POS Reviews

Toast vs. TouchBistro: Choosing Your Perfect Restaurant POS

Toast and TouchBistro are two top-notch POS systems for restaurants that are really hot in the market right now.

But how to pick the one that fits your needs?

This guide will break it down for you, showing the key differences between TouchBistro and Toast, which are both great tools for managing your restaurant and handling sales.

Toast vs TouchBistro

Here’s what’s inside:

  • A snapshot of the two systems: Toast and TouchBistro
  • A close-up look at what features they offer
  • My own thoughts and insights on how they are different from each other

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear idea of which system works best for you. So, let’s begin!

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Toast POS: Your All-in-One Restaurant Solution

Toast customer facing display

Lately, Toast has become a big name in the world of restaurant tech. It has grown fast and acquired other businesses to be a complete solution for people running restaurants. Toast’s goal is to be a complete commerce platform for running your restaurant.

Fast Company named Toast one of 2023’s most innovative companies. It offers a wide range of features for your restaurant, including handling payments, managing your menu and inventory, marketing and loyalty programs, staff management, controlling food and labor costs, reporting, and more.

Even with all these features, Toast’s cost is fair, so it’s one of my top picks for restaurant POS systems.

Who Uses Toast?

Toast can work with many different food and hospitality businesses: everything from full-service and fast-food restaurants to cafes, bars, and food trucks.

Because Toast can handle a lot of growth, it can suit businesses of all sizes and grow with them.

Toast Tables waitlist dashboard

What’s Special About Toast?

Toast Tables

This allows you to manage reservations and waiting lists and syncs with your POS and Kitchen Display Systems.

  • Stay updated on tables from orders to payments in real-time.
  • Guests can view your menu and join your loyalty program before they arrive – great for getting them to come back.

Toast Online Ordering and Delivery

  • Manage all online orders and deliveries in real-time to avoid mistakes and keep customers happy.
  • With the Order with Google feature, customers can order directly from a Google search, so they don’t even need to visit your site.

Toast Mobile Order & Pay

  • Guests scan a QR code to order and pay from their phones.
  • Restaurants often see a 10-12% bump in revenue with this feature.

Toast Contactless Payments

  • Safe and convenient for post-pandemic times.
  • Provides different options from Apple Pay to Google Pay.

Toast Tableside Ordering and Payments

  • Take orders and payments right at the table for quicker service and fewer mistakes.
  • Guests can even split the check and tip right from their table.


  • Open API to connect with Grubhub and Uber Eats or create your own custom connections.

Toast is more than just a POS – it’s a full solution that knows the challenging parts of the restaurant industry, helping to simplify your work and boost your profits.

More information on Toast:

My detailed Toast Review provides an even more in-depth look into this restaurant POS system.

Compare Toast vs. top restaurant POS alternatives

And finally, to try Toast out, head over to pos.toasttab.com

TouchBistro – Designed for Restaurants

TouchBistro dashboard on iPad

TouchBistro is a great pick for standalone, full-service restaurants, and it has proven useful for managing all kinds of eating establishments.

Besides its attractive and user-friendly layout, it has many useful features. It also works on a hybrid cloud/server system, assuring you that your data is always at your fingertips and safe.

User-friendly: TouchBistro is one of the simplest POS systems to handle. It’s straightforward to learn and master in very little time, making it ideal for restaurants looking for a system that’s quick and easy to operate.

New team members won’t have to spend valuable time on lengthy tutorials – if they’re used to iPhones, they’ll pick up TouchBistro in no time. Its customizable menus and interface can help streamline your operations over time.

Who Uses TouchBistro

TouchBistro is a versatile platform suited for various restaurants to manage orders, sales, and customer info efficiently. It’s especially good for small to medium-sized full-service restaurants, quick-serve spots, bars, and cafes that benefit from a strong Kitchen Display System (KDS).

However, it might not be the best fit for large chains, hotels, or other large-scale businesses with complex needs across multiple locations.

TouchBistro KDS

What’s Special About TouchBistro

Kitchen Display System (KDS): The TouchBistro KDS improves order management and communication. It displays and manages orders, integrates online orders, works offline, provides valuable analytics, and integrates with POS.

Reservations: Allows guests to make online reservations and offers tools to manage bookings and guest data, with options for personalizing reservation notes.

Online Ordering: Enables direct orders from your site, social media, and other platforms without third-party commissions. It integrates with TouchBistro Marketing and streamlines delivery. However, use of delivery platforms beyond DoorDash Drive requires additional fees.

Menu Management: Facilitates easy menu item organization with automatic syncing to both in-venue and online menus. It also offers upselling tools and personalization features for delivering, and differentiating between, multiple order types.

Tableside Ordering: Enhances customer service by letting staff take orders at the table using handheld devices, with an easy bill-splitting feature, various payment options, and automated upselling.

Profit Management: In collaboration with MarginEdge, it enhances financial visibility, enabling real-time inventory tracking and cost management. It also enables plate cost calculation and menu pricing adjustments based on profit data, and streamlines strategy decisions.

