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Pros / You may be able to use the POS hardware you already own with this system.

Cons / It doesn't track how long customers wait to receive their orders or table turnover times.

 Verdict / Lightspeed has favorable terms and a nice selection of features. However, it lacks a few tools to gauge your restaurant's efficiency.

Lightspeed is an international POS company with offices in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Belgium, the Netherlands and Australia. It offers POS solutions for restaurant, retail and eCommerce businesses, with a focus on small and midsized companies, though custom plans are available for enterprise-level organizations. Its software operates on an iOS platform, and it can be used on iPhones, iPod Touch and iPads.

One of Lightspeed's noteworthy features is its support for multiple languages: English, Spanish, French, German and Dutch. It automatically matches the language option that's selected on your iPad. This is a useful feature if you have a multilingual staff.

You can choose a month-to-month, annual or multi-year subscription for Lightspeed's iPad restaurant POS software. The company posts its prices, which are based on an annual plan for a single location, on its website. Three pricing plans are available. The Small plan costs $69 per month and supports one register and two printers. The Medium plan costs $129 per month and supports up to three registers and four printers. The Large plan costs $198 per month and supports up to five registers and an unlimited number of printers. All plans come with personalized onboarding, 24/7 customer support and basic reporting. Advanced reporting is available as an add-on to the Medium and Large plans for an additional $29 per month. You can add more registers to the Large plan for $37 per month per additional register.

Lightspeed works with multiple payment processing companies, and integrations are available for Vantiv and Cayan. It doesn't require a hardware commitment and is a good option if you already own POS hardware, as there is a list of supported and compatible options on its website.

This system has a good selection of order management features. It has table and reservation management tools that can help your busy restaurant run smoothly. You can use the floor plan to see which tables are open and which are ready to pay, so you can let waiting customers know that a table will be available shortly. When your servers are taking orders, they can arrange dishes into courses to ensure menu items are brought out in the correct order, which is useful if a customer orders a side salad or appetizer as a main course.

Its catering and delivery features help you manage the takeout side of your restaurant. If you want your customers to be able to order online, you can add this option to the system using a third-party integration.

The system doesn't have a texting feature to notify customers that you're ready to seat them, nor does it track how long your customers wait to receive their orders or how long it takes for a table to turn over, which could help you evaluate the efficiency of your establishment. You can only add photos to product categories, not to individual menu items to help customers decide.

Lightspeed has most of the inventory management features we looked for in a restaurant POS system. It tracks inventory on an ingredient level, which helps you keep supplies on hand for the menu items you create from scratch. If you want to get an alert when your inventory runs low, you can add this feature through one of the system's third-party integrations. You can add vendor contact information to each menu item to make it easier to reorder supplies. You can also add a barcode, which allows you to enter the supplies you receive into the system with a barcode scanner rather than manually.

Customer support is available 24/7. If your issue is software-based, company representatives can access your account remotely, with your permission, to quickly resolve the issue. You can check the company's website for step-by-step directions, video tutorials and webinars to learn about specific features.

Summary

Lightspeed is a good POS system for businesses that want options for subscription length, POS hardware and the payment processing company. It has many of the features we looked for, including table and reservation management to help you optimize available seating, as well as catering and delivery tools to streamline your takeout orders. However, it lacks a few features that could boost your restaurant's efficiency, such as table-ready texting and order time tracking.

Specifications and Benchmarks

Order Management

Table & Seat Management
Reservation Management
Catering Features
Delivery Management
Patron Online Ordering
Integration
Supports Menu Item Images
Categories Only
Table-Ready SMS
Tracks Order-to-Serve Time
Times Table Turnover
Coursing or Order Hold Options
Supports Customer Notes

Quick Picks

Standout Feature
Supports Multiple Languages
Supports Multiple Locations

Inventory Management

Ingredient Inventory Tracking
Low Inventory Alerts
Integration
Vendor Management
Handheld Inventory Entry

Value & Terms

No Long-Term Contract
Monthly Subscription Fee
$69 - 198*
Posts Pricing Online
Compatible with Multiple Payment Processors
No Hardware Commitment Required
Suitable for Full-Service Restaurant

Help & Support

Remote Assistance
On-Site Assistance Available
Overnight Replacement Parts
N/A
APIs Available