If you're in the hospitality industry, this is one piece worth reading. Lightspeed has much in store for merchants who run busy restaurants. Even so, it's appropriate to have a bucket list of the essential tools which suit the demands of your own business environment. Needless to say that in the present moment, automated systems are predominantly taking center stage.
And so is Lightspeed.
But here's what you ought to know. You need to figure out what exactly your restaurant needs in terms of running the daily errands. Well, there's only one way to come out strong. At the face of it, you need to calibrate the magnitude of your business' operations. With that at hand, you're good to go. If Lightspeed adds up to your expectations, don't look back. Just give it a shot.
One question though. Which are the right pointers to weigh in? Well, you need to go with the basics first. For instance, you need to make some sort of due diligence to determine if the POS can help you out with staff management. It's nearly impossible to have an eagle's eye on each employee all at t
he same time. Things might go ballistics.
Not meant to get you scared though. You're in the right place. You know why? This review lets out into the open, all of Lightspeed's functionalities. It brings you up to speed with Lightspeed's integration and add-ons, hardware, kitchen display system, customer-facing display, and many more.
So let's get into the swing of things.
Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Brief Overview
Well, if you thought that Lightspeed is only designed for the retail setting, it's time to get the facts straight. This particular version is substantially an iPad POS solution suitably built for restaurant transactions. So what makes it quite distinctive from the rest? It's niche-focused. Unlike other POS systems which are far wide of the mark, it sorts the hoteliers in a befitting manner.
While the features might seem a little tangled and impenetrable, the user interface is well-aligned such that you won't need any expert skills. The same goes for the back-office. It's clear-cut and has simple buttons to boot up your navigation. At first glance, this might seem daunting. Maybe due to the several options which Lightspeed comes with. But once you give it an in-depth run-through, you might be compelled to change the narrative.
👉 After all, Lightspeed allows the user to make customizations of whatever nature. Technically, it's built for the following business setups:
- Bars/ Nightclubs
- Quick service joints
- Full service
- Hotel restaurants
But the list doesn't end here.
Lightspeed is ideal for outdoor events and food trucks too. Just so you know. And the logic is quite simple. It's flexible enough to adapt to transactions like mobile orders from customers. Let me teach you how. Suppose you've been having some trouble with long ques at your restaurant lately. As a means to mitigate such a flaw, this amazing POS system allows your customers to make prior orders directly to your kitchen. Sounds amazing, right? But that's just a shred, or if you wish, a slideshow of what exactly Lightspeed is capable of.
Just mention anything you'd expect from a restaurant's POS system; Lightspeed is psyched up to flaunt all its features. On that note, you must brace yourself for its eccentric strategy to solve demanding tasks. From the onset, you might be puzzled by its method of working, to be forthright. On the flip side, you must realize that Lightspeed isn't just any ordinary POS system. Yet at the same time, you might want to do some digging via its guide and videos so as to apprehend your way around the back-office.
But don't be faint-hearted though. It's for your own good. Fact is, Lightspeed comes to par with the kind of productivity you're aggressively looking for.
Still not convinced? Well, if not, let's get into the real facts.
Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Business Compatibility
Since the entire system is cloud-based, a user can easily gain access to its features either via the web, or the app. So long as you have active internet, you're good to go. If your data goes off, you can still operate offline. But here's the catch. You need to install some piece of hardware which goes by the name ‘Lite Server'.
So here's what it does.
The device keeps your local database safe anytime you lose internet connection while serving your customers. As a result, it uninterruptedly backs up your transactions on Lightspeed's servers. If you run a big restaurant, so to speak, where data loss could be so detrimental, you better put Lightspeed into deep consideration.
On the contrary, it's sad to say that the system doesn't process cards when it's offline. I know this might frustrate some merchants whose customers who often use this mode of payment. But let's just take a wild guess and be of the view that data loss doesn't just happen haphazardly. I mean, we're in the 21st century, right guys? Save for the rare instances.
You can make any adjustments on your POS by use of the back office. The restaurant's terminal is compatible with any iPad device(3rd generation and above).
But here's more to it.
As mentioned earlier, Lightspeed's restaurant software perfectly suits businesses in the hospitality sector. With that in mind, you're in a better spot to know where to place your business' needs. But that doesn't necessarily matter. Whether you run a small coffee shop or a burger joint, Lightspeed has got you sorted, no matter what.
If you're in a quick-service setting like a bar this POS system makes everything flawless and incomparable. You can forwards all orders to the bartender in a click of a button. On top of that, it allows you to open tabs for regular customers as well as split bills if need be. Lightspeed is the right fit for credit card processing. If you do deliveries on the side, you can opt for this POS. No regrets whatsoever.
As a rule of thumb, it's adequate to get acquainted with the hardware and operating systems (OS) requirements. Besides the iPad, Lightspeed is compatible with iPhones. It gives you the option to access the back-office via any browser of your choice.
