or Purchase—you’ll have to pay $40 per month, per site for each integration.
Moreover, it’s important to remember that these costs only cover your Kounta POS software. You’ll have to pay for hardware separately, unless you plan on using terminals you already own. POS hardware can range in price, depending on what kind of system you need. Generally, more mobile, handheld terminals are going to be cheaper than traditional countertop stations. As an example, Kounta offers a POS hardware bundle containing an iPad, pivot stand, cash drawer, and printer on their website for $1,350.
Finally, on top of the software and hardware costs, you’ll have to pay credit card processing fees if you choose to accept card payments. Although Kounta does not charge you to integrate with their payment add-on apps, you’ll have to pay any associated fees from the actual provider. Additionally, Kounta’s website suggests that you can integrate other third-party platforms with Kounta (besides the ones they specifically offer) but doesn’t provide much information on that process or cost. We would assume, however, that in this case, you would be responsible for configuring that integration, and then paying any transaction or service fees from the processor you work with.
Kounta POS Pros
Taking into consideration everything we’ve explored thus far, let’s break down what we see as the top benefits to this POS system. Here are a few to think about:
Although specifically designed for food-service businesses in general, the Kounta POS system can truly be customized to how your restaurant, cafe, or bar operates. You have the option to run the Kounta POS on multiple devices, in multiple locations, and yet can sync your information between all of these systems.
Additionally, Kounta offers a significant amount of flexibility when it comes to managing your menu, order process, inventory, and even staff. For each of these different categories, Kounta gives you a way to use their point of sale system in the way that works best for your business—whether only allowing certain employees to issue refunds or mapping out your tables and seeing where guests can sit and who needs to place an order. Moreover, you have the ability to add or change your functionality even further by using the various add-ons that Kounta offers.
Expanding further on this idea of flexibility, perhaps one of the most significant benefits Kounta POS offers is their hardware options. Whereas many point of sale systems have very specific hardware requirements, Kounta is what they call “hardware agnostic,” meaning the software can be run on almost any platform.
This being said, whether you’d prefer an iPad POS system or Android mobile POS, you’ll be able to use the Kounta software. Additionally, since Kounta can integrate with so many common devices, more than likely, if you already have hardware, you’ll be able to use it. Moreover, although Kounta does offer hardware purchase directly from their website, you can also buy from a third-party seller—giving you the opportunity to search for the best price deal.
Not only does Kounta offer an impressive amount of self-service resources on their website, but their 24/7 direct customer support is particularly noteworthy. Plus, Kounta offers this 24/7 service in three different ways—by phone, chat, or email, giving you multiple ways to access assistance. Additionally, whereas some POS solutions only give this kind of customer support with higher-level paid plans, Kounta provides it with all three of their core plans. Moreover, Kounta gives you ability to work with their specialists, if you need, to help with everything from selecting hardware to physical setup and training.
Kounta POS Cons
Despite these benefits, there are certainly drawbacks of Kounta POS to consider as well:
Since Kounta originally started in Australia, they don’t offer many of the direct payment processing integrations that we typically see with U.S.-based point of sale systems. Although you may still be able to connect a processor like Square or PayPal with Kounta POS, Kounta doesn’t provide much information on how that process works and if there are any additional costs associated with it. Therefore, if you’re a U.S. merchant looking for out-of-the-box processing, or a quick and simple third-party connection, you might think twice about how Kounta POS will work for you.
Despite the possible money you may save due to Kounta’s wide variety of hardware options, there’s no doubt that their software is pricey. Although $60 per month might seem comparable with other similar solutions, there are certainly options that give you greater functionality for the same cost. As an example, the Square POS for Restaurants has the same monthly cost, but includes features—tables, employee time and permissions, and more—that are only available with the Kounta Manage plan, which is double the monthly cost.
Furthermore, the Kounta cost can grow quickly if you want to include multiple locations or registers, since each of these will incur additional costs. Finally, as we mentioned above, Kounta doesn’t provide much information regarding the cost to integrate with a third-party payment processor, which for U.S. merchants could be particularly important.
