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Updated Jun 25, 2024

CAKE Review

Quinn Springett Headshot
Written By: Quinn SpringettSenior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
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Table of Contents

Open row
Editors Score:9.5/10
We chose CAKE as the best POS system for efficiency. It provides hardware for every service scenario, an intuitive interface and robust support. CAKE can help restaurants boost efficiency with streamlined operations that keep diners moving and satisfied.
Thumbs Up Pros
  • Customers and staff will find the system very easy to navigate and use.
  • An implementation team will walk you through the training process after signing up with CAKE.
  • CAKE's pricing system includes POS station hardware with each tier.
  • If your company runs into internet issues, an offline mode allows you to continue accepting payments.
Thumbs Down Cons
  • The functionality for creating daily management reports could use some upgrades.
  • Navigating menus via the iPad minis can be slow and clunky.
  • The platform's plan options are limited in flexibility and helpful add-ons require extra payment.
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Editor's Rating9.5/10

Whether you’re running a bar, a quick-service burger joint or a fine-dining restaurant, efficiency is critical. When slow-moving, disjointed operations cause long lines or force customers to wait to order or pay, customers often leave with a sour taste. CAKE POS can solve the typical problems that create restaurant inefficiency, helping eateries polish their presence. The platform provides streamlined hardware and supports assigned user roles, customizable floor maps and customer history access, allowing your team to better service customers and keep your workflow moving. 

Cake Editor's Rating:

9.5 / 10

Customizations, add-ons and integrations
Ease of use
Customer service

Why We Chose CAKE for Efficiency

Point-of-sale (POS) systems inherently make operations more efficient by centralizing payments, controlling inventory and facilitating transactions. However, the best restaurant POS systems must go further to simplify ordering and provide a slew of restaurant-specific tools. During testing, CAKE POS impressed us with its breadth of features that help restaurants provide efficient customer service while streamlining operations. 

For example, we liked CAKE’s unique Guest Manager waitlist, reservation and table management system, which allows front-of-house staff to view customer history data to greet diners and facilitate their experience. This tool can remind servers to account for a customer’s food allergies or typical alterations, helping create a personalized approach that fosters customer loyalty and repeat business

CAKE’s hardware is commercially graded and designed specifically to withstand the restaurant industry’s wear and tear. The platform supports tableside self-service with iPad POS devices customers can use to order and pay — another way to increase efficiency. We like that these devices have the same look and feel as the restaurant staff’s hardware. 

We also appreciate that CAKE’s software allows restaurant managers to assign user roles with specific access levels, depending on duties. For example, if a staff member doesn’t require discount authorization for their role, they won’t be able to provide discounts. Controlling staff access helps everyone focus on their specific duties and carry out their roles without distraction. We were particularly impressed that the platform allows you to customize floor maps and seating arrangements on the fly — a valuable tool when restaurants welcome large groups. 

CAKE’s functionality and easy-to-use interface make the platform a breeze to learn and highly efficient, earning it our top spot for POS system efficiency.

Did You Know?Did you know
CAKE is a cloud-based POS software solution that allows users to access reporting and analytics from anywhere with an internet connection.
CAKE POS reservation system

CAKE’s Guest Manager reservation system can alert hosts to guest preferences and special occasions. Source: CAKE

Ease of Use

We were impressed by CAKE’s ease of use. We found it among the most straightforward of all the POS systems we reviewed. Its proprietary hardware is highly intuitive and anyone familiar with iOS devices will have no trouble navigating CAKE’s tableside iPad POS system. Employees should become familiar with the system in less than an hour and log in to their accounts effortlessly with a dedicated PIN. 

After signing in, we liked the quick-serve screen’s organized layout and the fact that you can customize the default screen. The flexible user interface includes options like Table View, which features various restaurant zones — a terrific tool for full-service environments. In Table View, hosts can see occupied tables, each table’s server and guest counts. Order View is another option that works well for restaurants that prioritize speed. This view displays active orders with customizable features like price points, item names and discounts.

