The bottom line:
Pros & Cons
- 24/7 phone, email and chat support.
- Free plan available for restaurants with up to two POS terminals.
- In-house payroll software available.
- Online ordering is included in some plans.
- In-house delivery platform available.
- Built specifically for restaurants.
- A two-year contract is required.
Toast is best for businesses that:
- Want to accept orders in a variety of ways. Toast’s POS solutions enable ordering at an in-store kiosk, on an app at home or on phones while in a restaurant.
- Have multiple locations. Toast’s software keeps information current across different locations.
- Don’t mind committing to a long-term contract. Newer restaurants might prefer looking into POS systems that offer month-to-month subscriptions and free cancellation until they become more established.
Payment processing model
Payment processing fees
Two-year contract for payment processing as part of starter kits.
24/7 phone and web messaging support for all plans.
Where Toast stands out
Multiple ways to accept orders, including online ordering
- Customer self-serve kiosks.
- Toast Mobile Order & Pay, a system that allows dine-in guests to order and pay from their own devices.
- App-based ordering via the Toast TakeOut app, which competes with apps like Grubhub and DoorDash.
- Online ordering through a page linked directly to your POS system.
Built for restaurants
Live customer service 24/7 at every pricing level
Easily manage multiple locations
Where Toast falls short
Quote-based pricing makes it hard to compare
Switching or canceling can be expensive
Alternatives to Toast
Square for Restaurants
- $0 for Square POS, Restaurant, Retail and Appointments Free plans.
- $29 for Square Appointments Plus plan.
- $60 for Square Restaurant and Retail Plus plans.
- $69 for Square Appointments Premium plan.
- 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions.
- 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions.
- 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions.
- $0 for Square magstripe-only card reader ($10 for each additional reader) or if using Tap to Pay for iPhone (iPhone not included).
- $49 and up for Square Reader contactless and chip card reader.
- $149 for Square Stand iPad POS or Square Stand Mount (iPad not included).
- $299 for Square Terminal mobile card reader with built-in printer.
- $799 for Square Register two-screen system.
- $14.95 for Retail Starter, Personal Services Starter, Professional Services Starter and Standard and Home & Field Services plans.
- $49.95 for Retail Standard, Personal Services Standard and Advanced and Professional Services Advanced plans.
- $54.95 for Quick-Service Dining Starter and Standard plans.
- $64.90 for Retail Advanced plan.
- $69.90 for Quick-Service Dining Advanced plan.
- $84.95 for Full-Service Dining Starter plan.
- $99.90 for Full-Service Dining Standard plan.
- $114.85 for Full-Service Dining Advanced plan.
- 2.3% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions for most plans, though rates may also vary by hardware type.
- 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions on Retail Starter, Personal Services Starter and Professional Services Standard plans, as well as Home & Field Services Standard and Advanced plans.
- 3.5% plus 10 cents for online or keyed-in transactions.
- $49 for chip, swipe and contactless Clover Go card reader.
- $599 for Clover Flex mobile POS with printer.
- $799 for Clover Mini POS.
- $1,699 for Clover Station Solo.
- $1,799 for Clover Station Duo.