Toast is our choice for the best restaurant POS system for online ordering. It lets restaurants control ordering flow during peak times with dynamic order throttling. Its delivery services, order and pay functions, and loyalty programs are also top-notch.
Toast is one of the industry’s best restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems. It’s an intuitive, all-in-one POS system that provides the hardware and software restaurants need to manage day-to-day operations. Toast’s extensive online ordering and delivery options set it apart from the competition. We were impressed by its commission-free online ordering features and the fact that you get access to an on-demand network of delivery drivers with Toast Delivery Services. Whether you run a mom-and-pop bakery or manage multiple restaurant locations, Toast likely has a solution to fit your needs.
9.5 / 10
Toast is a flexible POS system that can accommodate restaurants, bakeries, and cafes of various sizes and types — whether they’re casual eateries or fine dining establishments. It’s also an excellent bar POS system with many built-in features bar owners will appreciate. We like that you can use Toast to accept payments, manage front- and back-of-house operations, and enable online ordering for your customers. In addition, we appreciate that Toast offers a wide selection of restaurant-specific hardware and helpful software add-ons like delivery services and loyalty programs. Not all restaurant POS systems have this breadth of features.
We especially like that Toast’s online ordering system doesn’t charge you a commission and that guests can easily order and schedule meals online. We were impressed that Toast’s online ordering system is completely integrated with its POS software and that restaurants can throttle orders when needed. We also love that Toast offers an on-demand fleet of delivery drivers, something few competitors offer. For these reasons, Toast is our top restaurant POS choice for online ordering.
Toast’s restaurant online ordering system allows guests to order takeout and delivery directly from you. Image source: Toast
Toast’s POS system is intuitive and easy to use — one of the reasons why nearly 80,000 restaurants across the country use the platform We like that the company offers various hardware options to simplify the server and customer experience. For example, servers can easily take orders, collect payments, and request guest feedback using Toast’s in-restaurant tablets. Toast’s mobile functionality speeds up the ordering process and improves the customer experience. An exciting feature we didn’t see many competitors match is the Toast Order & Pay add-on — an impressive mobile solution that allows dine-in guests to order and pay from their tables.
Customization options are also straightforward. Once you subscribe, you’ll be provided with ways to use your menus more efficiently. Compared to most other POS systems, Toast gives you a significant amount of training materials and tutorials to make life easier for everyone using the platform. If you can’t find answers in the training materials, refer to Toast’s online database of information and troubleshooting tips.
Dine-in guests can pay at their tables using Toast mobile hardware. Image source: Toast
Toast’s all-in-one POS system provides everything you need to run your restaurant. You get restaurant-grade hardware such as handheld devices and self-serve kiosks. Because Toast is a cloud-based POS system, you can manage your restaurant from any device or location.
Here are some notable POS features Toast offers.
Toast’s online ordering functionality impressed us. The service is convenient for guests and creates a seamless experience for your restaurant. Customers can place a new order on your website or mobile app; when they do, that order goes directly to the kitchen, eliminating the risk of errors or double entries. We also like that customers can preorder meals, which allows you to better manage orders during peak dining hours.
Another unique feature we liked is that any menu changes or updates you make are automatically reflected in available online ordering options. This service helps restaurants leverage a wealth of customer data to inform your marketing, menu and business strategy going forward.
Best of all, Toast doesn’t charge commissions or hidden POS charges and fees like some vendors do for online ordering. You’ll pay a flat monthly rate for the service.
Customer orders are sent directly to the kitchen via Toast’s display system. Image source: Toast
We love Toast’s delivery service option. While delivery service benefits customers, many restaurants don’t want to hire delivery drivers. While some POS systems we reviewed integrate with third-party delivery services like DoorDash, we were impressed that Toast offers its own fleet of delivery drivers. With Toast Delivery Services, a network of local drivers will be dispatched every time a customer places an online order. Customers can schedule their orders and track delivery in real time; every delivery is contactless.
We really liked Toast Order & Pay — a newer feature that enhances Toast’s online usability. This add-on service allows customers who prefer in-person dining to place new orders and pay for their food on their mobile devices while inside your restaurant. They can access the menu, modify orders, and pay for their meal right from their phone while seated at their table.
