The system allows customers to pay with cash, credit or debit cards, or touch pay systems like Apple Pay and PayPal. Lavu is also EMV compliant for use with new chip cards. How do you know if it’s right for your business? Read on for details about Lavu’s features, pricing, and more.
If you want to use Lavu to take credit card and debit cards at your business you will need the Lavu POS software, an iPad, and a merchant account with a compatible credit card processor. (See Lavu and Credit Card Processing section for more info on compatible processors.) The popular Lavu iPad stand utilizes a Magtek credit card reader to allow you to securely swipe customers’ credit and debit cards.
You can optionally add accessories to create your perfect custom POS system. Ice cream and frozen yogurt shops may want to add an integrated weight scale while sit-down restaurants might opt for the kitchen display monitor.
Lavu provides a variety of features for the restaurant and bar industry, such as, customer loyalty programs, employee management, kitchen displays and printers, and inventory management. The company offers this introduction video:
There are some functions that restaurants have come to expect from a POS system, and Lavu has all of those basics. The software includes the ability to create tabs, split checks, and track delivery orders. The intuitive entry screen allows for fast order placement and cuts down on training time for staff.
You can also customize the table layout to match your restaurant’s layout for at-a-glance understanding of open tables and the status of occupied tables, making it easier for your host or management to seat customers or provide accurate wait time estimates.
The picture-based order entry screen allows your staff to quickly locate the correct item. Modifiers let you adjust the dish to the customers’ specifications, and any required information (such as how a steak should be cooked) can be set as a prompt when the server chooses that item.
Do you offer happy hour specials? You can set up the Lavu system so that it automatically calculates the correct pricing for items that servers ring in during the designated hours.
For establishments that have “combo” specials, you can set those items to fire to different printers. The drink order part of the combo can go to a bar printer while the food order part of the combo can go right to the kitchen. Combos can be utilized with the “hold and fire” option if you need to have different parts of the order come out at different times: perfect for appetizer/entrée/dessert combos.
Lavu lets you create customer profiles and offers a rewards system that tracks the purchases of individual customers to allow them to earn points that can be redeemed for discounts. You’ll be rewarding your most loyal customers and encouraging repeat business.
If you need to keep track of your employees’ shifts and hourly rates or manage time cards, Lavu has an in-depth Employee Management system. You can even set different access levels for different roles, allowing for certain functions, like manager discounts, to only be carried out by the appropriate members of your staff.
Employees can clock in and out right through the POS system, eliminating the need and expense of a separate, dedicated time clock.
Along with the ability to use standard kitchen printers for orders, Lavu has its own Kitchen Display System (KDS) that can function on an iPad for easy touch management of orders. Need something the whole kitchen can view? No problem. The KDS can also run on any size monitor to suit your needs.
The system includes a customizable interface and has visual indications for updates to orders, such as deletions of particular items. An order timer shows how long orders have been waiting. Kitchen displays are a great option if you want to eliminate the need for printed orders and reduce the risk of lost or misplaced order tickets.
With the Lavu software, you can track and manage your stock of food items and set up alerts before items run out. The inventory can also integrate with your menu and warn your servers when a certain menu item is running low in real time.
You can also create purchase orders and receive items manually or automatically through reconciliation with the purchase order.
Particularly important for pizzerias, Lavu offers online ordering and delivery capabilities. A pizza creator module lets you create custom pizzas in the Lavu system to ring in easily, or you can add and adjust toppings per customers’ preferences.
The built-in customer database lets you keep customers’ names, address, and phone numbers on file, while the GPS-enabled delivery module will provide turn-by-turn directions for deliveries. When you enter multiple orders, Lavu will provide directions to the destinations in the most efficient order.
Lavu provides customizable sales reports, customer data, employee tracking, and inventory control that is available from a back of house computer or your smartphone. You can receive live sales updates from anywhere with an internet connection through Lavu’s cloud based system and the Lavu Pilot app for your iPhone.
The reporting graphs give you an at-a-glance look at various metrics, but you can also dig deeper to get actionable insights on best performing items, labor costs, and more.
Lavu is not a credit card processor itself. To use it for taking cards, you’ll need a merchant account with a compatible processor.
Fortunately, Lavu is not limited to one processor, giving you flexibility to choose the company that is right for your business. Lavu recommends using Mercury or Heartland but is also compatible with processors that utilize USAePay, Authorize.net, and MerchantWARE gateways.
If for some reason your connection is down, you can still accept cards using Lavu’s offline mode. Since many customers no longer carry cash, having the ability to accept a card and process it later is crucial. While no business likes to have technical problems, they can be unavoidable. The offline mode helps you bridge the payment gap during the times when you may have connection problems.
Want to know exactly what you’d pay? Request a Lavu quote using CardFellow’s quote request tool. It’s completely free and private, so you can check your pricing to use Lavu with no pressure from sales reps and access expert customer support anonymously.
Aside from the costs of credit card processing, Lavu has a service package for a single location and one for multiple locations. The packages feature free updates and 24/7 customer service. Lavu only publishes pricing for the single location package, which is as follows:
-$69/month, billed annually (additional terminals $69/month each)
The multiple location (enterprise) package has customized pricing based on business size. Additional terminals beyond the first machine are available at $20/month.
Keep in mind that these costs do not include your costs for accepting credit / debit cards. This is just the ongoing software and support costs. If you purchase hardware or accessories, that cost is also not included in the fees noted above.
You can install the Lavu POS software on your own iPad and be ready to go. You’ll also have the option to purchase accessories as needed. Available accessories include kitchen displays and printers, iPad stands, magnetic strip credit card readers, receipt printers, cash drawers, RFID readers, and weight scales.
Alternately, you can create a hardware package to fit your needs by contacting Lavu. The company also offers bundles, called starter kits, that package accessories into one “bundle.” The “Simple” bundle starts at $399 and includes an iPad stand, Magtek card reader, and 30-day trial subscription for Lavu POS software. Full serve and quick serve bundles (which add cash drawers, receipt printers, and included setup/training) are also available and start at $1,220.99. Prices subject to change.
None of the bundles come with an iPad by default, but you can add one for an additional cost of $399 for an iPad Air. If you’d prefer to use your own iPad, that’s also an option.
Have you used Lavu at your restaurant, bar, or coffee shop? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a Lavu review!
The inventory system does not work, customer service is terrible, and technical support is out of India and they have no clue about the system. Very frustrating.
This is a terrible system. We used it for 5 years in our restaurant and regret much of it. The customer service is poor. The wait times are usually pretty reasonable, but in the beginning during initial set up I would wait for literally hours to fix issues. We lose items off customer bills randomly and sometimes an order never makes it to the kitchen or bar. Staff has no confidence in LAVU largely because of that. They have to deal with the angry customers. I gave them every opportunity in the world to improve but it just gets worse. They also lie to appease you in the moment. There were too many issues to discuss. I’m not disgruntled I am being factual. Steer clear.
The Lavu POS has plenty of handy features, especially for restaurants. Downside is that it's not Android compatible.