The system’s flexibility also stood out. We like that servers can add or subtract order items, specify order types and assign orders to specific seats, which makes check-splitting or consolidating individual checks easier. 

We also appreciate that the system runs offline — if your internet is down, the restaurant can still accept credit card payments and store that information until you’re back online.

FYIDid you know
CAKE also makes it easy to compare sales vs. labor costs with data analytics, helping managers ensure adequate staff during busy times.
Cake POS split checks

CAKE makes it easy to split one check into multiple checks for customers’ convenience. Source: CAKE 

CAKE POS Features

CAKE’s robust feature set helps restaurants boost efficiency. Here are a few standout POS features.

Guest Manager

We were impressed by CAKE’s Guest Manager tool, which handles waitlists and reservations while serving as a comprehensive table management system. Hosts and servers can access a guest’s history to greet them personally, helping to create a welcoming environment. The system helps hosts gauge wait times accurately, reducing customer frustration. It can also send short message service messages to diners when their tables are ready. 

We also like how this tool streamlines reservations, maximizes seating capacity and facilitates checkout. The front of the house and the dining room stay connected with real-time updates. CAKE was one of the first providers in the industry to integrate a waitlist and reservations tool, resulting in benefits like fewer walkaways and reduced wait times for guests.

CAKE POS guest manager settings

Restaurants can adjust their Guest Manager settings to enable or turn off reservations and set reservation parameters. Source: CAKE 

In-house and Online Orders

Orders are a restaurant’s lifeblood and CAKE handles ordering seamlessly both in-house and online. We like that orders taken by servers are sent directly to the kitchen, eliminating the need to run back and forth, which often increases customer wait times. In some restaurant settings, customers can even build their orders on their phones. 

We also appreciate that CAKE supports online ordering, adding to the system’s efficiency. Customers can select a website link to access your restaurant’s menu, build their order and select pickup or delivery. (CAKE is introducing CAKE Delivery, a flat-rate, commission-free delivery service.) You can adjust your system to allow restaurant staff to view online orders before they go to the kitchen.

CAKE POS online ordering

CAKE’s online ordering function allows for curbside pickup. Source: CAKE

Payment Processing

When it comes to payment processing, we appreciate that CAKE helps restaurants accept credit and debit cards as well as online and digital payments, including digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay. We also like that CAKE Payments, the company’s secure built-in payment processing service, doesn’t charge a monthly fee. Having built-in payment processing functionality is another way this platform helps restaurants boost efficiency. 

Servers can accept tableside payments easily, including various payment forms on the same check if customers are splitting the bill. We like that the system supports quick response (QR) codes for table payments, saving servers time. Servers can also refund, void or reprint checks when necessary. We were also impressed by how easy and efficient the self-checkout experience is for customers who prefer to pay on their devices. 

On the restaurant-facing side, the system can support tip-sharing or traditional tipping and servers can declare tips for tax purposes for cash or card payments.

FYIDid you know
CAKE Payments includes user-friendly chargeback assistance, helping restaurants manage chargebacks quickly and easily.
CAKE POS tableside payments

CAKE supports convenient tableside payments and helps restaurants accept various payment methods. Source: CAKE


We found CAKE’s integrations to be on par with many of the POS systems we reviewed. Its integrations are helpful and serviceable but not as extensive as some competitors. On the plus side, CAKE integrates with some of the best accounting software solutions, including QuickBooks and Xero, scheduling platforms like 7shifts and inventory management platforms like Orca. Many restaurants will appreciate CAKE’s integration with Davo by Avalara, which transfers sales tax revenue to a secure holding account so you can pay taxes automatically when they’re due. 

