TouchBistro Mercury

Apple has often touted the millions of consumers who have switched from Windows PCs to Macs and from Android devices to iPhones.

But there’s another, growing group of customers who are switching to Apple devices that the company hasn’t talked a lot about — owners of restaurants and retail stores.

Giuseppe Carrubba is one of them. About two years ago, he replaced all the cash registers in the three restaurants and nine cafes he and his brother own in the Bay Area with iPads.

His only regret? “Not switching three years earlier, ” said Carruba, who owns the Mount Hamilton Grandview restaurant. “It would have saved me a lot of time and a lot of stress.”

Carruba is among the thousands of business owners small, medium and large who are ditching old-style push-button cash registers and even newer touch screen-based ones for iPads.

The iPad has “completely revolutionized that market, ” said Rhoda Alexander, director of tablet and notebook research at IHS Technology, a consulting firm.

Startup companies have been designing applications that allow the iPad to be used as a sales system since soon after the first one hit store shelves in 2010. But the use of the device in restaurants and retailers has been gaining increasing momentum.

Actual numbers in use are hard to come by, but it’s becoming more and more common to see them being used in both small and large stores. The Waffle House restaurant chain, for example, has rolled out an iPad-based cash register system at hundreds of its locations around the country.

Companies that design the apps that allow the iPads to be used as sales systems say that the numbers in use have been growing at exponential rates. For example, the number of iPads running a sales system from Revel, a San Francisco startup, grew 300 percent last year, and the company is shipping out about 1, 600 iPads with its software pre-installed each month, said Chris Ciabarra, the company’s chief technology officer.

Touchbistro orangeburg

TouchBistro food trucks

TouchBistro New York

TouchBistro VS Toast

TouchBistro hardware