Toast POS Review: Features, Pros & Cons (2024)

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Looking for a way to streamline your restaurant operations?

You might want to consider Toast, a software company based in Boston that specializes in restaurant management.

Their platform is designed specifically for restaurants and integrates numerous functionalities such as POS, operations, digital ordering, delivery, marketing, loyalty programs, team management, financial technology solutions, and platform services.

In this review, I will provide a more detailed look into Toast POS’s offerings and potential benefits for your restaurant operations.

graphic showing the Toast POS system
Toast
4.5
Free quick-start bundle. Core plan starts at $69/month

The most innovative POS system on the market

Best for restaurants that want a complete restaurant management system.

Pros:
  • Toast Tables Reservation system
  • Scales with restaurant growth
  • Online ordering and delivery integrations
  • Intuitive interface
  • Highly customizable
Cons:
  • Android only
  • Locked into Toast payment processing
  • Limited quick service features
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Toast POS at a Glance

Toast has made significant strides in recent years, carving out a significant niche in the restaurant technology industry. Their mission is to equip you with technology designed to address pressing issues such as labor shortages, inflation, and fluctuating food costs.

Their point-of-sale (POS) system, developed on the Android operating system, offers an array of features including online ordering, delivery, and takeout services, all aimed at enhancing your restaurant operations.

Toast’s pricing structure is designed with flexibility in mind, catering to establishments of all sizes – from small eateries to larger restaurants. They also prioritize customer support, offering round-the-clock assistance via phone, email, and chat, in addition to providing comprehensive training and onboarding services.

By 2023, Toast POS has reportedly expanded its footprint to over 99,000 US restaurants, a testament to its growing popularity and reliability.

Read more: Toast Posts Strong Q3 Results: Takeaways for Restaurants

Recognizing its continuous innovation, Fast Company hailed Toast as one of the most innovative companies of 2023 (Source). Despite these advancements, Toast remains committed to keeping its pricing competitive, making it a top choice among restaurant POS systems in the current market for many, including me.

Toast hardware devices

Toast Pricing & Hardware Options

Here is the pricing plan for the Quick Start Bundle, Core, and Growth plan:

Quick Start Bundle: Starting at $0/month

A great match for food trucks or single-location cafes, this shop-and-go option includes initial hardware and our basic POS software. Features include cloud-based point of sale and hardware setup including one terminal (additional charges apply for subsequent devices).

Core Plan: Subscription starting at $69/month

Ideal for any restaurant looking to streamline operations and provide faster service, with flexible options to meet your specific needs. This package includes powerful cloud-based point of sale with reporting and analytics, simple, flat rate payment processing with real-time fraud monitoring, mobile dining solutions, including digital menus and mobile payments, and 24/7/365 customer care, with installation support.

Growth Plan: Subscription starting at $165/month

A software bundle including online ordering and delivery software for restaurants looking to add more revenue streams. This plan includes everything in Core, plus Toast Online Ordering, Toast Delivery Services, and Toast TakeOut App.

Please note that additional features and software are available for each plan, and you can pair each plan with a hardware setup of your choosing.

Credit card processing fees: You cannot opt to use a third-party payment processor as Toast will handle all credit and debit card transactions for you.

Toast believes that customers should receive more than just transaction reports from their card processor. To achieve this goal, they combine their card processing service with technology that engages with customers.

The information gathered from customers can then be used by restaurants to understand them better and create more targeted marketing campaigns.

As for the fees, Toast customizes the rates for processing card transactions based on the specific needs of your restaurant. 

Toast is available in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland.

Toast is a great solution for you if you are a small or medium-sized restaurant or coffee shop.

Toast’s goal of becoming a total restaurant management platform benefits restaurants by providing them with similar technology and tools that larger chains have access to but at a fraction of the cost of big enterprise systems.

This allows you to compete with larger chains in terms of restaurant technology adoption, as well as providing you with the ability to increase your revenue and customer satisfaction.

According to a study conducted by Toast, independent restaurants running on their all-in-one platform outperformed peers by up to 30% during the pandemic. This was attributed to investments in digital ordering and contactless payments technology, which allowed restaurants to provide a safe and convenient ordering experience for their customers.