More information on TouchBistro:

My detailed TouchBistro Review provides an even more in-depth look into this restaurant POS system.

Compare TouchBistro vs. top restaurant POS alternatives

And finally, to try TouchBistro out, head over to touchbistro.com

Feature Comparison: Toast vs. TouchBistro

Ease of Use

  • Toast POS: Intuitive navigation makes it easy to find what you need.
  • TouchBistro: Designed to be intuitive and easy to use, even for those with no POS experience.
Toast Go mobile device

Payment Processing

  • Toast POS: In-house credit card processing only. No third-party processors are allowed, offering a seamless but less flexible solution.
  • TouchBistro: Integrated and third-party payment processing with support for major credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards.
TouchBistro menu management screen
TouchBistro Menu Management Screen

Menu Management

  • Toast POS: Highly customizable with options for seasonal or rotating menus.
  • TouchBistro Advanced features to design menus, update prices, add modifiers and options, and manage categories.

Inventory Management

  • Toast POS: Real-time tracking with analytics and reporting to help you manage your stock efficiently.
  • TouchBistro: Inventory can be tracked in real-time in TouchBistro, with the system updating counts for each item used.
Toast employee management

Employee Management

  • Toast POS: Comprehensive features include scheduling and labor cost control, helping you manage your team efficiently.
  • TouchBistro: Includes employee management tools like timecards, schedules, and permissions settings.
TouchBistro Dine marketplace
TouchBistro Dine marketplace

Online Ordering & Delivery

  • Toast POS: Robust features including real-time tracking and third-party integrations.
  • TouchBistro: Supports online ordering on your own website and their own platform TouchBistro Dine with delivery through DoorDash.
Toast Tables waitlist dashboard

Table Management & Reservations

  • Toast POS: Offers “Toast Tables” for reservations and waitlist management, even integrating with Google Business Profile.
  • TouchBistro: Includes table layouts, floor plans, and advanced online reservation capabilities with TouchBistro Reservations.
TouchBistro loyalty marketing screen
TouchBistro loyalty marketing screen

Customer Loyalty Programs

  • Toast POS: Integrated loyalty programs with customization options to keep your customers coming back.
  • TouchBistro: Easy-to-use loyalty and rewards programs can be set up in TouchBistro through an add-on.

Reporting & Analytics

  • Toast POS: Real-time data tracking with customizable dashboards and deep insights.
  • TouchBistro: Includes sales, labor, inventory, and other reports and analytics to inform business decisions.

Hardware Options

  • Toast POS: Multiple hardware options are available, including handheld devices, kiosks, and terminals.
  • TouchBistro: Runs on iPads to take orders and process payments table-side. TouchBistro also provides a wide selection of other hardware.

Third-Party Integrations

  • Toast POS: Open API allows for custom integrations to extend functionality.
  • TouchBistro: No open API, but TouchBistro integrates with many third-party applications and services for added functionality.

Key Takeaways

Payment Processing: Toast only allows its in-house processor while TouchBistro offers more flexibility with integrated and third-party processors.

Online Ordering & Delivery: Toast provides more delivery integration options while TouchBistro partners mainly with DoorDash.

Table Management & Reservations: Toast and TouchBistro both provide reservation and table management capabilities, with Toast offering deeper Google integration.

Hardware Options: Toast is Android based while TouchBistro is focused on iPads.

Third-Party Integrations: Toast’s open API enables more custom integrations and TouchBistro offers some key third-party partnerships.

Payment and Credit Card Processing

Toast POS:

  • Flat Rate: Offers a flat rate for payment processing, making it easier to predict costs.
  • Integrated System: Toast’s payment processing is fully integrated with its POS software but unlike TouchBistro doesn’t allow you to use a third-party processor.
  • Offline Payments: Toast allows you to accept payments even when your internet connection is down.


  • TouchBistro Payments (US only)is powered by Chase and provides pricing through an innovative cost plus pricing model.
  • TouchBistro Payments also offers an offline payments mode, allowing you to continue taking payments even when their internet is down.
  • Payment processing fees depend on if you use TouchBistro Payments (US only) or one of the available payment processing partners like Square. You’ll be able to use different payment processors depending on which one offers the lowest rate.

Hardware Compatibility

Toast POS:

  • Proprietary Toast hardware required.
  • Integrates well with Toast Go handhelds.


  • Compatible with iPads and other third-party devices.
  • Can use existing hardware to some extent.

Let’s look into what each system offers.

Toast Go device

Toast Hardware

  • Toast Flex: This handheld device is perfect for fast-paced environments where tableside service is essential. It’s spill-resistant and supports various payment types like swipe, dip, or tap.
  • Toast Go: Designed for smaller establishments like coffee shops, this all-in-one portable device allows you to take orders, process payments, and print receipts without switching between different gadgets.
  • Toast Kiosk: If you’re running a quick-service restaurant and want to reduce wait times, the Toast Kiosk offers a self-ordering experience through a large, interactive touchscreen display.
  • Toast Terminal: This is a comprehensive countertop setup ideal for full-service restaurants. It includes a touchscreen display, card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer, all ready to go.
  • Toast Display: This customer-facing setup helps you manage restaurant orders in real-time and handle your inventory, enhancing the overall customer experience.
TouchBistro Hardware

TouchBistro supports iPads and runs best on devices from 2018 or later. These tablets are used to take orders and process payments table-side.

