Updated as of June, 2020
Table of Contents
- 1 Pros
- 2 Cons
- 3 Overview of Clover Station POS
- 4 In a hurry and don't have time to read reviews?
- 5 Pricing
- 6 Clover Station POS for Restaurants – Promo Video
- 7 Key Features
- 8 Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
- 9 Industries Served & Business Size
- 10 Ease of Use
- 11 Hardware Requirements
- 12 Integrations & Add-ons
- 13 Compatible Credit Card Companies
- 14 Customer Service and Support
- 15 Our Verdict
My Clover Station POS review will take an in-depth look at the variety of features available in this unique POS platform. As the point of sale industry continues to modernize, there is a range of competitors offering impressive feature lists. Choosing the right POS platform for your business is critical if you want to improve efficiency in your restaurant.
We have personally worked with and reviewed many POS systems. We also scan the internet for reviews, feedback, and research data from merchants about their experience with various products. In this review, let’s find out if the Clover Station POS is right for your small business!
- Extremely easy to navigate
- Easy to build ‘custom’ menus
- Integration with an extensive list of apps and add-ons
- Sleek hardware with tons of included accessories
- An affordable monthly price point
- Liability insurance included with subscription
- Flexible credit card processing options
- Manage staff with individual logins
- Access reporting data from offsite locations
- Poor customer service record
- The hardware might be a bit expensive for some budgets
- Some customers complain of hidden fees and charges
Overview of Clover Station POS
Clover Station is a California-based POS provider that first opened its doors in 2012. Not long after entering the market, Clover Station was purchased by First Data Corporation – one of the largest payment processing platforms in the United States. The purchase of Clover Station was seen as a significant move into the point of sale industry by First Data Corporation.
While Clover Station is a popular product with many new restaurants and small business owners, it’s hard to miss the variety of online complaints about First Data Corporation. The parent company of Clover Station has a horrible customer service record – this reputation also appears to impact Clover Station.
For this review, we’ll primarily take a look at Clover Station’s restaurant POS services. The company offers hardware POS ‘stations’ that help you get set up quickly. Its hardware platform comes with a durable touchscreen and provides a range of free accessories.
Clover Station provides its users with the ability to add a range of external applications – you can also choose your payment processing platform. Users can quickly build menus, customize interfaces, view reporting data, manage employees, and more. Best of all, the platform is straightforward to learn and use.
How much does Clover Station cost? Software for the traditional register station starts at $29 per month. The full-service restaurant POS software starts at $69 per month. Hardware is an additional cost as outlined below.
It’s critical to find a POS system that you can afford. While many POS platforms offer affordable prices at face-value, things can get much more expensive when you dive into the real cost of the service. So, what type of price points are on offer with Clover Station POS? Let’s take a more in-depth look at the company’s pricing below:
Clover Station Software Cost:
- Traditional Station (Non-Specific POS Platform): $29 per month
- 2.3% +10c for in-person transactions
- 3.5% +10c for keyed-in transactions
- Full-Service Restaurant POS: $69 per month
- 2.3% +10c for in-person transactions
- 3.5% +10c for keyed-in transactions
As you can see, Clover’s offering is relatively affordable when you compare it to the rest of the POS market. If you want to purchase additional add-ons or apps, you’ll also need to factor in those costs to determine the correct price of the product. They do offer the first month of software for free and free shipping on hardware, which is great.
Clover Station boasts having a transparent pricing model, but some customers seem to think otherwise. There are some allegations that hidden fees and charges pop up out of nowhere – this may be linked to First Data Corporation merchant accounts – so it could be a good idea to source a third-party payment processor.
With some POS platforms, these types of hidden fees may be down to independent distributors. To clarify, it’s essential to discuss all costs with Clover Station to ensure that you won’t find any nasty surprises. So how much is the Clover Station Hardware?
Clover Station Hardware Cost:
- Traditional Station Hardware: $1,199
- Add Mini: Additional $300
- Full-Service Restaurant-Specific Hardware: $1,149
- Add Flex: Additional $300
*All prices are subject to change, please see vendor’s website for current pricing.
These bundles include a 14″ touchscreen POS system with a swivel neck, cash drawer, and receipt printer. You can also add the mini or the flex for additional payment flexibility (at an extra cost).
For those who have the budget, you can choose to pay the hardware costs as an entire lump sum. But if you can’t afford to pay for all your hardware upfront, you can also spread the cost across three payments; this is a crucial benefit for new restaurant owners who are trying to avoid upfront cash flow issues.
Clover Station POS for Restaurants – Promo Video
Below are some of the key features we like with Clover Station’s restaurant point of sale platform:
- Easy to navigate platform
- Easy to build comprehensive menus
- Robust hardware system that comes packed with additional accessories (printer, cash drawer, etc.)
- Easily access reporting data and sales from offsite location — you don’t need to be in your restaurant to see how sales are going
- Pre-authorize tabs to ensure that customers have access to funds for bill payment
- Build and split tabs to provide customers with easy payment options — you can also add discounts to orders
- Manage your employees with individual logins and performance trackers
- Manage promotions, happy hours, seasonal menus, and a wide range of customizable features that help improve what you can offer to customers
- Additional liability insurance included with software subscription
- Build a physical model of your restaurant within the point of sale software — this can help you manage reservations and orders
- Accepts contactless, chip, and other traditional credit card payments — cash and check is also compatible
- Offline payment processing — you don’t need an internet connection to process credit card payments
- A wide range of apps available — you can genuinely scale this service by taking advantage of third-party integrations
- Inventory tracking helps you manage your restaurant’s supplies — it can help you avoid nasty surprises!
Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
Clover Station POS is a primarily cloud-based system. While the company’s software is installed on your hardware system, all reporting data and information is stored in a cloud. Also, you’ll be able to remotely access your menus, reporting data, restaurant information, and more. Don’t worry about hardware malfunctions — your data is safe in the cloud at Clover Station.
Also, as mentioned previously, you can take card payments via Clover Station if you’re not connected to the internet. This is a critical feature that you won’t find with many other cloud-based platforms. If you’re worried your internet connection isn’t consistent enough to guarantee seamless payments, Clover Station might be one of your best options.
Industries Served & Business Size
Clover Station offers a traditional POS platform that can be used across a broad range of industries. But the POS software that we’ve been exploring in more depth today is explicitly built for the restaurant industry. It’s excellent for small to mid-sized restaurants. While it offers plenty of in-house features, it certainly doesn’t have the strength that you find in some of the more prominent names in the industry for larger restaurant environments.
But there is a bright side for those who plan on growing their business. Because of the number of add-ons, downloadable apps, and integrations available with Clover Station, you can scale this platform quite well if you need more functionality. We’ll explore the type of features that’s on offer via these add-ons in the Integrations & Add-ons section below.
While Clover Station’s primary platform is best suited to small and mid-sized businesses, the additional apps can help you scale it to more significant operations. But the other apps you can download on your station will come with an added expense.
Ease of Use
When you sift through the various features available with Clover Station, one of the core benefits is how easy it is to use the platform. If you want to invest considerable money in a new POS solution, it’s essential to make sure that you find one that is easy for staff to handle.
The entire Clover Station platform is easy to navigate. For restaurant owners, you can quickly build menus and access reporting data from offsite locations. For new staff, the straightforward nature of the software means that training won’t eat away at your time.
One of the biggest hurdles for a lot of small business owners is the hardware requirements associated with a point of sale platform. Clover Station makes it easier by offering a full ‘station’ to its clients. But not so fast — you’ll still have to pay a fair amount of money to gain access to their complete software and hardware packag. You can find Clover Station pricing information here.
Regardless, the hardware system on offer at Clover Station is built-for-purpose. With a touchscreen interface, credit card processor, and printer, this POS hardware system can help you improve efficiency in the workplace. You can also add mobile payment systems to perform table-side ordering and quick payment processing.
Unlike other POS providers, which may provide you with tablets or ask you to purchase iPads, the Clover Station hardware fits firmly in a mounted station; this helps give a sense of permanence to your POS setup.
Clover states that hardware can be returned within 60 days of original purchase for a full refund of the purchase price, excluding shipping and handling. Returned equipment must be in good condition; this is a great thing to offer merchants just in case it’s not the perfect solution for your business.
Integrations & Add-ons
Integrations and add-ons can take your restaurant’s POS platform to the next level. One of the key features I like about Clover Station’s point of sale is that it’s Android-based and there are tons of apps and add-ons you have access to download. The applications list on offer is one of the most extensive in the industry.
If you head to the Clover Station app store, it can be hard to avoid browsing through the endless list of apps and add-ons. Various apps can help you manage loyalty programs, create custom discounts, integrate accounting software, create restaurant websites, receive feedback, and much, MUCH more.
Keep in mind, that while the Clover app store offers free versions of many apps, to get full functionality, most of the apps will cost you a subscription price or pay-per-use. Once you start adding a bunch of apps to get all the functionality you require, you end up increasing the overall cost of your POS solution.
Compatible Credit Card Companies
Accepting payments with Clover Station is a feature that varies greatly depending on the POS provider that you’re partnering with for merchant services. In some cases, a POS provider will require you to use their credit card processing platform. In other cases, you’ll have the freedom to choose your merchant provider to integrate with your POS platform.
Fortunately, Clover Station can be integrated with a wide range of credit card processing companies. Clover Station’s parent company (First Data) will most likely pressure you to sign up for its credit card processing platform. While this can be a convenient way to set up your POS platform quickly, it also means you’re restricted from looking at competing processing companies.
Because of the number of complaints from current customers about First Data Corporation, it might be a good idea to shop around for merchant services. There’s no point getting tied up with a company that has a poor customer service record.
That being said, Clover does claim on their website that you can cancel your processing agreement at any time, for any reason, and they do not charge termination fees.
Customer Service and Support
As with any software or hardware platform, problems can always arise — that’s why it’s essential to have access to a fantastic customer support team. At present, Clover Station has an excellent online resource hub — you can also call or email their customer support center 24/7.
Unfortunately, the customer service record at Clover is less than ideal. Ever since First Data Corporation took over the company, Clover Station has had to contend with a range of different complaints. Many customers complain of mysterious hidden fees (often associated with First Data Corporation).
Also, there are complaints that it can take hours to get in touch with a customer service member. Even when customers can get in touch, there are complaints that staff members do little to fix problems. If customer service is a primary selling point for you, it may be worth avoiding Clover Station for the time being.
Clover Station certainly has its benefits. Clover offers a complete all-in-one POS system that has affordable pricing, sleek hardware, tons of features, and easy-to-use software. Also, its app store provides you with some of the most extensive feature options currently available on the market.
And while all this bodes well for Clover Station, its connection with First Data Corporation does muddy the waters. While many Clover Station users enjoy the platform, there are also extensive complaints about hidden fees and the company’s customer service department.
If you can get past these shortfalls, Clover Station can be an option to consider for your restaurant or small business. Don’t think it’s the right solution for you? See our top restaurant picks here.
Image Credits: clover.com
Editor’s note: How’d we do on our Clover Station POS review? Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns? Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know in the comments below or contact us.