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Groupon launches iPad-based restaurant point-of-sale system

Deal-a-day company Groupon hopes to expand the use of Apple's iPad at restaurants through its new point-of-sale service called Breadcrumb.

The new service from Groupon Inc. launched on Wednesday in an effort to court more restaurants as clients, according to Reuters. The service is a "sales, order management and reporting system for restaurants, bars and cafes" that relies on Apple's iPad.

In fact, the market leading iPad is the only option in Breadcrumb's service. Clients can pay $99 a month for the service to run on one iPad, or $199 for two iPad terminals. From there, additional iPads are discounted at $299 per month for five and $399 per month for up to 10.

Through Breadcrumb, Groupon sells Apple's iPad to restaurants at cost. But clients can also buy or use their own iPads if they choose.

Breadcrumb already offered iPad-driven point-of-sale services when it operated at a separate company. But it was bought by Groupon this May, and the deal-driven service hopes to expand the presence of iPads with Breadcrumb into even more restaurants.

The service was tested at about 100 location in New York, but Wednesday marks a full-scale launch of the product across the U.S.

Groupon's push is just the latest example of how Apple's iPad has become a versatile point-of-sale device in many businesses. Breadcrumb will compete directly with Square Register, an application paired with a credit card reading accessory that allows vendors to make transactions with customers easier.

Even the world's largest fast food chain, McDonald's, has gotten in on the action. This week a McDonald's location in Virginia Beach, Va., was highlighted because it offers its customers mounted iPads that they can use for free while they are visiting.