Gone are the days when Point of Sale (POS) systems were only meant for processing payments. The leading POS brands today, including Toast, offer a range of features and capabilities to open up revenue streams, simplify business management and give you more flexibility.
Having been specifically designed for restaurants, Toast POS is equipped with the right features and tools to accomplish such tasks as ordering, inventory management, profits, and revenue tracking. Some of the capabilities that make this all-in-one POS solution unique include gift and loyalty card programs, built in guest database restaurant reporting and CRM.
If you are looking for an affordable, cloud-based POS system to simplify operations, boost revenue and enhance guest experience in your restaurant, Toast POS will be a great choice. Throughout this review, you will learn why thousands of restaurant owners prefer this system.
Toast POS Review 2019 – Quick Overview
Ranging from feature-rich POS software to a choice of powerful, robust and durable hardware options, Toast POS is designed to offer you the best performance in the industry. With this system installed in you restaurant, you can choose to fire orders and process payments from the self-serve Toast Kiosks or directly from the table.
The all-in-one point of sale system has been proven to make payment processing easy and seamless. In Addition to online payment processing capabilities the POS integrates an array of features and capabilities that are meant to improve throughput and build revenue for your business.
Power Your Business with Innovative Features
Such features include loyalty programs, physical and digital gift cards, inventory tracking, centralized customer data as well as preauthorization of debit and credit cards. When combined, such features have been proven to improve revenue for restaurants.
In order to achieve this, the system is designed to save you time you would have wasted on menu management and eliminate online ordering commissions. Additionally, Toast POS allows for a customizable online ordering experience.
The inventory tracking feature is another thing restaurant owners have expressed their satisfaction with. As you may know, inventory management can have a significant impact on your bottom line. As such, it needs to be managed carefully. With Toast, Inventory management has never been easier.
The Inventory Management feature of this point of sale allows you to run food cost reports, menu engineering and inventory variances. All this may be accomplished right from the point of sale. Avoid the hustle and time wastage associated with spreadsheets; let the Toast point of sale system simplify things for you.
Toast POS Benefits
- Offers a flexible, all-in-one POS platform
- Features a built-in loyalty tracking feature
- Cost effective software
- Relatively easy to use
- Allows for optional integrations
- Runs on an Android-based platform
- The system is entirely Android based, does not support iOS devices
Toast POS Pricing
As compared to other restaurant POS systems that are popular today, you will find Toast to be quite affordable. In this regard, the provider offers a competitive and simple price plan—subscriptions. The subscription plans offered by this provider cater for everything, including full-view reporting, Mobile POS solution, 24/7 customer support and a vast array of features and capabilities.
Regardless of the Toast subscription plan you opt for, you will get unlimited software updates as well as catering and take-out functionality. Do you own a fast-casual business concept with several locations or are just looking for the best POS system for a full-service dining experience?
Regardless of the case, the provider offers several software packages that are affordable and tailor-made to meet your business POS requirements. in this regard, this is what you should expect to pay for your Toast restaurant point of sale:
The Core POS Software Cost
To get the core POS software by this provider you are required to make a monthly payment of $79 for each of the terminals you have in your business. As mentioned earlier in this review, this monthly subscription for the Core POS software gives you access to:
- 24/7 customer support
- Mobile POS technology
- Full-view reporting capability
- Support for take-out and catering
- Unlimited software updates
- Customer data tracking
- Wide range of POS features and capabilities
While this is the much you have to pay for the Core software package, you may also get annual and volume discounts from the provider from time to time. If you would like to integrate additional features and capabilities to the POS, beyond the Core software package offering, you need to subscribe for Toast add-ons.
While the software subscription by this provider is relatively affordable, you should expect to spend a considerable amount of money for the hardware. In this regard, the least you should expect to pay for Toast POS hardware is $899, with 0 percent financing.
However, the provider offers financing options for the applicants who qualify. If you qualify, you will not have to pay for the hardware upfront. Instead, the provider will allow you to pay for the package in monthly installments. In such a case, the provider will not charge you any interest and you can pay for the product in a 36-month financing option.
As compared to some of the leading POS systems, Toast is relatively hard to install and use. In this regard, the provider offers comprehensive POS implementation service. The provider will dispatch a team of experts to handle system installation, staff training and menu set-up on site.
However, this comes at a cost; and a relatively high one for that matter. For hardware installation, menu set up, staff training and other aspects of POS implementation, you will be required to pay an installation fee of about $499.
The costs discussed above are for the basic POS features and functionalities offered by the Toast Core Software Package. Any other additional integration to your POS system beyond the basics will come at a cost. For instance, each of the additional devices you decide to add to your POS will come at a cost of $50 per month.
