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Importing and exporting items in bulk

Item imports in Lightspeed Restaurant enable you to bulk add or modify multiple menu items at once, or change prices, by uploading a spreadsheet template into the Back Office. You can also export existing items from your account to create a backup, view your items list offline, or make bulk updates.

Importing new items

Add new items in bulk to Lightspeed Restaurant by organizing your menu item data into our spreadsheet template and importing it to the Back Office. There are two different templates for importing new items:

  • Quick Import template: This template allows you to quickly import new items by entering only basic information into a simplified spreadsheet. Use this template if you want to add items quickly without worrying about the details.
  • Detailed Import template: This template is ideal for comprehensive item setup, allowing for the creation of menu screens, combos, and item groups alongside your items. It requires more extensive setup but provides greater detail for each item.

Using the Quick Import template

The Quick Import template imports new items with only basic details such as item name, SKU, default price, accounting group, and statistics group. The benefit of using this template is that you save time by not entering as much information as needed for the Detailed Import template.

  1. Access the Quick Import template via one of the following methods:
    • If you have a Google account, open the template in your web browser and select Make a copy to save it to your account.
    • If using spreadsheet software on your computer, such as Excel, download the template as a .XLSX file and open it up. 
  2. In the Quick Import template, select the Instructions tab to learn how to use the file and to see an example of a completed import template.

    restaurant-quick-import-template.png

  3. Go to the Import file tab in the spreadsheet, and enter your item information. If you have any combos or item groups, you'll need to build those manually within the Back Office after completing the import.

    Quick Import item information

    For a successful import, complete all required fields and, where desired, add optional details to enhance your items:

    • SKU (Required): An identifier assigned to each item. Enter a unique SKU for each new item to prevent unintended updates to existing items that may already have that same SKU.
    • Item name (Required): Name or title of each individual item. Item names must be unique.
    • Default price (Required): Cost of the item as it will appear on the menu for customers.
    • Accounting group (Required): Accounting groups are categories that apply shared settings, such as taxes and production centers, to items. Enter the name of a new or existing accounting group.
    • Statistics group (Optional): Statistics groups, also called statistics categories, are organizational tools that help you filter items on certain reports.
    • Cost Price (Optional): Cost of the item to the restaurant.

    Import-file-tab-1.png

  4. After entering all of your item information, go to the Import File tab in the spreadsheet and save it as a .CSV file.
    • Saving .CSV files in Google Sheets

      Click the File menu, and select Download from the menu. In the sub-menu, choose Comma Separated Values (.csv). A download will start automatically, and the .CSV file will be saved to your computer's default downloads folder.

      restaurant-import-upload-file.png

    • Saving .CSV files in Excel

      Click the File menu, and select Save As. In the Save As dialog box, pick a location to save the file. Finally, choose CSV (Comma delimited) as the file type, and finish saving the file.

  5. Follow the steps in the Importing new items to the Back Office section to upload the template.

Using the Detailed Import template

The Detailed Import template imports new items with additional information that's not included in the Quick Import template, such as POS screen location, default course, and order ticket name. The completeness of this template enables you to add more details to each item upfront, which saves time by reducing the need for follow-up edits.

  1. Access the Detailed Import template via one of the following methods:
    • If you have a Google account, open the template in your web browser and select Make a copy to save it to your account.
    • If using spreadsheet software on your computer, such as Excel, download the template as a .XLSX file from the Back Office by going to Menu management > Items > Import > Start import and clicking the download link. Then open the template.
  2. In the Detailed Import template, select the Getting Started tab and enter your business name, business type, and email address in the relevant fields. 
  3. Select Click here to start to visit the next tab.

    The first sheet in the Detailed Import template with the indicated text highlighted

  4. Read through the Glossary tab to understand what information is required to create the import file. 
  5. Click Let’s start to visit the next tab.

    The glossary sheet in the Detailed Import template with the indicated text highlighted

  6. Follow steps 6a to 6d for each tab in the spreadsheet to enter all of your item information.
    1. Review the instructions listed in that tab of the spreadsheet. 
    2. Clear out the sample information that is already pre-filled. 
    3. Fill in all required details and any optional information desired. For more details on the format and content necessary for each columns, visit the Guidelines for import files section.
      • Required tabs: Step 1 - Create accounting groups and Step 2 - Create items.   
      • Optional tabs: Step 2b - Create item groups, Step 2c - Create combos, Step 3 - Create menu & screen, and Step 4 - Create your menu
    4. Click Go to next step to visit the next tab.
  7. After entering all of your item information, go to the Upload file tab in the spreadsheet and delete any unused columns.
  8. Save the Upload file tab as a .CSV file.
    • Saving .CSV files in Google Sheets

      Click the File menu, and select Download from the menu. In the sub-menu, choose Comma Separated Values (.csv). A download will start automatically, and the .CSV file will be saved to your computer's default downloads folder.

      restaurant-import-upload-file.png

    • Saving .CSV files in Excel

      Click the File menu, and select Save As. In the Save As dialog box, pick a location to save the file. Finally, choose CSV (Comma delimited) as the file type, and finish saving the file.

