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In my Lavu in-depth review, I’m sharing the results of my analysis and evaluation from hands-on testing and experimentation. Before we dive in, if you’re just starting your search for the best Point of Sale systems, you should first check out my picks for the best POS systems. Lavu is one of the top-rated POS systems out there, but to figure out if it's a good match for you, it's important to understand the software’s benefits and drawbacks.

My in-depth Lavu review will take you through everything you need to know to make a more informed decision—pros and cons, features and functionality, pricing, and more—to help you to better understand its capabilities and suitability for your needs.

Lavu Software Menu Modification Dashboard View
I like how the Lavu POS Software displays an intuitive menu modification interface for tailored orders, as pictured here.

Lavu Software Product Overview

Lavu is a point-of-sale (POS) software designed to streamline restaurant operations, from order taking to payment processing. It primarily serves restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering a specialized solution for these hospitality businesses. The software provides significant efficiency improvements by automating and simplifying daily tasks. Lavu POS review addresses restaurant challenges like order accuracy, staff management, and inventory tracking. Its standout features include customizable menus, comprehensive reporting, and robust inventory management.

Pros

  • Customization: The Lavu offers extensive menu customization, allowing businesses to tailor their POS system to their unique menu offerings.
  • Reporting: With detailed analytics and reporting, Lavu enables better business decisions based on data-driven insights.
  • Inventory Management: Its advanced inventory management system helps in accurately tracking stock levels, reducing waste, and optimizing ordering.

Cons

  • Learning Curve: New users may find Lavu's interface and features complex, requiring a longer time to become proficient.
  • Integration Limits: While Lavu integrates with various third-party applications, its compatibility is not as extensive as some competitors.
  • Hardware Dependency: Lavu's optimal performance is heavily reliant on compatible hardware, which can be a limitation for some businesses.

Expert Opinion

From my experience, Lavu stands out in its ability to offer a tailored experience for restaurant management. Its customization options and comprehensive reporting are impressive compared to other POS systems. However, some users find its learning curve and hardware dependency challenging. Lavu excels in environments where detailed inventory management and customized reporting are crucial.

It is well-suited for restaurants and cafes that prioritize tailored menu options and detailed business analytics. Lavu holds its own in the market but may not be the first choice for businesses seeking more straightforward, plug-and-play solutions or those with limited hardware flexibility.

Lavu: The Bottom Line

In my experience with various POS systems, Lavu stands out for its unique integration with Apple products, making it one of the best POS systems for iOS users. As a cloud-based, restaurant POS system, it offers seamless compatibility with iPads and iPhones, enhancing the ease of use for restaurant owners and business owners alike. Its Lavu Pay feature, coupled with efficient credit card processing, supports both contactless payments and traditional card readers. Lavu excels in optimizing in-house operations, notably through its kiosk mode for iPads, which facilitates quick-service and self-service options.

The menu items system in Lavu is highly customizable, with modifiers and routing options that streamline the ordering process. The integration with MenuDrive enhances online ordering capabilities. For businesses implementing a cash discount program, Lavu's compatibility with cash drawers is a plus. User reviews often highlight Lavu's effective automation features and the utility of Lavu customer support, making it a top choice for providers looking for a comprehensive solution in the restaurant industry.

Lavu Deep Dive

Here's a deep dive into Lavu features, best use cases, pricing, customer support, and other purchase factors.

Product Specifications

  1. Customizable Menus - Yes
  2. Payment Processing - Yes
  3. Inventory Management - Yes
  4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) - Yes
  5. Employee Management - Yes
  6. Sales Reporting - Yes
  7. Multi-location Support - Yes
  8. Tableside Ordering - Yes
  9. Loyalty Programs - Yes
  10. Gift Card Management - Yes
  11. Online Ordering - Yes
  12. Delivery Management - Yes
  13. Kitchen Display System - Yes
  14. Barcode Scanning - Yes
  15. Offline Mode - Yes
  16. Digital Receipts - Yes
  17. Split Payments - Yes
  18. Tip Management - Yes
  19. Data Security - Yes
  20. Third-party Integrations - Yes
  21. Mobile Access - Yes
  22. Customizable Reporting - Yes
  23. Real-time Analytics - Yes
  24. Hardware Support - Yes
  25. API Access - Yes

Lavu Feature Overview

  • Customizable Menus: Lavu allows for in-depth menu customization, catering to specific restaurant needs and customer preferences.
  • Inventory Management: Its inventory system is detailed, helping track stock accurately and reduce waste.
  • Employee Management: Streamlines staff scheduling, time tracking, and role assignments, crucial for busy restaurants.
  • Sales Reporting: Lavu's reporting tools provide valuable insights into sales trends and business performance.
  • Loyalty Programs: Helps build customer loyalty with customizable rewards and loyalty program options.
  • Online Ordering: Supports seamless integration with online ordering platforms, enhancing customer convenience.
  • Delivery Management: Efficiently manages delivery orders, crucial for restaurants offering delivery services.
  • Kitchen Display System: Improves kitchen efficiency by displaying orders in real-time, reducing errors and wait times.
  • Data Security: Ensures transactions and customer data are secure, maintaining trust and compliance.
  • API Access: The availability of API access allows for further customization and integration with other tools.

