Lightspeed Property Management System
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With over a decade of hospitality experience, Mary has worked in some of the most famous restaurants in the world. Her experience is featured on Fit Small Business in restaurants, retail and starting a business content.
Lightspeed Property Management System
Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based all-in-one iPad restaurant POS system. With a free trial and prices starting at $39 a month, this system is incredibly affordable for independent restaurants. Lightspeed Restaurant has built-in tools for online ordering, inventory, loyalty and kitchen display system (KDS) and even integrates with hotel property management software.
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Overall, the Lightspeed POS brand is consistently one of our top-rated POS for small businesses. Lightspeed Restaurant is no different as this iPad POS system is an excellent all-in-one solution with plenty of room for customization.
Lightspeed purchased competing restaurant POS system Upserve in December 2020, and Upserve POS offers tools that directly support in-house delivery and driver management. Therefore, we hope that Lightspeed can soon strengthen these functions in Lightspeed Restaurant POS.
See how Lightspeed Restaurant stacks up against Square and our picks for the best kitchen display systems. If you’re ready to test the system yourself, visit Lightspeed Restaurant for a 14-day free trial.
When you spend hours looking for a restaurant POS, seeing Lightspeed’s clear pricing structure can feel like finding water in a desert. We give high marks to any software vendor that makes pricing information easily accessible. Lightspeed Restaurant currently lists its basic POS price at $39 per month for a single terminal – one of the lowest prices available for a restaurant POS.
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All prices listed are starting prices only, including software for a single terminal only. For complete pricing and a custom quote, you should contact Lightspeed directly. However, you can start the product demo by signing up for a free trial of System Essentials.
Lightspeed Restaurant operates on iOS devices such as iPads, iPods and iPhones running iOS 13 or later. If you have iPads or other compatible devices, you can use them to run your POS or buy Lightspeed tablets at custom quote prices. Lightspeed also works with industry-standard printers, cash registers and barcode scanners from Epson, Star Micronics and Socket.
In addition to simple POS terminals, the Lightspeed platform allows you to configure iPads as KDS screens, self-service kiosks and customer-facing screens. You can use iPhones and iPod touch devices as portable POS devices to place orders. You can also process payments on touch, dip and swipe card readers connected to terminals or via Verifone PIN pad handheld devices
Restaurants operating with KDS screens will find Lightspeed’s KDS screens incredibly easy to navigate, with easy color coding that separates orders as they approach completion. iPads set up as self-service kiosks are equally intuitive for full-service and quick-service restaurants.
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We’d love to see Lightspeed offer the same price transparency on hardware as it does on software. While users can likely use hardware they already have, hardware costs may not be a major consideration. Users should note, however, that purchasing hardware directly from Lightspeed comes with additional support from the Lightspeed technical team.
Lightspeed Payments is integrated with Lightspeed POS. Your transaction fees are a flat, custom fee based on your business type and sales volume. Fees for Lightspeed payments start at 2.6% + 10 cents for personal swiped, dip and taped transactions and 2.6% + 30 cents for manually typed transactions. Lightspeed Restaurant also integrates with Vantiv, Cayan, BridgePay and First Data, so you can search for the best rate for your restaurant.
However, there are a few small wrinkles in the Lightspeed Restaurant payment puzzle. The first is that the Order Ahead module (described in detail in the online ordering section below) only accepts payments through Stripe. So if you want to accept payments online via your own online ordering menu, you will need a Stripe account in addition to any other payment processors you use for your general POS operations.
The second problem is that Lightspeed Restaurant does not spool credit card payments in offline mode to run when the system regains internet access. This is a common feature in US-based POS systems and one that many US restaurants have come to rely on. The simple reason that Lightspeed does not spool payments in offline mode is that Lightspeed was developed in Canada, where financial transaction security laws are stricter.