Toast’s delivery and takeout features are especially beneficial for smaller restaurants. Toast’s Order & Pay feature allows customers to order and pay for their meals online, reducing wait times and increasing efficiency.

Small or medium-sized restaurants can also use Toast’s delivery services to offer low-cost delivery options, allowing them to compete with larger chains that have their own delivery fleets.

Toast Flex is a handheld device constructed for you to swiftly take orders and process payments. Its design is spill-resistant, allowing you to conveniently manage contactless payment types like swipe, dip, or tap.

Toast Go device

Designed for smaller establishments such as coffee shops and restaurants with minimal counter space, Toast Go is an all-in-one portable device. You can take orders, process payments, and print receipts without swapping gadgets.

Toast Kiosk offers your customers a self-ordering experience. They can pick their dishes using a large, interactive touchscreen display. Particularly beneficial for quick-service restaurants, this device plays a helpful role in reducing wait times and enhancing the customer experience.

The Toast Terminal is a comprehensive countertop setup, covering a touchscreen display, card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer, all ready to go.

Toast customer facing display

Toast Display, a customer-facing setup, supports you in managing restaurant orders. It gives you the ability to monitor orders in real-time and handle your inventory.

Bear in mind, that hardware costs differ based on the configuration you opt for, and some devices come included in certain plans. Should you require a tailored quote, you should reach out directly to the Toast team.

What Makes Toast Stand Out

  • Toast is a Complete and Scalable Restaurant Management System: This end-to-end platform enables operations between your front and back-of-house teams while catering to restaurants of all sizes. It allows you to expand your operations seamlessly as you grow.
  • Rapid Development of New Features: Toast constantly introduces new features to help your business adapt to the latest consumer trends and preferences. This not only increases efficiency but also ensures you can keep up with the evolving restaurant industry.
  • Built for Restaurants: Toast boasts features catered to different types of restaurants, like fast food chains, fine dining, and casual eateries. Their focus on the industry enables you to adopt a POS system that understands your needs.
  • Toast Tables is a restaurant reservation feature that competes with other services like OpenTable and Resy. The platform allows your customers to book a table or be put on a waiting list directly through your restaurant’s website or app.
  • Omnichannel Service and Online Ordering: Toast helps you operate seamlessly across mobile, online, and in-person ordering channels. This supports online, pick-up, and delivery options to not only cater to evolving customer preferences but also enhance convenience while increasing sales through digital channels.

Where Toast Can Improve

  • Locked into Toast Payment Processing: Users are required to use Toast’s in-house credit card processing solution, restricting their ability to shop around for potentially better or more affordable alternatives.
  • Add-ons Can Get Expensive: While Toast POS offers a range of valuable add-ons to help restaurants enhance their operations, these extra features often come with additional costs. These expenses might be prohibitive, especially for small or start-up establishments looking to maintain a low-budget operation.
  • Not Very Transparent Pricing: Another downside of Toast POS is the lack of transparent pricing information on the website, including the various hardware bundles and add-on features. This can make it difficult for potential clients to compare Toast POS with other providers.
  • Only Available in a Few English-speaking Countries: Toast is only available in a select few English-speaking countries, limiting access for restaurants operating outside these markets. This geographical restriction may make Toast POS less desirable for global or multi-national brands looking for a comprehensive solution across all their locations.

Toast Review Summary

When I researched Toast, my initial reaction was one of awe due to the sheer number of features available in a single platform.

It’s clear that since Toast’s inception in 2011, they have quickly developed and are always integrating new features into the platform. I’ve been striving to pinpoint any missing features without avail.

Every feature you would anticipate from a restaurant POS is included, or available as an add-on or integration, and ready to deploy.

And, of course, a marketplace that is integrated with Google that allows your customers to order directly from Google’s search results page.

I would be surprised if you encountered any feature limitations. The number of features and customization capabilities makes the learning curve slightly steeper compared to more limited POS systems.

I strongly believe that the features Toast offers are more than enough for most businesses.

Although I found the website builder initially lacking, it is still a great way to quickly create a site utilizing the data stored in Toast.