Standout Functionality

  • Customizable Menus: Lavu's depth of customization in menu settings is rare, allowing for detailed tailoring to specific restaurant themes and offerings.
  • Kitchen Display System: The efficiency and clarity of its kitchen display system set Lavu apart, enhancing kitchen operations markedly.
  • API Access: The flexibility offered by API access allows businesses to integrate Lavu deeply with their existing systems, a feature not always available in POS software.

Integrations

Lavu integrates natively with various payment processors, accounting software, and online ordering platforms, enhancing its functionality. These integrations streamline operations like accounting and expand capabilities in online sales channels. Lavu offers an API for custom integrations, allowing businesses to connect it with other tools they already use. Additionally, various add-ons are available to extend Lavu's capabilities, such as advanced reporting or inventory management tools.

Lavu Pricing

Lavu's pricing structure compares moderately with similar tools, balancing cost with its feature set. There are multiple pricing tiers to cater to different business sizes and needs. Each tier offers specific features and benefits, providing scalability for growing businesses:

  • Starter Tier - $99/month: Offers core POS features, suitable for small restaurants.
  • Growth Tier - $149/month: Includes advanced features like inventory management, ideal for mid-sized restaurants.
  • Optimize Tier - $279/month: Customizable for large-scale operations, providing extensive features and support.

Additional costs may include hardware purchases and installation fees.

Ease of Use

Navigating through Lavu's interface and functionality presents a moderate challenge, especially for new users. The depth of features, while beneficial, can initially overwhelm. The onboarding process is comprehensive but requires a commitment to learning. Certain aspects, like inventory management and reporting, demand time to master.

Customer Support

Lavu's customer support is generally responsive, with multiple channels including live chat and webinars. However, some users report delays in response times during peak hours, which can be frustrating. While their documentation is thorough, navigating through it to find specific solutions can be a challenge.

Lavu Use Case

Who Would Be A Good Fit For Lavu?

From my perspective, Lavu is particularly well-suited for restaurants, cafes, and bars seeking a comprehensive POS system with strong customization capabilities. Its most loyal and avid customers are typically those in the hospitality industry who value detailed menu customization, robust inventory management, and efficient kitchen operations.

Lavu works well for a range of company sizes, from small local cafes to larger, multi-location restaurants. Teams that benefit most need detailed sales reporting and analytics to guide business decisions.

Who Would Be A Bad Fit For Lavu?

Lavu might not be the best fit for businesses outside the hospitality sector or those looking for a simple, plug-and-play POS solution. Customers who are likely to be disappointed are those from retail or service industries where Lavu's restaurant-specific features aren't as relevant.

Small businesses or startups with limited budgets and resources may also find Lavu's complexity and hardware dependencies challenging. Larger corporations that require extremely broad third-party integration capabilities might also find limitations with Lavu.

Lavu FAQs

Can Lavu operate offline?

Yes, Lavu has an offline mode, and easy to operate, and allows for continued operation during internet outages.

Does Lavu support online ordering?

Yes, Lavu integrates with online ordering platforms, facilitating seamless online sales.

Can Lavu manage multiple restaurant locations?

Yes, Lavu offers multi-location support, allowing the management of multiple sites from one system.

Is Lavu customizable for specific restaurant needs?

Lavu offers extensive customization options, especially for menus.

Does Lavu offer a free trial?

Lavu provides a free trial, allowing businesses to test its features before committing.

Can Lavu integrate with my existing accounting software?

Yes, Lavu integrates with various accounting software, streamlining financial management.

Is customer support available 24/7?

Lavu provides customer support, but availability may vary, so it's best to check their current support hours.

Are there any additional costs with Lavu?

Beyond subscription fees, additional costs may include hardware purchases and installation fees.

Alternatives to Lavu

  • Square for Restaurants: A popular alternative, especially for smaller establishments or those seeking a more user-friendly interface.
  • Toast POS: Often chosen for its strong integration capabilities and comprehensive feature set, particularly in customer engagement and loyalty programs.
  • Lightspeed Restaurant: Preferred by those requiring robust inventory management and detailed reporting, suitable for both small and large-scale operations.

Lavu Company Overview & History

Lavu specializes in providing POS solutions primarily for the hospitality industry. It is used by various restaurants, cafes, and bars worldwide. Lavu operates as a tech-driven company focused on innovating restaurant management through advanced software solutions. The company is privately owned, and headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Notable employees or advisors include key figures in the tech and hospitality industries. Lavu's mission is to streamline restaurant operations through intuitive, powerful POS systems. Since its inception, Lavu has achieved several milestones, including significant global expansion and the introduction of advanced features like online ordering and detailed inventory management.

Summary

Concluding this review, Lavu emerges as a robust, feature-rich POS software, particularly well-suited for the restaurant and hospitality industry. Its strengths lie in menu customization, inventory management, and detailed reporting, making it a solid choice for those in need of such features. I invite readers to share their experiences with Lavu or other POS systems, providing valuable insights and perspectives for others considering this software.

Simon Litt
By Simon Litt

Simon Litt is the Editor of The CFO Club, where he shares his passion for all things money-related. Performing research, talking to experts, and calling on his own professional background, he'll be working hard to ensure that The CFO Club is an indispensable resource for anyone seeking to stay informed on the latest financial trends and topics in the world of tech.

Prior to editing this publication, Simon spent years working in, and running his own, investor relations agency, servicing public companies that wanted to reach and connect deeper with their shareholder base. Simon's experience includes constructing comprehensive budgets for IR activities, consulting CEOs & executive teams on best practices for the public markets, and facilitating compliant communications training.