  9. Follow the steps in the next section to upload the spreadsheet file to the Back Office.

Uploading new items to the Back Office

After preparing your Quick Import or Detailed Import spreadsheet, proceed to the Back Office to upload the file and import your items. On the Import items page, you'll also find a history of past imports and their results.

Once imported, items can be disabled or re-enabled from the Back Office, but they cannot be deleted.

  1. Log in to the Back Office with your Lightspeed Restaurant credentials.
  2. Select Menu management > Items from the navigation menu.
  3. Click Import.

    The Back Office Items page with import button highlighted

  4. In the File import (new) tile, select Start import.

    The Import items page also shows a history of past and ongoing imports, along with who submitted them and their status.

    The Back Office imports page with 'File import (new)' tile highlighted

  5. Drag and drop your import file into the modal window, or click to browse for and select the file.

    The modal window that prompts you to select your import spreadsheet

  6. For each value listed under Your file data, use the Back Office data menu to select the specific item parameter matching that column from your file.
    • SKU, Name, and Accounting group must all be mapped for the import to process. For any optional columns you did not use, select the Skip for import option.
    • To automatically make these selections, click Map identical column names. We highly recommend double-checking automatic column mappings for accuracy before continuing.
  7. Click Continue.

    The mapping page that lists all item settings and the columns from your import spreadsheet

  8. On the Import preview, ensure (a) the number of new inventory elements being created is correct and (b) that your template columns are mapped to the correct item settings. If you need to make changes to mapping, click Edit column mapping.

    The 'Import preview' page showing the items in the import and column mappings

  9. (Optional) Toggle on the Accounting group setting to automatically create any new accounting groups contained in your file during the import. If left off, items in accounting groups that don't currently exist will not import.

    Double-check the spelling of accounting groups to avoid inadvertently creating duplicates of existing ones.

  10. Click Start import to begin processing the import.
  11. Once finished, you'll see a notification explaining whether your import was successful or if there were issues you need to correct.

Importing updates to existing items

Update existing items' settings in your Lightspeed Restaurant account by exporting your items, making changes, and importing those changes into the Back Office.

Preparing your item updates import file

Prepare an item updates import spreadsheet to specify the specific changes you'd like to make to your items.

  1. Export your existing items from the Back Office.
  2. Create a new spreadsheet file for your item updates. 
  3. Paste the following information from the items export spreadsheet into the blank spreadsheet created in step 2:
    • Column headers (SKU, Name, etc.)
    • Rows for each item you want to update 
  4. Make your desired updates on the spreadsheet you created, and format all columns to meet the import requirements.

    Some item columns will not be correctly formatted for reimport after they are exported from the Back Office. To ensure success, carefully review the import column requirements and edit the file to match the specified formats and guidelines.

  5. Save the spreadsheet as a .CSV file.
    • Saving .CSV files in Google Sheets

      Click the File menu, and select Download from the menu. In the sub-menu, choose Comma Separated Values (.csv). A download will start automatically, and the .CSV file will be saved to your computer's default downloads folder.

      restaurant-import-upload-file.png

    • Saving .CSV files in Excel

      Click the File menu, and select Save As. In the Save As dialog box, pick a location to save the file. Finally, choose CSV (Comma delimited) as the file type, and finish saving the file.

  6. Follow the steps in the next section to upload the spreadsheet file to the Back Office.

Uploading item updates to the Back Office

Proceed to the Back Office to import the spreadsheet file with your updates to actually update your items. On the Import items page, you'll also find a history of past imports and their results.

Review your file for accuracy and adherence to the import file requirements to avoid any unintended modifications to your inventory. Item updates cannot be automatically reversed after they are imported.

  1. Log in to the Back Office with your Lightspeed Restaurant credentials.
  2. Select Menu management > Items from the navigation menu.
  3. Click Import.

    The Back Office Items page with import button highlighted

  4. In the File import (new) tile, select Start import.

    The Import items page also shows a history of past and ongoing imports, along with who submitted them and their status.

    The Back Office imports page with 'File import (new)' tile highlighted

  5. Drag and drop your import file into the modal window, or click to browse for and select the file.

    The modal window that prompts you to select your import spreadsheet

  6. For the SKU, Name, Accounting group, and any columns that contain updates, use the corresponding Back Office data drop-down to manually select the matching item parameter. For any columns you did not update, choose Skip for import to prevent unintended results.
  7. Click Continue.

