Point of Sale Review

A Comprehensive Review of


Toast Review

Overall Rating

9.1/ 10

In-Depth Analysis




Ease of Use






Toast POS review

Of the various point-of-sale providers that cater to the hospitality industry, ones that exclusively specialize in restaurant POS systems tend to stand out. Toast POS is one of those, having established itself as a popular all-in-one sales and payment processor for quick-serve and full-service restaurants.

Designed to help restaurateurs streamline their daily processes and simplify restaurant management, Toast offers a holistic range of features and tools. From managing staff and promos to tracking inventory, it fares well in every aspect that a decent POS system should cover.

Specially designed to withstand high-temperature environments and resist splatters and spills, the POS hardware too is very well-suited to restaurants. Overall, Toast POS strikes a perfect balance between value and features, alongside boasting excellent usability.

What is Toast POS?

Used by more than 62,000 restaurants according to the company’s SEC filings, Toast is a leading POS system known for its comprehensiveness. Covering every facet of food service, Toast features several modules for generating reports on metrics like labor costs across locations, sales performance, and product mix.

While using Toast POS does have a few drawbacks, it’s worth considering at the very least. Unlike most POS systems, which are based on iOS and typically use iPads for hardware, Toast runs on the Android operating system. This gives it a significant edge besides lowering the hardware costs.

Here are a few points to quickly summarize this POS system:

What Kind of Businesses Should Use Toast?

As mentioned earlier, Toast caters to businesses in the food service industry. Restaurants looking to streamline their day-to-day operations through a flexible POS solution should consider using Toast. Thanks to the POS system’s excellent adaptability for order deliveries, it has become a particularly convenient choice. This POS system is best for restaurants that:

Core Features Of Toast POS

Check out some of the core features of Toast POS.

Placing Orders

Toast simplifies the process of placing orders in restaurants significantly. The staff can use computer-top terminals or handheld tablets to take orders. They spin to face the customers, while the handheld tablets can even access the entire application, including reports. Wait staff at restaurants can take orders directly from a tablet, send instructions, or work on the orders. This simplifies the management of payment options and customers’ tabs from any part of the establishment.

Creating Menu

With Toast, restaurant owners can update the menu seamlessly and instantly. This suits restaurants that make daily or seasonal changes in their menu. Tracking ingredients and prices becomes easy, thanks to this tool. Restaurant owners can keep their costs in check while curtailing unnecessary expenses.

However, there’s a drawback of Toast in menu creation. It doesn’t come with a feature on nutrition information, so restaurant owners should use the Nightly Menu JSON export. However, this requires technical knowledge that may confuse most users. Generally, the POS menu corresponds to physical menus in restaurants. It can be segregated into breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or cocktails, just like any other menu.

Customized Tips

One of the most popular features of Toast is customized percentage options for tips. The system calculates the tips automatically and then distributes them among the staff in an even manner. It also carries out server payouts. With the latest update, Toast can also declare negative tips. It can also calculate the percentage of tips based on different categories of sales.

Pricing Menu Items

Restaurant owners prefer Toast as the system allows them to strategize while they set menu item prices. It also creates pricing rules that owners can apply to entire groups. Users can do this based on item sizes or special pricing requirements according to the menu they are placed under.

Collection of Customer Data and Reporting

The powerful internal reporting feature of Toast makes it a great choice for restaurant businesses. It comes with an integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system to collect the order history and contact information of customers. The customer report enables restaurant businesses to track customers who repeated their visits, or the time frame when they made most of their expenses. Restaurant owners can also choose individual customers and scan through information like the average checks of the person, most ordered items, and days lapsed since they last visited.

Internal Reporting

Toast comes with extensive reporting capabilities. This internal reporting enables managers to track their sales, manage inventory, and take care of labor expenses. The system generates custom reports to offer valuable insights into the business. This enables them to make strategic decisions and tweak their marketing strategies.

The reporting features of Toast also allow businesses to check labor expenses, monitor their sales, and keep an eye on inventory levels. Some of the common types of reports Toast generates include product mix reports, labor reports, and tip reports.

Updated reports are globally accessible online from any location. In the summary report, businesses get a comprehensive summary of total guests, tips, gratuity, new sales, and turn times of the tables. It also provides a complete breakdown of the different types of payment methods and types of services.

Managing Labor

Thanks to user-based permissions, restaurant owners can control the information visible to their employees.  This enables them to evaluate the servers’ sales and understand how efficient their kitchen is. Besides, the staff can see whether their managers are speaking of a greater number of voids than expected. Toast can also be customized to create different roles and services for the staff, besides specifying the hours of operation.

Tracking Time

Only a few POS manufacturers integrate the time tracking feature, and fortunately, Toast is one. Restaurant owners can assign a unique PIN of 4 digits to each employee. This simplifies the task for managers to track labor and get a fast overview of the staff currently engaged with different tasks.

