Updated on January 18, 2022
Toast POS Reviews 2022: Toast POS System, Features, Pros & Cons, & Customer Reviews
Toast POS Reviews offers insights into what makes Toast POS systems one of the best POS systems for diverse restaurants. Choosing the right credit card processing and POS system remains a huge feat for any business. It is a necessary device to offer the best customer shopping journey for your customers and keep them coming back in future. No matter how your customers find you, they always end up coming in contact with your POS system, as you process their credit and debit card payments before handing over the products to that customer. Hence, you need a point of sale that works fantastically well to offer great convenience to your customers. This guide concentrates on Toast POS reviews. But then choosing the best system depends on your business type, size, how far along you are in business, the processing costs you are willing to pay versus save, and lots more.
Toast POS as an organization was founded in 2012 by three former Endeca employees after Oracle acquired the software firm. At the onset, Toast founders were focused on creating a consumer app for mobile payment, hosted promotions, and customer loyalty that could integrate with the restaurant’s existing POS systems. However, they quickly realized that restaurants required a more robust platform. Today, Toast is known for its flat-rate credit card processing costs, with no setup or hidden charges. It is a specially designed merchant accounts provider in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
In this Toast POS review, we talk about the different features and functionalities, toast pos pricing, comparison, software and apps you will be using, your roadmap, the lightspeed and intuitiveness of the sell screen, customer-facing experience among others. We will also compare to other POS systems and credit card solutions, available on the market.
What is Toast POS Review Credit Card Processing?
Toast POS system offers flexible systems designed for restaurants and the foodservice industry. Hence, Toast is a beautifully developed point-of-sale system for restaurants, cafes, full-service bars, etc.
You can enjoy a wide variety of hardware tools alongside restaurant-friendly software features which makes it easy to accept, manage, track, and prioritize credit card processing for food orders. Toast POS system also provides 24/7 customer service for different kinds of services, alongside network configuration and installation. Toast also includes a comprehensive menu and inventory management system alongside built-in digital ordering and delivery systems for your online or mobile app orders. You will also enjoy handheld devices, self-ordering kiosks, kitchen display systems (KDS) among other gorgeous solutions for multichannel sales and growing your customer base.
Toast provides superb functionality but with a bit more commitment of a contract between one to three years and an early termination fee. Nevertheless, our Toast POS reviews cover the importance of these Toast POS fees and more. Here we will also evaluate the numerous Toast POS review to help you make the best choice of a POS system suitable for your business.
How does Toast POS Credit Card Processing work?
It is important to have an idea of how Toast POS systems work. So, Toast combines payment processing, customer loyalty programs, and point-of-sale service alongside custom-built hardware. But then, Toast is a third-party payment processor, so they offer a front-end solution while using other merchant services as their back-end processing.
Also, realize that Toast POS stands out from IOS-based competitors because the application runs on Android making it cheaper and more versatile.
As a payment processor, you can process payments on your behalf without needing to set up a dedicated merchant account. After payment is processed, Toast sends the fund to your merchant account in one or two business days. To which you pay a fee for each card payment alongside a monthly subscription for using Toast hardware and software. Toast software allows you to set up an order menu system where you get orders that you can see from your kitchen hardware. The information is put together at checkout and then put to use through the restaurant. Plus, the Toast system creates menu and labor reports alongside real-time sales analytics that you can view from your own device whenever you like.
Beyond that, the Toast system allows you to cross-reference customer information you pick up at the checkout against your customer loyalty program and promotional emails. That way, you can offer a personalized service to each customer to make the best impression. Toast also integrates with diverse restaurant-specific services such as Grubhub, reservation apps like Tock and OpenTable alongside other third-party software providers.
Who can use the Toast POS System?
The idea that the Toast POS system is suitable for restaurants doesn’t do justice to the enormous list of different types of businesses that can use Toast. At its core, Toast is about food ordering and servicing businesses. But then, this list is extensive and clearly shows that businesses that would enjoy using Toast are high-volume businesses with menus requiring a great deal of customization. Let’s talk about each one of them.
● Restaurants requiring digital ordering and delivery
If you’d love a built-in online ordering and delivery system where customers can quickly place their order without requiring a waiter, here’s a system for you. It’s so good that your food ordering customers from home can make their orders at lightning speed from the comfort of their ho. There are also flexible options for integrating with third-party systems for extra functionality.
