Toast POS Review | Pricing, Ratings, Reviews & Features

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Toast POS Review | Pricing, Ratings, Reviews & Features

Toast POS

The Toast point of sale system has revolutionized the way restaurants manage operations, from how an order is taken to back of house control. The user-friendly platform is an affordable system that integrates with any foodservice business big or small.




Toast POS Quick Overview

The Toast point of sales system is a niche product specifically built for the foodservice industry. Running a restaurant requires certain equipment…and Toast gets it. The company is led by industry veterans from every aspect of operations. Even your Toast installation experts have run a fry basket.

In addition to a point of sale system with employee management, inventory, and robust reporting, Toast has several other add-ons and programs to round out your business. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Payroll management
  • Loyalty programs
  • Capital funding
  • Flat-rate processing
  • Hundreds of branding options

If you are thinking about integrating Toast in your restaurant, the following is a quick guide to help you decide.

PROS
CONS
Detailed analytics and reporting in real-time. A business can make more informed decisions.
Customer support is very busy and can be a hit or miss. Staffing can be limited.
Robust customer support resources with a comprehensive knowledgebase.
Many features must be purchased for an additional cost.
Extensive customer loyalty program with data collection and digital cards.
The learning curve can be high for staff the more complex the system gets.
Offline and mobile capabilities. Access the system from anywhere at any time.
At times, the system can freeze or get glitchy depending on how many terminals you use.
Custom flat-rate processing fee. It doesn’t change depending on the card.
Delivery mapping does not use Google Maps and can be inaccurate.



Toast POS Support

The people that created Toast are restaurant industry veterans. Foodservice is incredibly time-specific and thus they have built a robust customer and technical support system that’s well-rounded and incredibly informative.

All customer support is included in the monthly service fee except for installation, which starts at an additional $499. Here’s a breakdown of what is offered:

Configuration

Once a restaurant purchases a subscription, Toast staff will work with you to customize and configure the platform. Experts will also help to personalize a menu and streamline operations.

Staff Training

Toast experts will come on-site to train your staff on how to use the Toast POS system. The brand has invested in a multitude of resources that include training videos for managers, tutorials, hands-on demos, and interactive material.

Knowledgebase

In addition to training resources, Toast offers a comprehensive knowledge center that’s searchable. Users can “attend” Toast University, look up FAQs, access troubleshooting tips, and find thorough material on menu management. The main sections include:

  • Getting Started
  • Hardware
  • Reporting
  • Payroll and Team Management

Support Tickets

Customers can easily submit support tickets without ever leaving the app. All you need to do is fill out the form with an email address and your question. Someone will get back to you quickly.

Compare

Toast provides an easy-to-use comparison tool so you can bump it up against competitors. This is a unique feature that demonstrates just how confident the brand is with its product.

Resource Center

eBooks, short video clips, and templates designed to help you run your restaurant better. It also includes a Menu Engineering Course with data on managing your website and third-party delivery sites.

Blog and Podcast

Stories and advice from people who power the industry.

Installation

The cost of installation depends on the size of your business. However, every installation add-on includes:

  • Self, remote, or on-site installation.
  • Flexible onboarding that’s designed by industry vets.
  • 24/7/365 email, phone, and live chat included.
  • 0% financing available.

If you don’t choose on-site installation, Toast will ship everything you need plus detailed instructions and 24/7 phone support.

Get A Quote from Toast POS

Toast POS Demo

If you are a person that likes to test before you buy, Toast offers a free demo of the product. In addition, they will customize the demo depending on your business needs. Once you fill out the form, a Toast specialist will reach out within 24 hours to schedule.

It includes a walkthrough catered to your restaurant’s unique needs. The specialist will then follow-up with a custom price quote based on your ideal hardware and software setup.

Toast POS Pricing

Toast POS pricing is fairly straightforward for a point of sale system. Since most pricing is custom, you can be sure the system will always cater to the needs of your business. Every Toast offering includes:

Toast Software

Starting at $75 per terminal per month, Toast also gives you discounts based on volume. The software package includes:

  • Kitchen operations
  • Menu management
  • Orders workflow
  • Cloud-based reporting and analytics

It also includes a partner marketplace with over 80 integrations with leading restaurant technology. Each additional terminal costs $50 per month.

