Case Study

Clover Food Lab

Clover Food Lab is a cult-favorite restaurant chain founded by MIT alum and environmentalist Ayr Muir. Clover’s mission is to address global warming by building a better food future, and with the help of raving fans, it has expanded from a food truck in 2008 to 12 restaurants serving thousands daily in the greater Boston area.


  • Clover Food Lab was one of the first Square users, but as the business has grown, so have its point-of-sale needs.
  • It built a custom point of sale that can update menus at twelve locations in real time to accommodate an ever-changing menu.
  • The POS is a hybrid web and native app that is connected to multiple other systems; the integration with Square Reader SDK has given employees a worry-free payment experience.

Growing with Square: A Unique Solution for a Unique Restaurant Business

Since starting out with the original Square Reader in its food truck, Clover Food Lab has grown to twelve restaurant locations in the Boston area. As the business has grown, so have the complexities, which led Clover to build its own custom point of sale.

“It’s sort of magical and instant. We can spend more time talking about the interesting stuff instead of having to worry if the payment will work.”

- Jenny Zhao, Director of Digital Marketing

Clover Food Lab has a menu that is constantly changing with the produce that comes into season in New England. The staff needs to be able to push new items that will propagate to the app, kitchen stations, and restaurant signage in real time. Clover’s first custom point of sale used the Square Point of Sale API, which allowed it to make a system that could support this complex menu, but also required an app switch for payment.

Always at the forefront of Square’s latest innovations, it jumped on the opportunity to try the Square Reader SDK, which would continue to help it reconcile orders and sales in its custom point of sale, but more smoothly without the app switch. Clover Food Lab was able to quickly build a hybrid iOS and web app that passes its transactions through.

The solution has left it with a seamless experience, where employees can spend more time focusing on informing customers about the products instead of worrying about whether or not a transaction will process. Today, Clover Food Lab is continuing to innovate with Square and is exploring self-service kiosks for its in-person stores and online sales.