To make it simple, I recommend that restaurants use a website builder such as Squarespace or Shopify to sell products online.

However, as mentioned above, the new integration with Google is very easy to use and might be enough for many smaller restaurants or coffee shops.

Toast POS User Reviews

Below is a comprehensive summary and analysis of the prevailing user reviews on Toast, as featured on the major review websites.

Positive Toast POS User Reviews and Testimonials

  • User-Friendly Interface: Many Toast users express satisfaction with the system’s user-friendly interface. They find that the software is easy to navigate, and training new employees is straightforward due to its intuitive design.
  • Customization and Flexibility: Users appreciate the high level of customization available with Toast POS. The system allows them to tailor the POS to their specific business needs, from table layouts to menu configurations.
  • Comprehensive Reporting: The reporting features of Toast POS are praised by several users. They find the reports easy to tailor to their needs and are pleased with the ability to download them into different formats for further analysis.
  • Effective Tableside Ordering: The handheld devices for tableside ordering receive high marks for their ease of use and ability to increase efficiency for service staff, allowing them to spend more time with guests.
  • Mobile and Cloud-Based: Toast’s mobile compatibility and cloud-based platform are highlighted as beneficial, enabling business owners to manage their operations and access real-time data from anywhere.

Negative Toast POS User Reviews & Opinions

  • Technical Problems and Outages: Some reviewers report experiencing technical issues with the system, including network-wide crashes and offline payment processing errors, which occasionally cause entry errors and disrupt operations.
  • Additional Costs and Fees: Fees associated with certain features and payment processing rates are a point of contention for some users, who believe these fees can be excessive and not fully transparent.
  • Limited Quick Service Features: Toast POS is criticized by some quick service restaurants for its limited feature set tailored to their business model, suggesting improvements in order management and throttling.
  • Problematic Payroll Service: There are some complaints specifically about Toast’s payroll service, with users advising others to avoid it due to errors in tax reporting and other difficulties.
  • Installation and Setup Challenges: A few users find the self-install process to be complicated, noting that initial setup could be smoother and sometimes requires intervention from company representatives.

While many users describe Toast POS as a well-rounded and effective system for their restaurant and retail needs, the reviews also reflect areas where improvements are desired, such as customer service responsiveness, the feature set for quick service environments, and more transparent fee structures.

Key Features of Toast POS

Now, let’s dive deep and explore the inner workings of Toast.

But, before I review the key features, it is important to note that usability is essential. So I will begin this section by covering ease of use.

Ease of Use: User-friendly interface

One of the key features of Toast is its user-friendly interface. I find that the system has a modern, intuitive design with easy-to-use navigation tools that make it simple for staff to perform a wide range of tasks quickly and efficiently.

The interface is customizable, allowing you to set up the system to match the specific needs of your business.

Intuitive navigation and design

Toast has a clear and intuitive layout both on the web interface and on its POS hardware. The system is organized logically and straightforwardly, with all the key functions accessible from the main screen.

The design is clean and modern, with a simple color scheme that is easy on the eyes. This helps to reduce eye strain and fatigue, making it easier for you to work for extended periods without feeling overwhelmed.

Staff training and onboarding

Toast comes with a range of training and onboarding tools to help you get up to speed quickly. As I said above, one of my favorite features of Toast is that includes so many well-produced training videos and a detailed knowledge base, and online tutorials that cover all aspects of the system.

In addition, Toast offers in-person training and support to help staff members become familiar with the system and learn how to use it effectively. This includes on-site training, webinars, and live chat support.

Integration with Third-Party Apps and Services

You want to have a POS software that has integrations with a wide range of third-party apps and services, allowing you to customize your POS system to meet your unique needs.

What I like about Toast is its open API, so restaurants can integrate with popular apps and services such as online ordering platforms, loyalty programs, accounting software, and more.

For example, Toast integrates with popular online ordering platforms like Grubhub and Uber Eats, allowing restaurants to manage their online orders directly from their Toast POS system.

Toast also integrates with loyalty programs like LevelUp and Paytronix, allowing restaurants to easily track and manage their customer rewards programs.

