Pros and Cons of Toast Payroll: Analysis of a Top Payroll Software

What are the Pros and Cons of Toast Payroll?
The pros and cons of Toast Payroll are apparent in its custom design that’s specific for restaurants. The payroll platform aims to increase efficiency by automating processes in food businesses. While its integration with other platforms requires technical knowledge, it partnered with providers to give assistance. It also includes a robust HR module, making it a centralized hub for your business.

Running a restaurant is similar to juggling multiple things at once. This is not to mention managing various staff members with unique roles and responsibilities. A lot of things can get lost in the chaos, especially when it comes to payroll. On top of that, you also have to monitor schedules, shift changes, paid time-offs, and countless other things. While there are numerous payroll, and team management software available in the market, they do not seem to fulfill the specific requirements of managing a team in a restaurant setting.

You will need solutions specifically developed for running a food establishment such as Toast Payroll. This payroll and team management system combines automation and a user-friendly interface, so you can focus on improving your team and your business. It also includes a robust team management software that allows you to streamline your operations. Do the features fit your business? We will help you take a closer look at Toast Payroll’s functionalities.

In this article, we will discuss our experience with Toast Payroll, specifically its pros and cons. We will take a detailed look at the strong points of this payroll software, along with some areas for improvement. At the end of this piece, you will have a solid idea of whether the solution is ideal for your restaurant.

Toast Payroll pros and cons

The food industry is one of the busiest markets today. A recent restaurant industry report indicated that around 45% of consumers go out to eat several times a week. Another 20% of diners enjoy going to food establishments at least once a week. With increasingly busier lives, more and more people are considering dining out to save time and effort in preparing meals. Furthermore, this allows busy professionals to socialize with friends or colleagues at the same time.

Consequently, restaurant sales have been increasing steadily since the 1970s. In 2019 alone, the industry is projected to close the year at around $860 billion in revenue in the United States. The amount equates to around 4% of the country’s gross domestic product. 


With such high demand, your restaurant must be composed of team members who are working as efficiently as possible. That means you are balancing the satisfaction of your customers and your staff to ensure the best results. Needless to say, a large part of your employee’s satisfaction is their salary and relevant pay. Another recent restaurant industry survey report cited that 60% of employees report a significant increase in workplace happiness after promotion. Furthermore, various recognition forms significantly improve their performance, such as paid bonuses (72%), verbal commendation (36%), and, of course, promotion (32%).

That means you need the right payroll and team management solution to monitor the daily performance and salary of your staff. With such high activity during daily operations, missing payments and commendations are becoming a significant issue among restaurant employees. Efficiently generating the correct payroll for the entire team is a challenge. On top of that, you have to identify high performing team members, so you can encourage them to provide great service continuously. Can Toast Payroll help you manage all these tasks? Let’s take a closer look at the functionalities of one of the leading payroll systems in the industry.

What is Toast Payroll?

Toast Payroll dashboard

Toast Payroll is a system that was explicitly crafted for restaurants to streamline payroll and labor management. It combines automation, intuitive user interface, and synchronization to create a centralized hub. Restaurant managers, restaurateurs, owners, and HR supervisors can easily manage payroll and other HR-related processes right in one platform.

The payroll system syncs directly with the POS module. It ensures that data is consistent and updated across different aspects of running a restaurant. Additionally, with Toast Payroll, you are always confident that your business is compliant with regulations that are constantly changing. 

It also minimizes potential mistakes in calculating employee salary and benefits. Taxes and other deductibles are computed automatically, which prevents clerical error. Combined with many of its built-in tools, generating payroll is a quick and straightforward process.

If you want to investigate the features closely, you can easily do so when you sign up for Toast Payroll free trial here.

The solution also includes several comprehensive reports. It will allow you to gain valuable insight into your staff and their performance. Moreover, the robust management dashboard will allow you to conduct the onboarding process for new hires seamlessly.

These features allow Toast Payroll to compete with the top payroll software solutions in the market. However, much like any business solution, the pros and cons of Toast Payroll exist. That is why the next section outlines many of its features and how you can benefit from them.

Toast Payroll provides you with the following key features:

  • Payroll generation
  • Real-time sync with POS
  • Employee profiles
  • Integrated dashboards
  • Compliance system tools
  • Automated computation of taxes and other deductibles
  • Time tracking
  • Labor management
  • Robust reporting
  • Integration with third-party restaurant management platforms
  • Quick new hire onboarding
  • Support for multiple pay rates
  • Overtime calculations
  • Automatic tip distribution

Pros & Cons of Toast Payroll

Payroll Application Made For Restaurants

Doing payroll for restaurant staff is unique from that of typical organizations. Your entire workforce is composed of various teams with unique roles. This means they have varied salary computations, not to mention complex benefits and tax calculations. Toast Payroll allows you to automate these processes. You can set payment schedules, distributions, and other payroll-related tasks ahead of time. Once you set all these processes in place, the system does the rest for you, which minimizes repetitive procedures. Having a robust payroll software improves the productivity and performance of your team. 

