Updated as of August, 2020
Table of Contents
- 1 Pros
- 2 Cons
- 3 Overview of Toast POS
- 4 In a hurry and don't have time to read reviews?
- 5 Pricing
- 6 What is Toast POS? Watch Demo Here!
- 7 Key Features
- 8 Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
- 9 Data Reporting Features
- 10 Industries Served & Business Size
- 11 Ease of Use
- 12 Hardware Requirements
- 13 Integrations & Add-ons
- 14 Compatible Credit Card Companies
- 15 Customer Service and Support
- 16 Our Verdict
My Toast POS review provides extensive information about this leading point of sale provider. If you’re looking to improve your current point of sale platform, it’s always essential to understand the smaller details. Is the Toast POS system the perfect fit for your restaurant or bar? It’s time to find out!
- Extremely easy to use
- Build custom menus with categories and different features
- Android-based platform
- Niche specifications for certain types of restaurants
- Strong data reporting features
- Strong customer support team
- No payment processing flexibility
- Price can add up when you consider the cost of additional features
Overview of Toast POS
Toast POS is a point of sale system built specifically for the hospitality sector. Instead of focusing on a broad range of niches, Toast POS focuses on tools that help restaurant owners improve efficiency and manage various business components. The company is currently based in Boston, Massachusetts.
Toast POS offers a sleek, easy-to-use POS software product that couples with excellent hardware options. As a user, you’ll benefit from touchscreen hardware devices that help you take orders quickly. Toast POS’s hardware is built to handle the demands of the restaurant business.
Not only does Toast POS have restaurant-specific tools, but the company also provides a few unique specifications for specific restaurant niches. For example, there are features available for cafes, bars, bakeries, fine dining, and a host of other hospitality niches. These separate categories help you access tools that are built to benefit your particular niche.
Third-party integrations and in-house payment processing can also help you improve your business’s efficiency. There is a lot to like about Toast POS — it’s time to continue with the review of Toast POS and take a closer look at the details!
How much does Toast cost? Toast POS pricing starts at $79 per month (first terminal). The fee that you pay will depend on the package that you choose. You can purchase hardware and installation at an additional cost. Below, let’s take a look at the starting prices of various Toast POS components:
- Software for the first terminal (per month): $79 per month
- Additional terminals (per month): $50 each
- Hardware: Popular package is $899 (interest-free financing)
- Installation: $499
- Loyalty Program: $25 (per month)
- Gift Card Program: $50 (per month)
- Online Ordering Program: $50 (per month)
In my opinion, Toast POS is relatively affordable when compared to the rest of the market. The only downside is that the price can add up if you choose to purchase some of the extra benefits (such as the loyalty program). You’ll need to assess the total cost across your business before you decide on this platform’s affordability.
Another issue is that Toast POS doesn’t appear to advertise the pricing of their in-house payment processing. At present, they claim to have a ‘flat rate.’
Toast POS is also happy to work with you to customize a package. If you have a large restaurant or chain of restaurants, you may be able to get a lower price per terminal. It’s always worth discussing your options with the Toast POS system before you a commit to a specific package.
What is Toast POS? Watch Demo Here!
What’s on offer at Toast POS? Let’s take a deep dive into the various features you’ll be afforded if you choose this point of sale system:
- Easy ordering system that allows staff to receive orders and process transactions quickly
- Extensive menu building platform that will enable you to split menus into categories and divide items intuitively. You can also choose to mimic your restaurant’s currently displayed menu. You can use these tools to speed up the menu navigation process
- Customize special pricing and promotional offers directly in your point of sale system
- Tableside ordering for restaurants who need quick-service options for their customers
- Automatically send digital receipts to your customers
- An extensive data reporting system that allows you to understand your business and its various functions
- Track customers and details about their visits to your locations — this can help you target individual customers for specific promotions
- Manage your inventory directly to ensure you don’t disappoint customers with shortages of food or products
- Allow staff members to clock in and out directly via your point of sale platform — this helps you pay wages and keep track of staff promptness
- Track voids, cancellations, and a range of other indicators to keep your finger on the pulse of your business
- Access to a mobile tablet (Toast Go Handheld), which means that you can directly take orders and payments from anywhere on your premises
- A range of niche specifications that help you focus your point of sale system on certain types of hospitality businesses — such as fine dining or bakeries
- Online ordering and delivery modules available
Cloud-Based or Locally Installed?