● Coffee Shops
Toast remains one of the best credit card processing and POS solutions for coffee shops. You enjoy quick-service inventory management features, flexible set up and lots more. This is why Toast is one of the best cafe-friendly POs systems for diverse systems.
● Restaurants requiring paperless and contactless options
In this age of COVID-19, making limited contact with your customers is now one of the necessary ways they understand how much you prioritize their health. Toast brings you a suite of hardware including handheld tablets, kitchen display systems and self-service kiosks where customers can fulfill the heights of their needs without the need for picking up a paper-based menu or tab again. You will also enjoy QR-code ordering and payment tools which allow customers to use their smartphones as mini self-service kiosks.
● Full-Service bars and Restaurants
Toast POS features real-time inventory tracking and swipe-to-open tabs alongside other tools that bars require. It also includes self-service ordering and online ordering that makes Toast customizable for diverse restaurant types.
Overall, bakeries, cafes, pizzerias, nightclubs, and lots more can all use Toast. But do note that traditional American-style pizzerias with robust menus, diverse combinations, and customer modifications may require a bit of technical expertise setting up. Hence, Toast is suitable for small and full-service establishments.
When wouldn’t Toast be a good fit?
However, like every other processing solution, there are times when Toast wouldn’t be a good fit. First, if you use your hardware, then you might not like Toast. This is because Toast comes with its proprietary tablets and there’s no flexibility of an iPad POS. Again, Toast is not recommended for single-unit Food trucks, small business food shops, seasonal businesses, and ghost kitchens, as the idea of a two-year contract may seem daunting. Plus, you need to be willing to pay for optional installation fees and add-ons that cost a lot of money. So if you are a startup restaurant requiring a free or low-cost POS solution, Toast POS systems may not be the best choice. Or perhaps you are seeking a system that comes with month-to-month subscriptions and free cancellation, Toast might not be the best choice.
High-volume, traditional pizza shops that operate like full-service restaurants will enjoy the Toast POS solution. However, if you are a traditional pizza shop trying to compete with Dominos, the high-volume pizza functions that Toast offers may seem limited to you.
Toast POS Pros and Cons
Toast POS Pros
- Built-in ordering systems, self-ordering kiosks, and delivery features
- Android-based system
- E-commerce integration
- Great hardware developed to withstand the challenges of any restaurant environment.
- Superb and robust menu and inventory management from the base pricing to the most expensive plan
- The pricing plan is a pay-as-you-go system.
- Highly straightforward system to navigate especially when training new staff
- Robust 24/7 customer service.
- Intuitive and user-friendly systems
- Multiple ways to accept orders through the customer self-serve kiosks, toast order & pay, toast takeout & delivery, and Toast Now
- Toast takeout & delivery app is a superb app that competes with apps like DoorDash, and Grubhub.
- Toast also listens to customer feedback and develops new tools to continuously satisfy its customers.
- Toast’s starter plan is pay-as-you-go thereby allowing the flexibility to pay lower fees for your budding business.
- Not ideal for very large build-your-own pizza operations
- Not the easiest POS system to setup
- Must use Toast’s proprietary tablets and payment processor
- Come with two to a three-year contract and early termination fees
- Frequent software updates may come up at the most inconvenient hours.
- Toast is usually sold as an all-in-one package including hardware, software, processing fees, and a strict contract.
A Summary of Toast POS Review Reddit, Glassdoor & Other Review Sites
One of the reasons you will love Toast POS is that it is created by people who have worked in restaurants. Everyone from engineers to sales staff has been familiar with diverse challenges that restaurants face. So you will enjoy hardware that is designed for the restaurant scene. Toast POS also makes it easy to manage multiple locations which are superb for restaurants with lots of branches. You will be able to keep your information current even if the different locations have different prices and menus. If your restaurant has only one physical location but with a huge online presence, you will love using the Toast POS system. Toast allows you to set your central menu and automatically update it online and using Toast’s app. Across the different review websites, Toast has great ratings and a plethora of praises. Toast takeout and delivery app on Google play also have 4.5 stars.
Toast Software, Hardware, Features & Services
Toast Business Hardware
As said earlier, Toast runs on Toast-built Android tablets. The idea behind the Android IOS is to provide versatility. Most Toast hardware consists of Elo Touch devices that run on Android 7.1. However, hardware like Toast Go is actually custom-built for Toast.