If you own a larger full-service restaurant, you will definitely require more than six POS terminals. Based on the above mentioned add-on price, this could translate into a lot of money payable to the provider at the end of each month. This is why Toast offers custom Enterprise pricing for such businesses.
If you need more than 6 POS terminals in your restaurant, you need to contact Toast customer support to get a custom Enterprise pricing quote; hence save on the POS installation and monthly subscription payments. Similarly, add-on features and capabilities to this POS will also come at a cost. For instance:
- Loyalty program will cost you an additional $25 per month
- Online Ordering will cost you an additional $50 per month
- You have to pay an additional $50 per month for Digital and Physical Gift Cards functionality
Toast POS Features and Capabilities
Despite its relatively high cost, Toast is truly an exceptional point of sale system. The provider offers a single POS platform that is powerful enough to streamline all operations in your restaurant. The product is essentially designed to combine all back-of-the-house, front-of-the-house, POS and guest-facing tools and features into a single, easy-to-use platform.
In addition to streamlining and simplifying operations in restaurants, this system has been helping restaurants of varying sizes boost their sales. The effectiveness of this POS may be attributed to its unique set of features and capabilities.
Some of the impeccable features and capabilities restaurant owners have come to like and praise include:
1. Restaurant Menu Management
This is actually one of the reasons why so many restaurant owners love this POS. The software allows you to easily push updates to your online and in-store menu, which appears in real-time. This feature also allows you to customize the restaurant menu as well as review reporting on various menu items any time and from anywhere.
During installation, the menu specialists from Toast will set up the entire menu in your business. In this regard, they will present you with a complete POS menu that includes all groups, items subgroups and modifiers. All these will be presented within your account.
In most cases, the menu will have been programmed for you by the time you unpack your Toast POS tablets and terminals. If you decide to subscribe for the online ordering add-on feature, the provider will also develop a webpage for the restaurant—complete and with all relevant online menu information.
Your customers may then use this online menu to place online orders. The menu management software offered by this provider makes it easier and fast for you to make menu updates and push them in a matter of seconds. With this software, you can add and edit the various menu items.
Similarly, the software allows you to remove menu items, subgroups and modifiers or even adjust your workflow operations at any given time. The changes you make to your menu will be synced to all the devices connected to the POS immediately.
2. Restaurant Labor Management
If you are looking forward to streamlining operations in your business, you need manage your employees more effectively. To make this easier for you, this feature allows for user-based permissions and restrictions to POS access.
This alone allows you to control which employees have access to what. This has been proven to help a lot with accountability in restaurants. For instance, you may set the system to require approval by the manager for discounts and voids.
This feature also makes it possible for you to set separate schedules for your service and kitchen staff. This implies that you can micromanage the staff using this POS system. Additionally, this feature gives you a general overview of employee performance.
As such, you can assess the performance of your service and kitchen staff separately and gauge this against the expectations. You will also love the fact that Toast accounts are customizable. As such, you will have an easy time creating different roles/services for the staff. Similarly, this functionality allows you to assign specific hours of operation to individual employees.
3. Inventory Management
Toast point of sale system is designed to keep you on track on item and ingredient levels in your business. Though relatively new to the POS, the inventory Management feature offers an array of unique and powerful capabilities.
Some of the capabilities offered by this feature include food cost calculator, recipe costing tool, inventory reporting, inventory reporting and menu engineering chart. The menu engineering chart may be used to analyze the most profitable as well as best-selling menu items in the restaurant.
In addition to keeping you updated on item levels, this feature will also keep you updated by sending you the right documents at preset intervals. For instance, you can use this feature to generate accurate inventory variance reports from time to time.
4. Customer Data Collection and Reporting
As a restaurant owner, it pays to know your customers better. Offering personalized products and services shows your customers that you care about their specific preferences. This will, in turn, boost customer retention in the business. To help you achieve this, Toast is offers an innovative CRM feature.
The integrated customer relationship management (CRM) feature offered by this POS is very effective at collecting customers’ order history and contact information. With such information, the system will generate an accurate report.
From this report, you can see the customers who have frequented your establishment the most or have spent more money in the restaurant within any time frame. This feature also allows you to narrow things a little further.
To do this, you should just select any individual customer and get an instant report on their average checks and frequently ordered foods by the customer. This feature, along with Toast gifts and rewards report gives you an accurate overview of activity by your customers.
This, in turn, makes it easy for you to reward the loyal customers or offer loyalty programs to incentivize the customers.