The software also comes with add-ons for small monthly fees. In addition to Toast Marketing and Payroll, the following are applicable:

  • $50/month for Physical and Digital Gift Cards
  • $50/month for Online Ordering
  • $25/month for the Loyalty Program

Toast Hardware

Toast equipment is restaurant-grade with 0% financing. The sleek and commercial hardware is powered by an Android operating based system. The robust equipment is specifically designed for the restaurant environment and able to withstand spills, drops, heat, and heavy traffic.

The hardware is a suite of adjustable and elegant designs made to make life easy for employees. Package prices start at $450 for a handheld tablet and $1,350 for a terminal bundle. This includes the following:

  • Cash drawer
  • Receipt printer
  • Tablet
  • Stand
  • Credit card reader
  • Case

Kitchen printers and routers are sold separately and do not come included in any package.

Toast POS Credit Card Processing

Toast handles the processing for all customers. The credit card processing is a flat-rate structure, so you always know the rate you are going to pay, regardless of the type of card used. By Toast managing the credit card processing, it allows them to offer unique features and functionality.

Rewards are tied to credit cards, so your customers can earn points automatically. Additionally, the system acts like a customer relationship management (CRM) tool by collecting information after they swipe or tap their cards. Over time, this builds a detailed customer database that can be used for segmented marketing.

There is only one single rate and no hidden fees or markups at the end of the month. A business knows exactly what the costs are ahead of time. A custom-built rate is created based on your unique card mix.

How to Use the Toast POS System

Toast is one of the most user-friendly products on the market. Not many POS brands give you the option of on-site installation. The additional staff training that comes with that can be invaluable.

To use Toast, simply download the app and sign up for the service. If you are not sure about it, start with the free demo. It’s customized, so you’ll have a feel for the program prior to buying.

Once you have purchased the product, you can choose the type of installation required. If you are new to a point of sale system, it is highly recommended you pay the extra $499 to have a Toast tech come out and help you install. Not only will they ensure you are up and running quickly, but they will also train any staff you need.

Once you have the system operating optimally, there is always a multitude of Toast resources and ongoing education in case you run into any issues. And of course, if all else fails, Toast customer support is some of the best in the business.

Get A Free Demo

Toast POS Features

What people rave about Toast is how user-friendly the program is. The dashboard is straightforward, yet the number of features and integrations offered enables a business to accomplish virtually anything. In addition to point of sale software, a restaurant can add a multitude of other elements. Here is a brief overview of what they offer:

Point of Sale

The POS program is an intuitive experience that you can access at any time, from anywhere. It has all the features you need to run a restaurant, including:

Tableside Service

Toast has developed handheld technology that can withstand the restaurant environment. The tableside service enables your team to optimize time with guests, speed up the checkout process, and accelerate operations.

Payments can be made right at the table with either a card or EMV. Staff can collect and respond to guest feedback immediately, which means fewer bad reviews later on. The tablet even notifies servers the second food is ready, so it never sits in the window getting cold.

Analytics and Reporting

Measure your restaurant’s consistent performance through the Toast Analytics and Reporting feature. You can keep tabs from anywhere, on any device. You always have cloud-based access to key reporting.

With “location overview” you can see a unified view of net sales and labor costs across every location. It’s easy to access a quick sales summary and monitor inventory to identify areas of improvement. It’s all real-time sales, menu, and labor data.

Every night, key business metrics can be sent to your email. All insights are included in one simple report. There is no extra analyses or downloading required. It’s all in the dashboard with mobile access.

Reports can be viewed with a specific filter by days, promotions, or holidays. With comparative reporting, you can quickly compare sales across multiple locations or time periods.

Menu Management

Toast enables a restaurant to master their menu wherever you are. Menu updates can be made at any terminal or device, so you don’t have to wait to 86 a product. Time-sensitive changes can be done instantly.

If you’re running a special, add a menu countdown to 86 a dish. That way, the servers and kitchen can be synced at all times. The menu is cloud-based so even if your wi-fi is down, changes can still be made. All updates are automatically reflected in-house and online. It’s universal.

