Pros / Toast sets up your menu as part of the installation process. This can include an online menu.
Cons / You must sign a long-term contract with this company.
Verdict / Toast’s all-in-one restaurant POS platform offers many helpful features, especially in regards to order management. However, it may be problematic for some businesses, as it discourages using third-party POS hardware or equipment you already own and requires you to sign a long-term contract.
Toast bills itself as an all-in-one restaurant POS system, as it offers a variety of features and services to help you run your restaurant smoothly. It can be used by all restaurant types, including full-service, bars and food trucks. Restaurants of all sizes, with one or multiple locations, can also use Toast. However, to use this service you must sign a long-term contract, meaning you can’t cancel the service if you’re dissatisfied with it until your contract expires, unless you're willing to pay an expensive cancellation fee.
The cost for a Toast subscription starts at $100 each month if you pay annually and rises to $120 if you pay monthly. For an additional cost, you can add modules to the 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 isn’t compatible with other payment processors, meaning you must use Toast as your credit card processor. This may be inconvenient, as it doesn't give you the option of using your current processor or shopping around for the best rates. You can use Toast 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 be able to accept payments tableside.
Upon signing up for Toast, you’ll need to purchase POS hardware from the company; it discourages purchasing it from a third party or using the equipment you already own. Implementation comes at an additional cost; however, as part of the installation process, Toast sets up your menu for you, which can be a timesaver. If you want to accept online orders, Toast creates a webpage for you with your menu accessible to your customers.
Toast offers many order management features, including table management that allows you to quickly see which tables are occupied and which are free so you can seat customers efficiently. It also has seat management tools that make it easy to split checks for large groups. It can also help you manage delivery and catering for running the takeout side of your business. Toast tracks the time it takes for tables to turn over, which is helpful if you want to track the attentiveness of your servers. It also monitors the time that passes after a customer orders a meal before it is served to them. If your restaurant is busy, you can use Toast to send out texts to waiting customers to let them know that a table is ready for them. It also has an item countdown feature that lets your servers know how many orders of a limited menu item are available.
With the inventory module, Toast can track your inventory on an ingredient level. Although it doesn't create purchase orders, it gives you reorder suggestions for your vendors when your supplies begin to run low. When you receive supplies, you can't enter them into the system using a handheld barcode scanner, which some employees may find inconvenient, as it means they'll have to enter inventory manually.
Regardless of the plan you sign up for, you’re eligible for 24/7 customer support via phone, email and web. If you have a software issue, agents can remotely access your system to remedy the issue. APIs and third-party integrations are available, which you can use to customize the system with additional functionality.
Toast's restaurant POS system has an impressive selection of features, including many order management tools. However, its terms are more restrictive than many of its competitors', as the company requires you to sign a lengthy contract and use its payment processing services. It also discourages you from using POS hardware you already own.