CAKE POS Davo integration

CAKE’s integration with Davo by Avalara takes the hassle out of setting aside and paying sales tax. Source: CAKE


We found CAKE’s hardware options to be attractive and durable. The platform has proprietary hardware and iPads for mobile functions. Restaurant bundles are available, and you must purchase all hardware from CAKE:

  • CAKE POS: CAKE’s Windows and Linux-based POS terminals include a sleek, ample display that allows guests to easily view all their order information at walk-up counters. Adding a customer touch display boosts order visibility and makes checkout easier. These devices are designed to withstand the everyday wear and tear of restaurant operations. Newer terminals include a built-in camera, which eventually may facilitate operations like logins with facial recognition. 
  • CAKE payment cube: CAKE’s payment cube can accept contactless chip, swipe and near-field communications mobile payments efficiently. 
  • iPad POS system: CAKE uses iPads for tableside service. These devices are integrated fully into the CAKE POS.
  • Kiosks: CAKE also offers self-service kiosks that streamline ordering, take the pressure off staff and reduce wait times. 
  • Accessories: Restaurants can opt to add cash drawers, thermal printers, payment cubes, Wi-Fi access points, barcode scanners and more. 
CAKE POS station

CAKE’s POS station is durable and works with various accessories to help restaurants customize their systems. Source: CAKE


We found CAKE’s POS reporting capabilities to be on par with those of competitors. Restaurants will appreciate the platform’s comprehensive sales and activity reports, which will help them gain greater insights into operations. 

For example, we liked that managers can view discounts and comps to evaluate whether they’re necessary or need further oversight. Additionally, sales reports can be broken down by time, payment type, order and guest information, helping managers determine the best times to apply discounts and promotions. Reports can be downloaded in several formats and emailed. 

We also appreciate that managers can view payroll data, clock-in and clock-out information, declared tips and overtime. Reports on kitchen display devices can also help restaurants stay on top of order times. 

TipBottom line
CAKE has debuted a built-in customer loyalty program designed to foster repeat business. Guests can register for the program by swiping their credit card or entering a payment form and then earn rewards and points as designated by the restaurant.
CAKE POS reporting

CAKE’s sales reports can be broken down in several ways to reveal information on boosting efficiency. Source: CAKE

CAKE POS Pricing

We appreciate that CAKE’s pricing is transparent and easy to understand. Here’s a breakdown of CAKE’s POS system costs for restaurants:


Starting monthly price




  • Guest and menu management
  • 24/7 support
  • Cloud-based POS software
  • QR code payments
  • CAKE University training portal
  • Cloud-based reporting
  • QR code order and pay functionality



Everything in Essentials, plus:

  • Online ordering
  • Gift cards



Everything in the lower tiers, plus: 

  • Email marketing tools
  • Loyalty program features
  • CAKE Guest Manager

We were particularly impressed by the affordable Essentials plan. For $69 per month, you’ll get a full POS bundle with software, support and a terminal. This bundle is ideal if you’re starting a restaurant. Still, costs can add up for restaurants on lower tiers that want to add the helpful CAKE Guest Manager feature, tableside ordering, a loyalty program and integrations.

Implementation and Onboarding

We were impressed that CAKE provides an implementation team to help you get started. Not every vendor we reviewed offered this level of service. After signup, your team will work with you to understand your business type and its specific needs and configure your POS settings accordingly. 

An onboarding manager and a customer success manager will work with you for six months. We found this level of hands-on help to be highly instrumental in simplifying a complicated process and we were impressed with CAKE’s multiresource approach to teaching people. We also like that new employee onboarding is straightforward. Employees can customize their dashboards to see precisely what they need to see while working.

Customer Support

We found CAKE’s customer support to be top-notch, with 24/7 phone, text, email and chat support. Restaurant hours are typically nonstandard, so 24/7 support is crucial. Additional customer support features that impressed us include the following: 