In addition to these popular integrations, Toast’s open API allows for custom integrations with other third-party apps and services. Restaurants can even work with Toast’s development team to create custom integrations that meet their unique needs, whether it’s integrating with a specialized inventory management system or a custom reporting tool.

You will appreciate Toast’s robust integration options.

Menu Management Features and Customization

Toast-menu-builder

Restaurant owners can easily create and customize menus, add or remove items, and adjust pricing as needed. The system also allows for easy menu changes and updates, which is particularly useful for seasonal or rotating menus.

Toast Tables – Reservation & Waitlist Management

Toast Tables is an exciting new platform for making restaurant reservations that competes with other services like OpenTable and Resy. The platform allows customers to book a table or be put on a waiting list directly through the restaurant’s website or app.

In addition to these features, Toast Tables has extended its partnership with Google, enabling restaurant customers to make reservations on Toast Tables directly from the restaurant’s Google Business Profile.

Key features for restaurant owners

Integrated Reservation and Waitlist Management: Toast Tables integrates with other Toast POS and Kitchen Display Systems. By using this system, you are able to handle reservations, waitlists, and orders in a single platform.

Real-Time Table Updates: You can use real-time updates for the table status to keep track of guest orders, order fulfillment, and payment for their meals.

Personalized Guest Profiles: With Toast Tables, you can make individualized profiles for guests. This feature can aid restaurants in predicting customer preferences, acknowledging special events, and appreciating loyal customers or important guests.

Collaboration with Google: The collaboration with Google allows guests to book a reservation through Toast Tables directly on a restaurant’s Google Business Profile. This means that users who are searching for restaurants on Google can book a table on Toast Tables without leaving the search results page.

Cost Savings: Toast customers can use the system to avoid the expenses of third-party reservation platforms. They can pay a fixed monthly fee without any per-cover charges and select from various package options based on their seating policies.

Improved Capacity Management: The system simplifies seating capacity management for restaurants, offering helpful features such as estimated wait times, automated notifications, and two-way SMS messaging. These features aid in managing customer expectations and cutting down on no-shows.

Marketing and Loyalty Program Integration: Before their visit, guests are able to check out the menu and sign up for the restaurant’s loyalty program. This helps to encourage repeat visits by providing guests with valuable offers and allowing for ongoing communication.

Although Toast Tables has impressive features, it will be challenging to enter the reservation market that is currently dominated by major players such as OpenTable and Resy. However, Toast’s history of successfully introducing new services, such as online ordering, establishes a solid basis for this feature.

Toast FOH setup

Table Management with Toast Tables

The app also allows restaurant staff to manage their tables from anywhere in the restaurant using their handheld devices.

This enables them to see who’s waiting for a table, add them to the queue as they arrive at the door, assign them seats when they arrive at the restaurant, monitor their progress through their meal, collect payment from each guest, and keep track of how many tables are occupied versus how many remain empty throughout each shift.

Toast table ordering

Toast Tableside Ordering and Payments

Tableside ordering and payments are becoming increasingly popular in the restaurant industry, and Toast POS offers a solution for both. With Toast’s tableside ordering feature, servers can take orders directly from the table using a handheld device.

This allows for faster and more accurate order entry, as well as the ability to customize orders on the spot. Additionally, the tableside ordering feature can integrate with the kitchen display system, allowing orders to be sent directly to the kitchen for preparation.

Toast’s tableside payment feature allows for a seamless and secure payment process at the table. Guests can split the check, add tips, and pay with a credit card or mobile wallet all from the convenience of their table. This feature not only improves the guest experience but also increases table turnover and reduces wait times.

To use tableside ordering and payments, restaurants must have a compatible POS hardware bundle that includes a handheld device and a card reader.

Customizable Menu Options

Toast offers customizable menu options, allowing businesses to tailor their offerings to the specific needs and preferences of their customers.

The software includes tools for menu customization, allowing businesses to offer a variety of options for customers with different dietary needs or preferences.

Toast POS software provides tools for menu customization, including the ability to add or remove items, modify descriptions and pricing, and create special menus for events or promotions.

The system also provides valuable data and analytics that can help businesses make informed decisions about their menu offerings.

