Toast is a well-respected, restaurant-specific POS system with a great breadth of useful business features and a reasonable price tag to match. In fact, with a near-perfect research score of 4.9/5 for restaurant features, Toast has some of the most advanced capabilities of any POS we've reviewed.
However, while Toast can be an asset to businesses with the right hardware, it's currently only compatible with Android devices, making the POS inaccessible to businesses that run on iOS technology. With no live chat or email options available, Toast's scored significantly low for help and support too, suggesting that its options may not be able to meet the needs of all food businesses.
There's a lot to discuss when it comes to this restaurant POS though. Scroll down to see how its features, hardware packages, and price points measure up. Alternatively, you can use our tailored comparison tool to receive personalized quotes from leading POS providers in minutes.
- Extremely easy to use
- Build custom menus with categories and different features
- Dedicated restaurant-specific hardware
- Niche specifications for certain types of restaurants
- Strong data reporting features
- Doesn't work with iOS devices
- No integrated payment processing
- Lacks support options
- No barcode setup
Toast POS: at a Glance
Toast comes out top when it comes to business and stock management, securing full marks of 5/5 in both research categories. Toast also boasts better till features than our POS frontrunner, with a score of 5/5 compared to Square's 3/5. As hospitality businesses continue to be squeezed by rising inflation rates and food costs, Toast offers affordably priced packages too — allowing restaurants to benefit from its products without digging too deep into their pockets.
However, while Toast performs well with its admirable till, stock management, and marketing tools, its help and customer support tools vary by price and don't include email or live chat support at all, making it the worst support center of any POS we've researched.
For hospitality businesses that require real-time help and don't have the time to wait for onsite support teams to arrive, this can be a dealbreaker. What's more, Toast's POS doesn't automatically backup your data, which means that users are required to update important information manually.
Before committing to Toast, we'd recommend you take a look at some other providers on the market. The easiest way to do so is by using our quick price comparison tool, which thousands of other businesses have used to figure out their pricing options. You'll receive obligation-free quotes tailored to your business's needs within minutes.
Toast POS Pricing
Note: Prices updated January 2023
- Toast Pay-as-you-go Starter Plan – This tier is free to get started on but charges 2.99% + 15¢ for all transactions. It offers a hardware bundle and basic POS features and is ideal for single-location restaurants.
- Standard Starter Plan – This package costs businesses $799 upfront and an additional $69 per month and includes software, a POS hardware terminal, a tap payment device, a router, and support.
- Toast Essentials Plan – Retailing at $165 per month, this tier includes is targeted toward full-scale restaurants and includes a range of advanced capabilities like online ordering and delivery.
- Toast New Restaurant Basics – If you're just getting started, this plan will cover your bases, offering cloud-based point-of-sale, payroll, scheduling, and employee management tools all for $110 per month.
- Toast Custom Plan – Finally, for enterprise businesses with advanced POS news, Toasts Custom Plan gives users access to its full suite of features alongside over 100 integrations. As the name implies, this package comes with custom pricing.
- Toast Now – If you're not after POS features, Toast go supports online ordering, takeout, gift cards, and contactless deliveries. The service is free for the first three months, but the digital ordering feature will cost $50 per month after, while the gift card feature will cost $25 per month.
Toast also charges processing fees, depending on your chosen plan and the type of transaction. The transaction fees are as follows:
- 2.99% + 15 cents for Toast's pay-as-you-go option
- 2.49% + 15 cents if you pay for hardware upfront
- 3.5% + 15 cents for card-not-present transactions
Hardware also comes as a premium for most of Toast's plans. These fees are as follows:
- $609 for Toast's Handheld Starter Kit
- $799 for Toast's Countertop Starter Kit
- $999 for Toast's Guest Self-Service Starter Kit
For more specifics on the monthly, per terminal cost of a version of Toast POS that's tailored to you, you'll have to contact Toast for a custom quote. While you're at it, we'd recommend joining the thousands of businesses that have used our quick price comparison tool to get the same quotes from other leading POS vendors available today.
To get a clearer view of how Toast's plan compare, check out our table below.
Quick Start Bundle
Build Your Own
New Restaurant Basics
$69 per month
$165 per month
$110 per month
2.99% + $0.15
3.5% + $0.15
3.5% + $0.15
3.5% + $0.15
3.5% + $0.15
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Toast offers some of the best restaurant features in the industry. Here's a breakdown of the POS's major capabilities.