Toast hardware lineup includes a variety of hardware solutions. You can choose to finance through a third-party financing vendor or pay for hardware upfront. All of Toast’s hardware solutions are designed to survive heat, grease, and spills. These hardware solutions also come with a two-year warranty at no additional cost, so you can seek to repair if anything goes wrong. You will also love that the software can handle complex modifiers, including happy hour pricing, restaurant-specific features, and optional toppings. Toast offers everything from handheld tablets (Toast Go) to standalone terminals (Toast Flex). Toast Go is a mobile POS device designed uniquely for the platform which makes Toast appealing to restaurants that wish to add tableside ordering.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the Toast POS hardware.
- Toast Go 2: Phone-size device for ordering and card payments (insert, tap and swipe). This device is spill-proof, drop-resistant, and weighs just about a pound. It has an integrated EMV credit card reader and offers 24 hours of battery life.
- Toast Flex for Guest: This is similar to Toast Flex but with a guest-facing 8-inch screen. It accepts tap, swipe, and dip payments. It can be attached directly to Toast Flex or counter-mounted.
- Toast Flex: This includes a 14-inch touchscreen that can be swerved to face the customer. It is a 1P54 rated, spill-proof, and water-resistant device with 2X the RAM of consumer tablets.
- Toast Flex for Kitchen: This includes a 14-inch full HD LCD durable touchscreen monitor that connects to the kitchen. This device can stand higher temperatures than iPads. You can choose wall or counter mount options.
- Restaurant Self-order Kiosk (Toast Kiosk): The large touchscreen on a stand. You can purchase either a 10-inch, 15-inch, or 22-inch Elo Touch I Series 2.0. There are wall and counter mount options. All come with an integrated EMV-enabled card reader.
- Toast Tap: This device comes with a case that protects it from spills, bumps, and drops. You can choose between direct attach and on-counter options. The device accepts swipe, dip, and tap payments.
There’s also a great array of peripherals including printers, scales, cash drawers, barcode scanners, and wall mounts. You can also access wireless and wired routers alongside wireless access points with offline functionality.
Again, Toast also brings to you an assortment of peripheral systems such as self-service kiosks, contactless cards and mobile wallet readers (Toast Tap), KDS screens. Toast KDS setup is actually one of the best. It’s super intuitive to navigate and contains diverse features.
Toast KDS offers multiple language settings and easy-to-read all-day counts which clearly depict that Toast was developed by actual people who have worked in restaurants.
Toast POS Features and Software systems
Toast POS offers a robust suite of features designed to make things easier for you to run your restaurant. Let’s talk about the breakdown of the different software and features you should expect from Toast.
1. Multilocation management
Manage menus, inventory, costs, and reports across all locations from a unified dashboard.
2. Digital ordering
You can take orders online using a QR-code fed into your in-house order stream on countertop terminals or through a mobile app on handheld devices. You will love that TOast’s handheld devices (Toast Go) can access whole applications including reports. Right on the tablet, your team can take orders, send orders, and fire instructions to the kitchen without requiring your main POS register. They can also manage your customer’s tab and payment no matter where they are in the restaurant.
3. Toast Online ordering
Toast online ordering can be achieved as an add-on and is quite popular. With this tool, you can create a ‘webpage’ that your customers can access on their smartphones, tablets, and computers to see your full menu, order food online, and purchase gift cards. Even when your restaurant already has a website, you can add a link that takes visitors to the online ordering page. This page also syncs easily with menu changes made in the POS so that tickets are always automatic and accurate.
4. Kiosk Mode
Toast’s Kiosk mode allows customers to order on their own which minimizes human contact points and errors. There’s also a quick reorder function for repeat customers who usually place the same order. In this case, they can swipe their card, quickly pull up their previous order and select quickly.
5. Digital Receipts
We love that Toast also makes it easier for customers to receive digital receipts of their time at your website. They can also use this feature to leave feedback. This helps so when any customer has a negative experience, you can quickly see and follow up on that customer before they move on to leave a horrible review on public platforms like Yelp.
6. Pay at Table
You can also access the Pay at Table feature which allows guests to pay for their meals using their own smart device. Customers can pay right via their phone by scanning the QR code on their receipts without handing over their credit card. This further minimizes contact. There’s also a mobile app for this purpose as well.
7. Toast TakeOut
This mobile ordering app shows your restaurant to new guests and you won’t pay any commission fees (unlike third-party apps). Here customers can place their orders for pickup or contactless delivery.