Payroll and Team Management

This Toast feature allows a restaurant to streamline operations and save time by managing payroll all in one spot. It automatically syncs with the POS system and keeps one employee file across the whole enterprise. That means, there’s no more entering double information on new hires. The data will populate at any store.

Tips are automatically distributed in the system too. This eliminates any time-consuming manual edits at the end of shifts. It also saves from instances of fraud or unfair sharing practices. It means faster timesheet approval and a swifter pay process.

When employees clock in, their hours are automatically synced to payroll. There is no external file or manual entry required. That makes running payroll a smooth and easy process, not the tedious task it usually is for management.

With Toast Payroll and Team Management, a restaurant can easily navigate between different pay rates and types of employees. Obviously, some are tipped with a less hourly rate than others. Paying the back of house is entirely different than paying the front of house. The system will also automate minimum wage calculations and blend overtime across various locations.

The program features tools and HR experts to assist in prioritizing compliance through state and federal labor requirements. Since those change all the time, this feature can save a business a lot of issues down the road. It will also automatically calculate taxes.

Managers can easily approve employee punch data, PTO requests, and shift swaps. All of this will sync to payroll. All stages of the employee lifecycle can be managed with one system. Open enrollment and benefits can also be handled with Toast.

Online Ordering and Delivery

There’s no need to hire a developer and create your own ecommerce site. With Toast, they provide an online ordering system that does it all. You can reduce third-party costs and eliminate the need for extra hardware. Engage guests while avoiding unnecessary fees.

This also means you can reduce staff and labor costs. It empowers your guests to help themselves, which can save tons of time. Many restaurants are hesitant to expand their online presence because of costs. Toast does the opposite and will save you money on digital marketing.

Users online have full menu visibility in real-time. You can easily display add-ons (like extra dressing) or modifiers to leverage sales and increase the average check size. The site is also mobile responsive. So, guests can order from any device, anywhere they are located.

The online site can be customized and branded for business continuity. All personalized orders go straight to the kitchen. This takes one less step out of communication and connects the guest directly to the back of house. There are never any crossed wires.

When a user orders online, the customer data is automatically saved. This makes it simple for your guests to check out the next time they order. It encourages repeat business through convenience.

All updates to your menu and inventory are seamlessly pushed to the online site. After all, you want guests that are ordering digitally, to feel like they’re really in-store. There’s no need to duplicate efforts on your website. The Toast POS system does it automatically.

A business can also set windows for takeout and delivery options. For example, perhaps your restaurant only delivers on weekends. This can be easily conveyed online. Pre-set delivery zones mean better communication as well. People won’t be ordering outside of your district.

Loyalty Programs

Toast Loyalty offers a simple and integrated way to reward your guests and increase customer retention. There are no extra steps for people to opt in. It’s all done with the swipe of a card. To sign up, simply enter a guest’s email when they are checking out. Diners can then log in at any time to check their points balance and update their account.

Every business can customize sign-up bonuses and set accrual/redemption rates. It will even track birthdays for special rewards. The loyalty program fee is one flat fee every month but will keep your sales rolling in.

When a customer returns to the restaurant, management can easily access their order history. This means an educated guess on someone that orders the same thing. And we all know there’s no better way to impress a customer than when you read their mind.

Lastly, you can always run reporting on the program to identify trends. Are people ordering the same thing? Do you need to change inventory? All of this creates deeper insight that can help a business make more informed decisions. It also keeps from wasted stock and over-ordering.

Toast Capital

Toast believes in your business so much they also offer fast and flexible funding. Eligible customers can have access to loans ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 to accomplish their goals. There’s never any compounding interest or late fees; just one fixed cost.

Toast Capital doesn’t require a restaurant to put their assets on the line. You can get funding without the need for a personal guarantee. That means there’s no credit score requirements either. Your restaurant is evaluated historically while taking industry-specific challenges into account.

Repayment works automatically. Every time a guest pays with a credit card a small percentage goes back to repayment. The cost of capital does not change based on the time it takes to repay. The amount held back is based on your restaurant’s projected sales and the total amount of the loan. There is a target repayment date of 270 days but no fixed loan term.

