Toast POS Pros and Cons: Analysis of a Leading Restaurant Management Software

Restaurant management software aids restaurateurs in crucial food service operations. Restaurants, no matter their scale, can benefit from switching to automated software solutions from manual restaurant management processes because of how time-consuming and arduous it is.

For instance, the chaos of paper-based timesheets, schedules, and contracts are streamlined for an improved workforce management that encourages productivity and efficiency. This, in turn, leverages the quality of your customer service – a crucial aspect of a restaurant business. With the importance of finding a software product that delivers excellent quality for your restaurant management needs, getting to know the software is vital.

One of the most popular solutions in the restaurant management software category is Toast POS. In this article, we’ll tackle the pros and cons of Toast POS to help you understand if the product matches the needs of your restaurant processes. You can also read our detailed review of Toast here.

Survey based on what restaurant operators would implement if such leading-edge tech is available. (Source: National Restaurant Association)

The restaurant business industry continues to grow. It was projected that restaurant industry sales would reach $825 billion in 2018. With that, it’s easy to see why more and more entrepreneurs venture into food service industries. Since running a restaurant business is challenging and a lot of hard work, many businesses transfer to automated software solutions in order to streamline their critical business processes to leverage themselves against competitors.

In a separate research by National Restaurant Association, the importance of technological solutions is stressed. In fact, 81% of restaurants are switching to technology when it comes to ordering, reserving, doing inventories, and restaurant analytics. Predictive ordering and automatic menu price adjustment based on demand are some of the leading features they are looking forward to implement. Meanwhile, online ordering is now offered by 37% of restaurants while 32% accept online payments. This offering is in response to the increase in orders placed online, which takes 6% of a restaurant’s total orders, via a customer’s smartphone app.

With that in mind, let’s proceed to get to know Toast POS as a restaurant management solution – from a description of what it is, who it’s for, and what its features are to the relevant pros and cons of Toast POS.

What is Toast POS?

Toast POS is an all-around restaurant management and a point-of-sale system that streamlines your restaurant operations. Created for US-based businesses, its focal point sets on creating a great experience both for your customers and your operators. Using mobile handheld tablets, your customers pay, sign, and tip on their own which leaves more time for your staff to focus on critical processes, such as improving customer experience and ensuring everyone is satisfied with your restaurant’s service. Furthermore, it provides a 360-degree solution for inventory, employee, and sales management.

Toast is currently the leader in our restaurant management software category. For its robust and scalable module set, especially how it integrates the main business processes of inventory, accounting and CRM with its main functionalities, Toast earns our Expert’s Choice Award. The vendor offers a great free trial plan that lets you try out all the key features first. You can easily sign up for Toast free demo here.

Toast POS

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Try out Toast POS with their free demo

As an end-to-end POS platform, it helps you in a wide range of key operations from managing your business anywhere you are to analyzing your customer base. You can add a new revenue stream by integrating online ordering, takeout, and delivery options. A robust guest database is also available for retaining your existing customers.

Toast POS understands the different types of food service industries; hence, they offer a spectrum of solutions to cater to different types of restaurants. It has tailored systems for both full-service and quick-service restaurants.  It is highly scalable so if you have an SMB or a large enterprise, you’re assured to have a restaurant management solution that responds to your scale and grows with you. It was also one of the top solutions recommended on top 20 POS systems for restaurants list.

Key features of Toast POS

  1. POS Experience Customization
  2. Inventory Management
  3. POS Menu Software
  4. Employee Management
  5. Enterprise-Ready System
  6. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  7. Real-Time Reporting
  8. POS Ordering
  9. Cash Registers
  10. Online Ordering System
  11. Mobile-Optimized
  12. Mobile Handheld POS Tablets
  13. Credit Card Payment Option
  14. 24/7 Customer Support
  15. Loyalty Programs
  16. Gift Cards
  17. Tableside Ordering
  18. Quick Edit Mode
  19. Restaurant-Based Reporting
  20. Menu Creation
  21. Digital Receipts
  22. Back-of-House and Front-of-House Connection
  23. Automated System Updates

Can Toast POS handle your core restaurant management processes? What are the potential challenges you’ll face when using it? Does it match your restaurant needs and scale? To get a better grasp on what you can expect from the product, here’s a list of the pros and cons of Toast POS.

Pros and Cons of Toast POS

All-in-one restaurant management solution

Specifically built for restaurants, you can expect an all-in-one platform that lets you oversee crucial aspects of running your business. With that, you’ll no longer need to add a multitude of additional systems as it already takes care of your online ordering system, digital and physical gift cards program, loyalty program, and inventory and employee management, among others. Furthermore, Toast POS is a reliable solution that takes and receives orders and payments. Toast POS has a payment processing feature that others with an existing provider may find as a drawback as its credit card processing is locked in the system. It is customizable so you can personalize your system’s buttons, menus, and reports. It also provides you with a reliable hardware that can withstand your restaurant’s fast-paced environment and help you serve more guests faster. As with any software systems, you may face potential system lags, especially for those with high-volume environments.