    The mapping page that lists all item settings and the columns from your import spreadsheet

  8. On the Import preview, ensure (a) the number of new inventory elements being created is correct and (b) that your template columns are mapped to the correct item settings. If you need to make changes to mapping, click Edit column mapping.

    The 'Import preview' page showing the items in the import and column mappings

  9. (Optional) Toggle on the Accounting group setting to automatically create any new accounting groups contained in your file during the import. If left off, items in accounting groups that don't currently exist will not import.
  10. Click Start import to begin processing the import.
  11. Once finished, you'll see a notification explaining whether your import was successful or if there were issues you need to correct.

Importing price changes

Change the prices of existing items in your Lightspeed Restaurant account by preparing a spreadsheet file with your updated pricing and importing those changes into the Back Office.

Preparing your price change import file

There are two ways that you can create an import file for price changes. You can export your items and prices and then edit the exported file, or create a new import template from scratch. The import file must be in .CSV format and contain fewer than 10,000 rows.

  • Exporting prices - From the Items page, click Export > Export custom file. Select Prices only, and then choose your File format. Finish by clicking Export, and a file should download automatically. Open the file, and begin editing the item prices as needed in your spreadsheet editing program.  restaurant-exporting-prices-only.png
  • Creating a new import template - To create a new price change import file, add four columns to a new spreadsheet file: SKU, Name, Account profile, and Price.
    • SKU (Required) - Enter the unique SKU of the item whose price you want to change.
    • Name (Optional) - Enter the item's name as a reference for yourself.
    • Account profile (Optional) - If an item has different prices under different account profiles, add a separate row for each account profile. Enter the account profile name in this column, or leave blank to change the default price.
    • Price (Required) - The price you want to set for the item. 

Uploading price changes to the Back Office

Proceed to the Back Office to import the spreadsheet file with your price changes and update your items' prices. On the Import items page, you'll also find a history of past imports and their results.

  1. Log in to the Back Office with your Lightspeed Restaurant credentials.
  2. Select Menu management > Items from the navigation menu.
  3. Click Import.
  4. Under Price only, select Start import.

    The Back Office imports page with 'Price only' tile highlighted

  5. Click Browse, select your CSV import file from your computer, then click Open.
  6. After uploading your file, you will automatically advance to Select columns. Only mandatory columns, including SKU, Account profile, and Price, are required. All other columns are optional.
  7. Select Map columns.
  8. For each spreadsheet column listed, use the corresponding drop-down to select the matching item parameter.

    To do this automatically, click Map columns with identical names. We highly recommend double-checking automatic column mappings for accuracy before continuing.

  9. (Optional) Do a test import to ensure everything works by selecting the Additional parameters tab and toggling the Dry-run option to ON. Click Continue, and skip to step 11.
  10. Select the Confirmation tab.
  11. Click Confirm submission to start the import.

Guidelines for import files

Understanding the requirements for your import file is crucial to ensure a successful import. Your file must be formatted correctly, with mandatory columns filled in and optional columns added as needed.

Overview

To successfully import items, you must organize them into a spreadsheet that follows our formatting guidelines. Here are a few important things to note about the requirements for your import file:

  • It must be a CSV spreadsheet, delimited by commas.
  • It needs to contain a SKU, name, and accounting group for each item. All other columns are optional, including price.
  • It has to meet all of the import column requirements. Mandatory columns must be filled in, all column data must follow the right format, and optional columns added correctly.
  • Leave cells blank if you're missing optional item information for certain items. If an entire optional column is not in use, delete the empty column to streamline the import process.

Understanding import columns

An effective import relies on correctly formatting the columns in your spreadsheet file. Some columns are mandatory, like SKU and Name, while others are optional. Understanding the role and format of each column ensures accurate data import and management.

Some item columns will not be correctly formatted for reimport after they are exported from the Back Office. To ensure a successful import, carefully review the import column requirements and edit the import file to match the specified formats and guidelines.

Required template columns

SKU: The SKU is a unique identifier assigned to each item. All imports require a SKU column in order to succeed.

  • When importing new items, ensure each one has a unique SKU to prevent unintended updates to existing items that may already have that same SKU.
  • When updating existing items or changing prices, the SKU already assigned to each item is used as a key to identify which items to modify.

Name: Name or title of each individual item. Item names must be unique.

Accounting group: Accounting groups are categories that apply shared settings, such as taxes and production centers, to items. Enter the name of a new or existing accounting group.

Optional template columns

Parent SKU: If items are tied to a combo, the parent SKU is the unique number used to identify the main menu item.