Toast POS is a cloud-based mobile POS solution, although the company usually creates a local LAN network for its clients. This way, all the POS data is downloaded and stored on every connected device. Further, in case the internet is down, all your devices will still work normally in offline mode. Credit card payments can also be conducted offline, and the data will be stored until the internet is restored. However, it can’t process gift cards offline.
Data Reporting Features
The ‘back office’ features at Toast POS are another strong point associated with this provider. You can access sales data in real-time from an offsite location. Toast POS provides users with useful visuals, reports, comparison tools, automated alerts, and more.
Best of all, you can access all of this directly from a mobile phone. You can control your business without stepping foot in your office.
Industries Served & Business Size
As mentioned earlier, Toast POS is an all-in-one restaurant management solution. It offers convenient features to help you run whatever food industry business. It will work exceptionally well in companies that involve serving food and drinks for profit.
The POS system is suitable for small restaurant establishments, though it’s fully adept with chain restaurant management. The data will sync automatically across all the locations – you only need to use your username and password to access the data.
Ease of Use
The POS system is generally easy to grasp, and the company goes out of its way during the setup process to ensure you have everything you need to get started. One of Toast’s representatives will be there to walk you through the system and take all the time you need to get acquainted with it. The interface is modern, clean, and fast to navigate compared to some of the more traditional point-of-sale solutions.
The ordering and payment processing platforms make it easy to conduct transactions in your restaurant. It can save you time and money if you experience a lot of foot traffic.
Toast will provide you with what you need here, depending on your budget. For those just starting, there are POS terminals, sale tablets, card readers, bar printers, kitchen display screens, and much more.
The hardware packages start at $450 which will get you the handheld tablet bundle, and you can pay $1350 for the terminal bundle, which comes with a cash drawer, receipt printer, stand, tablet, card reader, and a case. Kitchen printers and routers are purchased separately.
The most popular “starter” hardware bundle starts at $899 and includes one 10″ terminal, flip stand, and magnetic card reader.
Integrations & Add-ons
Using third-party integrations can help you instantly enhance your current point of sale platform. If you want to improve individual components of your business, such as online ordering or payroll, third-party integrations can do the trick.
At Toast POS, there’s an impressive number of in-house add-ons and some third-party options. Integrations include:
- Samsung Pay
Compatible Credit Card Companies
Mandatory secure credit card processing is included in the general package. And to use Toast as your POS, you have to use Toast as your payment processor, which can be a bit of a challenge — especially if you want to keep your current provider. Toast will let you accept cash, checks, gift cards, and works with most credit and debit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover). You can accept payments tableside with the Toast Go Handheld device.
Customer Service and Support
Customer support was a paramount consideration when the founders set out to create a POS system — and it shows. They have invested in quite a high level of support, which is rarely seen within the industry, from personal customization of the software to match unique needs of the customers, to 24/7 technical assistance to the sheer number hands-on training materials available. Plus, most of these services come free of charge.
However, platform installation and configuration are available at a small fee, which is enough to cater for the cost of the people who provide these services. It’s entirely possible that they lose money by offering installation services.
I found Toast POS as one of the best POS solutions I’ve come across recently. It gives you all of the features you’d expect from a high-end system, with few (if any) product gaps. With a recent announcement of $400M in Series F Funding, any feature or technology gaps will quickly be dissolved. There are tens of thousands of new restaurants joining their platform every year, so Toast is definitely one of the leaders in the restaurant industry. Also, their exceptional customer service really sets them apart.
However, I think it would be better if users had an option to choose whether or not to keep Toast as their payment processor. Still, this isn’t a deal-breaker, considering the few complaints and many praises about the processor from its current users. That said, we have no doubt recommending Toast to anyone running a business in the food-service industry. If Toast isn’t the perfect choice for your business, you can check out some of our other POS reviews here.
Image Credits: pos.toasttab.com
Editor’s note: How’d we do on our Toast POS review? Do you have any questions, comments, or concerns? Your feedback is important to us. Please let us know in the comments below or contact us.