In a payment industry where merchant service providers aim to diversify and board as many clients as possible, few processors like Toast focus on a single niche. Toast POS has made its reputation as the Android-based POS system provider for restaurants, launching in 2013 and offering a cloud-based POS solution on the Android platform. This Toast POS review will cover all the pros and cons of the provider.
Toast offers an all-in-one solution consisting of hardware and software tailored explicitly for merchants in the food industry, but it can be used for other retail businesses as well. Toast POS does not offer integration with most third-party processors, but the company claims it will match the rates of any existing processor a merchant is using.
The provider does not disclose who it uses to process payments and the only information about their backend processor is a claim on their website saying they are partnered with one of the top three payment processors. Keep reading this review to learn more about their services and offerings.
Features of Toast POS
What separates Toast from its competitors is its compatibility with Android. This allows more device options and gives more versatility to the platform. They have various POS systems – from desktop terminals to kitchen displays and self-ordering kiosks. Here is a review of their most notable features:
Standard Business Services
Clients get all the essential features that a business needs to survive in the modern business landscape. Besides standard features such as digital receipts, inventory management and mobile/countertop payment solutions, the company also offers in-depth customer data collection and customer-based reporting. Their advanced customer relationship management system keeps track of customer orders and contact information, which merchants can use to tailor offers specifically to customer needs.
As you would expect from a modern-day processor, Toast has various value-added features to augment business sales and transactions further. Gift cards and loyalty programs are a must in the value-added services of any processor, and the same goes for Toast POS. They also have delivery services partnered with DoorDash. Clients can pay a fee for the services or pass on the expense to their customers! They even have a contactless delivery option if customers demand it.
As explained above, the processor specializes in the restaurant sector. They offer many options ranging from a well-acclaimed take-out app that integrates with your business. They have contactless pay-at-the-table options and even menu creation options for restaurants. Another feature that merchants review positively is their kiosk mode. Customers can order independently using the kiosk mode, minimizing any errors when taking orders. These are just a few of Toast POS’s many features to augment foodservice merchants.
Prices of Toast POS
Pricing information is essential to cover in a Toast POS review. It allows merchants to judge better whether or not a provider fits their budget. Luckily for newer businesses, in a recent re-structure of their pricing options, they have also added one with no monthly fees. With that said, they have three main pricing tiers that they offer to their clients. Here is a review of their pricing models:
The Starter plan is the cheapest option for merchants. This is a good option for newly-established restaurant businesses. While the plan costs $0, merchants will pay for payment processing and any hardware they get from the processor. The plan includes a cloud-based POS system, real-time fraud monitoring, necessary payment processing and customer support.
This plan is the essentials a business in the food industry would need to run itself effectively. This plan includes everything from the Starter plan and adds features for a food business. On top of the starter features, this offers – online orders and delivery, custom hardware, and access to the Toast Takeout Application. It provides all the essentials a thriving restaurant needs for $165 a month.
This is a quote-based tier that includes all the features from the two previous plans, and adds value-added features that would further nurture a growing food business. Toast is also running a promotional deal for $110 per month. However, it will not have as many features as a fully custom plan could. While all add-ons will charge extra, the main feature that adds value is the Toast Now. It is a series of add-ons that enhance the business experience greatly. The Toast Now, Toast Now Plus and Toast Now Premium cost $75, 100 and $175, respectively.
Drawbacks of Toast POS System
As the features of Toast have been covered in detail above, now it is time to review their drawbacks:
While the processor usually offers a month-to-month contract, there are complaints about customers getting stuck in a lengthy three-year-long contract. Customers report that if you do not read their terms carefully, there is a chance that you would get a three-year-long contract with an early termination fee instead of their standard month-to-month agreement.
Inadequate Customer Support
Clients often report that their customer support system was not up to par. They claim that the responses of the representatives often feel generic or unhelpful. The term used for their customer support is “hit or miss”. There is no surety whether or not your problem will be solved.
Unprofessional Sales Representatives
Sales representatives are given commission over every contract they sign or each set of hardware they lease. Client reviews often report that they were pushed into a decision they regretted making. Or the sales representative pushed them into signing up when they were not yet ready. Sales representatives can even use misleading tactics to coerce merchants to sign up.
The processor offers some robust features but Toast POS has some drawbacks too. One thing that merchants often report is that they have ironclad offerings that cannot be changed. While their offerings are great for merchants in the food business, they rarely work out well for companies in other industries. So, if you are looking for a provider to process transactions for your restaurant, then Toast might be the answer for you. But if your business is not in the food industry, you might have better luck with another processor.