Getting started guide
In this article, learn about the different types of POS hardware, like iPads and printers, and how to choose, purchase, and set up hardware. Navigate to other articles in the guide using the carousel below.
From printers to cash drawers to payment terminals, selecting the right hardware for your business helps optimize workflows and ensures your business runs smoothly. This article will guide you through the types of hardware available and how to set up hardware with Lightspeed Restaurant.
To ensure an optimal setup for Lightspeed Restaurant, it is important to have the right hardware. In this section, we'll discuss the essential and optional components and show how each piece works together to maximize the system's performance.
Essential hardware consists of equipment that is crucial for running your restaurant. These are the fundamental tools you'll need for point-of-sale transactions, preparing orders, and managing cash flow. For a complete list of the various devices that you can use, their features, and compatibility details, refer to our Supported Hardware article.
|The iPad is the core interface for the Lightspeed Restaurant POS App, linking all hardware components. While a single iPad may suffice for basic Lightspeed Restaurant operations, if your restaurant has multiple POS stations or needs integration with a Kitchen Display System, additional iPads may be necessary.
|Receipt printers, specifically thermal printers, are essential for generating customer receipts. They print quickly and silently, making them ideal for the front of house. However, since they use thermal printing, the receipts are sensitive to heat and thus unsuitable for kitchen environments.
|Kitchen printers, typically dot matrix printers, are used to print tickets in your kitchen, letting your cooks and chefs know what to make. The tickets printed by dot matrix printers withstand hot conditions without smudging from the heat. Lightspeed utilizes these printers to ensure seamless communication between the front and back of house.
|Payment terminals allow your restaurant to accept debit and credit card payments. They not only accelerate transactions but also offer your customers more ways to pay for their orders. Moreover, payment terminals reduce the need for manual card entry, minimize errors, and ensure secure, PCI-compliant transactions, enhancing your efficiency and customer service.
|An iPad stand is essential for any restaurant using Lightspeed. It provides a secure and ergonomic setup, allowing for easy interaction with the POS system during operation.
|Cash drawers store cash, coins, and checks. With Lightspeed, they're connected to your printer and automatically triggered to open when needed, improving the organization and security of your cash handling.
Optional hardware includes additional peripherals that, while not necessary for daily operations, can enhance your workflow and customer service. These tools provide more functionality, efficiency, and convenience.
|Label printers are used in restaurants that also sell retail items or packaged goods. If you're using barcode scanners, a label printer is used to apply adhesive labels with barcodes to items so that they can be scanned and added to a sale.
|Barcode scanners are a great solution for restaurants that also sell retail items or packaged goods. Barcode scanners can help you quickly add items to sales on the POS by simply scanning the item label.
|Kitchen Display System
|A Kitchen Display System (KDS) can replace or supplement traditional ticket printers in the kitchen, providing an organized, digital method of tracking orders. This requires a separate iPad from the POS itself.
|Order Display System
|The Lightspeed Order Display System (ODS) displays real-time order status on an external screen, allowing your customers to track their order progress. This screen updates automatically as orders are managed in the Lightspeed Restaurant app. An Apple TV (4th generation or newer) and an HDMI-connected monitor are required for setup.
Selecting the right hardware
Choosing the right hardware depends on your business and its specific requirements. While purchasing hardware, it's important to be aware of various factors, such as the connectivity options (e.g., LAN vs. Bluetooth), compatibility with your devices, and the specific features of each hardware type.
Choosing the right connection types for your hardware is crucial for the efficient operation of Lightspeed Restaurant. Different connections impact performance, reliability, and versatility in unique ways.
LAN (Local Area Network) connection
LAN-connected hardware communicates through a wired network via an Ethernet cable. It's known for reliability and speed and is often recommended as the most stable option. By connecting devices through a shared network, they can be used by multiple POS devices throughout your restaurant.
We strongly recommend using printers and payment terminals with a LAN connection to support a sturdy and reliable connection. Should you choose to purchase a Bluetooth or USB printer, be aware that they can only be linked to a single iPad at a time. See our article on Optimizing your network for Lightspeed Restaurant for more suggestions.
Bluetooth devices connect wirelessly and offer flexibility when it comes to hardware placement. However, the range of Bluetooth is limited, and interference from other devices could affect connection quality.
Like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi allows for wireless hardware placement but with a more extended range. It's suitable for larger premises or mobile devices, such as some printers and payment terminals. However, Wi-Fi is susceptible to connection issues due to network congestion or interference.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection
USB-connected hardware is simple to set up and reliable. It's ideal for hardware like receipt printers that are positioned close to the POS. However, USB-connected devices are less flexible insofar as they can only be linked to a single iPad at a time.
In restaurants, thermal and impact dot matrix printers typically serve distinct purposes. Thermal printers utilize heat to produce receipts, resulting in quieter and quicker prints, ideal for front-of-house operations. Impact printers, on the other hand, function by striking an inked ribbon against receipt paper and are not subject to discoloration, which is ideal for kitchen printing.
|Impact Dot Matrix
iPads and iPhones
The Lightspeed Restaurant POS App is designed to work on Apple iOS, leveraging the touch screen to ensure a user-friendly experience for you and your staff as you take orders. Having multiple devices allows your staff to handle multiple tasks simultaneously, such as taking orders and processing payments.
|iPhone / iPod
You can purchase supported hardware directly from Lightspeed. Our online stores are customized for each region and only stock items that have been tested and verified by Lightspeed. If you choose to buy your hardware elsewhere, we encourage you to purchase the supported models listed in this article.
- Australia & New Zealand: https://store.lightspeedhq.com.au/
- Europe: https://store.lightspeedhq.nl/
- UK: https://store.lightspeedhq.co.uk/
- North America: https://store.lightspeedhq.ca/
If you have questions, you can contact us.
Setting up your hardware
Once you have selected and purchased your hardware, the next step is setting it up. Listed below, we have generic setup guides for each hardware type to help you get started. These guides provide a step-by-step walkthrough to ensure your hardware is correctly set up with the Lightspeed system.
- Barcode scanner setup
- Setting up a receipt printer
- Setting up your physical cash drawers
- Payment terminals
If you already know what model you have, refer to the relevant sections of the Supported Hardware article to find setup instructions for your specific device.