The software tracks sales data and customer feedback, allowing businesses to identify popular items and trends and make adjustments to their menu accordingly.

Customizable menu options allow businesses to streamline operations and reduce waste.

By tracking sales data and inventory levels, businesses can ensure that they are ordering the right amount of ingredients and reducing waste from unused or spoiled items.

Toast Ordering & Payment Features

Payment Processing

Toast POS has a payment processor, with support for multiple payment types including credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. The system also allows for the easy splitting of checks and tips, helping to streamline the payment process for customers and staff alike.

However, Toast is the only payment processor available and Toast charges a percentage fee for each transaction. Selected payment methods may come with varying transaction fees, so be sure to review your options before making a decision.

Toast Online Ordering and Delivery Management

As you know, in today’s digital age, many customers prefer to order food online and have it delivered directly to their doorstep.

Toast Online ordering

A key feature of Toast POS for restaurants is its online ordering and delivery management capabilities, which allow businesses to easily manage online orders and deliveries.

This is one of Toast’s strong points and also partly explains the huge growth of Toast as a platform in recent years.

Customers can place orders online and pay directly through the platform, with orders automatically sent to the kitchen display system for preparation.

The delivery management feature of Toast POS allows businesses to manage deliveries in real time, with the ability to track orders, assign drivers, and provide delivery status updates to customers.

This feature helps your business to streamline its delivery operations, reducing the risk of errors or delays and providing a better experience for customers.

Toast Mobile and Pay

Toast Mobile Order & Pay offers a convenient, all-inclusive mobile ordering and payment solution. Your guests can simply scan the QR code to explore your favorite menu items, place an order and pay right on their phone.

This feature is designed to help restaurants cover more tables with reduced staff and increase revenue by allowing guests to order and pay from their phones.

According to Toast restaurants that add Toast Mobile Order & Pay typically see an average increase between 10% and 12% in Toast processing volume.

Toast Contactless Payments

In the wake of the pandemic, contactless payments have become increasingly important in the restaurant industry. With Toast’s contactless payment feature, your guests can pay for their meals without having to touch a shared credit card machine or exchange cash. Toast offers several contactless payment options, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and tap-to-pay credit cards.

Toast’s card reader is also EMV-compliant, meaning it meets the latest security standards for credit card transactions.

Toast’s contactless payment feature is fully integrated with the Toast POS system, allowing for seamless payment processing and real-time reporting.

Contactless payments not only provide a safer and more hygienic payment option for guests, but they also allow for faster table turnover and reduced wait times.

Toast Online Ordering with Google

Toast recently announced the launch of its Order with Google integration, which allows restaurants using Toast Online Ordering to unlock a new channel for more orders.

This is a really smooth ordering process for any potential customer searching for restaurants near them. They can then right in the search results page order from your restaurant.

Toast order food dashboard

The integration will also allow your restaurant to take control of takeout and delivery by unlocking new ordering channels, such as Toast Online Ordering, Toast Takeout App, and Order with Google.

BOH Features

Toast Inventory Management

With Toast, you can track inventory levels automatically, with the system updating inventory levels in real-time as orders are placed and products are sold. This feature helps you to avoid stockouts and overstocking, reducing waste and optimizing inventory levels for maximum profitability.

The inventory management feature of Toast POS also includes tools for order management, with the ability to create purchase orders, receive inventory, and manage stock transfers between locations. These tools help you to streamline their ordering and stock management processes, reducing errors and improving efficiency.

In addition to tracking inventory levels, Toast POS provides valuable analytics and reporting tools that can help businesses optimize their inventory management. The system tracks inventory usage and waste, allowing businesses to identify trends and make informed decisions about their ordering and stock management.

Another key benefit of the inventory management feature is the ability to streamline operations and reduce labor costs. By automating inventory tracking and order management, businesses can reduce the time and resources required to manage inventory manually, freeing up staff to focus on other important tasks.

Toast Employee Management and Scheduling

Toast POS offers a comprehensive employee management and scheduling solution that allows your restaurant to save time and control labor costs.

The solution integrates with Sling, a leading employee scheduling platform, to provide real-time notifications, automated scheduling, and integrated tip pooling.

