Note that this comparison is between the Foodman Server-Station
system and Aldelo Dine-in. Aldelo is typical of the POS systems
on the market. Our comments would apply equally to most of the
The following image is of the Foodman TouchScreen. Note that
there are 54 buttons on the screen. The buttons are easy
to set-up, easy-to-read, easy-to-learn, easy-to-use, fast and efficient.
The following is the Aldelo Server Screen.
Before we continue, we want to make a point about the use of icons
on POS touchscreens. Having a picture on the button for a chicken dish
is cute, but what do I do when I have four chicken dishes? Aldelo
uses the same icon for several different dishes. Because the icons
are so generic, it is essential to have the name of the item on the button.
So, to a degree, the icon is useless. So if the icons are useless, why
bother with them? The answer, of course, is to make the software
more 'attractive' to the prospective buyer and, therefore, easier to sell.
Additionally, you will have extra work when setting up your menu
if you use icons. So, why bother with them?
Before you buy, you should find out what it is like to do your
menu. Or, does Aldelo do it for you, and if so at what cost?
You can call Aldelo at 877-639-8767 to ask them about creating
your menu. Be aware that Aldelo says the following on their website:
"Creating a restaurant menu database is easy but could be time
consuming. If you don't have the time to spend on menu programming
or not sure if you can design the menu efficiently, then let our
experienced programmers help you."
We spent some considerable time reading their 359-page PDF manual and trying
to figure out how to add new items to the menu, etc. There are 21 pages
devoted to Menu creation in the PDF manual.
We spent some time trying to work with the Menu. There are a total
of nine different screens (plus, several subordinate screens) pertaining
to the Menu in Aldelo, they are:
Menu Categories, Pizza Builder Setup, Modifier Builder Setup,
Menu Groups, Menu Items, Menu Items Auto Prices, Menu Modifiers,
Forced Modifiers, Pizza Builder.
By Contrast, Foodman uses one screen. Different Actions let you
make changes, add new items, etc. with just a few keystrokes.
With Foodman it takes a total of 6 keystrokes to change a price
including the entry of the new price on one screen. Mouse not required.
With Foodman, you just tell the Menu Manager what you want to do
by picking one the options shown below. Foodman then guides you
through doing whatever you want to do. It is self-explanatory.
When it comes to setting-up the touchscreen, Foodman wins again
letting you Create and Map the touchscreen with just one
screen. No mouse required, it is lightning fast and ridiculously
easy to to use. Here it is:
Foodman does not use icons. Instead, we have lots of big
buttons with clear descriptions. Easy to read, easy to setup, and no aggravation.
Visually, there is a big difference between the Foodman and Aldelo screens,
but, judging a business application by its appearance is like buying a book because you like the cover.
Fortunately for us, it is possible to judge applications by
making direct comparisons between the various features of each.
1. Number of Menu-Items per screen.
Aldelo seems to have 32. Foodman has 54, 22 more than Aldelo.
This is an IMPORTANT issue. The efficient representation
of the menu is the hardest part of a POS system.
If you are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner
and sell liquor, the odds are that you have a
menu with as many as 1,000 items on it. Having
as many as 54 at a time is obviously better
than having 32.
2. Number of Category choices per screen.
Aldelo seems to have 18. Foodman has 54. The Foodman system
has either categories or menu-items for the
chosen category on the screen at one time. To
see categories, the Foodman server merely
touches the "CAT" button to see up-to 54 at a time.
Would you rather have 18 or 54?
3. Order on screen at all times.
On the Aldelo screen, the portion on the right is
devoted to the current order. It is not really
necessary for the server to be able to see
a small portion of the order at all times. Further-
more, it takes away from the usable area of the
screen which could have several more menu item
buttons on the screen were the order not there.
On the Foodman screen there is a "SEE" button which
lets the user see the entire order whenever they need or want to.
There doesn't seem to be a Help button on the Aldelo
Screen. With Foodman, the server just touches
the "HELP" button on the top of the screen and
a full-screen explanation of the various buttons
5. Separate Checks.
It is important that a restaurant POS have the ability to
print separate checks for each of the people in a party.
In Foodman, the operator merely touches the 'Who' button
to identify the person ordering that item. We don't see any
comparable feature on the Aldelo screen - how do you do it?
Aldelo comes with a 359 page manual (see the PDF file in their demo).
21 pages are devoted to doing your menu. Twenty-One!
Unlike Aldelo, Foodman does not come with any manual at all. That
is because Foodman, unlike every other POS on the market is self-explanatory.
If you get Aldelo, you had better be prepared to spend a lot of time
studying or paying for assistance.
7. Entering Items.
Entering the items on a customer's order is the most time-consuming
aspect of any POS system. The number of touches and the number
of screens can affect the speed and efficiency of entry.
We entered a hamburger, medium rare, french fries. To do this,
the first step is to click on the hamburger, on the following screen:
As soon as you click on the hamburger, the following screen appears
which lets you specify the cooking instructions:
As soon as you click on Medium Rare, or whatever, the following
After selecting the side dish, the program redisplays the main screen
with the ordered item(s) thereon:
Aldelo provides a separate 'Modifier' screen, (Note the multiple use
of icons), here it is:
So, you end up using as many as four different screens to
enter one item. Remember, that you have to setup those
different screens to reflect your menu. Or, you pay Aldelo to do it for you.
In contrast, Foodman accomplishes everything with only ONE screen!
Because there are 54 big buttons on the Foodman screen, it is
easy to setup each of your categories so that the screen not
only contains the main menu items, but all of the modifiers
which apply to the menu items.
Each item you enter can have up to eight modifiers.
8. But what if I don't like touchscreens?. Unlike virtually all the other POS systems, Foodman lets you use EITHER the keyboard or the Touchscreen. Places with small and simple menus, can avoid the additional expense of touchscreens ($360 and up) by using the keyboard. Aldelo has no provision to use the keyboard rather than the touchscreen. The following screen shot depicts Foodman order-entry using the keyboard.
9. Foodman lets Servers be their own bankers.
This lets you eliminate
the cashier. At the end of their shift, Servers are Cashed-Out
on one simple screen. See if you can find anything comparable in Aldelo. We couldn't.
OK, it's up to you now! Good Luck with your decision!