Selection: Related to combos, this refers to the selection policy and whether a customer must choose a sub-item or not.

  • 0-1 to indicate 'Select zero or one item'
  • 1 to indicate 'Select exactly one item'
  • 0-* to indicate 'Select zero or more items'

Default price: Cost of the item as it will appear on the menu for customers. Leave blank to set the price at the POS, meaning that an employee will have to manually enter a price every time the item is sold.

Statistic group: Statistics groups, also called statistics categories, are organizational tools that help you filter items on certain reports.

  • To assign a statistics category, enter the name of a new or existing statistics category.
  • To assign a statistics category and value, use the format [{"category":"category name","value":"value name"}]. For example, [{"category":"Food","value":"Pizza"}]

Menu: Places the item's button in the appropriate menu. All menus created in the Back Office in Menu management Menus are available for selection. See About menus for further information.

Screen: Places the item button on the appropriate main screen of your menu. Main screens are like categories that sort items buttons into groups on your POS. Enter the name of a screen, or use the format Screen##Sub-screen to assign an item to a sub-screen within a main screen. For example, entering Food##Pizza would assign an item to the Pizza sub-screen within the Food main screen.

Button name: Text that appears on the button representing this item on the POS screen. Leave blank to use the item's name.

Button color: Color of the button that represents the item on the POS screen. Enter as one word without hyphens. To view available color choices, follow the steps to add a button to your menu via the Back Office.

Insertion course: Set which course this item will be added to. For instance, if an item is restricted to the 3rd course, it will always be in Course 3. If there is no Course 3, the POS will create one when you add this item to a sale.

Bar code: If you have items with barcodes, enter the barcode number here. Most common formats are accepted, including EAN and UPC.

Cost price: Cost of the item to the restaurant. This is used, in combination with the Default price, to determine the margins on your items.

  • Tax included margin calculation: item margin = sold price - tax on sold price - cost price
  • Tax excluded margin calculation: item margin = sold price - cost price

Package content: Indicates the item's numeric quantity on hand based on its Package Unit. For example, for a standard bottle of wine, enter 750 and omit the packaging unit measure. This field is used in our Inventory module for managing recipes, inventory, and stock movement.

Package unit: Describes the dimensions by which this item is measured. Enter the abbreviation for a unit of mass (for example: g, lb, etc.) or volume (for example: mL, fl oz, etc.), or enter % if the item is measured by percentage. This field is used in our Inventory module for managing recipes, inventory, and stock movement.

Weight: This allows you to sell the item by weight, specifically in grams. Enter 100 or 1000 to determine whether the item's default price will be for 100g or 1000g of the item. For example, entering 100 for an item priced at 12.00 would mean the item will cost the customer 0.12 per gram (12.00 divided by 100).

Tare: This field refers to the weight of any packaging materials used to contain the item being imported. For items sold by weight, the weight of the tare can automatically be deducted. Enter the tare weight in grams without the unit measure. For example, you would enter 30 for 30 grams of tare weight.

Sharing mode: Indicates whether the item is available to be shared across locations. Sharing status can be set to:

  • Local: Item is available at this business location only.
  • Shared: Item name is shared with other business locations. Item details (e.g., price) may vary per location.
  • Global: Item name and details (e.g., price) are shared with other business locations.

Docket name: Sets the name that will appear on production dockets that are sent to the kitchen or bar. Leave blank to use the item's default Name.

Exporting items and prices

Export your items into a .CSV or .XLSX spreadsheet file for use in bulk updating items, changing prices, or backing up your data outside of the Back Office. 

  1. Log in to the Back Office with your Lightspeed credentials.
  2. From the navigation menu, select Menu management > Items.
  3. Click Export at the top of the Items page.
  4. Select the type of export: Export Lightspeed formatted file or Export custom file.
    • We recommend the Lightspeed formatted file in most cases as it contains all existing items and their settings. This is the best export to use for making bulk updates
    • Only export a custom file if you are changing prices or if you are backing up your item data locally and don't plan to bulk update items.
  5. (Optional) If exporting a custom file, choose which items and information to export.
    • Items to export: All, Selection (only the items you've selected using the checkboxes beside each item), or Filtered items (only items you've filtered for).
    • Information to export: All columnsPrices only (only the name, accounting group, price, and SKU), or Custom (select or deselect the information you want to export).
  6. For the File format, select CSV for Mac, CSV for PC, XLSX, or Custom (specify the cell delimiter, line delimiter, and encoding used in the export file).
  7. Click Export to finish.

What's next?

Creating and editing items

Once items are created on Lightspeed Restaurant (K Series), you can always modify items from your Back Office.

Learn more

Assigning barcodes to items

Barcodes can be assigned to items to allow for scanning.

Learn more

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