Restaurants can customize the window of time for clocking in and out, as well as access labor data synced with their schedules to help control labor costs.

Toast Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics are essential components of any business, and Toast POS provides a comprehensive solution for you to track and analyze their performance.

With Toast, you can access real-time data on their sales, labor costs, inventory, and other key performance indicators, enabling you to make informed decisions and optimize their operations for maximum profitability.

Toast reporting sales

One of the key features of the reporting and analytics tools is real-time data tracking. As transactions are processed, the system updates sales data in real time, providing you with an up-to-date picture of their performance.

This feature allows you to identify trends and make informed decisions about their operations in real time, enabling you to respond quickly to changes in market conditions or customer demand.

In addition to real-time data tracking, Toast POS provides a range of reporting and analytics tools that enable businesses to dive deeper into their performance data.

The system provides customizable dashboards that allow users to view key performance indicators at a glance, as well as detailed reports that provide deep insights into sales trends, labor costs, and inventory management.

Toast reports weekly overview

Toast’s reporting and analytics tools also provide valuable insights into your customers behavior. The system tracks customer orders and preferences, enabling you to identify trends and customize their offerings to meet customer demand.

This feature helps you to improve customer satisfaction and increase sales by tailoring your offerings to meet the needs of your customers.

Another key benefit of Toast POS’s reporting and analytics tools is the ability to track labor costs. The system tracks employee hours and wages, enabling you to optimize your scheduling and labor costs for maximum profitability.

This helps your business to reduce labor costs while maintaining optimal staffing levels, improving overall efficiency and profitability.

Finally, Toast POS’s reporting and analytics tools integrate with several popular accounting and business intelligence software solutions, including QuickBooks, Xero, and Tableau. This enables you to seamlessly sync your data with their existing software solutions.

Toast KDS (Kitchen Display System)

The KDS is a critical component of any restaurant’s POS system, and Toast offers a comprehensive KDS solution. With Toast’s KDS, orders are displayed in real-time as they come in, allowing for increased efficiency and accuracy in the kitchen.

Additionally, the Kitchen Display Screens can display orders by course, allowing the kitchen to prioritize orders based on when they need to be served.

Toast KDS options

Toast’s KDS also offers customization options, allowing you to tailor the display to your specific needs. For example, restaurants can choose to display cooking instructions or allergen information on the KDS so that kitchen staff can easily see specific dietary requirements for each dish.

To use Toast’s KDS, restaurants must have compatible hardware, including a display screen, a controller, and a printer. The KDS can integrate with Toast’s tableside ordering feature, allowing orders to be sent directly from the table to the kitchen display.

Additionally, the KDS can be used in conjunction with Toast’s reporting and analytics features, allowing restaurants to track kitchen performance and make data-driven decisions to improve efficiency.

Toast Invoicing

This new feature helps restaurants manage catering and wholesale orders alongside their in-person, takeout, and delivery business.

Toast Invoicing example

Here are some key benefits of Toast Invoicing for restaurants:

Streamlined Operations: You can generate and distribute detailed digital invoices to your customers for catering, events, and wholesale orders. This simplifies payment processes for various types of orders and events, consolidating revenue sources that previously required multiple management systems.

Integrated Order and Payment Tracking: With Toast Invoicing, you can receive online orders, generate full-page preparation sheets, and monitor orders using a calendar view that syncs with the Toast POS and Toast Kitchen Display System (KDS).

Easy Invoice Management: You can create itemized invoices from your current menu in Toast. Additionally, you can receive tips through invoices and use Toast Payroll & Team Management to distribute them to your staff digitally.

Simplified Payments: You don’t have to use the POS system to send invoices, as staff can do it from any device. Additionally, you have the option to set payment due dates and reminders, as well as collect and redeem deposits.

If you’re already a customer, you can use Toast Invoicing without paying extra every month. This is a good way to save money while organizing catering and wholesale orders.

xtraCHEF by Toast

xtraCHEF is a suite of back-office tools for restaurants, including accounts payable automation and inventory management. It offers powerful and cost-efficient features and tools that simplify restaurant operation, mobile capture functionality, real-time data extraction, customizable categories and auto-GL coding tool.

screen shot of the Toast POS dashboard showing xtraCHEF feature

In addition, this software can be easily integrated with popular restaurant management programs and accounting systems to make the most of its Invoice Automation capabilities.

