Toast is one of the few vendors in the HR tools for restaurants category that provide customer loyalty programs for restaurateurs to use to their advantage.
Toast leads the pack in many ways for the restaurant-tech category. They have raised almost $1 billion in funding, which you don’t commonly find in restaurant-niched tools, and they stand out as the only service provider in this category that offers hardware together with their software services.
As a point of sale (POS) platform, you should expect handheld gear for recording sales and streamlining orders, which they have with the Toast GO(TM)mobile handheld POS. But one piece of hardware we really like from this company is their Toast Tap(TM). This hardware is a contactless payment system that allows guests to pay via NFC tags and digital wallets. Additionally, they have 10+ hardware and accessories designed to make your business work.
Toast’s software is a bundle of POS and payment processing. While several of these kinds of tools are in the market, Toast stands head and shoulder above all in customer support and customization. The platform features the most comprehensive support resources we have come across. An exemplification of this point is the Toast Classroom feature you can find on their website.
Another one of their programs is the “refer a restaurant” initiative. This program was recently rolled out, and it essentially rewards referrals — through the online referral form or in writing, including by email — to a Toast Account Executive. With this initiative, you can get up to $1,000 per referral. There are some terms and conditions that apply, of course, so it is recommended to look them up to confirm your eligibility.
Lastly, Toast has had significant success since they launched in 2011. They have received prestigious awards and have appeared in several well-known publications, including Forbes. Their customers are equally eager to share their stories about how the system has helped them save money and time and improve their services. One Virginia-based restaurant — HOUSEpitality — shared how Toast improved their profit margin by 10% when they implemented the Toast Mobile Order and Pay(TM)system. Another pizza restaurant in Texas increased its revenue by implementing the Toast POS system, allowing them to run two extra turns per night per location. In essence, though the system can be a little on the high end, price-wise, it has incredible ROI and pays for itself in the long run.
Toast will not be a good fit if you are a seasonal restaurant because to be a Toast user, you need to commit to a 2-year contract. And in the case of premature termination, you will be met with a fine. Having a two-year lock-in period for a restaurant that operates only for a few months in a year is not the best idea. Toast might also not be a good fit if you use devices other than Android (e.g., iPad) for your POS operation because their hardware uses the Android operating system.
Via 33 Pizzeria, HOUSEpitality, Sepia, O’Maddy’s
Toast integrates with third-party delivery services like UberEats, Doordash, and ItsaCheckmate, as well as several customer loyalty solutions including Thanx, eCard systems, incentivio, and LevelUp, to improve relationships with your customers.
Buying Toast’s HR and POS systems together can save many restaurants quite a bit of money. Their pricing starts off with a free version and increases depending on what modules you want. There are also several add-ons you can include to make your package more comprehensive. You will have to speak to their sales representative to get a quote for these additional features.
Besides their free plan, they have two other paid plans, a custom plan, and a special offer for new restaurants. They are priced at:
There are tons of add-ons to customize your plan to your specific business needs, and it can be overwhelming and a bit tricky if you do not have a full understanding of how these configurations work. Besides complementary add-ons, you can as well customize features within each basic plan. Each plan, for example, comes with Toast hardware, and you have the option to choose which hardware you want installed as part of your plan. This is why we recommend you get a demo and reach out to their sales team before you commit to the software.
Toast is a great option for restaurants of all types, especially those offering delivery services — you stand to benefit from their delivery management module and third-party delivery service integration.
Toast offers 24/7 expert support and on-site support for complex hardware installations for all customers. They also provide tons of educational materials including video clips, eBooks, and templates curated to help you better run your restaurant business. Apart from this, they have a Toast Classroom, which is a training center that contains expert-led classes by Toast officials and training sessions on popular topics in the restaurant industry. These materials are available in English and Spanish.
This Boston-based restaurant technology company was founded by three individuals with an incredible track record. Steve Fredette, Aman Narang, and Jonathan Grimm are all graduates of MIT and worked in Endeca before Oracle bought them out for $1 billion in 2011.
Toast has grown significantly since its launch in 2011. The company was declared a unicorn in 2018 and is currently valued at over $33 billion.