Toast POS review
A well-reviewed provider among restaurateurs, but a minimum one-year contract is required.
Toast offers restaurant-specific point-of-sale (POS) solutions, including kitchen display systems, online ordering systems — even a restaurant podcast. But you’ll need to agree to Toast as your payment processor and you could face termination fees for breaking contract ahead of schedule.
- Choose this provider if you run a restaurant and want an integrated payment processing and POS solution.
- Consider something else if you don’t work in the restaurant industry or already have a payment processor.
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Toast offers both POS solutions and payment processing:
- Payment processing. Flat-rate payment processing comes with every Toast account.
- POS software. Toast’s POS software is designed specifically for restaurants and can be customized for establishments large and small.
- POS hardware. A variety of hardware options are available, including Toast terminal bundles, kiosks, kitchen display systems, card readers and more.
Toast’s POS offerings come with a broad suite of features:
- Online ordering and delivery. Allow your guests to order online from a custom-branded site or through the Toast TakeOut app with pickup and delivery options.
- Order and pay. Eliminate paper menus, billfolds and receipts by letting customers place orders and pay for their meal from their table with their mobile device.
- Loyalty programs and gift cards. Design branded gift cards or implement a points-based rewards program that prompts guests to opt in during the checkout process.
- Payroll and team management. Manage your team and automate payroll systems with time-tracking, benefits administration and more.
- Inventory management. Track inventory data, eliminate waste and increase profit with menu engineering that helps you identify under-performing menu items.
- Reporting and analytics. Access performance metrics with automated nightly emails and cloud-enabled reporting to compare sales across locations, time periods and menu items.
- Restaurant hardware. Install industry-specific hardware to streamline your service, including kitchen display systems, guest-facing displays and scales.
- Business loans. Apply for business capital of up to $250,000 directly through Toast’s platform.
- Dedicated podcast. Listen to industry experts and fellow restaurateurs share tips and success stories on its podcast, The Garnish.
What hardware is available?
With Toast, POS hardware options are plentiful and include the Toast:
A 3-in-1 card reader
Available as a direct attachment or countertop device for processing swiped, dipped or tapped payments.
A handheld POS system
This water-resistant system features an integrated EMV card reader.
A handheld POS system
This mobile unit accepts swiped, dipped, NFC and digital wallet payments and integrates with Toast KDS, Toast Marketing and Toast Loyalty.
A front-of-house POS system for taking orders
Terminals are Toast Tap enabled and can be bundled to include a terminal stand, card reader, cash drawer, receipt printer and 5-port switch and cables.
A self-service kiosk
Guests can order and purchase food from a wall or counter top mounted kiosk.
A 10" screen that attaches to the Toast Terminal
Guests can view their order and select an on-screen checkout option.
Kitchen Display System
A screen that displays food orders to kitchen staff
This system aggregates food orders and integrates front- and back-of-house service.
Additional POS hardware
Available accessories include flip stands, wall mounts, cash drawers, printers, MSR card readers, EMV card readers, barcode scanners, scales, routers and wireless access points.
What is Toast Now?
Toast Now is a bundle of digital services designed to help restaurants expand into online ordering and delivery. It's essentially Toast's answer to the restaurant adapting its business model to takeout-oriented service.
The service is available across three tiers: Now, Now Plus and Now Premium. It offers a variety of features to help restaurants equip themselves for online business, including online ordering, a mobile takeout app, contactless delivery, email marketing campaigns and e-gift cards.
Toast Now is only available to merchants new to Toast and the service doesn't require any point-of-sale hardware to operate. Existing Toast merchants may be able to add Toast Now features to their existing Toast software for a monthly fee.
Toast pricing and fees
Toast offers some of its pricing information on its website, but we had to schedule a call with a customer service rep to fill in the gaps.
- Payment processing. Processing rates with Toast start at 2.49% plus $0.15.
- POS software. Toast’s POS software prices start at $79 monthly for each terminal, and include cloud-based reporting, menu management and kitchen operations.
- POS hardware. Toast’s hardware bundles start at $899 and include a terminal, flip stand and card reader.
- Toast Now. Subscription prices for Toast Now range from $69 to $199 monthly.
- Installation fee. Both remote and in-person installation options are available with fees starting at $499 and 0% financing available.
- POS features. Loyalty programs, gift cards, payroll and customer management all come at a cost, with prices that vary by business size and sales volume.
How do I sign up with Toast?
To sign up with Toast, call 857-301-6002 to set up a call with a Toast sales rep in your area. Your rep offers to arrange a one-hour demo of Toast’s services, but you're not obligated to try the demo before you sign up. During the signup process, you're asked to provide the following information:
- Business name
- Business address
- Business phone number
- Federal tax ID number
- Account and routing number of business checking account
Toast reviews and complaints
Toast receives praise from many of its merchants, contributing to high marks across multiple review platforms. Toast is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) from receiving a B rating. On Trustpilot, Toast has a TrustScore of 4.1 out of 5 based on 467 reviews as of January 2021.
Reviews report reliable software and top-notch customer service. And while complaints for this provider are few and far between, some reviews mentioned Toast’s contract terms, obligatory payment processing and early termination fees.
Pros and cons
- 24/7 support. Toast advertises 24-hour phone, email and live chat assistance for its merchants.
- Free demo. You can schedule a one-hour trial of Toast’s services before you apply.
- Niche restaurant features. From online ordering and delivery options to kitchen-specific hardware, Toast’s services are designed for restaurants of all shapes and sizes.
- Offline payments. Should your Internet connectivity lapse, Toast’s software is equipped to handle offline credit card payments.
- Only for restaurants. If you don't run a restaurant, you won't be eligible to sign up for Toast’s services.
- No third-party processors. Signing up for Toast requires that you agree to its payment processing services.
- Early termination fee. Toast’s services require a minimum one-year commitment and you could face early termination fees for leaving Toast before your contract ends.
- Lack of transparency. While Toast offers some information about its rates and fees online, it doesn't list processing rates, hardware prices or mention the minimum year-long contract required to use its services.
What other products will I need?
With Toast, you have most of what you need to accept customer payments — with the exception of an important account:
- Checking account. Connect a business checking account to your Toast account so customer funds have a safe place to be deposited.
What is Toast?
Toast is a point-of-sale service provider founded in 2011 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. What began in 2011 as a consumer payments app for restaurants has since evolved into POS service with over 2,000 employees across the US.
Toast gives back to the community with Toast.org, a community service foundation focused on addressing food insecurity and accessibility.
How do I contact Toast support?
Onboarded merchants gain access to Toast’s 24-hour tech support, but new merchants have only one way to contact Toast:
- Phone. Call 617-682-0225 weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., EST to connect with a sales rep.
Compare other POS providers
Toast offers a rich set of restaurant-focused POS features, diverse hardware options and 24-hour tech support. But you're expected to sign a contract when you apply and you'll have to use Toast as your payment processor.
Not sure Toast is the right call? Review your point-of-sale options with other providers to find the service that’s best for your business.