It works like this:

  1. See if you’re pre-qualified.
  2. Apply in just minutes.
  3. Get funding in as soon as one business day.
  4. Automated repayment begins.

Applying for the loan will never affect your credit score. The loan can be used for any business purpose necessary. This includes things like:

  • Covering short term cash flow
  • Purchasing equipment and inventory
  • Refinancing or paying off debt
  • Opening a new location

You get the picture!

Additional Features:

Some extra features to note are:

  • Split checks
  • Digital receipts
  • Runs on Android
  • Orders fire directly to KDS
  • Real-time feedback alerts

Toast POS Hardware

Toast offers some of the most extensive packages of branded POS hardware on the market. Every piece of equipment is built to withstand harsh temperatures and high-pressure environments. You can drop, kick, burn, or drown your tablet and it will still take an order. Here is what Toast has to offer for hardware options and kits:

Toast Flex

This equipment is optimized for speed and ease of use. You can adjust the screen, flip it, and fit it into any restaurant concept. The system has optimized ordering and payment workflows to save both time and money. Additional features include:

  • 14” screen adjusts in three ways
  • 16GB flash memory
  • Low Mode: 6.5” x 14” x 8.6”
  • IP54 durability rating
  • Bluetooth 4.0 BLE

Toast Flex for Kitchen

This kitchen display system (KDS) is designed to withstand the heat. It connects directly to the front of house and online ordering for optimal communication. It will even time the printing by station and prep. Other features include:

  • Swing arm stand
  • 14-inch full HD LCD and touch screen
  • Operating system support: Android 7.1 and future updates
  • 4GB LPDDR4 ram memory
  • Power over ethernet 802.3 at (25.5W) connectivity

Toast Flex for Guest

This hardware is designed to empower guests and keep the lines moving. It gives people the transparency they want with an 8-inch guest screen to show the order. Additional features include:

  • 5 Megapixel fixed-focus camera
  • HDMI, USB, Toast Connector and type-C port
  • 16GB flash memory
  • Wedge mount or direct attach screen
  • Bluetooth 4.0 BLE

Toast Go

This is a fully integrated POS system that fits in the palm of your hand. This makes tableside management and mobile ordering a snap. Everything is built into the tablet and you can expect convenience from features like:

  • Digital signature and receipts
  • Real-time customer feedback with notifications
  • Menu item detail with prompted modifiers
  • Battery life 40% longer than iPads
  • Built-in mag strip and EMV card reader

Kiosk

This is Toast’s true self-service item. Guests can be delighted with a digital ordering experience that will leverage your sales and save on costs. Staff has more time to focus on what matters. Features for this hardware system include:

  • Direct KDS integration
  • Tip on screen
  • Up-sell prompts
  • Scanner integration
  • Additional sales channel

Get A Quote from Toast POS




Quick Overview

Here is a quick overview of which software and hardware accomplishes what for your business:

Front of House

Allow your team to focus on what matters most and free up time.

  • Point of Sale
    • Intuitive and easy to use
    • Table management
    • Real-time reporting and analytics
    • Offline mode
    • Customer loyalty programs
  • Kiosk
    • Easy-to-use interface
    • Scanner integration
    • Tip on screen
    • Custom branding
    • Images of menu items
  • Toast Go
    • Order notifications
    • Automatic menu updates
    • Drop and spill-resistant
    • Tableside payments
    • ¼ hour battery life

Back of House

Increase communication in your kitchen and smooth out operations.

  • Inventory
    • Centralized inventory data
    • COGS reporting
    • Capitalize menu and profitability
    • Variance reporting
    • Waste tracking and over-portioning
  • Kitchen Display System
    • Fire by prep time
    • Double-tap fulfill, single-recall
    • Color-coded modifiers
    • Speed of prep reporting (by station)
    • Integrates with Toast Go
  • Menu Management
    • Multiple locations in one dashboard
    • Operational configuration
    • Restaurant framework template
    • Multi-location labor permissions
    • Global reporting

Guest-Facing Technology

Grow your business and attract new guests. Empower and engage them.