Toast xtraCHEF price tracking

With xtraCHEF you can streamline time-consuming labor management and reduce manual workflows and costs associated with it, you can access info from any location without having to manually input data multiple times. Moreover, it acts as a centralized hub for all financial records so that no redundant entry is needed.

Marketing Features

Toast marketing dashboard

Toast Customer Loyalty Program

As a part of their marketing tools, Toast has a very good customer loyalty program that allows restaurant owners to increase customer frequency and reward their guests. The program is simple and well-integrated and provides guests with a seamless experience.

Guests can enroll in the loyalty program by providing their email address or phone number at the point of purchase, or by signing up through a link posted on your restaurant’s website or when placing an online order.

The loyalty program is also compatible with credit card-linked rewards programs, which allow restaurants to tap into the power of their existing customers while attracting new ones. Additionally, the Toast loyalty integration API can be used to integrate other loyalty programs with the Toast platform.

Toast Gift Card Management

Gift cards are an important feature of any POS system, and Toast POS offers a comprehensive solution for managing gift cards. Toast’s gift card module allows you to easily sell physical and eGift cards both online and on the POS.

Toast gift card setup

Your guests can easily manage their own gift cards, and restaurants can analyze gift card sales by day, week, month, or more and see detailed order history on each gift card transaction.

Additionally, Toast offers a Gift Card Portal through eCard Systems, which allows restaurants to easily order and reorder gift cards for their Toast POS system.

If a restaurant is switching to Toast Gift Cards from another POS or gift card provider, they must import their Gift Card Liability Report to use them with the Toast system. To obtain the report, the restaurant must contact their previous gift card provider.

Toast Email Marketing

Toast’s email marketing feature allows you to easily create and send email campaigns to your customers directly from the POS system. With this feature, you can create customized email campaigns that promote special offers, events, and menu items to your customers.

The email marketing feature includes a variety of pre-built templates that restaurants can use to quickly create professional-looking emails. Restaurants can also customize these templates by adding their own branding, images, and messaging.

Toast email template

The email marketing feature also allows you to segment your customer list based on criteria such as spending habits or order history. This allows you to target specific customer groups with email campaigns.

In addition to creating and sending email campaigns, the email marketing feature also includes analytics that allows restaurants to track the success of their campaigns.

Restaurants can track metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to see how their email campaigns are performing and make adjustments as needed.

I like how easy-to-use and powerful the email marketing feature is. This allows you to reach your customers more effectively and drive more business.

Toast Catering & Events

Toast has introduced a new catering and events feature to help restaurants manage large catering orders and event planning seamlessly. This product aims to streamline the process from planning to execution by providing tools to efficiently manage every step involved in catering and event businesses.

Screenshot of the Toast Catering & events feature

Key features include the ability to collect guest information online to create customizable Banquet Event Orders (BEOs), quotes, and estimates. It automates tasks like turning a BEO into an invoice guests can pay online or at the POS, boosting efficiency.

Users can create editable BEO forms, printable prep lists, and pack sheets to reduce preparation time. There are also lead management tools to track inquiries and the ability to send quotes and estimates for guests to approve. Online invoicing integration allows businesses to get paid on time.

Since Toast products work together, businesses can enjoy full benefits when combining Catering & Events with other Toast products like the Kitchen Display System, or xtraCHEF. User feedback highlights the simplicity, efficiency, and helpful communication abilities of the new feature. Integrated seamlessly with the POS, Toast Catering & Events prints prep tickets automatically, keeping staff informed.

This new feature allows restaurants to diversify revenue streams from a significant growth area.

Toast for Cafés & Bakeries

In 2023 Toast launched a POS platform specifically designed for cafes and bakeries. This tailored POS addresses the unique needs of these businesses, such as streamlined order-taking and advanced inventory management.

It also offers new features like online catering ordering and integrated retail operations. The platform aims to optimize operations, generate additional revenue, and provide opportunities for community engagement and fundraising.