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Instead, Lightspeed Restaurant recommends using a failover router. This router can direct your transactions to a different and secure internet connection if you lose your main internet connection. This increases your hardware costs and will not work if your internet goes down due to a general internet outage. Lightspeed is, however, developing a 4G LTE failover system that, in the future, will route offline payments to a secure cellular network. This feature is not active yet, but should be in the future.
Lightspeed Restaurant combines high functionality with low cost. POS has everything a small restaurant needs in basic POS software, and these functions quickly expand with optional add-ons and third-party integrations.
Basic Lightspeed Restaurant has all the features you need to run a full-service or quick-service restaurant. You can create detailed, custom floor plans that reflect your restaurant’s location and create various menus for indoor dining, takeout, catering, or retail items. Your employees can log in and out directly at the POS, and you can set a variety of access permissions to customize what tasks each of your team members can perform. The system includes course and seat management, combo building, check splitting, and house account management.
We’ll explore Lightspeed Restaurant reporting, inventory, online ordering, and loyalty below. In addition to these expanded features, Lightspeed Restaurant includes:
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Lightspeed Restaurant features all the basic reports you need in the baseline POS. You can view shift reports by server and see sales by day, week or month. Lightspeed also includes easy W-2 and Form 8027 reports for reporting employee retentions and tips for tax purposes.
Advanced reporting features are optional at lower subscription levels and included with Pro and Enterprise memberships. Advanced reports include additional reports such as revenue by restaurant location, payment summary, and customizable category and modifier reviews. Advanced reports also allow you to create custom reports using a simple drag-and-drop report builder.
Lightspeed recently added a feature they call Advanced Insights. This module is available on Pro and Enterprise accounts. Advanced Insights unlocks automated analytics like menu quadrant reports that show you which menu items are performing the best, which ones should drop off your menu, and which menu items might need a marketing boost to become stars. Advanced Insights also includes detailed team performance reports that help you identify top performers or training opportunities.
This module also integrates with Lightspeed Payments to show highly detailed customer information. You can track how often customers visit and how much they spend, creating a pattern of guest behavior over time. This guest information is automatically generated from card swiping, even if the same guest uses multiple cards, so there is no need for additional data entry or administrative oversight. Users should note, however, that Advanced Insights only works with Lightspeed Payments. If you use a different integrated payment processor, you will not benefit from automated customer reporting.
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Lightspeed Restaurant includes two tiers for ingredient-level inventory tracking. Basic inventory is included with the baseline POS, while advanced inventory requires a Pro or Enterprise subscription. Both inventory modules include ingredient-level inventory, real-time supply depletion based on sales, and low-stock alerts. Advanced inventory includes automated tools such as supplier and purchase order management and allows you to place supplier orders from the POS dashboard.
Lightspeed’s Basic Inventory includes product reports that show your on-hand inventory in real-time and allow you to easily update quantities.
Lightspeed Restaurant’s basic inventory module works similarly to TouchBistro, requiring users to order from suppliers outside the POS and manually update available quantities as deliveries arrive. Advanced Inventory is essentially Upserve by Lightspeed’s automated inventory module. This inventory tool has been a strong, automated inventory tool, featuring purchase orders and supplier management, as well as deep-level inventory insights that highlight price fluctuations and show you where you can save on cost of goods sold (COGS). ).
Lightspeed offers two distinct options to support digital ordering and delivery management. The first module, Lightspeed Delivery, streamlines a restaurant’s relationship with third-party delivery platforms. Lightspeed handles online and mobile ordering through its Order Anywhere tool. Both modules are offered as add-ons to the restaurant’s POS, with prices that are currently not publicly listed. Although earlier versions of these two tools cost $39 per month.
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Lightspeed Delivery operates through the third-party online order aggregator Deliverect. This module directs orders from third-party delivery platforms to the POS order flow. With Lightspeed Delivery, you can also create a separate delivery menu with delivery-only prices that you can manage from a central dashboard. Updating this menu will update your menus on any integrated 3rd party delivery platform that
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