Lightspeed is an intuitive POS system that works best for restaurants and quick-service businesses. With incredible hospitality-specific features and transferable hardware, Lightspeed is an easy software to use to transform your point-of-sale system.
Lightspeed Compared to the Best POS Systems
Lightspeed is an excellent POS system for restaurants and quick-service businesses because of its specific features, like delivery management and QR code ordering. But it’s certainly not the only POS system that made our top list. After reviewing dozens of options, we found a few Golden Eggs that also offer great software for different types of businesses.
Square is our number one recommendation for most people because of its zero monthly fee model and free introductory-level equipment. You can get started for free and sign up for Square’s email list for industry tips and new product information.
Shopify offers the best POS system for all Shopify stores, making it easy to streamline your selling process. Start a free trial and enjoy three months of Shopify for $1 per month on select plans.
QuickBooks is an excellent alternative for QuickBooks users because of its seamless integrations for accurate reporting and analytics. Sign up for QuickBooks today and save 50% for three months on select plans.
Lightspeed: The Good and the Bad
Just like for all POS systems, there will be good and bad features to consider. After extensive research, we found that Lightspeed offers excellent features that most users are happy to continue using, with a few drawbacks that won’t necessarily break the product. Let’s take a deep dive into both sides of the spectrum before you decide.
What Lightspeed Is Good At
Lightspeed offers a tailored system for restaurants and quick-service businesses, making it easier for them to make regular transactions without missing a beat. Lightspeed also offers advanced reporting features, seamless integrations, a fully integrated payment system, and free resources with expert advice.
Restaurant and quick-service features: Lightspeed has excellent features for restaurants and quick-service businesses. Simplify your quick-service processes with Lightspeed’s fully integrated restaurant platform—from delivery and contactless online ordering to adjustable floor plans, Lightspeed can help you create a functional restaurant with a click of a button. You can reduce wait times with QR code payments and allow customers to split bills using their mobile phones. Lightspeed also lets you track and automate your inventory with functionality for stock counts and minimize loss by tracking how much inventory you purchase, produce, waste, or sell with stock reporting.
You can switch your hardware to quick service mode to accept payments faster and create custom combos to reflect your menu.
Advanced reporting and analytics: Lightspeed has some of the most advanced reporting and analytics measures. Across all of its platforms, you can collect data on inventory, sales, customers, and staff. Lightspeed has product performance reports that inform you of each product and how it is performing. You can get to know your customers more personally with specialized customer reports and unique guest profiles.
Improve staff performance with employee insights to help train your staff better or reward outstanding employees. Speaking of rewards, you can also offer guests and customers personalized deals and promos to encourage recurring visitors.
Seamless integrations: If you want to expand your POS platform, Lightspeed gives you all the resources. Depending on the version of Lightspeed you purchase, there are two different sets of integrations you can implement. However, there is one integration that you can utilize for both versions: Pointy. Pointy is an integral part of Google and can help you add your in-store products to Google for free, scan your product’s UPC barcode to add them to Google, and gives you access to local inventory ads, which is Lightspeed’s paid premium feature.
Other than Pointy, you can benefit from popular integrations, including BigCommerce, Lendio, MailChimp, Zettle, and Xero.
Easy-to-use POS platform: According to hundreds of user reviews, Lightspeed is an easy platform to use. The interface is user-friendly, and most users can get set up in just a few minutes because of the easy-to-navigate layout. Not only that, but Lightspeed has very intuitive help guides for setup, all the way to how to add an item and create a discount. Lightspeed makes it easy to implement its system with just a few clicks, and most users found that it was still easy to use after set up, and if they needed help, Lightspeed’s guides were usually enough to help them get by.
Fully integrated payment system: Lightspeed makes payments a breeze for you and your customers. With its fully integrated payment system, you can easily accept payments online and in-store. With a simple fee structure and end-to-end encryption, you never have to worry about hidden fees or fraudulent transactions either. Lightspeed ensures you remain PCI compliant with built-in capabilities, such as 24/7 server security monitoring.
With Lightspeed’s hardware, you can enjoy personalized one-on-one training during setup, and as a system that syncs directly to your POS platform, you can also accept every payment type and speed up check-out.
Kitchen display system: For anyone in the hospitality industry, Lightspeed offers a fully integrated kitchen display system (KDS) to improve communication and simplify workflow. The display system shows ticket times and color-coded orders to help you keep track of turnaround. You can also group items by order and collate items into one ticket for faster production. Lightspeed’s KDS helps improve your kitchen workflow by removing bulky printers and reducing back and forth from table to kitchen.
Free resources: Lightspeed has an expansive list of free resources to help small businesses get a headstart in their respective industries. Besides the usual blog, Lightspeed has free retail, restaurant, and golf tools packed with templates, guides, and webinars on marketing, operations, and industry tips. Lightspeed also offers free online webinars, events, tradeshows, and conferences for any business owner.
