Formerly known as Upserve, Lightspeed Restaurant U-Series is a fuss-free POS that prides itself on its solid industry-standing and slick usability. The point-of-service offers all the hardware options and software features smaller food businesses need to thrive, including menu management, employee training, and inventory countdowns.
However, with an entry price of $69 per month, and most basic features reserved for pricier packages, Lightspeed Restaurant is a lot less affordable than systems like Square and Zettle by PayPal. Lots of core POS capabilities — like online ordering — are only available as add-ons too, making the system even less accessible to restaurants conscious of their bottom line.
In truth, our research suggests that your restaurant can probably do better than Lightspeed U-Series, but this isn't to say it's not right for every type of business. To learn more, scroll down to see how the POS fairs when it comes to features, pricing, and customer support.
Alternatively, if affordability is your top priority, use our free comparison tool to compare the prices of the top POS providers.
- Offers unlimited user accounts across all plans
- Recipe costing feature helps your business save money
- Dedicated training mode for onboarding new staff
- 24/7 phone support
- No free version or free trial
- A lot of features are reserved for pricier plans (and they're very pricey)
Lightspeed Restaurant U-Series POS Core Features
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) has a veritable boatload of features that will help make any restaurateur’s life easier. Here, we look at some of its main highlights – including its unique ‘reputation management’ feature.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) sales reporting and analytics
Lightspeed U-Series can help your restaurant capture loads of data from transactions and information about your customers to help you understand and optimize your business.
The Restaurant Daily Sales Report, for example, can give you insights on:
- Gross sales
- Net sales
- Card sales
- Number of covers
- Any discounts given
- The number of void transactions
- The time and day of the week that guests visit
- New versus repeat guests
This sort of information might not be available on non-restaurant specific platforms, for example. What's more, you'll also be able to see your sales in realtime, which can help keep you on top of everything.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) also lets you track labor costs and which items you sell the most of. These can all help make your business even more efficient.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) reputation management
Keeping an eye on the litany of review sites can be tricky – and not always the best use of your time. Lightspeed Restaurant (U), however, simplifies the process by collecting customer reviews from Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor and the like, and presenting them in one easily digestible view.
The POS can also gather reviews of nearby restaurants to help you keep pace with your rivals.
This means you can thank happy customers for their good reviews, as well as easily weed out the bad reviews and send personalized replies to help limit their damage.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) training modes
Onboarding staff can be a pain. However, Lightspeed Restaurant (U) features a dedicated training mode that will let staff learn how to use the system, featuring your own menu, tables, and all the rest — without disrupting service.
Any transactions that take place in the training mode are not included in reporting, nor are any payments processed. The training mode is easily accessed from the home screen of your POS and it comes with descriptive pop-ups to help guide employees through the system.
This will eliminate the gap between theory and practice, reducing the chance of new staff making errors – saving everyone time, and ensuring guests have a better experience.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) menu management
Lightspeed's U-Series prides itself on giving you full control over your menu and making servers’ lives as easy as possible.
You can bulk edit items on the menu – helpful when a certain item is out of stock – and change the way your menu looks based on what is or isn’t selling, thanks to real-time sales analysis. There’s also a menu search function built-in, which can be a godsend for servers – if you have a long drinks list, for example.
Plus, if the internet goes out, your entire business won't fall apart, as Lightspeed Restaurant (U) comes with an Offline Mode to keep you in the loop.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) labor management
Want to know how much you’re spending on wages? Or when your employees are clocking in and out? Lightspeed Restaurant (U) makes this easy with its dedicated labor reporting section, Upserve Workforce.
Each employee gets a virtual timecard to manage their hours, and you can check how much you’re paying for staff at any given time – all from within the app. Managers also get a calendar view for building their schedules and you can easily communicate shifts and schedules to employees via text, email, or both. A requirement for manager approval can be set up for early clock-ins as well.
What's more, Lightspeed's U-Series has plenty of server performance reports to help you understand which of your servers is upselling the most or might be making the most mistakes. This level of insight will help you fix problems and help your servers become the best in the business.
Lightspeed U-Series campaigns
Let’s say you’ve got a new special on the dinner menu, or you’re trialing two-for-one cocktails between 5-7 pm. With Lightspeed Restaurant (U), you can create one-off campaigns to track and analyze these initiatives and see if they’re helping or hindering your business.
In the campaigns menu, you can track everything from the duration, plan your social media activity, and include reviews of the campaign you're running to see if it has been a success.
Lightspeed U-Series KDS
Lightspeed's U-Series has a Kitchen Display System (KDS) built-in, making it super easy to keep track of orders and simplify communication between the front and back of house. Whether it’s being used alongside table service, bar tabs, or online takeout orders, the KDS system is simple and easy to understand, helping you save time and money.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) Virtual POS is designed to help restaurants set up online ordering, so customers can buy items for delivery from their phone, tablet or laptop. It also includes an artificially intelligent menus feature. Businesses pay $99/month for access to this service.
How does the POS fare against the competition? Check out the 10 Best Restaurant POS Systems
Lightspeed Restaurant U-Series hardware
Lightspeed's U-Series offers support for a wide range of hardware peripherals, including iPads and printers. This means you can kit out your restaurant with easy-to-use iPads, giving them to servers to take orders, and using them as payment terminals with Lightspeed (U)'s proprietary Lightning Port credit card swiper. The POS also works with both iOS and Android equipment.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) Tableside
Tableside is a 5-inch touchscreen tablet designed specifically for busy restaurants. It can be held in one hand or clipped to a belt or apron when servers are moving around.
