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SpotOn Review: Does It Beat the Competition in 2024?

Ivana Shteriova Ivana Shteriova Finance Specialist

SpotOn POS stands out with a POS platform highly customized for retail, restaurants, professional services, salons, and other small to medium-sized businesses. You can easily migrate from another system due to its personalized approach. Its free restaurant and affordable entry-level retail plan make it a good deal, provided you don’t need many add-ons. As for whether it beats Square and Toast – that depends.

Overview

POS equipment SpotOn Station, SpotOn Counter POS,
and two SpotOn Handheld POS devices available
for purchase
Payment methods accepted Credit and debit cards, digital wallets, ACH,
bank transfers
Payout times Next-day
Contract length Monthly (no cancellation fees)
Customer support 24/7 phone and email support line, other
support available Monday to
Friday/Saturday/Sunday (hours vary
by department)
Security PCI-compliant, end-to-end encryption, tokenization

Highly-Customizable POS for Small To Mid-size Retail Businesses, Restaurants & Beyond

SpotOn POS hardware in different restaurant settings
SpotOn promises to customize your POS to your needs
1

Available throughout the US, SpotOn’s customizable POS system caters to small and medium-sized businesses, including restaurants, shops, salons, and professional services. Despite mostly having retail clients, I found that it offers more features for restaurants than for other businesses. Some restaurants can even start with no upfront costs, although there is no corresponding free plan for other business types.

Choosing SpotOn as your POS can save you time due to its high-tech equipment and user-friendly software. However, whether you save money depends on your unique situation. SpotOn charges low fees for essential features, but higher-tier plans and add-ons can increase costs.

According to user feedback, SpotOn’s dedicated training feature is superior to alternatives. It’s excellent for beginners because its team will actually take the time to tailor the system to your specific needs. This also means it’s ideal for growing businesses or those with high employee turnover, which frequently have new staff members to onboard.

With support for in-person and online selling, affordable payment processing, and modern proprietary hardware, SpotOn is worth considering. However, is its bold claim, “we actually give a sh*t about helping you succeed,” spot on? I dug deep to find out. Keep reading to see if SpotOn is right for your business and how it performs compared to popular alternatives.

4.3

Features

Great Selection of Features but Many Cost Extra

SpotOn offers a robust set of restaurant features almost comparable to the most popular POS systems. However, its small business POS plans are pretty basic. Tools like labor management, online ordering, and loyalty programs are available as add-ons.

Customizable POS Software & Affordable Hardware

SpotOn’s POS software, which runs on Android, supports both in-person and e-commerce sales. It’s one of the few providers that will build a highly custom setup for your business with the exact layouts, color codes, and menus you desire. The software integrates with fewer third-party apps than some alternatives but includes features like customer data collection, marketing tools, and review management.

It offers fewer hardware models than some competitors, but SpotOn’s hardware is designed to fit differing needs and works offline. You can choose from fully-fledged stations, countertop models, or handheld devices. With equipment financing available to reduce the upfront cost, you can purchase or rent these devices.

While SpotOn’s software and hardware work seamlessly together, you cannot use them with third-party systems. Although it offers monthly contracts, investing in a proprietary POS system incompatible with others usually requires a long-term commitment to see a return on your investment. Thankfully, the hardware is both high-quality and very affordable.

Solid Retail POS for All Types of Stores

SpotOn POS hardware in a home goods shop
You can handle everything from one portable, sleek device

For retail shops, SpotOn offers an all-in-one handheld device. This device boasts a large screen and multi-angle view, which makes it easy to read from any position. The built-in camera allows for effortless scanning of barcodes and QR codes, which speeds up transactions and reduces errors.

Additionally, the integrated printer means you can print receipts on the spot, eliminating the need for separate peripherals. It’s suitable for small brick-and-mortar shops, but some businesses might find it lacks the convenience of a fully-featured POS station.