What Lightspeed Is Lacking
While Lightspeed has some excellent features overall, especially for the hospitality industry, it does have a few drawbacks for you to consider. According to a few user reviews, Lightspeed has poor customer support, little to no customization capabilities, and you have to pay additional fees for certain features.
Poor customer support: After reading dozens of reviews, the most common complaint about Lightspeed was its customer support. Many reviewers claim that if you want to contact a customer representative, it’s almost impossible. Other reviewers said the support was too slow and unhelpful, as some representatives would recite the information already available on Lightspeed’s website. We also found that many reviewers felt that their Lightspeed salesperson overpromised numerous features that the users never received.
Little to no customization: A few users complained that Lightspeed’s platform doesn’t offer as much customization as other POS systems on the market. According to Lightspeed’s website, you can customize its reports, but many users felt that wasn’t true, as the customization was either glitchy or unnecessary. One reviewer even said that the only way you can customize its reports is if you know how to script or code, which is unhelpful for many users who were promised an intuitive platform in the first place.
Additional costs for some features: According to Lightspeed’s website, there are no hidden fees for its platform—however, many users felt the complete opposite. A few reviewers claimed that some features, including retail analytics, credit card charges, and sales data, all cost additional monthly fees. One reviewer said that they had to pay $50 per month to get access to their sales data, and one month they weren’t granted access to it even after paying the fee.
Lightspeed Options and Pricing
Lightspeed’s primary product is its point-of-sale system, which you can purchase hardware devices to integrate with. However, Lightspeed also offers an ecommerce platform to help you sell products online.
Lightspeed offers transferable hardware for different business types. Whether you use a mobile device or station, Lightspeed has the right product for you.
Lightspeed has two hardware kits for different uses. The first is the iPad hardware kit, which is perfect for hospitality businesses with servers walking around taking orders. The iPad hardware kit comes with a LAN receipt printer, cash drawer, Bluetooth scanner, Lightspeed iPad stand, and receipt paper.
The second hardware kit is the desktop version, which is excellent for retail stores that want a clean and modern setup. The desktop hardware kit comes with a USB receipt printer, cash drawer, and a USB scanner.
However, Lightspeed has an option for everyone, especially for anyone who doesn’t need to purchase a hardware bundle. Lightspeed offers individual hardware for any business need. The hardware includes the following:
- Zebra label printer
- Cash drawer
- Bluetooth barcode scanner
- USB barcode scanner
- Mobile tap
- WisePOS E
- Proper stand
You can mix and match different hardware brands or use existing hardware. However, Lightspeed acknowledges that not all individual hardware will be compatible with Lightspeed’s versions, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
All Lightspeed’s hardware is durable for retail and hospitality environments, and each purchase comes with technical support for any setup and functionality questions.
Unfortunately, Lightspeed doesn’t disclose pricing on its website, but you can request a free quote.
If you want to grow your online business and successfully make sales, Lightspeed has a robust ecommerce platform to help you deliver exceptional customer experiences while making a profit.
Whether you are selling products on a website or through a social media platform, Lightspeed lets you sell products from anywhere. You can build a new ecommerce website through Lightspeed’s platform or connect Lightspeed to an existing website. Not only that, but you can connect your website with Lightspeed Retail to sync your products and analytics online and in-store.
Lightspeed’s website design process is code-free, allowing you to create a website easily. You can choose from 30 free professional templates or build from scratch with its intuitive website builder.
Diversify your business on a larger scale with Lightspeed’s ecommerce functionality for digital products and subscriptions. You can expand your product line with ebooks and video content or offer subscriptions to generate recurring revenue.
Lightspeed’s POS system connects directly to your ecommerce website, so you can seamlessly keep your inventory synced across all channels and manage products. You can import products from your POS system, track stock levels, and instantly edit product details for SEO.
Speaking of SEO, Lightspeed offers marketing tools that integrate with your ecommerce website, including product ads and advanced targeting solutions. You can also increase conversion rates with Lightspeed’s automated abandoned cart emails.
With integrated shipping and local pickup options, you can create a convenient experience for your customers by catering to everyone. Lightspeed also lets you offer hands-on services with scheduled local delivery and take payments online or curbside for a flexible omnichannel.
To receive Lightspeed’s ecommerce platform, you will have to purchase its Standard plan, which costs $119 per month.
Lightspeed in Summary
Overall, Lightspeed is a decent POS system with several fully integrated processes for restaurant and quick-service businesses. With transferable hardware and a complete ecommerce system, you can transform your sales online and in-store while tracking your product’s performance.
Lightspeed isn’t the only POS system with seamless integrations and transferable hardware. We think Square is an excellent platform for beginners with zero monthly fees and free equipment. Shopify is a great alternative for ecommerce stores that want seamless synchronization. And if you need more accurate reporting and accounting features, QuickBooks is the perfect place to start.
Want to read more about the best POS systems? We reviewed dozens of options and narrowed it down to the top five. If you want to scope out all of your options, see all of our top picks here.