How about the size of my business?
On the face of it, Lightspeed seems like a POS system which is ideally designed for small and medium-sized establishments. That's not to mean it can't handle high-end restaurants. There's no limit set to the number of registers which the user can include.
Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Ease of Use
Since Lightspeed is a fully functional cloud- backed system, this gives you the convenience to carry on with your business transactions from any location. For sure, you'll be utterly impressed by its sleek and unmistakable user interface. On the dashboard, there are all sorts of buttons you can play around with.
It's upon you to do customizations to preferably suit your needs. Simply put, there are lots of high-yielding and fruitful widgets at your disposal. From this end, you can personalize your reports to indicate daily sales, average order value, expenses, and many more. To come up with instructive data in a systematic manner, you can choose between charts and graphs to generate your reports.
Besides that, you can sort the widgets in any kind of format you're comfortable with. Lightspeed has a couple of tutorial videos on the dashboard screen. If you're met with any navigation hitches, you can learn a few hacks from these clips. It's worth noting that the videos aren't only limited to the basics.
Surprisingly, you can learn how to configure all your POS settings from this point. The guide is comprehensive enough to the extent that it captures even the less frequently used features. The dashboard gives you the ideal spot to tweak your reports, add users, and configure devices such as receipt printers. At the very same end, you can set workable floor plans and manage the payment methods.
As you may know, a proficient POS system is one which allows you to create multiple staff accounts. That's the case with Lightspeed. This way, it's easy for you to delegate tasks. For security reasons, each staff is required to log in from your restaurant's front end. In this fashion, you can visibly track down all actions by each employee.
Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Main Features
To begin with, you are eligible to set multiple user accounts and sort them in categories. The employee management saves you time in many ways. You can set user groups to fit in your cooks, waiters, bartenders, and cashiers. It appears like the most meticulous way to oversee all the tasks being carried out by your staff. These categories help you assign work with ease. You're able to distinguish which waiter is supposed to serve a particular table.
That aside, you can save your customers' information to and open tabs to indicate the amount due, and email receipts to them. The dashboard gives you an impeccable experience whenever you want to do product management.
And here's how.
In a restaurant-like environment, a well-organized menu list is a must-have. No other way around it. That being the case, the dashboard allows you to use its filters in a bid to end up with desired results. The products section is split into 4 distinctive part. It has the ‘Aperitif' which stands for alcoholic drinks which are served before a meal. There's ‘starters' and ‘main' menu. Last but not least, there's a discount section.
Here, you can automatically issue discounts to your customers if they order meals above a preset price. Let's presume you handle deliveries, you can adjust the prices and tax rates for such services. Still, on the same dashboard, you can use the modifiers section to add a service charge or include a new meal combo. Speaking of which, the modifiers function allows you to key in special orders in the system and promptly send them to the kitchen.
Moving on to ingredient tracking.
You can add all the most commonly used ingredients via the back-office. The virtual ‘ingredients' option allows you to keep a good track of all your raw materials. Ordinarily, the ingredients are weighed in grams, liters or kgs for easy accountability. Depending on the type of meal your team prepares, the system updates all the stock levels instantaneously.
This implies that you can never run out of ingredients unexpectedly. If the ingredients are depleted, the system marks all relevant menu items as ‘not available'. This is perfection and exactness at its level best, to say the least. Since Lightspeed has accordant integration plugins, you can connect your account to MarketMan. It's an application best known for ingredients tracking and works steadily to handle all your purchase orders.
As a remedy to the overwhelming long ques in your food joint, Lightspeed cuts off the slack by setting forth a mobile ordering system. It's nothing complicated though. A waiter can let a customer place an order on an iPad and send it straight away to the kitchen. Also, you can give your customers an array of payment preferences.
Point of Sale app
Lightspeed's POS is designed to assist you with handling several transactions from one single point. The user can tweak the floor plans using its customizable builder. This allows you to create a layout which makes it easy to discern between the reserved tables and those which are open.
In regards to timed events, Lightspeed has the most appropriate setting to help you give offers to your regular customers. Here's an illustration. You can sell drinks half the price during the happy hour. If you know what I mean. Or better still, you can set special days where you give two meals for the price of one.
It's printing technology is advanced and groundbreaking. The app lets you manage your workflows by sending orders to the kitchen which are then printed out in any preferred language. Let's suppose you have sent a menu item which is referred to as ‘Heavy lunch bundle', the team in the kitchen will receive it as ‘rice, lamb chops, and vegetables'.
Since it works on cloud technology, you can access all sales in real-time from any location. It comes with an offline mode which allows the user to keep on working even when there's no internet connection. The Lite server keeps your data safe and when the internet is back, it syncs all your information.
To enhance mobility, you can take the iPad kiosk to where the customers are sitting. Alongside each menu item, you can add photos and a brief description just to enhance the customers' experience. The mobile POS allows you to take payments even in outdoor events.