Furthermore, it simplifies overall tax processing. The platform generates details computations of gross pay, net pay, and even labor costs. The latter may include health care, overtime, sick days, vacation days, and more.

One aspect you should consider, though is that Toast Payroll comes with its built-in processes that may be different from your existing one. However, its seamless approach to payroll procedures is easy to adapt in your own business.

toast payroll employee scheduling

Employee scheduling in Toast Payroll’s dashboard

Efficient Labor Management 

A critical part of generating payroll is efficiently managing your labor force. Toast Payroll ensures that you are operating within your budget and paying your staff correctly. The payroll software syncs with the POS system in real-time. That means you only have one employee profile across the entire platform. This prevents double-entering staff data. Also, it makes the onboarding of new hires quick and easy. 

It is also painless to manage and approve timesheets within the platform. Worked hours are automatically synced to payroll, which is computed right away without needing your attention. The software also includes an automated tip distribution, which frees up time from doing manual edits. This means you are managing your team’s schedule and payment at less than half the usual time. These are just some benefits of using payroll software like Toast Payroll.

toast payroll benefits dashboard

Employees can review their enrolled benefits right in the Toast Payroll dashboard.

Use Effective Tools to Manage Your Employees

Toast Payroll will also help you manage your employees more efficiently without having to use separate tools. The integrated dashboard provides valuable insights that would help you better understand your team’s performance. You can also see top-performing employees and identify what sets them apart from others. This allows you to adapt to new best practices in your operations quickly.

The system will also help you make sense of complex HR policies and regulations. It includes system tools and HR modules that will allow you to comply with the ever-changing state and national labor laws painlessly. You can navigate through complicated pay rates, calculations, and even blended overtime pay, even if you are managing multiple branches. These features can be overwhelming, especially during your first few weeks with the platform. However, the service provider offers Toast University, which includes training to get you started on the system as soon as possible. 

Your Payroll and HR in One Platform

The system is a centralized hub for payroll, HR processes, computations, labor management, and restaurant administration. Aside from automating payment processes, it simplifies many processes using an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. 

You can quickly approve employee punch data, PTO requests, and shift swaps without having to enter data manually. Of course, these changes automatically sync with the payroll. The software tracks these changes, so you do not have to.

Toast Payroll and Team Management allows you to manage all stages of your employee’s lifecycle. As such, you can manage your team members from their first day at work to their next promotion, all in one place. The robust reporting feature provides detailed information and analysis of your team and its members. Furthermore, the dashboard will give you real-time reports of your employees’ performance.

toast payroll onboarding

Managing new hire onboarding with Toast Payroll

Seamless Integration With Toast Products and Other Platforms 

Toast Payroll is part of the service provider’s family of Android-based software. These applications were designed to meet the specific needs of the restaurant industry. This means the payroll application works seamlessly with Toast’s platforms such as POS, kitchen display system, reporting and analytics, inventory, multi-location management, online ordering and delivery, and more. The company aims to provide a complete solution to every aspect of restaurant management.

Furthermore, Toast has partnered with 60 service providers in the food industry. These partnerships allow the system to communicate with other platforms through its API program. However, there is no existing one-click integration yet. You will have to contact the experts from Toast’s partners to set-up the integration for you. However, they do provide demonstration and training to ensure that you know how to use the two (or more) systems together.

Competitive Pricing With More Features

Toast offers both software and hardware solutions, which is perfect for new restaurants or established ones that are looking to revamp their processes. The Standard Toast Bundle starts at $79 per terminal per month. They also offer 0% financing for your hardware needs, including an additional $499 for installation. While they are not the cheapest among payroll solutions providers in the market, the simple flat rate ensures that there are no hidden fees.

If you are only interested in Toast Payroll and Team Management platform, you will need to get in touch with one of their representatives. They will provide you with a custom quote for your unique needs.

Is Toast Payroll The Right FIt For Your Restaurant?

Toast Payroll is perfect for your business if you are looking to simplify the management of your team. If you are using various payroll tools right now, you can start with Toast Payroll to streamline most, if not all, of your processes. It automates many repetitive tasks, which will save you a lot of time. Furthermore, this eliminates any potential data entry error that may affect your employees’ payroll.

However, you may eventually need to migrate to Toast’s family of products as the payroll software was designed to work with them seamlessly. The pros and cons of Toast Payroll outlined above have given you the benefits that you may enjoy and the adjustments that you may need to do. At the end of the day, having an all-in-one hub for your team management, payroll, HR tasks, and other processes means more time focusing on improving your restaurant. Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you can sign up for Toast Payroll free trial here.

Daniel Epstein

By Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein is a senior financial research analyst at FinancesOnline and the architect behind our Fintech and ERP content division. His main areas of expertise are blockchain technologies, cryptocurrencies, and the use of biometrics in fintech solutions. His work has been frequently quoted by such publications as Forbes, USA Today, Entrepreneur, and LA Times. With more than 1,800 solutions scrutinized in the last 5 years spent on our team he always prioritized offering readers an unbiased perspective on modern financial technologies.

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