Toast, a Boston-based POS company, offers an all-in-one restaurant POS system that has a variety of features and services to help you run your restaurant smoothly. It can be used by all restaurant types, including full- and quick-service, bars, pizzerias and food trucks. Restaurants of all sizes, with one or multiple locations, can use Toast. This restaurant POS system is Android-based, giving restauranteurs that prefer this platform a solid alternative to iPad-based systems.
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Toast Pricing and Terms
Toast posts starting rates for its software subscription, hardware bundle and installation packages, giving you a ballpark idea of whether the system is in your budget. You'll need to contact the company for a pricing quote specific to your business.
- The cost for a Toast subscription may be as low as $79 each month if you choose the annual subscription and qualify for a volume discount.
- For an additional cost, you can add modules to the system. Prices for these add-ons are no longer listed on the company's website, but when we last reviewed this system, the inventory module costs $75 per month, online ordering and gift card modules cost $50 each per month, and the loyalty programs module costs $25 per month.
Toast requires you to sign a contract to use its services. After the initial term, the contract automatically renews for additional one-year terms, unless you submit a cancellation request within 30 days of the term's expiration date. The company posts its merchant agreement on its website, and you should read it before signing up, as you would with any POS provider.
Toast works on Android devices running Android 4.0 or better, though only certain tablets are compatible with Toast's card readers, which is something to consider if you want to accept payments tableside. In addition to using tablets as handheld devices that your servers use to take orders and payments, you can pair them with peripherals to create a checkout station, a kitchen display system and set them up as self-serve kiosks that your guests can use to order and pay.
You'll need to purchase POS hardware from Toast. It discourages purchasing equipment from a third party or using the equipment you already own and only provides support for the hardware it sells you.
- Toast's most popular POS hardware bundle starts at $899 and includes a terminal, flip stand and magnetic card reader.
Implementation comes at an additional cost as part of the installation process, Toast sets up your menu for you, which can be a timesaver. If you subscribe to the online ordering module, Toast creates a customizable webpage for you.
- Remote installation starts at $499.
Toast's restaurant POS system has an impressive selection of features. Its table management screen shows you which tables are occupied and which are free so you can seat customers efficiently. It has an item countdown feature that lets your servers know how many orders of a limited menu item are available. After orders are placed, Toast tracks how long it takes until the meal is served as well as how long it takes for tables to turn over, helping you gauge the efficiency of your restaurant.
If your servers assign customers a seat number when taking orders, splitting checks is simple, even for large groups. You can also split checks by item. If you offer takeout, delivery and catering, it can help you run this side of your business as well.
With this restaurant POS system, you can offer customers discounts for timed events, such as happy hour, BOGO promotions and item-specific discounts. You can preauthorize bar tabs with the swipe of a credit card, and if you use Toast's loyalty program, it's linked to customer credit cards and automatically accumulates points when they pay.
If you need the system to track inventory, you can add Toast's inventory module to your system. It tracks stock at the ingredient level in real time. Although it doesn't create purchase orders, it gives you reorder suggestions for your vendors when your supplies begin to run low.
Toast's reports are cloud-based, so you can access real-time data remotely. It shows your sales and labor costs, and you can drill down on the information that's most useful to you, such as sales per hour or day of the week.
Many third-party integrations are available with Toast, and you can use them to customize your restaurant POS system with additional functionality or connect to business applications you already use.
Toast isn't compatible with other payment processors, meaning you must use Toast as your credit card processor. This may be inconvenient if you're currently under contract with another processor. Toast has flat-rate pricing, but its rate isn't posted online so you'll need to contact the company for a pricing quote.
If you need customer support, you can contact the company 24/7 by phone, email and live chat. The company also offers several online resources, including a searchable knowledgebase, blog, guides and tools. You can see release notes on its support page or set up the system to email them to you.
Toast's terms are more restrictive than many of its competitors' – the company requires you to sign a contract and use its payment processing services. It also discourages you from using POS hardware you already own.
It isn't as transparent with its pricing as its competitors, showing only starting rates rather than a full menu of subscription options and add-ons. It also omits its payment processing rates, which is curious since it offers flat rates and most processors with this type of pricing are open with this information.
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