- 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)
Upserve prides itself on being a POS system created by industry veterans. These veterans recognized the problems with other systems and decided to try and fix them. As such, with Upserve, you get a POS system that’s heavily focused on making servers’ lives easier.
It has dedicated training modes, for example, which allow new staff to be onboarded with the existing menu for genuinely useful dry-runs. It also has inventory countdowns to keep track of stock, table plans that can be adjusted on-the-fly, and the capability to work with online orders.
However, despite all of Upserve's talk, we've found it to be some way behind other POS systems. For starters, Upserve is expensive. It offers a free demo, but no free plan or free trial, and pricing starts from $59 per month — plus extra to add terminals. Upserve also withholds quite a few features from its cheapest pricing plan, making the $199 per month Pro plan almost essential.
What's more, Upserve doesn't include some important features on any of its pricing plans and instead positions them as “add-ons” that can be added for a monthly cost. Online ordering, for example, is an add-on but it should be included, especially given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In truth, we think that your restaurant can do better than Upserve. We would recommend taking a look at Square POS, which can be used with no monthly payments, or ShopKeep. Both offer better value for money and a wider range of features.
Upserve POS Core Features
Upserve 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.
Upserve POS sales reporting and analytics
Upserve can help your restaurant capture loads of data from transactions and information about your customers to help you understand and optimize your buinsess.
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.
Upserve also lets you track labor costs and which items you sell the most of. These can all help make your business even more efficient.
Upserve POS reputation management
Keeping an eye on the litany of review sites can be tricky – and not always the best use of your time. Upserve, however, simplifies the process by collecting customer reviews from Yelp, OpenTable, TripAdvisor and the like, and presenting them in one easily digestible view.
Upserve 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.
Upserve POS training modes
Onboarding staff can be a pain. However, Upserve 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 Upserve 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.
Upserve POS menu management
Upserve 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 Upserve comes with an Offline Mode to keep you in the loop.
Upserve POS labor management
Want to know how much you’re spending on wages? Or when your employees are clocking in and out? Upserve 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, Upserve 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.
Upserve POS campaigns
Let’s say you’ve got a new special on the dinner menu, or you’re trialling two-for-one cocktails between 5-7 pm. With Upserve, 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.
Upserve POS KDS
Upserve 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.
Upserve's 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 Upserve fare against the competition? Check out the 10 Best Restaurant POS Systems
Upserve POS hardware
Upserve 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 Upserve’s proprietary Lightning Port credit card swiper. Upserve's POS also works with both iOS and Android equipment.
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.
Upserve 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 Upserve Terminal also combines sales and processing data to give you insights on the fly to help improve margins and boost profits.
EMV kit by Upserve
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 Upserve, 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.
Upserve POS Setup and Customer Support
Upserve 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.
Upserve 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, Upserve also has a dedicated training mode to help simplify setup and onboarding of new staff.
Upserve POS Support & Training
- Phone: +1 (855) 664-3887
- Phone Hours: 24/7
- Email: email@example.com
- Live chat support
- Support guides
- Online FAQ
- Dedicated training modes for on-boarding staff
Upserve POS Plans and Pricing
Rather than pricing its service per user, per month like most restaurant POS providers, Upserve 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 Core plan, it’ll cost $59 per month. Every additional terminal will cost you another $60 per month.
You’d also need to pay slightly more to gain access to some features on the Core plan. For example, inventory tracking costs $99 per month, while online ordering is an additional $59 per month. These features, in our mind, should really come included in the Core plan.
Next up is the $199 per month Pro 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.
The inventory tracking feature, which cost $99 per month for Core plan users, is included for free on the Pro plan. Plus, you'll get recipe costing tools, low inventory alerts, as well as access to Upserve's custom loyalty program and customizable rewards program. The price of additional terminals on the Pro plan drops to $50 per month.
Finally, there's the $359 per month Pro Plus plan. The Pro Plus is really designed for larger restaurant chains and franchise operations. You'll be able to integrate Upserve's data API into any custom tech platforms to help you build better solutions. Plus, you'll get dedicated support and account management as well as consulting to help improve your business even further. Additional terminals become cheaper still at $40 per month.
All told, the Pro plan likely has all the right features for most medium-sized restaurants and small chains. However, compared to rivals such as Square, Upserve is far too expensive for us to wholeheartedly recommend.
Upserve POS Alternatives
Of course, Upserve 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. Upserve 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 based on Tech.co's independent market research.
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
Smaller, quick-service businesses, due to cost-effective pricing, strong brand recognition and support.
Large or growing businesses that want easy set-ups and training
Helpful features for kitchen and serving staff
Chain restaurants that want to build great customer relationships
Best for small restaurants
Businesses not looking to reuse or rely on iPads
Restaurants looking to expand into online ordering and deliveries
Restaurants looking to integrate marketing and accounting tools.
Restaurants that need to onboard new staff quickly
Businesses without existing software or hardware.
Free (but transaction fees apply)
$39 per month
$69 per month
$69 per month
Restaurant POS package costs $999 or $72 per month. Also works with a variety of third-party peripherals.
Sold separately but works with lots of third-party devices
Sells a range of third-party hardware devices from payment terminals to barcode scanners and cash drawers.
Sells a range of proprietary hardware including tableside ordering tablets.
Offers a full hardware suite for $799 but custom pricing is available on more expensive software tiers
Sells a range of proprietary hardware devices from handheld tableside tablets to full POS terminals.
Offers kits for iPads, MacOS devices, Windows PCs but all are $POA.
Sells $899 starter kit that includes iPad, cash drawer, printer, portable card reader.
Leases you a printer, terminal, card reader, and cash drawer on two or three year contract.
None of the above POS systems will be a bad fit for your restaurant. However, it's worth considering which features you need most.
Upserve 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.
Upserve POS: The Verdict
Upserve 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.
Upserve 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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