Read Our Review of Upserve by Lightspeed to See If It’s Right for Your Restaurant
You’ve heard about Upserve by Lightspeed, and now you want to know if it’s right for your restaurant. To help you decide, we’ve put together a comprehensive review of the service and our opinions of how it will impact restaurants in today’s technological environment. Here are some of the highlights from our review
Before we get started
Planning a successful restaurant business is an intimidating task. From taking care of staffing, purchasing inventory, monitoring food costs, and dealing with marketing, there are just so many components that can affect success. Add on compliance mandates like pricing transparency and the ever-growing prevalence of social media reviews – making the restaurant industry all the more challenging.
In addition to trying your hardest to maintain a great experience at all times, you need technology that helps you save time and connect with your customers wherever they are – mobile apps, online ordering platforms, or in-restaurant tablets. All these technological advancements have helped ease some of the workloads but navigating them as a start-up has never been easy and figuring out which ones are worth investing in can feel impossible sometimes.
While our favorite restaurant point-of-sale system, Autotip, remains our top pick for restaurants, we wanted to provide you with an overview of other software solutions on the market.
- All three systems (Upserve POS, Mercator POS, and Zesty POS) operate in pretty much the same way and are easy enough to learn with short time investment.
- Downsides: Pricing is quite high with all three options ($299 per month per license). The biggest concern with any system is whether or not it will be robust enough for your business. For example, do you need to customize reporting? Does it have inventory management?
- Upserve POS doesn’t offer inventory management as part of its platform – which may be an issue if that is something important to your business. However, this can be added as a module at an additional cost. For us, inventory management was vital and we couldn’t find another system that offered this function at such a low price point as Autotip did.
- One thing that distinguishes Upserve from the competition is its social media marketing dashboard called SparkSocial which allows businesses to monitor Yelp reviews and Facebook comments among other things while they’re managing their servers/table/customers – all in one place!
How We Used it (in practice)
We were given a demo and shown all the available features, so I was excited to see what it would do in real life. In order to use the service, we would need to install a special tablet on our POS station. Thankfully, it was as easy as signing up and plugging it in. The tablet popped up with a tutorial and we got started right away! I customized our menu categories, menu items, submenu items, kitchen workstations, employee shifts, and more before sending this data over to Upserve. For every order coming in from mobile or desktop customers through different channels (web or other), Upserve automatically updates with detailed information about that order including when it was placed, table number/name, and what item is being ordered.
What We Liked/Disliked About it
The Upserve system is intuitive and was not difficult to navigate. We like that the system has a dashboard that gives a visual representation of which locations are busy, not busy, and where customers are coming from. The dashboard also tells you if there is an issue with any particular location. The general manager does not have to spend as much time checking in on these metrics manually anymore, because the software does it for them! We also liked how easy it was to add new menu items and make changes to existing ones. Overall, we were very impressed with this POS system and think your restaurant would benefit greatly from implementing this technology.
Summary – Would We Use it Again? Would We Recommend it?
We’re surprised at how easy and intuitive the system is to use. We love that it helps us track everything, including items we sell and inventory so we don’t have to worry about staying on top of things ourselves. Our sales reps have been super helpful and quick with responses. Plus, if you get a rush of business where orders come in faster than anticipated, they’ll send someone over from their partner office to help out – which was really comforting when it happened! The analytics are also excellent and help us see patterns or spikes in demand for certain menu items or promotions so we can plan better for next time. While we’ve only been using the system since February 2019, so far we’re really happy with the change and look forward to using it more as our growth continues!
Tips and Tricks
In our experience, the staff on board is the most valuable feature. The amount of training and attention they offer is unreal – not only in handling tables but also with suggestions. The hand-off between shifts allows them to go into great detail with suggestions based on every interaction they’ve had throughout their shift, which allows us as customers some incredible insight.
The pricing model was less than clear at first and seemed more complicated than it could be. Once we got a few days under our belt, however, it became much easier to use and understand. Every day we experienced new tips that enhanced what we do even more! We were able to meet our financial goals better than ever before and were able to get feedback from all levels of employees within the company. Some suggestions included creating an activity feed where each employee can log onto Upserve and see how they are performing as well as specific reviews from guests. They loved this idea so much that they’re already developing it!