  • Post-monitoring software: CAKE has post-monitoring software that updates every two minutes, so if your system encounters a glitch or error, the problem can be solved before it gets worse. 
  • CAKE University: CAKE’s University also impressed us. This learning resource is especially beneficial for training and onboarding new hires quickly. Courses are assigned online and take about 45 minutes to complete.
  • Keyword search feature: If you ever forget how to do something on the CAKE platform, type in a keyword. Based on that keyword, the system will bring you to the topic and walk you through a step-by-step process.
  • Dedicated menu team: We liked that CAKE has a dedicated menu team to help set up your menus. You’ll get a 1.5-hour consultation to customize your menu workflow for optimal functionality. You’ll get revisions, maintenance and a full training session.
  • CAKE Resource Center: We were also impressed that the CAKE website includes extensive information in its Resource Center for new restaurant owners unfamiliar with industry topics like the following:
    • QR code ordering
    • Benefits of a cloud-based POS
    • Restaurant trends information
    • Upgrading from a cash register to a POS
  • CAKE Capital: Unexpected costs? Financial difficulties? Manage them with CAKE’s financing options. You can check your eligibility from your admin portal. If you’re eligible, you can choose an advance amount and timeframe for payback. Once you accept the terms and conditions, you can use your admin portal to monitor payments.
TipBottom line
Check out various types of POS systems before committing to determine if the solution you choose fits your needs and budget.


While CAKE has many upsides, we discovered some limitations, including the following: 

  • Cumbersome POS reports: In online reviews, some customers mentioned that running POS reports with CAKE can be a bit cumbersome. Every business is unique and may require detailed, customized reports. However, CAKE’s reports tend to be quite basic compared to the competitors we reviewed. If you’re looking for a restaurant POS with robust reporting functionality, check out our Toast review.
  • Laggy iPad minis: During testing, CAKE’s tableside iPad mini devices lagged in some menu screens. Slow or glitchy systems can frustrate servers. While this problem may be device-specific or situational, it’s an issue worth considering.
  • Minimal inventory management features: CAKE includes basic inventory management features, but some businesses want to track items at the ingredient level. While you can pay for an Orca integration for enhanced inventory management, some businesses prefer built-in comprehensive features. If you’re looking for a POS system with extensive inventory management features, check out our review of GoDaddy.
  • Minimal integrations: CAKE has helpful integrations, but they’re by no means comprehensive and you must pay more to access them. If you’re looking for a POS system with extensive integrations, check out our review of Epos Now.
Did You Know?Did you know
CAKE services restaurants but also has offerings for retail POS systems. Check out our TouchBistro review if you'd like to evaluate a POS explicitly designed for restaurants.


We researched and analyzed dozens of POS systems to identify the top industry solutions to help businesses choose the right POS system for their needs. We examined customer service, payment processing, integrations, must-have POS features, reports, pricing and hardware. We contacted the companies, watched videos, viewed POS system demonstrations and got hands-on experience with demos when possible. When looking for the best POS system for efficiency specifically, we prioritized ease of use, customer service, onboarding and implementation. 


Yes. CAKE is a cloud-based POS system that allows you to make back-end changes to your menu or operations remotely.
Mad Mobile owns CAKE POS.
Yes. CAKE is a top-notch POS system with excellent customer service that can improve your operation's efficiency. However, the best POS system for your business will have the features you need at a price that works within your budget, so examine and evaluate your options carefully.
Yes. CAKE has extensive POS system features and hardware for restaurants. However, it also has offerings for retail stores, including grocery and apparel stores.

Bottom Line

We recommend CAKE for:

  • Restaurants that want a straightforward POS with easy onboarding.
  • Businesses that appreciate support and guidance when getting their POS system set up and running.
  • Restaurants that want a reliable and efficient POS system to improve operations management.

We do not recommend CAKE for:

  • Businesses that want a vast range of detailed reports and analytics for every aspect of operations.
  • Restaurants that want extensive built-in inventory management tools and integrations.

Quinn Springett contributed to this article.

Quinn Springett Headshot
Written By: Quinn SpringettSenior Analyst & Expert on Business Operations
Quinn Springett is a technology expert who helps businesses make the most of the equipment they need to run their enterprises, whether that's a restaurant-specific POS system or a specialty van for a mobile health clinic. Springett specializes in testing software and hardware to identify where different solutions excel and where they fall short. Based on this first-hand experience, Springett compares products and gives his analysis so business owners can make informed purchasing decisions.
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Editor's Rating9.5/10
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