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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. However, it’s also more expensive than other options, such as Square.
$59 per month and up, plus $40 to $60 per terminal.
$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
Company won't disclose, but it says it's a flat-rate, quote-based fee.
Company won't disclose contract length, but early termination fees apply.
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 combines 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 pricing and features
$59 per month plus $60 per terminal.
$199 per month plus $50 per terminal.
All features in the Core plan plus:
$359 per month plus $40 per terminal.
All features in the Pro plan plus:
Online ordering and gift card add-ons can be tacked onto any plan for an additional fee.
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: $129.99.
Wireless Thermal Receipt Printer: $299.99.
Kitchen Display System Touchscreen Monitor: $449.99.
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.
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
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.
Square for Restaurants
Software: Free and up.
Hardware: $799 for the Square Register; $149 for the Square iPad Stand; $739 and up 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.
Software: Free and up.
Hardware: Typically included in quote-based price, but the $799 Starter Kit 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: Quote-based pricing for most plans, but the Pay-as-you-Go plan comes with a rate of 2.99% plus 15 cents per in-person transaction.
Like Upserve, Toast 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.