Order placement is an integral part of any restaurant business. As such, you need to ensure that you are offering the best ordering experience possible to your customers. With Toast POS installed in your business orders may be placed in two different ways:
- From counter-top POS terminals
- Using handheld portable tablets
The countertop POS terminal hardware is meant to accept orders and process payments from stationery points. For this application, the hardware may be swiveled to serve as a customer facing display. The handheld tablet terminals, on the other hand, may be used for tableside ordering and payment processing.
However, these tablets may be used to carry out an array of other tasks, beyond accepting orders and payment processing. In this regard, they serve as an important link between front-of-the-house and back-of-the-house. As such, the servers can send orders and fire instructions to the kitchen directly from the tablets.
Additionally, the servers can also manage customer tabs as well as payment options using the tablets. This is not just convenient for the servers; it also saves them time as they do not have to walk back and forth to accomplish such tasks.
6. Add-On Features And Capability
In addition to being a customizable POS option, you will also find Toast to be very scalable. Based on your business needs, the provider allows you to integrate the POS with an array of add-on features. As mentioned earlier in this review, such add-ons come at an additional cost.
However, you will find such features and capabilities to be highly intuitive and tailor-made to meet your business needs. Some of the add-on features offered by Toast include:
- Online Ordering
As you may have noticed, most of the leading restaurants today accept online ordering. Actually, Online Ordering is one of the most popular add-on features by this provider. To get this integration, you are required to pay an additional $50 per month.
According to restaurant owners who already use the feature, it is actually worth every penny. Upon subscribing to this feature, the provider will help you develop a webpage for your business. This is the page your customers will be accessing to place orders online.
This ordering page has a full menu; allowing your customers to place orders and buy gift cards online. You may configure this feature to have orders placed online instantly fired to the kitchen for preparation.
- Gift Cards
For only $50 a month, in addition to your monthly subscription cost, you can incorporate the ability to create and process physical and digital gift cards to your Toast POS. the moment you purchase this add on feature, the Gift Cards integration will be associated with the POS.
As such, it will be easy for you to track, sell and complete transactions using either digital or physical gift cards. If you decide to use the conventional plastic gift cards, the system will customize and print the cards for you. Additionally, the POS will also program the cards to integrate with the POS system.
Other add-on features and capabilities offered by Toast, at an additional cost, include:
- Loyalty programs
7. Time Tracking
You must know that very few restaurant point of sale systems offer the time tracking feature. So, you can see why the Toast restaurant POS is a darling among many restaurant owners today. This feature requires you to assign each of your employees a 4-digit, unique PIN.
The employees will be using this PIN to clock-in and clock-out on Toast portable tablets in the business. This is an innovative and relatively easy way of tracking labor in your business, don’t you think? Again, managers may use this feature to get an overview of the clocked in and clocked out employees at any given time.
8. Restaurant-Based Reporting
Industry-specific features are some of the aspects that make Toast POS stand out and restaurant-based reporting is a compelling feature indeed. This feature presents you with an array of detailed reports to give you an accurate overview of the business.
Some of the reports offered by this feature include: product mix reports, labor reports, sales reports, and tip reports among others. The various reports offered by this feature are updated in real time and may be accessed anytime from anywhere.
You will also get a summary report that is robust and precise. This summary report will show you such aspects as the gratuity, net sales, total guests, breakdown of service types, table turn time and payment methods. This summary report offers you a ‘scannable’, quick sales metrics overview.
9. Pricing Menu Items
Pricing the various items on your restaurant menu does not have to be a tedious and time-consuming task. This capability of the Toast restaurant point of sale system is designed to make the task easy and fun.
Basically, the system allows you to strategize whenever you are costing menu items in your restaurant. In this regard, it allows you to create a series of pricing rules that may be applied across all groups, ranging from different item sizes to menu items that require special pricing.
Though tipping is a basic concept, it can complicate things in your business, if not managed effectively. With Toast POS in your business, you can customize tips percentages. This way, customers will be automatically prompted to tip the provider in accordance to the preset tip percentages.
For instance, the customer may be given several tip percentage options like 10%, 15% or 20%. In such a case, the customer only needs to select the much he or she would like to tip the server based on the preset tip percentages.
One of the newest updates to this feature allows you to calculate tip percentages in accordance to sales category.
Our Final Verdict
Come to think of it, not all the restaurant point of sale systems are as good as they claim to be. This is why you need to be very careful while choosing the right one for your business. Ranging from affordable price plans to a wide range of industry-specific features, Toast's restaurant POS is truly an exceptional choice.
Most of the price plans by this provider only offer the basic restaurant POS features and tools. However, the provider allows you to tailor the POS system to your needs by integrating the various add-on features. Get the portability, convenience, efficiency and productivity you need by installing Toast POS in your business.