Efficiency in running restaurant processes

Toast POS offers relevant features to improve efficiency in your operations. Splitting checks is done with ease through its drag-and-drop capability while transferring checks to another table or server is accomplished by your manager with a few swipes. Voiding single items or full orders is simple and you can see information on who initiated it, who authorized it, and what happened behind the transaction. Since Toast POS is highly rich with features, mastering all controls and features can take time. However, it’s not difficult per se as its functionality and interface are intuitive and straightforward.

Enterprise-ready solution

Omnichannel POS solutions are available for a franchise restaurant or restaurant group to increase business profitability. If you have multiple branches in different locations, you can conveniently make changes in your menu, such as prices, in the master menu management panel. At the same time, there is also a master job management feature for unifying all your restaurant’s systems to maintain a consistent experience. Another effective tool for an enterprise restaurant is for restaurant management teams to effectively monitor issues in operations, customer, and personnel which is handled by the software, along with time-activated and time-based discounts.

Remote restaurant management

Gone are the days when you always have to be in your brick-and-mortar store to manage and run your restaurant business effectively. Since Toast POS is a cloud-based software solution, you can modify menus, view reports, and customize employee permissions in real-time even when you’re not in your office. This helps you keep tabs on your business using your smartphone, laptop, or device.  The main drawback perhaps is the fact that Toast POS is only available for Android users as of now. For some though that’s a huge advantage since Android tablets are a lot cheaper than iPads.

The cause of some people’s hesitance in transferring to a cloud system is the fear of potentially losing internet connection in the middle of a transaction. Toast POS has an offline mode that enables you to continue using the system to take orders, process payments, and access cash drawers in case your wi-fi goes down.

Industry-specific management solution

Not one business is completely the same with another, especially since there’s a vast range of food service industries. Toast POS offers tailored solutions to match your needs. For instance, cafes, bakeries and coffee shops give you insights regarding coffee drinks, pastries, bread, or bagels that sell or don’t sell well. Bars, nightclubs, and breweries receive assistance for liquor demands and bar inventory. Pizza shops get streamlined order processes and a customizable pizza menu. There’s even a food truck POS system with menus that change dynamically and more fast-paced service. These features show why Toast POS is priced according to its plan tiers which may look expensive to some at first glance. Determining the features you need helps you maximize them and get great value for your money.

Food service-type solution

Full-service and quick-service restaurants have some relevant differences in the way they handle their food service operations. Toast POS makes sure full-service type restaurants, such as pizzerias, breweries, and bars, get a personalized POS experience in their kitchen workflow, menu setup, and table setup. The tablet POS improves turn times with tableside ordering, Quick Edit Mode feature, and simple check splitting. Meanwhile, it guarantees to expedite the process for quick service types for food trucks, delis, ice cream shops, and bakeries, among others. It has quick service POS buttons, customer-facing displays, discounting levers, and customizable QSR POS experience for restaurant kiosks and fast casual restaurants—whether it’s only in one or multiple locations. Some users may not be impressed with Toast POS’s user interface though as it doesn’t look as modern or sleek as other products but it has a straightforward approach that gets the job done. It also gets better as new features are added.

Reliable customer support and services

Toast POS is not a software vendor that leaves you on your own after purchasing the product or skimp on their commitment over time. The team behind this restaurant management system values their clients as partners; hence, they guarantee to provide consistent support all throughout using their system. From onboarding, they take care of the full system setup, software installation, and network configuration to ensure the system is up and running. In addition to their 24/7 support, they have a training center, in-person training, and go-live help to assist you along the way if you encounter any issues or inquiries. Furthermore, Toast POS customers are automatically given brand new updates and features to the system so they get the most up-to-date functionalities of the software. The only downside to Toast is that they only cater to businesses in the United States.

If you want a more hands-on experience with Toast, the vendor offers a great free trial plan that lets you try out all the key features first. You can easily sign up for Toast free demo here.

Shaun Baker

By Shaun Baker

With 5 years of experience in digital marketing and retail strategy under his belt, Shaun Baker is the resident eCommerce expert at FinancesOnline. A contributor to Entrepreneur, The Atlantic, and other business portals, he has spoken and written about various eCommerce subjects, from AI and headless commerce to the economics of Black Mirror’s “Fifteen Million Credits”. His (highly) opinionated pieces on the ebbs and flows of eCommerce as an industry remain both a dynamic resource of talking points and entertainment in itself.

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