Read more: Toast for Cafés & Bakeries: New Tools for Retail, Catering, Online Ordering

Conclusion

I hope this review of the Toast POS software was useful to you. As you can see, Toast is a robust POS system specifically designed for restaurants, ghost kitchens and cafes.

Toast’s powerful features, paired with having a free starter plan and being overall affordable, give it the edge over all other competitors.

If you want to compare Toast to other alternatives, I recommend you read my post on: 5 Best Toast POS Alternatives & Competitors.

Key Takeaways

  • Toast is an all-in-one POS system designed for small to medium-sized restaurants
  • Toast offers many innovative technology features to help smaller restaurants compete with larger chains
  • Toast has a free plan that is great for getting started

Read more:
14 Restaurant POS Features That Are Essential
How Your Restaurant POS Can Be Your Secret Weapon

Benefits of Using Toast POS

Increased Efficiency and Productivity. By automating many of the tasks involved in your restaurant operations, Toast POS can help to increase efficiency and productivity. With features such as menu management, online ordering, and employee scheduling, restaurants can save time and streamline their operations, allowing staff to focus on providing excellent customer service.

Improved Customer Experience. With its online ordering and delivery integration, loyalty program support, and payment processing capabilities, Toast POS can help to improve the overall customer experience. Customers can easily place orders online or through a mobile app, earn rewards through loyalty programs, and enjoy a seamless payment process.

Better Data Insights and Decision Making. Toast POS provides detailed reporting and analytics, giving you access to real-time data on sales, inventory, and labor costs. This can help to inform strategic decision-making, such as menu changes, pricing adjustments, and staffing decisions, leading to better business outcomes.

Increased Revenue and Cost Savings. By improving efficiency, streamlining operations, and providing better data insights, Toast POS can ultimately help restaurants to increase revenue and save costs. With features such as loyalty program integration and online ordering, restaurants can attract and retain customers while reducing the need for additional staff.

Scalability and Flexibility. Toast is a highly scalable and flexible solution, making it suitable for restaurants of all sizes and types. Whether a restaurant operates a single location or a chain of locations, Toast POS can be customized to meet the unique needs of your business.

About Toast

Since its founding in 2011, Toast has grown from a startup with a handful of employees to a company with over 2,000 employees and a market cap of close to $10 billion in 2023 (Source).

In recent years, Toast has made several strategic acquisitions, including the restaurant management platform, Stratex, and the digital inventory and recipe costing platform, xtraCHEF. These acquisitions have allowed Toast to expand its offerings and better serve the needs of its customers.

With its focus on providing a comprehensive suite of tools and services for restaurant owners and operators, Toast is poised to continue its rapid growth in the coming years. The company’s goal of becoming a total restaurant operating system is an ambitious one, but if Toast’s recent success is any indication, they are well on its way to achieving it.

Customer Support and Technical Assistance

One of the most critical aspects of any point-of-sale system is the level of customer support and technical assistance that is available for you.

Toast POS offers 24/7 customer support, including phone and email support options. The company also offers live chat support, which is a convenient way to get help quickly without having to wait on hold.

Toast also offers on-site support and training.

On-site support and training can be particularly helpful for businesses that are just getting started with the system or are experiencing more complex issues. The Toast POS team can come to your location and provide personalized support and training to help you get the most out of the system.

In addition, Toast POS has a team of technical support specialists who are available to help.

Online resources and knowledge base

I like how Toast provides a wealth of online resources and a comprehensive knowledge base that can help you troubleshoot issues and learn more about the system. This includes videos, webinars, detailed articles, and tutorials on all aspects of the system, including setup, configuration, and troubleshooting.

In addition, Toast POS offers a user community where you can connect with other users and share tips, best practices, and insights. This can be a valuable resource for businesses that are looking to get the most out of the system and learn from the experiences of other users.

There are also excellent online video tutorials covering many topics on restaurant management.

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Jan Lundvik
Jan is a writer and content creator at KitchenBusiness.com with a keen focus on the restaurant and food service industry. Drawing from his background in tech and UX design, Jan breaks down complex systems into digestible, actionable insights.

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