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Toast POS Review 2023: Pricing and Features

For restaurant-specific features and excellent 24/7 customer support, Toast's point-of-sale system is a standout choice.
Last updated on June 22, 2023
Edited bySally Lauckner
Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Toast's purpose-built restaurant POS system carries all the necessary software features to run your restaurant, bar, cafe or food truck. Its hardware is perhaps best known for its intentional design to resist spills and splatter and hold up in high-temperature environments. Be prepared to sign a long-term contract, however, if you choose to go with Toast.
Full review

Toast POS

Payment processing fees
2.99% + 15¢ if you pay for hardware monthly; 2.49% + 15¢ if you buy upfront.
Monthly fee
$0.00 Quick Start Bundle; $69 Core plan; $165 Growth plan. Custom plan also available.
Learn more

on Toast's website

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.

Full Review

Toast is a point-of-sale system for restaurants. Its range of custom-built hardware — perhaps best known for its durable, spill-resistant design — and online ordering tools make it easy to accept, manage and track food orders in a variety of settings. Toast software includes multiple-location support and strong reporting features. If you’re in the food and beverage business, Toast is worth a look. It also earned the top spot in NerdWallet's list of best restaurant POS systems.

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.

Deciding factors

Payment processing model
Payment processing fees
  • 2.99% plus 15 cents per transaction, if you choose pay-as-you-go option on hardware.
  • 2.49% plus 15 cents for card-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
  • 3.50% plus 15 cents for card-not-present transactions, if you pay for hardware upfront.
Monthly fee
  • $0 for Quick Start Bundle.
  • $69 for Core plan.
  • $110 plus $4 per employee for Restaurant Basics plan.
  • $165 for Growth plan.
  • Custom plans available.
Hardware cost
  • $627 for Handheld Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $875 for Countertop Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
  • $1,234 for Guest Self-Service Starter Kit (but $0 if you agree to a higher processing fee).
Contract length
Two-year contract for payment processing as part of starter kits.
Customer support
24/7 phone and web messaging support for all plans.

Where Toast stands out

Multiple ways to accept orders, including online ordering

In addition to the terminals and portable devices you probably expect to see, Toast also offers:
  • 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

Some POS systems work in a variety of other industries, like retail, but Toast is exclusively for restaurants. That focus shows in details such as hardware built to survive spills, grease and heat, as well as software that can handle complex demands for order modifiers, such as adjusting the cost for toppings on a pizza depending on the pizza’s size.

Live customer service 24/7 at every pricing level

Business hours for restaurants are anything but standard. That makes Toast's 24/7 customer support, which is even available on the Starter plan with no monthly fee, all the more valuable.

Easily manage multiple locations

If your restaurant has multiple locations, Toast makes it easy to keep information current, even if different locations have differences in menu or prices. When creating reports, you can view data by location or group locations together. And even for those with a single physical location, if your restaurant has an online presence, you might run into similar problems staying organized. With Toast, changing the central menu will automatically update it online and on Toast’s app.

Where Toast falls short

Quote-based pricing makes it hard to compare

Toast’s payment processing fees are only partially disclosed and are in some cases quote-based, varying from one customer to the next. The same is true for hardware in many cases. This means more work for potential customers upfront: You’ll need to have a consultation with a Toast rep in order to receive an estimate.

Switching or canceling can be expensive

To sign up with Toast, you’ll need to sign a contract. Leaving prior to the contract’s end date could cost you.

Alternatives to Toast

Square for Restaurants

Monthly fee:
  • $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.
Payment processing fees:
  • 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.
Why we like it: Square’s restaurant POS solution offers plenty of useful features, such as table and menu management capabilities and multilocation setups. Square also lists its fees for software, hardware and payment processing online, making it possible to do some preliminary comparison before getting a full quote. Read our full Square for Restaurants review.


Monthly fee:
  • $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.
Payment processing fees:
  • 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.
Why we like it: Clover offers excellent hardware options for restaurants at a reasonable price. For those eyeing the Toast Go 2, an all-in-one handheld device for accepting card payments away from the counter, the Clover Flex could also be worth a look. Read our full Clover review.

Compare POS providers

To compare POS options, check out NerdWallet’s list of point-of-sale systems that are best for small-business owners. Our recommendations are based on the provider’s pricing and transparency, software and hardware options, system functionality, customer support, software integrations and contract requirements.

Learn more

on Toast's website


NerdWallet’s point-of-sale systems provider ratings reward companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including cost, system capabilities, contract requirements, customer service and integrations and add-ons. Learn more about how we rate point-of-sale (POS) systems providers.
These ratings are a guide, but services, hardware and pricing can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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