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Toast POS review

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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.

Details

ProductsPayment processing, POS software, POS hardware
Monthly fees start at$79/month for POS software
Contract required?Yes
HardwareProprietary
IndustriesRestaurant
Best of 2020
Finder experts pick Toast as a 2020 best brand for payment processing.

Toast services

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.

Features

Toast’s POS offerings come with a broad suite of features:

  • Online ordering. Allow your guests to order online with tickets printed directly to the kitchen, customizable ordering hours and set delivery zones.
  • Loyalty programs. Implement a points-based rewards program for a flat monthly fee that prompts guests to opt in during the checkout process.
  • Gift cards. Design and sell branded gift cards in-person and online.
  • 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:

HardwareWhat is it?Description
Toast Tap

Tap

A 3-in-1 card readerAvailable as a direct attachment or countertop device for processing swiped, dipped or tapped payments.
Toast Go

Go

A handheld POS systemThis water-resistant system features an integrated EMV card reader.
Toast Terminal

Terminal

A front-of-house POS system for taking ordersTerminals 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.
Toast Kiosk

Kiosk

A self-service kioskGuests can order and purchase food from a wall or counter top mounted kiosk.
Toast Guest-Facing Display

Guest-Facing Display

A 10″ screen that attaches to the Toast TerminalGuests can view their order and select an on-screen checkout option.
Toast Kitchen Display System

Kitchen Display System

A screen that displays food orders to kitchen staffThis system aggregates food orders and integrates front- and back-of-house service.
Toast accessories

Accessories

Additional POS hardwareAvailable accessories include flip stands, wall mounts, cash drawers, printers, MSR card readers, EMV card readers, barcode scanners, scales, routers and wireless access points.

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.
  • 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 409 reviews as of October 2020.

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Products Monthly fees start at Processing fees start at Industries Hardware
ShopKeep
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware, Inventory tracking
Around $69/month
Varies
Restaurant, Retail
Third-party
Shopkeep offers all-in-one payment processing and POS solutions.
Square
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware, Website builder, Inventory tracking, Shopping cart software
None
2.9% + 10¢
Restaurant, Retail
Proprietary
Square is a one-stop shop with both e-commerce and in-person solutions.
Talech
POS software, Inventory tracking
$35/month
N/A
Restaurant, Retail, Services
Third-party
Offers a feature-rich tablet-based POS system.
Toast
Payment processing, POS software, POS hardware
$79/month for POS software
2.49% + 15¢
Restaurant
Proprietary
Toast offers restaurant-specific POS solutions, including kitchen display systems, online ordering systems and a restaurant podcast.
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Bottom line

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.

Frequently asked questions

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