Tableside Order Management
Toast enables servers to accept orders from customers and relay them to kitchen workers, all while still at the table. Once the meal is ready in the kitchen, the server will receive a notification on their tablet, increasing efficiency. When customers are ready to pay, the server can then take tableside payments, with EMV card processing supported, as well as Samsung Pay. What's more, unlike leading POS solutions like Square and Zettle, Toast also includes a “Guest Feedback” feature, which lets the software collect customer feedback.
In this current climate, it's never been more important to monitor your bottom line. Toast's affordable POS makes this straightforward by letting managers keep an eye on their overheads, calculate expenses associated with labor and product costs, and factor in fixed overhead costs as well for a unified view of total revenue. Meals and ingredient costs can also be separated too, for an inside look at which types of sales offer the best cost-benefit.
If cutting costs is your business's top priority, you can also use our custom-built tool to compare the top POS providers. It only takes a minute, but could save your business a lot.
Reporting & Analytics
Toast's POS offers a location overview with a birds-eye view of net sales or total employee costs, and can be viewed across all locations or broken down individually. Sales summaries can be produced across any time period too, giving business owners a quick snapshot of their earnings.
With a score of 5/5 for business management, Toast offers some of the best reporting tools on the market. However, if you're after capabilities like sales and payment trends reports, you'd be better off opting for Square, which also scored full marks in this category.
Toast's dynamic software also supports an online ordering option, in the form of a public-facing website that guests can use to place their orders using a menu updated in real time.
Users can save their profiles and credit card information, while the interface connects to Toast's delivery dispatch feature, letting your employees deliver the order if needed. The online site can be tailored to your restaurant's branding, too.
Gift card features and loyalty programs are supported as well, whether the user is present in person or online.
Finding a POS that keeps up with seasonal menus can be a pain. But with Toast, menus can be updated from any device logged into the POS software, including terminals and smartphones. The cloud-based software will be constantly updated in real-time, making sure that servers and kitchen workers remain in sync regardless of which deals might be starting or what ingredients might be temporarily out.
With a perfect 5/5 score for stock management, Toast has exceptional inventory tools. In fact, according to our research, Toast's inventory management makes it truly stand out from its restaurant-specific competitors.
Toast's platform lets restauranteurs track the cost of each ingredient. This means that you can see exactly where your money is going and improve efficiency. It also helps your staff ensure consistent portion size and account for any wastage. Plus, Toast automatically updates your inventory, meaning that there's no data export needed — helping you save money and time instantly.
Toast offers email marketing features integrated directly into its POS systems. Customers can enter their email for a virtual receipt when checking out, building an email list that can be used for automated campaigns centered on guests' histories. Loyalty programs can also be created through Toast, with customizable rewards offered using a points-based system.
However, while Toast's customer management capabilities are nothing to be snubbed at, they do fall slightly short of Clovers — with the rival POS scoring a promising 4.5/5 in our business development category thanks to its own custom customer loyalty app.
Since employees clock in and out, their hours are tracked automatically, including both regular and overtime pay. However, there's another added benefit to logging this data: Weekly, monthly or even annual reports can be compiled automatically, offering insights into employee life-cycles and performance.
In busy food service businesses, keeping tabs on employees can be a headache. Fortunately, Toast offers a suite of team management features, allowing businesses to create one profile for each employee. Employees can clock in and clock out through the POS software, and payroll will automatically log their hours worked, saving managers manual labor. Cash and credit card tips earnings are factored in as well.
While Toast's feature set is already pretty expansive, the POS also offers a variety add-ons beyond its basic POS software. You can find the full list of integrations online, but some popular options include the business insights tool Compeat, the ordering app PayTronix and the delivery tool GrubHub.
However, you'll need to consider which ones are essential for your business as each add-on represents an additional monthly charge.
Restaurant Self-Ordering Kiosk
The Toast Kiosk allows guests to choose exactly what they want to eat on a large touchscreen display.
This means the whole process, from order to collection, is streamlined and completely contactless. Wait times are reduced, and staff productivity goes up. Plus, it's likely that your check size will increase, as customers can be easily enticed into upselling their own orders.
Toast Go 2
The Toast Go 2 is designed to help your staff offer a full POS experience at tableside.
It's easily handheld and offers a full touchscreen interface, with support for swiped, tapped, or keyed-in transactions. Plus, it'll completely integrate with any kitchen display equipment you have, notifying servers when food is ready to roll.
What's more, it's spill and drop-proof, and has a 24-hour battery life – twice as long as an iPad, and three times longer than the Clover Flex.
The Toast Flex is a touchscreen terminal that runs on the Android operating system.
You'll find everything you need to start taking and managing contactless and keyed-in transactions with ease. It has a large interface for you and your servers, as well as a convenient side-mounted card reader.