Everything that your servers need to place orders, from dish ingredient details to '86-ed items, will be right there at their fingertips. What's more, Tableside has a built-in EMV chip reader to take payments at tableside, as well as non-slide grips to make it easy to hold with wet or dirty hands.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) Terminals
Lightspeed's U-Series offers a branded terminal to help you control everything going on in your restaurant.
You'll be able to manage tables, process orders, and accept a range of different payment options. The Terminal also combines sales and processing data to give you insights on the fly to help improve margins and boost profits.
EMV kit by Lightspeed Restaurant (U)
EMV, or Europay Mastercard Visa, is the new card standard for preventing fraud. It’s becoming increasingly popular with consumers, so your restaurant will need to start accepting these cards soon.
With the POS, you’ll get access to their EMV terminal for free when you sign up, so you can be prepared for the future of restaurant payments.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) POS Setup and Customer Support
Lightspeed's U-Series offers 24/7 phone support from its office in Denver, Colorado — useful if you have a problem at your late-night bar. Plus, the company claims to answer 84% of phone calls within 30 seconds.
Lightspeed (U) also offers support through live chat and email. It also has a large online support center. This will help you fix your problems yourself with you step-by-step guides and videos.
What’s more, anyone can access the same high-quality support regardless of the plan they’re on. This makes a nice change compared to some companies, which often reserve higher quality support for their more expensive plans. As we mentioned above, Lightspeed's U-Series also has a dedicated training mode to help simplify setup and onboarding of new staff.
Lightspeed's U-Series POS Support & Training
- Phone: +1 (855) 664-3887
- Phone Hours: 24/7
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Live chat support
- Support guides
- Online FAQ
- Dedicated training modes for on-boarding staff
Lightspeed Restaurant U-Series POS Plans and Pricing
Rather than pricing its service per user, per month like most restaurant POS providers, Lightspeed Restaurant (U) offers pricing per month, per terminal. It has three main pricing plans to choose from: Core, Pro, and Pro Plus, plus a new Virtual POS service option.
For example, if you choose the cheapest Essentials plan, it’ll cost $69 per month. Every additional terminal will cost you another $60 per month. This tier includes everything you need to get started, including basic inventory tools, take-out, delivery options, and menu management features.
Next up is the $189 per month Plus plan. You get menu optimization tools that can help you see which items customers return back for, as well as being able to remove low-performing items. Server performance is added, as well, which lets you see their check sizes, tips, and turn times. This can help make sure your best servers are on your most important tables at the right times, for example.
Finally, there's the $399 per month Pro plan. The Pro is really designed for larger restaurant chains and franchise operations. This plan gives businesses access to Lightspeed's full suite of POS features, including multi-location management, advanced stock control, and even multiple revenue center support for hotels.
The Pro plan likely has all the right features for most medium-sized restaurants and small chains. However, compared to rivals such as Square, Lightspeed Restaurant (U)'s is far too expensive for us to wholeheartedly recommend.
Lightspeed Restaurant (U) POS Alternatives
Of course, Lightspeed's U-Series isn't the only name in the world of restaurant-specific POS systems. In fact, it has some serious competition.
As we've mentioned a few times above, we think that Square is the best POS system for restaurants on the market. Lightspeed Restaurant (U) isn't bad but Square offers better value for money whilst maintaining the same quality and quantity of features that restaurants rely on.
Tech.co rating for restaurants
Score out of 5 for general restaurant suitability, based on Tech.co's independent market research.
Best Restaurant POS for:
Tech.co's verdict to help you identify the most suitable choice for your restaurant
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Is there a version of the software made specifically for iPad use?
Is there a version of the software made specifically for Android tablet use?
BEST FOR RESTAURANTS
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
Epos Now Hospitality POS System
Best overall for restaurants
Great customer loyalty app
Best for food trucks
Best help and support
Retail and hospitality businesses
Best small business growth features
Best for ecommerce
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Sells a range of proprietary hardware devices from handheld tableside tablets to full POS terminals.
First carder reader is $29 and the price of ready-made store kits ranges from $249 to $699.
Sold separately but works with lots of third-party devices
Offers a wide selection of hardware from handheld tablets to industry-specific terminals
Offers lots of compatible hardware including a tablet, cash drawer, receipt printer, and kitchen printer
Offers kits for iPads, MacOS devices, Windows PCs but all are $POA.
Sells a range of third-party hardware options from card readers to barcode scanners and hardware bundles.
None of the above POS systems will be a bad fit for your restaurant. However, it's worth considering which features you need most.
Lightspeed U-Series is outshone by TouchBistro when it comes to value for money, as well. With both platforms' prices starting at $69 per month, it might seem as though there isn't much to choose from between the two providers. However, TouchBistro offers all the same features on its entry-level $69 per month Solo plan as you'd get with its $399 per month Unlimited plan, making it far better value for small businesses.
Lightspeed and Shopify are two clear options, offer a lot of features and functionality at a reasonable price. Clover is also a lesser known option with some flexible pricing that can be perfect for the right business.
Lightspeed Restaurant U-Series POS: The Verdict
Lightspeed U-Series isn't the best restaurant POS system on the market. It's frankly too expensive in our opinion to really rival the likes of Square and TouchBistro.
The POS is still easy to use (even for new staff) and has some great restaurant-specific hardware options. But we'd say you're better off looking elsewhere.
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