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Not just a tasty breakfast food, Toast in this case is a tablet-based point-of-sale system and payment processor for the food service industry. Toast runs on the Android platform, meaning you can’t use it on iPads but can use it on Android tablets. Credit card processing is integrated directly with the Toast POS system. This intro video explains more:
You can accept all major credit and debit cards with the Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover logos. Toast can also process gift cards.
Since it’s designed with the needs of food service in mind, Toast can help you and your staff serve customers effectively through features like check management tableside ordering, online ordering, and more.
With Toast, you can manage checks by opening tabs, transferring bar customers to a table, and split checks for customers who want to pay separately. You can also enable an automatic prompt for customers to add a gratuity for servers when paying the check.
Because Toast is tablet-based, your servers can place orders right at the customer’s table and automatically send them to the kitchen staff. Once your customer is finished with their meal, they can conveniently pay tableside as well. Tableside payment is one way that some restaurants plan to address the complications of tipping with EMV chip cards. Tableside payments include an option to email a receipt to customers.
Check out Toast’s video on tableside options:
If you have a takeout or delivery business and want to offer online ordering, Toast offers a hosted online menu where your customers can place orders. You can edit the menu from anywhere as necessary, set delivery zones and times, and set parameters for orders that need approval before going to the kitchen. Note that online ordering incurs an additional monthly fee and is not included in the base package fee.
Restaurants thrive on repeat customers. You can use Toast’s loyalty option to create a program for your customers to earn points for purchases and redeem rewards. You’re in charge of the details, including how many dollars a customer must spend to earn points, when they can redeem their points, and what items they can get with their points.
If you don’t want to implement a full loyalty program, you can still encourage new and repeat visits by offering customized gift cards. Toast offers both physical gift cards, and digital ‘cards’ that can be emailed or texted to the recipient for later use.
Both the gift card and loyalty program options incur an additional monthly fee. You can choose if you’d like to implement gift cards, a loyalty program, or both.
Toast works on Android systems, and may be compatible with your existing Android tablet. Toast recommends 7” or 10” Android tablets, Epson receipt printers, and encrypted card readers. You can check with Toast to see if your current equipment is compatible.
If you don’t already have equipment and need to purchase it, Toast can help. You can choose from Android tablets, stationary terminals, kitchen display screens, printers, cash drawers, scales, and more. Toast offers financing programs that let you pay for your Toast hardware in monthly installments.
As of 2-17, Toast lists a hardware package starting around $1,300 which includes a tablet with a stand, cash drawer, credit card reader, and receipt printer. A handheld tablet bundle is available for $450.
Toast also sells routers and kitchen printers. Note that Toast is not compatible with Apple products.
More info on the hardware and POS capabilities can be found in our complete Toast POS Review.
Yes. Toast offers real-time reporting capabilities so you can manage your business from almost anywhere. You can view sales trends over time to identify busy periods, view your labor costs, see which servers have the quickest turn time or best tips, identify best performing and worst performing menu items, and even see customer data like favorite items and average amount spent to create custom marketing campaigns.
Inventory management is available for an extra monthly fee.
After hearing about major credit card breaches, you’re probably thinking about security more than ever. Toast offers end to end encryption starting when a card is swiped, meaning there is no unencrypted card information stored on Toast systems. Toast is PCI certified, and stores sensitive information off-site. Toast also offers cash drawer security by tracking the money that goes in and out of your cash drawers.
Toast doesn’t publish processing rate and fee information on their website. But you can still get info easily. Log in to your CardFellow account (or sign up for free) and request a quote right from this Toast profile. Just click the green “request quote” button. Toast does state that they’ll match your current rates, but make sure you’re up to date on the possible pitfalls of “matching” rates.
Toast publishes its software pricing. Toast POS software starts at $99/month and costs $50/month for each additional device. Special pricing may be available if you need more than 6 devices for your business.
Toast also lists pricing for value-added programs, as follows:
Inventory Management: $75/month
Gift cards: $50/month
Loyalty program: $25/month
Online ordering: $50/month
Toast uses an auto-renewing contract. The length of the initial contract term isn’t clear, but at the end of an initial contract period, your contract will renew for an additional year automatically unless you cancel in writing at least 30 days in advance. Contract terms can be viewed on Toast’s website, but remember that contract terms are subject to change or may be specific to your business, so be sure to read your own contract fully before signing up.
Related Article: Canceling a Merchant Services Contract.
Toast is a young company, having arrived on the scene around 2012. They don’t have much of an online reputation in either direction, positive or negative. As of autumn 2015, Toast doesn’t have a profile with the Better Business Bureau, and does not come up in either Yelp or Ripoff Report. All we can offer at this time is the reviews from Toast’s own website, and our usual recommendation to thoroughly investigate any offers before choosing a processor. We also highly recommend requesting a quote from Toast through your CardFellow account so that you can see how their rates and fees compare to other processors.
Toast includes a section for customer testimonials on their website. Reviews praise Toast for a simple setup process, increased turn times during busy nights due to handheld tablet support, user-friendly interfaces, quick menu updating capabilities, and customization options. Reviews include the reviewer’s name, location, and business name to provide a degree of authenticity. Additionally, the company provides a number of video case studies on its YouTube channel.
As of 2018, we have not had the opportunity to review statements from Toast customers. CardFellow doesn’t rate processors, and only provides information that we can back with our experience reviewing facts.
On occasion, CardFellow contributes articles as a payments expert to Toast’s blog.
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