Toast Order & Pay helps restaurants operate more efficiently by minimizing the back-and-forth between guests and staff. Also, guests don’t have to wait for a server to deliver their menu or the check, speeding up table turnover. While some competitors offer mobile apps, we like that this one is specifically intended for digital ordering while dining in-house.
With the Toast Order & Pay mobile add-on, dine-in guests can order and pay at their tables. Image source: Toast
We like that Toast provides customized tipping options. Tips can be automatically calculated, and payouts can be distributed evenly across restaurant staff.
Toast developed a partnership with Google that allows customers to see images, menus and reviews in the same place. This gives Toast a larger online presence and greater control over the ordering channels. The integration between Order With Google and Toast means that restaurants can adjust all their settings in the same place.
We like that you can use Toast to boost engagement, drive long-term customer loyalty, and earn repeat business. With the system’s flexible customer loyalty program, customers can earn points every time they swipe their credit cards at your restaurant — or you can customize how customers earn and redeem their points. For example, you could offer birthday rewards and sign-up bonuses.
Customers can use ToastApp (available on Android and iOS) to track their progress toward a reward at any point. You don’t need additional hardware to implement this loyalty program, and Toast charges a flat monthly fee for the service, similar to other POS vendors we reviewed.
We like that Toast can integrate with over 80 third-party applications, including the most widely used restaurant software. This integration level is competitive with the industry standard and useful for streamlining business processes.
Toast’s detailed POS reports add to its usability, giving you insights into your restaurant’s sales and costs, including how these numbers have increased or decreased over time. This can help you find ways to make adjustments and increase your restaurant’s profits.
Toast’s detailed reporting and analytics functions provide insights into your restaurant’s operations. Image source: Toast
In regard to POS system costs, we appreciate that regardless of your restaurant’s size or type, Toast offers flexible, customizable POS packages. There’s a monthly software subscription, optional hardware costs and installation, and add-on features to select.
We really appreciate Toast’s free Quick Start Bundle plan — something few competitors offer. The company also offers the Growth plan (starting at $165 per month), the New Restaurant Basics package (starting at $110 per month, plus $4 per employee per month) and a Build Your Own plan (pricing based on the services you need).
The following features and services will benefit most restaurants, but they cost extra:
When testing out Toast’s POS, we noticed it handles credit card processing internally, so you can’t partner with a third-party payment processor. Toast will work with your restaurant to establish a payment processing rate that fits your needs.
We like that Toast offers multiple plans and add-on features so restaurant owners can create a POS package that fits their needs. You can begin with the Quick Start Bundle plan, expand with the Growth plan, or create a completely customized plan. Toast also offers a more basic version of its Growth plan with the New Restaurant Basics package, which can be a great option if you’re just starting a restaurant.
We appreciate that you can choose from various add-ons to customize Toast’s POS plans. It may take a while to select and tailor each option to your business, but the software can greatly streamline your restaurant’s operations after implementation.
We were impressed by how easy it is to modify Toast’s POS as your business’s needs change. For example, the menu management features allow you to update and edit your menu from your smartphone. You can add short-term promotions and item countdowns; changes automatically appear in the system. We also like that each plan comes with installations and network configurations, as well as automatic software and feature upgrades.
We like that each Toast plan includes 24/7 phone, email and chat customer support, making it perfect for restaurants that operate at different times. This is fairly common in the POS industry, and for good reason — many restaurants are open late and may often need assistance outside of regular business hours.
Access Toast support for onboarding, implementation and troubleshooting via its website. Image source: Toast
We found a few Toast limitations during our evaluation process.
We researched and analyzed dozens of highly rated solutions to identify the best POS systems on the market. We looked at pricing, contracts, hardware, platform compatibility, features, reports, payment processing, integrations, usability and customer support. We watched product videos and even got hands-on experience with demos when possible. When choosing the best POS system for online ordering, we prioritized restaurant-specific features, online ordering features, integrations, delivery options and loyalty programs.
Toast typically offers two-year contracts for its cloud-based POS software. However, you can make affordable monthly payments instead of paying for your entire term upfront. Toast offers custom rates and contracts for select restaurants as well.
Toast Ordering is an online ordering system that enables restaurants to offer takeout and delivery services directly from their websites. It’s a commission-free service that integrates with your POS system. The platform can be modified to match your business’s brand, and you can edit functions to add promotions, remove items, and throttle online orders.