The bottom line:
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
Pricing varies depending on whether you choose to include Lavu Pay in your plan.
A variety of add-on options are available:
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.
Unspecified. May vary according to plan and business need.
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
Where Lavu falls short
Relatively limited hardware options
May require developer experience
Alternatives to Lavu
- $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.
- 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).
Square for Restaurants
- $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.
- 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.