A TouchBistro setup can include an iPad stand, receipt printer, card reader, router, and modem.

TouchBistro also sells accessories, such as a Self-Service Kiosk, customer-facing display, KDS, and Digital Menu Boards. TouchBistro may also make use of third-party hardware such as cash drawers, card readers, and receipt printers.

Customizable Additional Hardware: Depending on the unique needs of your restaurant, you can mix and match different POS equipment such as cash drawers and receipt printers.

Customer Support

  • Toast POS: 24/7 customer support, including live chat.
  • TouchBistro: 24/7 support, but live chat is limited to business hours.

Supported Countries


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


TouchBistro is available in the US, Canada, the UK, Mexico, and over 100 other countries. (TouchBistro Payments is only available in the US).

Toast Pros and Cons

  • A Complete and Scalable Restaurant Management System: This end-to-end platform ensures smooth 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

TouchBistro Pros and Cons

  • Reservations: TouchBistro’s commission-free reservation tool helps restaurants manage bookings effectively and learn about diner preferences for an exceptional hospitality experience.
  • Ease of Use: The POS system is fast, reliable, and easy to use. Staff familiar with iPhones can easily operate TouchBistro without extensive training.
  • Payment Processing Options: Users can choose between TouchBistro Payments or a third-party processor like Square, an option not commonly available in other POS systems.
  • TouchBistro Profit Management: Their partnership with MarginEdge integrates inventory and cost management with interactive sales reports for improved financial optimization, waste reduction, pricing adjustment, and strategic planning.
  • Offline Functionality: The POS system continues to process payments even during internet outages, ensuring uninterrupted service.
  • Limited Integrations: Although there are some software integrations available, they may not be as extensive as others provided by competing POS systems.
  • Online Ordering: TouchBistro relies on integration with Deliverect to connect with delivery services other than DoorDash Drive.


In conclusion, both Toast and TouchBistro offer robust solutions for restaurant management, but some key differences set them apart. Restaurants should assess their specific needs and priorities to determine the best choice.

Toast stands out for its superior reservations and online ordering, analytics, expansive integrations, flexible hardware options, and advanced workforce management tools.

TouchBistro shines with its simplicity, transparent pricing, iOS-focused platform, and built-in features like loyalty and online ordering. It offers an intuitive iPad POS optimized for ease of use, making it ideal for small to mid-sized restaurants. But it lacks some of the sophisticated capabilities larger operations may require.

When evaluating these two systems, restaurants should consider their size, existing tech stack, required features, and budget.

Read more:
5 Best Toast POS Alternatives & Competitors
5 Best TouchBistro Alternatives & Competitors

Key Takeaways

Payment Processing: Toast only allows its in-house processor while TouchBistro offers more flexibility with integrated and third-party processors.

Online Ordering & Delivery: Toast provides more delivery integration options while TouchBistro partners mainly with DoorDash.

Table Management & Reservations: Toast and TouchBistro both provide reservation and table management capabilities, with Toast offering deeper Google integration.

Hardware Options: Toast is Android based while TouchBistro is focused on iPads.

Third-Party Integrations: Toast’s open API enables more custom integrations and TouchBistro offers some key third-party partnerships.

Supported Countries: TouchBistro is available in the US, Canada, the UK, Mexico, and over 100 other countries while Toast so far is only present in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland.

Which types of restaurants may be better suited for Toast or TouchBistro

Toast may be better for:

  • Large full-service restaurants with complex operations. Toast provides robust tools for managing extensive menus, floor plans, staff, and inventory.
  • Fast casual chains seeking enhanced analytics and custom reporting. Toast provides deep data insights.
  • Restaurants focused on delivery integration. Toast partners with major delivery services.
  • Establishments wanting to leverage Google tools. Toast integrates reservations and waitlists with Google.

TouchBistro may be better for:

  • Small to mid-sized restaurants that want an intuitive iPad-based POS. The iPad platform is easy to use.
  • Restaurants wanting flexibility with hardware and payment processing. Toast supports bringing your own devices and offers multiple processor options.
  • Quick service restaurants that need fast and reliable tableside ordering. TouchBistro is optimized for tableside use.
  • Easy to use and built-in loyalty and marketing (through add-on).
  • Single or multi-location restaurants that don’t require extensive analytics.

In summary, large and complex restaurants may benefit more from Toast’s advanced capabilities, while small to mid-sized restaurants may find TouchBistro’s speed and simplicity and iPad platform better suited to their needs. The specific features and integrations required should drive the decision between these two systems.

Avatar photo

Jan is a writer and content creator at KitchenBusiness.com with a 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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