Upserve POS Review 2022: Features, Pricing, Alternatives

Upserve POS provides restaurants with in-depth data on menu items, labor and customer reviews.

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Upserve by Lightspeed is a point-of-sale system designed specifically for restaurants. In addition to POS functions, the cloud-based product comes equipped with restaurant management features, its own payment processing services and a variety of hardware options.

The system is a great solution for a variety of restaurants — including quick-service restaurants, fine dining establishments, bars, cafes, breweries, bakeries and more — that would benefit from sophisticated reporting capabilities, employee training and extra features like reputation management. While these tools make it stand out among its competitors, it’s also more expensive than other options like Square.

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Overview

Software cost

$59 per month and up, plus $40 to $60 per terminal.

Hardware cost

$1,350 for a POS terminal with a monitor and card reader. Android tablets and iPads can also be used as terminals.

Payment processing cost

A flat-rate, quote-based fee.

Contract length

Contract length is not specified, but early termination fees apply.

Live support

24/7 U.S.-based phone and email support.

Ease of use

Reviewers say the system is easy to use and simple to train employees on.

How does Upserve POS work?

Upserve POS syncs payment processing with restaurant management tools to generate insights and reports on sales, products and labor. Managers can use the all-in-one product to streamline communication and manage menus, employees and front-of-house operations.

Here’s a rundown of some of the system’s main features and how they work.

Upserve HQ, the product’s restaurant analytics platform, organizes data in one place to help managers save time and identify opportunities for improvement. It includes the following capabilities:

  • Server performance data and labor reporting.

  • Reputation management — access reviews of your restaurant across multiple sites.

  • Sales analytics for comparing trends daily, weekly and yearly.

  • Guest book for storing customer information and profiles.

  • Loyalty program development.

  • In-house online ordering.

You can also access Upserve HQ data from Upserve Live, the company’s POS app. Upserve Live is accessible on both iOS and Android phones, giving users the ability to track restaurant operations in real time and on the go.

Upserve’s POS software lets managers add and customize menu items and allows servers to search by specific item or menu category. The product also offers menu inventory countdowns, so staff will know when a particular item is low in stock, and sold-out items can be automatically marked “out of stock.” On the reporting end of things, Upserve’s Menu Intelligence feature helps restaurants optimize their offerings by flagging menu items as “one-hit wonders, greatest hits, underperformers or hidden gems.”

Servers can annotate customers’ orders to communicate special requests to the kitchen — for instance, maybe a customer asked to sub one item for another. The system also includes an option to hold items and send them to the kitchen later.

Managers use the POS to designate roles and permissions to each employee so they have access to the appropriate menus and workflows for their role. And when a restaurant hires new team members, managers can put the POS system in training mode so those employees can practice going through workflows. A feature called the logbook lets staff and management communicate directly through the POS, too. Employees can leave notes about the previous night’s shift and provide feedback through custom questions and checklists.

Additionally, all software plans include Upserve Workforce, an employee time and scheduling tool that lets managers create and assign schedules, send shifts to employees and manage clock-ins.

Source: Upserve

Pricing and features

Software

Plan

Pricing

Features

Core

$59 per month plus $60 per terminal.

  • Upserve POS software.

  • Training mode.

  • Offline mode.

  • Upserve Live mobile app.

  • 24/7 customer support.

  • Sales, labor and guest trend reports.

  • Marketing campaign tools.

  • Reputation management tools.

  • Upserve Payments.

  • Logbook for streamlining communication between staff and management.

  • Upserve Workforce for creating staff schedules and managing clock-ins.

Pro

$199 per month plus $50 per terminal.

All features in the Core plan plus:

  • Menu optimization tools.

  • Server performance data.

  • Inventory management plus low inventory alerts.

  • Recipe costing.

  • Vendor management.

  • Upserve Loyalty program.

Pro Plus

$359 per month plus $40 per terminal.

All features in the Pro plan plus:

  • Data API for integrating the software into your own tech platform.

  • Dedicated account management and consulting.

Online ordering and gift card add-ons can be tacked onto any plan for an additional fee.

Hardware

Upserve offers its own POS terminal and tableside ordering device, along with receipt printers, cash drawers, card readers and iPad stands:

  • Upserve POS Terminal: $1,350.

  • Upserve Tableside Mobile POS: $499.99.

  • Lightspeed iPad Stand: $219.99.

  • Credit Card Swiper for iOS Terminal: $104.99.

  • Upserve Cash Drawer: $179.99.

  • Wireless Thermal Receipt Printer: $279.99.

  • Kitchen Display System Touchscreen Monitor: $449.99.

Payment processing

Upserve’s payment processing fees are quote-based. The company charges restaurants a flat rate per transaction and allows them to accept payments over the phone, online and tableside.

Pros of Upserve POS

Unique reporting capabilities

While most POS systems provide basic data on sales, not all offer insight into customers’ online reviews or email managers a daily rundown of menu performance, labor costs and server performance. Upserve’s daily digest emails and reputation management feature make it easy for managers and owners to keep their finger on a restaurant’s pulse. Quick access to these insights might be worth the price for establishments that understand how to act on them.

Employee training mode

Another standout feature is Upserve’s employee training mode. New employees can get used to the system and its workflows without worrying about making a mistake or interrupting day-to-day operations. This could help free up time and resources for restaurants bringing in a lot of new hires.

Customer support

Upserve POS offers 24/7 U.S.-based customer support 365 days per year for all of its software plans, as well as numerous ways to contact support representatives. Since bars and restaurants often operate outside of normal working hours, having access to around-the-clock support in case something goes wrong is essential. If a hiccup in the system isn’t addressed the same day, for example, a restaurant and its employees could miss out on a busy night’s worth of revenue and tips.

Cons of Upserve POS

Price

Upserve POS is expensive. The most basic plan, although it includes an impressive feature set, starts at $59 per month, in addition to a monthly $60 per terminal fee. If you want to add online ordering, inventory management or use Upserve software on more than one terminal, you’re going to incur another fee for each of these services. Even though the Pro plan includes inventory management, it’s more than triple the monthly price of the Core plan.

Restaurant POS alternatives

Square for Restaurants

  • Software: Free and up.

  • Hardware: $799 for the Square Register; $169 for the Square iPad Stand; $968 for a complete kit including an iPad, stand, cash drawer and receipt paper.

  • Payment processing: 2.6% plus 10 cents per in-person transaction; 2.9% plus 30 cents per online payment.

Square offers a POS system designed specifically for restaurants. Its essential features are similar to those of Upserve — management for menus, front-of-house, employees and inventory, as well as reporting and integration functionalities. The software also works with Square’s payment processing services and hardware. If you’re looking for a solution that’s considerably less expensive and a little less complex than Upserve, Square for Restaurants is a great alternative.

Square Restaurant POS

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on Square's website

Toast

  • Software: Free and up.

  • Hardware: $799 for the Starter Kit that includes a Toast Flex POS Terminal, Toast Tap payment device and router. Clients also have the option to pay for the kit over time as a percentage of sales.

  • Payment processing: Custom-built and varies by plan.

For an Android-based alternative, you might look into Toast. Like Upserve, it provides POS options specifically for restaurants and offers 24/7 support in all of its plans. The $165 per month Essentials plan is expensive, but stands out with its own in-house online ordering and delivery service. Add-ons like gift cards, marketing services and customer loyalty programs can also be added for an additional fee.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.