If you want to keep your customers, you better reward them now and then. The loyalty program has a customizable app for customers where they can track down their points. Lightspeed Restaurant lets you get hold of its marketing tools which often come in handy anytime you need to do clear-cut campaigns via SMS or push notifications.
At the convenience of your dashboard, you can track how customers spend as well as view how your campaigns are performing. If you run a couple of transactions every so often, Lightspeed allows you to automate such processes remarkably. To be precise, it allows you to put your custom marketing campaigns on auto-pilot mode.
You can make a few adjustments to your promotions based on the customers' habits. Taking into account, the fact that Lightspeed feeds you with well-grounded reports, it's justifiable to suggest that you can't go wrong with the target audience. In this manner, you boost your sales tremendously. But you ought to impress your customers almost always.
You need to make it plain sailing for customers if they want to redeem their points. Eventually, they'll keep on trickling in your restaurant regularly. If you've been in the hospitality field for quite some time, you must realize how grueling and burdensome it's to attract new customers than retain the old ones.
Having noted that, it's pretty much fulfilling and in good practice to reward your most loyal clients occasionally.
As you'd expect from any ordinary POS system, Lightspeed sells the most appropriate and hard-wearing hardware which uses top-notch technology to process all sorts of tasks. Whether or not you want to configure your iPad with the POS hardware, it still cuts above the bare minimum. With this particular bundle, things are quite divergent is we contrast it with hardware from other companies.
👉 The iPad hardware kit comes with the following components:
- Lite Server
- Cash drawer
- LAN receipt printer
- Lightspeed iPad stand
- Kitchen printer
The POS accepts nearly all major cards(EMV). If you reside in the US, it works best with Cayan and Mercury. Users in Europe can link the POS with iZettle to process payments from customers.
Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Integrations and add-ons
👉 Integrations are of great significance and value while running such a business. Lightspeed's POS system is built to fluidly connect to applicable 3rd party applications. Have a look at some of the services offered by 3rd party apps which Lightspeed integrates with:
- Reporting– It syncs with apps such as Avero and Datateer which help the users make sound decisions while managing their restaurants. They assist you to monitor all your outlets from one point and calculate the profit margins.
- Accounting – To create a good record of all financial transactions, Lightspeed's POS connects to reputable apps like Quickbooks and Xero.
- Loyalty- You can work with an app like LoyalAction to increase your store's traffic by enhancing the engagement with your customers. Besides that, it lets you customize and send pleasing gift cards.
- Inventory Management- As it's the case with other POS systems, Lightspeed also validates the capacity to work with updated stock levels. In light of this, you're on the know anytime an ingredient needs to be purchased. The POS links to apps like MarketMan and Growzer to manage all the back-office transactions at a glance.
- Online ordering- If you intend to offer delivery services to your customers, it's far-sighted to work with the right software. As a result, Lightspeed integrates with online ordering websites like Menufy and Mobi2Go.
Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Pricing
The POS has a commonly used package which goes for $69 per month. For this price, you get 1 powerful register, personalized training, and 24/7 customer support.
Other benefits include a safe cloud backup, basic reports, and free updates. Like you know, all businesses have intrinsic needs. This is why Lightspeed's team recommends that you request a custom quote.
The loyalty plan doesn't come for free either. The most popular package costs $49 per month.
In case of any hurdles or queries, a user can reach Lightspeed's support team via email, phone, or live chat. As another option, you can watch the tutorial videos and refer to the well-detailed guides. Take note that its phone support operates on a 24/7 basis. Its blog section is continually updated with informative content which enlightens users more about running their respective businesses.
👍 Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Pros
- Reliable customer service
- The dashboard is responsive and user-friendly
- Quick-witted reporting
- Advanced employee management
👎 Lightspeed Restaurant Review: Cons
- The price is a bit high for small food joint owners.
- The offline mode restricts payment processing
- Its integration capacity is limited to a few apps
Having regard to all functionalities, I would recommend this POS system to individuals who run hospitality-related businesses. If you give a run on its features via the free trial version, it's clear to see how Lightspeed pairs up impressively with both full and quick service transactions. Its iPad kiosk, to be precise, brings a sense of relief to the nerve-cracking waiting times by scaling up the order size.
If yours is a busy restaurant, Lightspeed is the most ideal companion you need to incorporate in all your daily operations. On the other hand, it has a few flaws. The team needs to look further into its integration system and include efficient CRM tools. I expect it to connect with notable email marketing tools like MailChimp and the likes.
Notwithstanding the above, Lightspeed races up against its close rivals quite materially. This POS is suitable for any business owner who wants to and monitor all kitchen operations as well as the employees with minimal effort. Above all, I give Lightspeed a thumbs-up. This POS is with you everywhere, and anytime.