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Lavu POS Review 2023: Features and Pricing

Last updated on August 2, 2023
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Lavu is a point-of-sale (POS) system for restaurants. Consider Lavu if you want an all-in-one or customizable restaurant POS system. Its multiple services, add-on integrations and editable API let you build a POS system that fits your business. However, if you don’t need this flexibility, and especially if you’re looking for transparency on payment processing rates and contract terms and hoping to get most of your POS functionality without costly add-ons, other options are likely to be simpler and more cost-effective.
Full review


Payment processing fees
Monthly fee
$59 and up.

Pros & Cons


  • Compatible with third-party payment processors.
  • Lets you pick and choose integration features.
  • Highly customizable POS platform for those with programming skills.


  • Limited hardware options.
  • Monthly software fees skyrocket if you choose not to use Lavu Pay for payment processing.
  • Lack of payment processing pricing transparency.

Full Review

Lavu is a cloud-based POS system for restaurants that runs on iPads and additional hardware you can buy through Lavu or elsewhere. Lavu POS includes features catering to food businesses such as inventory tracking, order management, menu performance tracking and more.
Lavu says it is “payment processor agnostic,” meaning you shouldn’t have software compatibility issues with third-party payment processors. Note, however, that the monthly price for Lavu software increases dramatically if you use a third-party processor, plus the company charges an additional undisclosed fee for the option to use an outside processor. If you want to streamline things and likely keep costs down, you can do payment processing through Lavu Pay, but you’ll need to contact the company for a pricing quote.
Lavu also operates two other notable platforms:
  • MenuDrive. This is an online ordering platform that includes a marketing system so that businesses can create a website for customer orders as well as send emails, create flyers, offer coupons, promote menu items and perform other activities.
  • Sourcery. This is a bill-pay and invoicing tool that allows businesses to store invoices, track inventory purchases and pay invoices. It integrates with Xero, Sage, QuickBooks, NetSuite, Sage Intacct and Dynamics GP.
Access to MenuDrive is included in the Growth and Optimize plans, and the Optimize plan additionally offers access to Sourcery as well as a QuickBooks/Xero integration at no additional cost. Otherwise, access to these platforms and integrations must be purchased separately.

Lavu is best for businesses that:

  • Want a single POS provider and payment processor. Lavu’s monthly software fees are fairly reasonable (although still higher than those of many competitors, including Toast and TouchBistro), as long as you also use Lavu Pay for payment processing. Otherwise, monthly fees reach upward of $300 to $500, depending on your plan, plus you’ll pay an additional undisclosed fee to use a third-party processor.
  • Are looking to customize their POS system. Lavu offers an editable API, which you can access for an additional monthly fee, that enables you to customize the POS system to best suit your business needs. However, unlike other providers (for example, Stripe) with similar open-access offerings, Lavu does not appear to offer a robust help library or developer community. So you’ll want to be sure you or your team knows how to take full advantage of this offering without much assistance.

Deciding factors

Payment processing model
Unknown; pricing is unlisted.
Payment processing fees
The company offers Lavu Pay, a payment processing service, but it lacks transparency about the pricing.
Lavu also works with third-party processors.
Monthly fee
Pricing varies depending on whether you choose to include Lavu Pay in your plan.
  • $59-$329 for Starter plan.
  • $129-$429 for Growth plan.
  • $279-$529 for Optimize plan.
A variety of add-on options are available:
  • Software for additional terminals: $50/month each.
  • Gift cards: $50/month.
  • Loyalty: $50/month.
  • Tableside ordering: $30/month (up to five devices).
  • Kitchen display systems: $30/month.
  • Kiosk software: $50/month.
  • QuickBooks/Xero integration: $30/month.
  • Sourcery AP Automation: $99/month.
  • MenuDrive Online ordering: $99/month.
  • DoorDash Order Sync: $70/month.
  • API access: $30/month.
Hardware cost
Lavu has a shopping hub for iPad-based terminals and tablets and card readers. It also features cash drawers, kitchen display systems, networking hardware and printers from various manufacturers. Prices and availability vary.
Contract length
Unspecified. May vary according to plan and business need.
Customer support
24/7 email support. Online knowledge base and support ticket system. Lavu also says its team will configure and set up your menu and settings as you desire.

Where Lavu stands out

A la carte integration options

Lavu lets you pick and choose some features, which can help you avoid paying for things you don’t really need or want — or avoid upgrading to a more expensive package just to get one extra feature.

Highly customizable

You can purchase access to Lavu’s open API if it's not included in your plan, meaning you can highly customize your POS platform. If you’ve got the programming chops, you can create your own checkout processes, menu customizations, loyalty programs, reservations and much more.

Where Lavu falls short

Relatively limited hardware options

Lavu’s hardware is iOS-based, so Android users will probably want to look elsewhere. Also, Lavu does sell terminals, printers, card readers and other hardware, but the number of options within each category is relatively slim.

May require developer experience

Lavu’s open API allows users to create custom integrations and setups, but that work isn’t easy. If you want to take full advantage of these features, you’ll need programming skills or need to hire somebody with those skills.

Alternatives to Lavu


Monthly fee:
  • $0 for Quick Start Bundle.
  • $69 for Core plan.
  • $110 plus $4 per employee for Restaurant Basics plan.
  • $165 for Growth plan.
  • Custom plans available.
Payment processing fees:
  • 2.99% plus 15 cents per transaction, if you choose pay-as-you-go option on hardware.
  • 2.49% plus 15 cents for card-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
  • 3.50% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
  • $627 for Handheld Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $875 for Countertop Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $1,009 for Guest Self-Service Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
Why we like it: Toast POS is also exclusively for restaurants and may be a better fit for new businesses. Toast’s Restaurant Basics software package comes with features such as payroll management and business insurance, which may benefit a business that’s just starting. Don’t need those items? Toast also offers a basic software subscription for $0 per month. That may make sense as you figure things out versus using Lavu’s $59 Starter plan or constructing an a la carte POS platform. Read our full Toast review.

Square for Restaurants

Monthly fee:
  • $0 for Square POS, Restaurant, Retail and Appointments Free plans.
  • $29 for Square Appointments Plus plan.
  • $60 for Square Restaurant and Retail Plus plans.
  • $69 for Square Appointments Premium plan.
Payment processing fees:
  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.
  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions.
  • $0 for Square magstripe-only card reader ($10 for each additional reader) or if using Tap to Pay for iPhone (iPhone not included).
  • $49 and up for Square Reader contactless and chip card reader.
  • $149 for Square Stand iPad POS or Square Stand Mount (iPad not included).
  • $299 for Square Terminal mobile card reader with built-in printer.
  • $799 for Square Register two-screen system.
Why we like it: Square POS for Restaurants offers multiple hardware and software options and payment processing. Unlike Lavu, that processing isn’t an add-on; it’s the central part of Square’s business model. But also, unlike Lavu, Square is upfront about its pricing. That may make Square a good fit if you want to project your potential costs easily. Read our full Square for Restaurants review.

Compare POS providers

To compare POS options, check out NerdWallet’s list of point-of-sale systems that are best for small-business owners. Our recommendations are based on the provider’s pricing and transparency, software and hardware options, system functionality, customer support, software integrations and contract requirements.


NerdWallet’s point-of-sale systems provider ratings reward companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including cost, system capabilities, contract requirements, customer service and integrations and add-ons. Learn more about how we rate point-of-sale (POS) systems providers.
These ratings are a guide, but services, hardware and pricing can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.