  • Loyalty Programs
    • Credit-card linked program
    • Opt-in at checkout
    • Customizable rewards system
    • Flat monthly fee
    • Simple online points lookup
  • Online Ordering
    • Real-time menu sync
    • Prompted modifiers
    • Save guest data
    • No third-party commission on orders
    • Integrated delivery dispatch
  • Gift Cards
    • Email and SMS digital gift cards
    • E-commerce sales
    • POS integration
    • Branded physical gift cards
    • Connected liability reporting

Back Office Operations

Streamline back office operations and increase efficiency.

  • Payroll
    • Recruit, onboard, and pay benefits
    • Calculate tips and overtime across locations
    • Schedule and swap shifts
    • Payroll administration
    • HR and legal resources also available
  • Reporting and Analytics
    • Full restaurant assessment
    • Live data
    • Mobile accessible
    • Intuitive visuals
    • Automated nightly email
  • Multi-location Management
    • Operational configuration
    • Global reporting
    • Void, payout, and discount parameters
    • Multi-location permissions
    • Restaurant framework template

Partner Ecosystem

Toast enables you to access an entire ecosystem of reliable partners. They offer over 80 different integrations, trusted advisors, and a partner marketplace.

  • Loyalty
  • Inventory
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Administration

Restaurant Types

In addition to already being a niche product (foodservice industry), Toast is designed for restaurant success. Therefore, they break out the offering into several different types and styles of restaurants, which include:

Fine Dining

A full technology suite to deliver an elegant and memorable guest experience.

Casual Dining

In this atmosphere, you need to turn more tables to increase revenue. Toast designs a single platform that allows a casual dining establishment to run more efficiently.

Fast Casual

This custom platform is developed to increase throughput in a fast casual environment that requires a high volume of service.

Bar and Nightclub

This helps with the need for speed. Toast enables you to serve bar patrons fast. It’s an intuitive POS built with the bar atmosphere in mind.

Cafe & Bakery

Turn every customer into a regular with engaging digital experiences and efficient operations.

Enterprise

If you have multiple locations, you need a secure and reliable technology partner like Toast. They give custom quotes for enterprise organizations.

Integrations

One of the most powerful offerings of the Toast POS system is the number of integrations and partnerships they have. Every aspect of running your restaurant can be covered by the Toast brand. There are over 80 separate integrations, so it’s impossible to review them all. However, here are a few quick ones to consider as an add-on:

Accounting

Cohesion offers a comprehensive and full-featured accounting integration that is based in the cloud. It bridges the gap between what Toast has and additional financial systems.

Marketing

Incentivio is a mobile-first and cloud-based marketing platform that enables restaurants to create highly-personalized campaigns that drive sales. It focuses on an all-in-one guest experience.

Inventory Management

Marketman helps to control food costs and cut down on waste. It will automate a lot of your systems so money doesn’t go out the door on food no one is buying.

Additional integrations include:

  • Employee management
  • Online ordering
  • Back of office
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Customer engagement

Reviews and Testimonials

When searching reviews of the Toast platform online, here are some negative and positive ones that stand out:

Positive

  • Set-up: Implementation is solid and the installation process is great when on-site. The transition was very easy.
  • Updates: The program is consistently updated with bigger and better stuff.
  • Mobility: The ability to know how the restaurant is performing when management is not around.
  • Efficiency: Toast tremendously improves efficiency and flow from the front to the back of house.

Negative

  • Customer Service: Although extensive, customer support seems to be understaffed. Answers can take days.
  • Cost: The cost isn’t always transparent as add-ons can greatly increase what you pay monthly.
  • Delivery: The online ordering system needs work. Toast switched away from using Google Maps.
  • Glitchy: The more features you add, the more the system can freeze. This is a major challenge during busy times.

Get A Quote from Toast POS




Final Thoughts

If you are running a restaurant, Toast truly has it all. That being said, it can come at a cost. The more bells and whistles you add, the higher the monthly cost. Remember, add-ons are not a one-time price, they are an ongoing fee.

However, despite the pricing setback, it is one of the only systems on the market to truly cater to the foodservice industry. You can see this in how they design the hardware and integrations for the software. So, if you want a system that will last and can grow with your restaurant business, Toast is probably the system you’re looking for.

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