SpotOn POS includes standard retail features like inventory management, reporting, and marketing. On the more expensive plan, you also get a business website to sell online.

POS for Full & Counter Service Restaurants

SpotOn customer-facing display
SpotOn’s restaurant POS offers features tailored for different restaurant settings

SpotOn’s restaurant POS is highly adaptable, catering to various uses – including restaurants with a retail component, such as cafes selling their own coffee beans and breweries with bottle shops. You can use SpotOn Station for a self-service establishment, SpotOn Handheld for a full-service restaurant, or SpotOn Counter to save counter space.

Fast-paced eateries will benefit from SpotOn’s lightning-fast ordering and payment processing. Servers can input and fire orders directly from the table, reducing wait times and improving order accuracy. You can also split checks, take payments, and print receipts instantly, speeding up the checkout process and increasing table turnover.

Full-service and fine-dining restaurants will benefit from the reservation management and integrated waitlist features, which are available as add-ons.

Another standout feature is SpotOn’s QR codes, which make it easier for you to upsell additional items. Additionally, it offers tools for managing events, such as wine tastings, chef’s tables, and holiday events.

Tailored POS Software for Salons, Professional Services & More

SpotOn marketing features
Each plan comes with marketing and review management software and other helpful tools

SpotOn offers integrated marketing features that are great for health and beauty services, like salons. You can automatically capture client data from transactions, customize drag-and-drop email templates, and promote deals through email and social media.

SpotOn also has a built-in review management system that centralizes feedback from platforms like Yelp and Google, notifying you instantly of new reviews so you can address negative feedback and maintain a high reputation.

The appointment management add-on, which is one of the cheapest I’ve seen around, simplifies the booking and payment collection process, allowing you to focus more on providing excellent service. It has a 2-way texting feature that helps you reduce no-shows. Additionally, you can set up a cancellation policy and collect deposits to prevent no-shows.

Professional service businesses get a range of invoicing and recurring billing tools via SpotOn’s virtual terminal. It lets you accept payments on any device, including an online dashboard, the SpotOn mobile app, or an optional Bluetooth card reader. You can set up automated billing and email reminders so you get paid on time.

Flexible Pricing Options

SpotOn POS offers competitive payment processing rates, provided you’re not on the free restaurant plan. You’re free to use another processor, but you’ll incur additional fees. That said, SpotOn won’t lock you into long-term contracts, and you get next-day funding, a benefit that processors often charge extra for.

Additionally, SpotOn’s software and hardware are designed to implement dual pricing, also known as cash discount. By allowing customers to avoid credit card fees and pay with cash, you also reduce card processing fees. It passes on the savings to cash-paying customers while maintaining your profit margins.

5.0

Ease of use

Feature Rich but Easy To Navigate & Customize

Setting up and using SpotOn is straightforward and intuitive. You’ll get step-by-step guidance and instructional videos for a quick start. And once your POS system is running, the user-friendly interface ensures you can manage daily operations hassle-free.

Getting Started With SpotOn

SpotOn schedule a demo form
Make sure to schedule a live demo with an agent for a personalized walkthrough the system

SpotOn’s onboarding is designed to get you up and running quickly. The first step is to visit SpotOn’s website and fill out the initial form to express your interest. A specialist will contact you to discuss your specific business needs and guide you through selecting the right POS solution.

Once you’ve decided on the setup, you start the application by providing essential business information and undergoing a brief vetting process (for your merchant account) to ensure compliance and security. After approval, SpotOn helps you finalize your account setup, including POS customizations, hardware installation, and coaching on how to use it.

Intuitive All-In-One Dashboard With Robust Reporting Capabilities

SpotOn reporting dashboard on different screens
You can bundle as many resorts as you wish and subscribe to receive them automatically

SpotOn’s dashboard is user-friendly and intuitive. You can easily track sales, manage inventory, and analyze customer data in one central place. The interface also integrates tools for review management, marketing, and loyalty programs into one cohesive platform. Additionally, you can access everything from your mobile phone, so you can manage things on the go.