The Toast Flex comes with a handy receipt printer and can swivel and tilt for easy operation. It's also waterproof and can be set up in less than 30 minutes, according to Toast.
Toast Flex for Kitchen
Toast also makes a Flex screen for use in your kitchen.
The kitchen display instantly shows orders to your kitchen staff the moment they are taken by your servers. This means you can get orders filled quicker and more accurately than using the old-fashioned pen-and-paper setup you might be used to.
The Flex for Kitchen can be mounted on a surface or on a wall in the kitchen, freeing up valuable counter space for your chefs.
Toast Flex for Guest
The Flex for Guest gives your customers an 8-inch screen to show what they've ordered, and what they need to pay.
A big, simple display can help eliminate errors by showing your customers exactly what they've ordered on your system – your customers won't need to fret about whether your servers took down their coffee order with soy milk rather than oat milk, for example.
Toast POS support is available 24/7 in the US, both over the phone and through an online portal that can connect users with live representatives. The POS's knowledge center ‘Toast Classroom' also provides useful resources like live training and on-demand sessions on a range of topics.
However, unlike POSs like Square and TouchBistro, Toast doesn't offer live chat, email support, or automatic backups — resulting in the POS receiving the worse score for customer support on record.
Toast is a solid option for food businesses with advanced POS needs. However, if you’re looking for a versatile system with an even smaller price tag, our POS frontrunner Square might fit your needs better.
With an overall star rating of 4.5/5 compared to Toast’s 3.9/5, Square is our best-rated POS for restaurants and our best POS for small businesses. What's more, with no up-front costs and 5/5 customer support tools, compared to Toast’s limited support tools, Square is even more ideal for smaller vendors like food trucks and market stalls.
Clover is another all-around solid restaurant POS with stronger support tools than Toast (3/5 vs 1/5) and the best customer loyalty system we've reviewed. Read our Toast vs Clover guide to learn more about how the providers weigh up.
Alternatively, restaurants with advanced needs that use iOS devices would be better off opting for TouchBistro. Unlike Toast which exclusively runs on Andoird hardware, TouchBistro is compatible with all technology, and matches Toast’s near-perfect restaurant features score of 4.9/5.
There are loads of top-notch options out there through. Take a look at our table below to see how they compare side-by-side.
Tech.co rating for restaurants
Score out of 5 for general restaurant suitability, based on Tech.co's independent market research.
Best Restaurant POS for:
Tech.co's verdict to help you identify the most suitable choice for your restaurant
The typical lowest starting price. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Is there a version of the software made specifically for iPad use?
Is there a version of the software made specifically for Android tablet use?
BEST FOR RESTAURANTS
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
Epos Now Hospitality POS System
Best overall for restaurants
Best for customer retention
Best POS system for food trucks
Best POS system for scaling restaurants
Retail and hospitality businesses
Most user-friendly restaurant POS system
Best restaurant POS system for delivery
Best for ecommerce
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Sells a range of proprietary hardware devices from handheld tableside tablets to full POS terminals.
First carder reader is $29 and the price of ready-made store kits ranges from $249 to $699.
Sold separately but works with lots of third-party devices
Offers a wide selection of hardware from handheld tablets to industry-specific terminals
Offers lots of compatible hardware including a tablet, cash drawer, receipt printer, and kitchen printer
Offers kits for iPads, MacOS devices, Windows PCs but all are $POA.
Sells a range of third-party hardware options from card readers to barcode scanners and hardware bundles.
Toast POS Review: The Verdict
Toast is great value for money, and its industry-leading till, business management, and stock management features are second to none. In fact, due to the quality of these tools, the POS is one of the best solutions out there for smaller and growing restaurants.
However, Toast POS won't fit the needs of every business. Its help and support options are basic at best, and while its hardware performs well, it's only available to Android customers.
If you've come this far, we know you're serious about finding the right POS. If you'd like help to pin down an ideal solution, we'd recommend using our quick and easy comparison tool. Fill in the quick form to receive obligation-free quotes from leading POS suppliers, tailored specifically to your needs.
Toast typically creates a local LAN network for each client. Once set up, devices including terminals, printers, and card readers can all connect to this network, limiting the likelihood of a dropped internet connection.
However, just because your company uses Toast POS does not automatically make the entire company PCI compliant – it just ensures that the payments processed through the Toast software are in compliance.
Are you ready to take the next steps towards a great POS system for your business? To get started collecting custom prices today, take a minute now to fill out Tech.co's quick POS quotes form. Thousands of other businesses used this form last year alone in order to compare providers and save money, and you could too! Just answer a few quick questions, and you can potentially save yourself a lot of stress and frustration.
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