Kitchen Display System

The KDS system of Toast is a popular feature for cooks. This intuitive feature, known as the kitchen display system, is color-coded and it features times on all the tickets. Once an order is ready, the servers receive notifications through a sound or flash on the system for better turnover.

Managing Inventory

Toast is a popular POS that comes integrated with an inventory management system. This innovative feature provides inventory reporting, inventory control, a calculator for food cost calculation, a recipe costing tool, an inventory management report, and a calculator for understanding the cost of food. It also features an inventory variance report and a chart for menu engineering that can help businesses analyze their most profitable items on the menu.

Toast Go

For tableside ordering, Toast POS stands out with its Go version. This is an integrated and optimized handheld device, simplifying the process of use on servers. This helps in placing orders in the kitchen accurately and quickly. This POS also allows servers to communicate better with customers and make instant changes. The device features minimal touch points, reducing health and safety issues. A portable POS comes with each server, eliminating the need for the main POS register.

Kiosk Mode

The Kiosk Mode of Toast simplifies the experience for customers. It allows them to place orders on their own, eliminating errors and reducing the number of human contact points. To ease up performance, Toast features a re-order function that proves beneficial for repeat customers. They simply need to swipe the card, which will display their previous order instantly. They can choose it using a button.

Online Receipts

One of the best features available in Toast Go enables customers to provide a rating based on their experience while they remain in the restaurant. However, if the customer reports negatively, the information will go to the restaurant. A manager can then fix the issue before customers reach out to Yelp or other platforms to express their discontent.


All Toast customers can access the pay-at-table feature. Thus, guests can use their own devices to clear the bills for their meals. This is a dining feature ideal for a socially-distanced environment. The payment is made through a QR code or scan, so customers need to provide their credit cards physically. The POS has also launched a mobile app that allows customers to place their orders online using their phones after a recent feature was introduced.

Loyalty Program

Toast has come up with its loyalty program fully integrated with the POS system and its data. This enables customers to opt in at the counter or table. Once signed up, customers will receive a code through email along with a rewards account number. They can view their rewards balance using this account number at any time of their choice. Restaurant owners reserve the right to customize this loyalty program at their convenience.

Online Ordering

As an add-on, integrated online ordering is available with Toast as one of its popular features. This helps new restaurants start their online platform for ordering, if necessary. In case the business already has a website, it simply needs to add a link to direct visitors to the page for placing online orders.

Toast TakeOut

The POS system has also come up with a dedicated app for placing orders through mobiles. This allows them to order food from local restaurants for contactless delivery after pickup. It integrates the online ordering module without charging any fee for commission. This makes it different from many other third-party apps. It is highly rated in both the app stores of Google and Apple.

Toast Delivery Services

This is also an add-on with Toast. Restaurant owners can customize their delivery system and get it synced with the Toast TakeOut app and online ordering. Toast Delivery Services also syncs with DoorDash. Restaurants need to shell out a flat fee based on orders and decide the part of this fee that passes on to their buyers.

Gift Cards

Another valuable feature of Toast is the ability to create digital branded and gift cards along with physical ones and process them. Gift cards are associated with the Toast POS system directly. This makes the process easier for restaurant owners to sell items, track orders, and complete transactions using both digital and physical gift cards.

Toast POS Pricing and Plans

Toast offers excellent flexibility when it comes to pricing, with multiple plans to choose from. The POS provider restructured its plans recently, adding a free starter pack small, for single-location restaurants.

Businesses can choose the most suitable Toast POS plan based on their budget and requirements.

Quick Start Bundle

The quick start bundle is completely free, allowing single-location cafes and food trucks to use a cloud-based point of sale without any financial obligations. This basic plan offers a simple shop-and-go solution that includes the following features, among others.

This plan also includes the hardware setup necessary for a single location, including a terminal. Businesses opting for the Quick Start Bundle have the option to purchase additional hardware.  


This is the cheapest paid tier offered by Toast, priced at $69 per month. Designed for restaurants looking to provide quicker service by streamlining their operations, the core plan boasts the following offerings in addition to everything covered in the Quick Start Bundle.

Businesses using this tier can avail of several add-ons that aren’t available with the Quick Start bundle. For instance, a restaurant could pick API access and/or team management tools as add-ons with the Core plan to streamline its operations further.


This comprehensive package of POS software covers all the essentials for restaurants planning to add more revenue streams through online orders and deliveries. With a price tag of $165 per month, the Growth plan covers the following:

The growth plan also includes all the perks offered under the previous tier, including allowing users to pair the POS system with hardware setups of their choice.

Build Your Own

Larger restaurants that have multiple locations or would like to mix different features across the entire POS platform to suit their needs can go for this custom plan. This not only grants significantly more flexibility, but the Build Your Own plan also comes with a host of features and perks not covered in the cheaper tiers.