Plus, SpotOn’s reporting capabilities can easily compete with more popular POS systems. During the demo with a sales representative, I learned that the platform can generate around 80 different reports to oversee every aspect of your business.

For example, you can monitor sales by server, hour, or location and see performance data for all your locations on one page for more clarity. You can even get product mix reports that show which items your customers typically purchase together to help you create irresistible offers and specials.

Impressive Staff Training Features

SpotOn’s dedicated training mode allows your new employees to explore the POS without making transactions or affecting the menu and reporting. This is one of the most highly praised SpotOn features by users. Other POS systems typically allow a very limited number of features in test mode or lack one altogether. SpotOn, on the other hand, lets new hires test almost everything.

4.1

Pricing

Some Restaurant Plans Pack Less Value but Cheap for Retail & Other Small Businesses

SpotOn offers three restaurant plans and two retail plans. All SpotOn plans can be paid via flexible monthly contracts with no cancellation fees.

Restaurants can also build their own plan from scratch or start with no upfront costs using the free Quick Start plan, which includes all the hardware and software. This plan obligates you to use SpotOn’s merchant services, resulting in higher transaction fees of 2.89% + 25¢ (for most cards) and processing minimums.

While I’ve seen more generous free plans among competitors, SpotOn’s free plan stands out with an email capture tool that lets you collect guests’ email addresses in exchange for free Wi-Fi. This helps you grow your email list and drive repeat business.

SpotOn’s premium restaurant plans, Counter-service and Full-service, come with lower transaction fees of 1.99% + 25¢, online ordering options, and employee management tools. The highest-tier restaurant plan, Full-service, includes tableside ordering and a kitchen display system (KDS), features that top POS providers typically charge less for.

If you’re on a premium restaurant plan, you must also pay $3 per employee per month with a minimum charge of $75/month, which are affordable payroll rates compared to alternatives. But the minimum can be high for small restaurants.

Note that whichever restaurant plan you choose, you’ll face a steep conversion fee if you use a third-party payment processor. And your software license costs will double.

Alternatively, SpotOn’s small business/retail plans are basic but cover all essentials, like reporting, marketing, review management, invoicing, and a virtual terminal. These plans also apply to salon and professional service businesses. You can purchase appointment software for a small fee, and other add-ons are also available.

Although SpotOn doesn’t have a free retail plan, its entry-level plan, Terminal, has competitive pricing The more expensive plan, Terminal + Website, is competitively priced at $90.00, but offers fewer features than comparable competitors’ plans.

SpotOn can be pricey if you need advanced functionality, especially for restaurants. However, it balances out with low-priced equipment. While I find its entry retail plan very competitively priced, you can typically find more robust restaurant POS systems for a comparable or lower cost elsewhere.

5.0

Compliance & Security

PCI Compliance at No Cost to You & Advanced Security Features

You won’t have to worry about PCI compliance or payment security with SpotOn. Its systems are protected by strong security features, including robust control over who can access your critical business data.

PCI Compliance & More

SpotOn takes care of PCI compliance at no extra cost, as its software and hardware meet the highest security standards for processing payments. The hardware receives regular security updates and patches, ensuring your system is always protected against the latest threats. Additionally, the hardware supports age verification and tip reporting, helping you comply with legal requirements.

The software lets you manage roles and permissions, allowing you to control access to different features and data within the POS. This functionality is crucial for maintaining security and accountability in your team.

Additional Security Features

SpotOn ensures your business’ transactions are secure with features like end-to-end encryption, tokenization, and preauthorization. These measures are critical for maintaining customer trust and safeguarding against cyber threats​. It also boasts advanced fraud prevention tools to detect and prevent suspicious activities and fraudulent transactions.