8. Menu creation
You can create a custom POS menu that corresponds to your physical menu and customers will be able to see what’s available and place their order accordingly. Each separate menu on your Toast system can also be split into menu groups (e.g. dinner might have salads, entrees, appetizers, etc.). Each group will show the menu items and with modifiers and submodifiers alongside. The modifier system is robust and feature-rich enough to support sandwich shops, pizzerias, priced highly, and restaurants.
9. Pricing menu items
Toast allows you to create pricing rules so that your menu costing will depend on different item sizes and items requiring special pricing based on their location. There’s also group pricing, plus multiple size categories with designated prices accordingly.
10. Toast POS tips
Toast makes it easier to customize tip percentages. So when a guest checks out, the system automatically nudges the customer to tip by providing fair options (10%, 15%, 20% depending on what your set-up). This allows for gentle pressure without making it seem like enforcing any rule. At the end of the day, Toast makes it easier to automatically calculate tips, distribute them and conduct server payouts. You can equally calculate tip percentages based on multiple sales groups.
11. Toast delivery
If you run an in-house delivery team or route delivery attached to your restaurant, then this feature is for you. You can tailor your delivery system to sync properly with online ordering and the Toast TakeOut app. Delivery services can also be synced with DoorDash, which is a great choice when you don’t have your own delivery drivers. It also includes a contactless delivery option. Restaurants can pay a flat fee per order and choose how they pass the fee to customers. Toast also integrates with other delivery systems such as Uber Eats, and GrubHub. Toast delivery service add-on is actually cheaper than most third-party deliveries.
12. Comprehensive inventory management
This includes features such as a food cost calculator, recipe costing tool, inventory reporting, inventory control, inventory variance, and menu engineering chart so you can track your most profitable items and bestsellers.
13. Solid foundation
This includes quick order screens for the bar, customizable floor plans for dining room orders, multiple options for check splitting (by seat number or drag-and-drop), and swipe-open bar tabs.
14. Customer data collection and reporting
You can also enjoy an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system that collects customers’ contact information and order history. On the customer report, you can find where customers have visited the most, spent the most money among other metrics. This allows you to also check out detailed information on the customer’s average checks, days since they last visited, and the most ordered items. Additionally, you can also view the distribution and use of gift cards and active rewards.
15. Labor management
You can also set user access levels so that employees understand their roles and permissions on the platform. For instance, you want the manager to approve discounts and voids. Again, you can also micromanage your staff, evaluate the efficiency of your kitchen, and quickly access the server’s sales with expectations. You can also customize and designate hours of operation, roles, and services to different members of your staff.
16. Time tracking
You can track when employees check in to your restaurant by assigning every employee a unique 4-digit PIN for clocking in and clocking out on Toast tablets. Hence, it’s easier to track labor and performance.
17. Kitchen Display system
Toast’s KDS system is a fascinating software that comes color-coded with feature times on tickets so that your cooks never lose track of their orders. On one end, servers will be notified when an order is ready via sound on the system or flash which further improves productivity.
18. Restaurant-based reporting (Live data analytics)
This feature allows you to generate reports using real-time data, so you can make decisions about operations on the go. You can create reports ranging from simple sales reports to tip reports, product mix reports, labor reports, and lots more. You can also access this data from anywhere and at any time. There’s also a summary report which shows total guests, gratuity, net sales, tips, table turn time, breakdown of all payment methods and service types, and lots more. The summary report allows you access to a scannable overview of your most important sales metrics before you drill down to check detailed insights on other metrics.
19. Loyalty program
Toast loyalty program is fully integrated with your POS system and allows you to set up one-click sign-up loyalty programs. Once your customers sign up, they receive a unique code via email and a rewards account number which allows them to check their rewards balance from time to time. No matter your restaurant or menu, you can customize your loyalty program to include milestones for points, dollar-to-point exchange, select specific menu items and groups to be redeemable among others. You can also establish your rewards program to include signup bonuses for customers to further make your loyalty opt-in appealing. Combined with the data collected from CRM, you can make your loyalty program more personalized to your customer’s needs.
20. Gift cards
You can provide physical and digital gift cards to your customers as an add-on. This gift cards feature integrates with your POS system so you can quickly track, sell and complete transactions using both digital and physical restaurant gift cards. If you choose traditional plastic gift cards, toast enables complete customization, printing, and programming o