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Toast Review

Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson

Every business comes with its own set of challenges, but restaurants are in a league of their own. In addition to providing excellent food and service to guests, restaurants have to create new menus, manage staff and collect payments.

Toast

Toast

The Verdict

Toast is our pick for the best online ordering option for restaurants. The POS software includes useful online ordering and payment processing features.

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That's why restaurants benefit from finding the right point-of-sale (POS) system: A POS system provides the hardware and software restaurants need to manage day-to-day operations. If you're looking for an intuitive, all-in-one POS system for your restaurant, Toast is one of the best options available. Whether you're a mom-and-pop bakery or an enterprise company with multiple restaurant locations, Toast likely has a solution to fit your needs.

Toast

Pricing/value 9.3/10
Features 9.6/10
Hardware 8.8/10
Ease of use 9.6/10
Customer support 9.4/10
Editor's score 9.3/10

 

Toast Pricing and Terms

Regardless of the size or type of restaurant you run, Toast offers flexible, customizable packages. There's a monthly software subscription, optional hardware costs and installation, and add-on features to choose from. It's unclear how much the company charges in processing fees, but its website promises a competitive flat rate for all transactions.

The company's subscriptions start at $75 per month, though the first month is free. You'll receive all of the core POS features, like the ability to accept payments, take orders, manage your menu and track your data.

The starter plan comes with one terminal, but you can purchase additional terminals as needed. All Toast customers receive 24/7 customer support.

Toast also offers the following add-on services that are beneficial to most restaurants:

Toast users can add on payroll and team management services.

Toast doesn't list the pricing for these add-on services on its website. The best way to find out what you can expect to pay is by contacting the company to schedule a demo. 

FYIFYI: The company's subscriptions start at $75 per month, though the first month is free. 

Toast Features

Here are the main features you'll receive when you sign up for Toast POS:

POS System

Toast's all-in-one POS system comes with everything you need to run your restaurant. You'll get restaurant-grade hardware, ranging from handheld devices to self-serve kiosks. And because the POS system is cloud-based, you can manage your restaurant from any device or location.

The Toast POS dashboard has a clear, convenient layout.

Here are the main features of the POS system:

  • Tableside service: Servers can easily take orders, collect payments and request guest feedback using Toast's handheld technology. This speeds up the ordering process and improves the customer experience.
  • Analytics: Toast's detailed reporting features give you insight into your restaurant's sales and costs, and you can see how these numbers have increased or decreased over time.
  • Menu management: The menu management features allow you to update and edit your menu right from your smartphone. You can add short-term promotions and item countdowns, and any changes you make show up in the front and back of the house automatically.
Toast simplifies menu management for your restaurant.

Toast Now

Toast Now is a feature that helps businesses acclimate to some of the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. If you're new to things such as online ordering, this service may be a great option for you. And no additional hardware is required to sign up.

Here is an overview of what you'll receive with Toast Now:

  • Online ordering: With online ordering, customers can preorder their meals, thus allowing you to manage your orders during peak dining hours. You can integrate the service with your website and social media channels so that it's easier for customers to find your restaurant.
  • Takeout: The company's mobile ordering app allows customers to place orders for curbside pickup.
  • Contactless delivery: Many customers want to continue ordering food from restaurants but aren't comfortable with in-person dining. If you add Toast Delivery Services, you'll have access to a network of local drivers who will deliver meals for you, and customers will be able to track the status of their delivery in real time.
  • Email marketing: Toast's email marketing service allows you to create automated campaigns that bring in new customers and re-engage customers who haven't done business with you in a while.

Online Ordering

Toast's online ordering service is a convenient feature for your guests, and it creates a seamless experience for your restaurant as well. Customers can place a new order on your website or through your mobile app, and it's sent directly to the kitchen, thereby eliminating the likelihood of errors or double entries.

Anytime you update your menu, those changes are automatically reflected in the options available for online ordering. By offering this service, you'll be able to leverage a wealth of customer data that will inform your marketing, menu and business strategy going forward.

Best of all, Toast doesn't charge any commissions or hidden fees. Instead, you'll pay a flat monthly rate. According to Toast, the average customer saves $36,000 per year by implementing the online ordering feature. 

TipTip: According to Toast, the average customer saves $36,000 per year by implementing the online ordering feature.

Delivery Services

Offering a delivery service is a huge benefit to customers, but you may not want to hire your own delivery drivers. With Toast Delivery Services, a network of local drivers will be dispatched every time a customer places a new online order.

Guests can schedule their orders and then track the delivery in real time, and every delivery is contactless. The benefit of using this service over a third-party provider such as DoorDash is that once the order is placed, the data remains in your system, and you can continue to build a relationship with your customers. 

Order and Pay

Order and Pay allows customers who prefer in-person dining to place new orders and pay for their food using their own mobile device. They can access the menu, modify their order and pay for their meal right from their mobile phone.

Customers can order and pay on their smartphones.

This feature helps your restaurant operate more efficiently by minimizing the back-and-forth between guests and restaurant staff. Plus, guests don't have to wait for a server to deliver their menu or the check, which improves your table turnover.

Loyalty Program

You can use Toast to boost engagement and drive long-term loyalty from your customers. With this flexible loyalty program, customers will earn points every time they swipe their credit cards.

You can customize the way customers earn and redeem their points. For instance, you can offer birthday rewards and sign-up bonuses. Customers can track their progress toward earning a reward at any point.

You don't need additional hardware to implement a loyalty program, and Toast charges a flat monthly fee for the service.

Toast Advantages

Toast offers a flexible solution that can accommodate restaurants of various types and sizes. The POS system is a good option for bars, bakeries, cafes and restaurants that offer fine dining or casual dining. In addition to its versatility, here are some additional benefits of Toast's POS solution:

  • All-in-one POS system: You can use Toast to accept payments, manage the front- and back-of-house operations, enable online ordering for customers and more.
  • Hardware and software: With Toast, you'll have access to both the hardware and software your business needs. You can either purchase it as one package or opt for the software alone.
  • Intuitive software: Toast POS is fairly intuitive and easy to use.
  • Detailed reporting features: Toast gives you real-time access to data about your customers, menu options and restaurant staff. The company will send you reports of your data, so there's no need to check it all the time.
  • 24/7 customer support: If problems arise, you'll have access to 24/7 customer support through phone, email or web chat.

Toast Limitations

Toast has some additional hardware costs for some users, and it is only compatible with Android devices. Additionally, the company strongly recommends using Toast hardware, which could quickly become expensive if you need to replace existing POS hardware.

Image Credit: Rawpixel / Getty Images
Toast

Toast

The Verdict

Toast is our pick for the best online ordering option for restaurants. The POS software includes useful online ordering and payment processing features.

Visit Site
Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
business.com Contributing Writer
Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about finance and business. She has also written for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fox Business and Business Insider. Jamie has written about a variety of B2B topics like finance, business funding options and accounting. She also writes about how businesses can grow through effective social media and email marketing strategies.