3.9

Customer Support

Multiple Channels Available but Almost Impossible To Reach as a Non-Customer

SpotOn provides robust customer support through multiple channels, including phone support, email support, and a chatbot that’s essentially a ticket system. I was disappointed to see there isn’t a real live chat. If you operate in loud environments like restaurants, getting on the phone may not be ideal.

That said, aside from 24/7 technical support, SpotOn boasts dozens of different support teams specializing in different areas, like Account Maintenance & Dashboard or Menu & Catalog. This means you can reach the right expert immediately without wasting time on endless call transfers.

SpotOn is one of the rare companies that publicly details support phone numbers, including direct extensions and the work hours of each of its support teams. Some teams aren’t available 24/7 but work extended business hours, and some offer Sunday support.

That said, it’s almost impossible for a non-customer to reach SpotOn. I tried several phone numbers and wrote an email with questions to its sales support. I never got an email back, so I wrote another email through its ticket system and received a response after a few days.

SpotOn cusomer discussion
It would’ve been nice if the rep answered my questions in addition to offering a call

The representative asked me to continue our conversation over the phone so they could address any additional questions that might arise. Their number was in the email, so I tried to reach them multiple times but with no luck.

On the other hand, I came across mostly positive customer reviews about SpotOn’s support, which praise it for promptness, knowledge, and a personalized approach. Some customers even stated representatives made themselves available through Zoom to help them resolve issues.

SpotOn’s knowledge base includes articles, guides, video tutorials, and FAQs on various topics related to using SpotOn’s services. While it is continuously updated to reflect the latest features and common issues, I’ve seen more extensive knowledge bases from competitors.

Comparison

How does SpotOn match up to the competition?

1Clover POS SystemsCompareOur Score4.8Compare
1ToastCompareOur Score4.8Compare
1SpotOnCompareOur Score4.5Compare
1Epos NowCompareOur Score4.4Compare

SpotOn REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

SpotOn is a strong contender for small businesses like restaurants, professional services, and salons due to its ease of use, wide range of features, and in-depth reporting. However, some businesses might find its higher-tier plans more expensive than the alternatives. On the other hand, its free restaurant plan and entry small business plan provide great value and are definitely worth considering.

SpotOn can be a fantastic POS regardless of your industry. But if you need extended functionality, you might want to explore other top POS systems and compare the costs to identify the best deal.
Pros Cons
  • Highly customizable
  • In-depth reporting
  • Comprehensive staff training features
  • Monthly contracts
  • Some plans pack less value
  • Smaller POS selection

FAQ

Is SpotOn better than Toast?

SpotOn is a strong competitor to Toast, offering a range of features tailored for restaurants. However, Toast, as a restaurant-exclusive POS system, offers more comprehensive restaurant management features, online ordering options, and sustainability tools. But SpotOn is more affordable if you need fewer POS devices and have basic needs.

Is SpotOn better than Square?

SpotOn and Square both provide a multi-vertical POS solution and competitively priced payment processing services. Square offers a more generous free plan and its other plans are packed with features that cost extra at SpotOn. That said, SpotOn provides a stronger staff-training mode, which is beneficial if you frequently have new hires to onboard.

How much does SpotOn cost?

SpotOn’s prices start at $0 for restaurants but vary for other business types. Its transaction fees depend on your sales volume (if you use its merchant services). Additional costs include hardware and add-ons like e-commerce, scheduling, payroll, and appointment booking.

Does SpotOn have a termination fee?

SpotOn does not charge a termination fee. You can pay for it with month-to-month contracts and cancel the service at any time without penalties.
Ivana Shteriova Ivana Shteriova
Ivana is a full-time content writer and expert reviewer passionate about tech, finance, business, and too many other things to name. After getting her bachelor’s degree in Economics, she decided to ditch a career in accounting and turn her passion into a full-time writing affair. You can find her listening to finance podcasts, reading self-help books, glamming up, and rocking bold outfits. She’s also advocating for animal welfare and women’s rights.
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