Reliance on Add-Ons
Although Kounta does offer robust functionality between their three core plans, their service also relies heavily on add-ons. As we discussed previously, features like loyalty programs, online ordering, email marketing, and more, require you to utilize an add-on. These integrations might not be too much of a concern, however, the direct add-ons Kounta offers are relatively limited—especially in comparison to competitors. Therefore, if you want an all-inclusive platform, or one with hundreds of integrations to choose from, Kounta might not be your best choice.
What do Kounta POS customers have to say about their service? Looking into various Kounta POS reviews available online, it seems that users generally feel positively about the service, but also have complaints or areas they would like to see improved.
In terms of those positives, Kounta reviews often highlight that the platform is easy to use, flexible, and simple. Customers appreciate the customization it offers their business and the options they have to integrate with other services. Perhaps the most noteworthy comment in Kounta reviews, however, is regarding their customer support. Users frequently mention this as a benefit saying Kounta customer support is both accessible and helpful.
On the other hand, reviewers also find consistent issues with using Kounta as a POS solution. Some Kounta reviews state that the backend system can be cumbersome and buggy, while others write that implementing the different customizations can be time consuming. Additionally, some reviewers point out that the system is on the expensive side, especially if you have multiple registers. Ultimately, however, much of the improvements that customers would like to see seem to be regarding specific features or capabilities that Kounta is lacking—including everything from more add-on options to better reporting to a testing mode option.
Alternatives to Kounta POS
Before deciding whether Kounta POS is the right system for your restaurant or food-service business, you’ll want to look into top alternatives and the solutions they offer. Here are two to consider:
Square for Restaurants
We briefly compared to Kounta to Square for Restaurants earlier, and there’s no doubt that this POS system is a worthy competitor. On the whole, Square for Restaurants is an all-inclusive point of sale software that offers many of the same features as Kounta. This Square product, however, has a few important differences. First, Square includes payment processing with your account, giving you the ability to accept multiple payment methods with your Square hardware.
Although Square does not offer as wide of a variety of hardware options as Kounta does, they do have countertop and handheld devices, and each has the benefit of a low processing rate of 2.6% plus $0.10 per transaction. In addition, as we mentioned earlier, Square’s restaurant software costs $60 per month and includes functionality that Kounta only offers in their higher-level plans. Moreover, Square offers greater integration options, as well as their own add-ons like Square loyalty, payroll, and marketing.
All in all, although you might pay more for hardware with Square for Restaurants than you would with Kounta, the simple processing, robust software, and comparable monthly cost makes it a great choice for many different kinds of food-service businesses.
Similar to both Kounta POS and Square for Restaurants, TouchBistro is a POS system catering toward food-service businesses. TouchBistro allows you to manage all of your operations using their system, like Kounta and Square—including important features like order, menu, and staff management.
Like Square for Restaurants, TouchBistro is iPad-based and you can purchase compatible peripherals from their website, which they recommend, or from third-party sellers. Additionally, TouchBistro gives you the option to bundle your software and hardware into one monthly cost, preventing you from having to pay a more expensive one-time hardware cost. In terms of payment processing, you have to work with an external processor to use TouchBistro, but unlike Kounta, you have more well-known integration options like Square, PayPal, or Worldpay.
The TouchBistro POS software costs $69 per month, which is more expensive than Square for Restaurants and the Kounta Sell plan, but with greater functionality. TouchBistro includes more in-depth ordering and table functionality, which Kounta only offers with the two higher-level plans. Moreover, TouchBistro provides 24/7 customer support, unlimited users, free and easy software updates, cloud reporting and analytics, and integrated remote aid with their service.
Although TouchBistro might not offer as many hardware options as Kounta, the software certainly gives you more functionality as well as options for credit card processing, making it an alternative worth considering.
Kounta POS: The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, you’re the only one who can decide which point of sale system is right for your business. If you’re looking for a simple, yet customizable POS with an impressive number of hardware options, you might try Kounta POS. On the other hand, if you need greater functionality than what’s included in the Kounta Sell plan, you might consider an alternative POS. Many competitors, as we’ve discussed, can provide you with more features and simpler payment processing at a comparable monthly cost. This being said, however, it seems that Kounta has the potential to compete with some of the most popular restaurant POS systems in the future if they grow their in-house capabilities as well as integration options, especially for U.S. merchants.