This custom-priced plan also allows integrations with a variety of software such as QuickBooks and GrubHub for more seamless operations.

Toast Add-Ons

As mentioned earlier, restaurants have the option to customize their Toast POS plans with different add-ons. While the prices for most of these add-ons aren’t listed on the company’s website, the recently introduced “Toast Now” add-ons are an exception. Available in three tiers, these add-ons are all-digital solutions designed to help businesses get started with online operations quickly.


What’s covered?


Toast Now

Online Ordering, contactless delivery, delivery services, and Toast TakeOut

Toast Now Plus

All Toast Now offerings, plus gift cards

Toast Now Premium

All Toast Now Plus offerings, along with email marketing

It’s worth noting that the Toast Now packages aren’t exclusively for Toast POS users. Restaurants that use a different POS system for in-person transactions can still sell online using Toast Now.

Toast POS Hardware Options and Prices

Among the several notable strengths of this POS provider, its custom hardware options deserve special mention. Restaurants looking for the best hardware for tableside ordering would find Toast to be an ideal choice. Toast offers intuitive and restaurant-specific hardware designed to meet the varying requirements of different businesses.

Toast has a leg up over its rivals when it comes to the aesthetics of its hardware, and the same goes for its excellent menu management. However, Toast’s hardware is best known for its spill-resistant and extremely durable design, which makes it perfect for use in restaurants.Depending on the requirements and budget, restaurants can pick from three different hardware kits:

Further adding to the flexibility, Toast offers restaurants the option to get any of these hardware kits at zero upfront cost by agreeing to a higher processing fee instead. Toast also sells a range of individual hardware items, such as card readers, networking devices, and other peripherals. This way, businesses can customize their POS setups with necessary accessories.

Processing Fees

Besides the cost of the chosen plan, hardware, and add-ons, restaurants also need to consider the processing before choosing Toast. Businesses paying upfront for the hardware have to pay a transaction fee of $0.15 + 2.49% for card-present transactions and $0.15 + 3.50% for card-not-present transactions. Restaurants choosing the pay-as-you-go option for hardware are charged $15 + 2.99%.

Contract Length

Toast does have a lot to offer in terms of flexibility, and is in fact, a top choice for restaurants seeking flexible POS solutions. However, there’s one area where the POS provider is rather restricting – the contact length.

Restaurants choosing Toast have to sign a two-year contract at the very least, while some contract terms can be longer. In the volatile food service industry, many businesses might not be comfortable with signing such rigidly long contracts. Ending a contract early would cost an “early termination fee”, which is essentially the software fees for the remainder of the term period and any other applicable processing fee that’s related to financing the software.

Customer Support

Toast also stands out from the rest with its heavy investment in customer support features. From multiple support channels to various tutorials and other resources, businesses have plenty of help while using this POS system. Restaurants that choose one of the paid plans also get a dedicated customer support representative. However, every plan, including the free tier, covers all the other features. 

Toast Reviews

Toast has drawn mixed reviews, though the consensus remains positive. On average, this POS system is rated above 4 out of 5 stars on three leading review websites.

Positive Reviews

Businesses that have used Toast POS have plenty of good things to say, but the following upsides seem to have drawn the most attention.

Negative Reviews

Like any other POS system, Toast isn’t 100% perfect. Here are the most common issues flagged by the reviewers:

There have been mixed reviews regarding Toast’s customer support, with some users praising it highly while others described it as unhelpful and “hit or miss”.

Final Verdict

Despite its multiple drawbacks, Toast remains one of the best restaurant POS solutions for businesses of just about any scale. Even taking the additional costs into account, Toast is quite budget-friendly. The existence of a free plan is a cherry on the top for small businesses that would find it to be sufficient for their POS requirements.

The quote-based processing fees for the custom plan might be a cause of concern for larger restaurants. There have also been a few reports of Toast raising the processing fees without notice, which, together with the long contract terms, can be frustrating. Still, Toast remains almost unbeatable as far as restaurant POS systems are concerned.


1. Which credit card processor does Toast use?

Toast offers a proprietary credit card processing service for transactions that clients must mandatorily use. The POS provider itself processes all credit and debit card payments. Such a system also allows Toast to provide its clients with more users about their customers since it can access more details. 

2. How much does Toast POS cost?

Toast offers three paid tiers, two priced at $69 and $165 while the third is custom-priced. Clients also have the option to choose a basic, free tier suitable for single-location small businesses. 

3. Is Toast POS good?

While Toast has its drawbacks, it’s ultimately one of the best POS solutions for restaurants that don’t mind committing to a relatively longer contract term. Its advanced employee management features, superior hardware, and excellent flexibility make Toast a convenient choice.