Overview of Toast POS
Often listed as one of the top point of sale (POS) companies in the US, Toast continues to set itself apart from its competitors in 2024. As the company has grown, its product menu has expanded significantly to include a robust set of features that cover everything from order management to inventory tracking, while still staying true to their popular user-friendly interface and intuitive design. The system's cloud-based nature enables real-time updates and centralized management, crucial for businesses with multiple locations. Toast enhances the overall dining experience with capabilities like digital menus and integrated online ordering. It’s no wonder that the company works with over 60,000 restaurant locations in the US alone.
Leveraging advanced features in restaurant management is crucial as it enables streamlined operations, efficient resource utilization, and improved customer experiences. By embracing technology-driven solutions, restaurants can enhance overall efficiency, reduce costs, and adapt swiftly to changing market demands, contributing to long-term success.
Toast's Integration Marketplace is a one-stop-shop for restaurant owners and operators to connect their Toast POS system with a vast array of third-party applications and services. It's akin to an app store specifically designed for the restaurant industry, where you can browse, install, and manage integrations that enhance your operations, guest experience, and overall business performance.
Modern restaurant success hinges on efficiency and streamlining workflows. Manually juggling separate systems for POS, online ordering, inventory, marketing, and other needs is not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. Seamless integrations eliminate these inefficiencies by allowing data to flow effortlessly between platforms. This translates to:
Faster service: Orders flow from online platforms and mobile apps directly to the POS, reducing order entry time and speeding up kitchen operations.
Improved inventory management: Inventory updates automatically based on sales, preventing overstocking and stockouts.
Data-driven insights: Consolidated data across different platforms provides valuable insights into guest preferences, trends, and performance, enabling smarter decision-making.
Enhanced guest experience: Loyalty programs, online reservations, and delivery updates can all be integrated seamlessly into the POS, providing a smooth and consistent experience for guests.
The Toast Partner Connect integrations by category:
Online ordering and delivery: Grubhub, Uber Eats, DoorDash, Chowly, Olo, etc.
Payments: Stripe, Square, PayPal, etc.
Inventory management: Foodcost, Restaurant Inventory Planner, etc.
Labor scheduling and payroll: 7shifts, When I Work, HotSchedules, etc.
Guest management: SevenRooms, Resy, OpenTable, etc.
Marketing and loyalty programs: Punchpass, Olo, LoyaltyLion, etc.
Reporting and analytics: Live Basil, SevenRooms, Toast Business Intelligence, etc.
This is just a glimpse, and the marketplace constantly expands with new and innovative integrations. By leveraging these, restaurants can unlock a world of possibilities, from automating tasks to creating personalized guest experiences, ultimately driving growth and success.
Toast's current built-in forecasting:
Toast provides weekly projected sales based on historical data and seasonal trends. This forecast can be accessed through the Toastweb platform.
Toast's inventory management feature uses historical sales data and purchase orders to suggest some reorder points.
Limitations of Toast's forecasting:
Limited customization: You can't adjust the forecasting model or incorporate external data sources.
While Toast’s current built-in forecasting features are limited, in 2024 a new key addition to the integration landscape could change that. ClearCOGS, with plans to partner with Toast and be added to the integration portal early in the year, would offer restaurants a highly advanced, detailed, and accurate forecasting tool. The existing ClearCOGS solution increases restaurant profits by reporting what to expect from individual menu item and ingredient demand in advance.
Accurate and detailed forecasting is the difference between efficient restaurant planning and struggling to see profits. It enables establishments to anticipate demand, which reduces waste and operational costs, and allows restaurants to maintain a competitive edge in the dynamic hospitality industry.
As of now, Toast is not compatible with iPads or other external tablet devices. In order to use the Toast POS system on site, you must purchase official Toast hardware. That being said, repurposing or buying used hardware is acceptable. If you choose to go this route, make sure the hardware you are using is up to date by checking with Toast customer support.
While some restaurants find that Toast’s requirement of purchasing hardware is a barrier, Toast’s hardware options are durable, easy to use, and come in a variety of types to support just about any restaurant concept. With long battery life and high levels of security, many restaurants appreciate the Toast hardware. The following are types of hardware that Toast has available:
Toast Flex: This 14-inch all-in-one terminal has a spill-proof design, powerful processor, and integrated payment processing. It's ideal for counter service and dine-in operations.
Toast Go 2: This handheld device fits in your palm and withstands drops and spills. It's made for servers taking orders on the go or managing tableside payments.
Toast Takeaway Kiosk: This self-service kiosk streamlines takeout and delivery orders, reducing wait times and boosting customer satisfaction.
Toast’s delivery capabilities are a huge draw for restaurants. By integrating with all the large delivery services such as GrubHub, Doordash, and Uber eats, Toast is able to provide delivery services that are all managed in one interface. They offer centralized access to delivery, which they manage automatically.
By taking care of the entire delivery process, it’s one less thing on the restaurant’s plate. The process is simple. First, customers place their orders online or through Toast Takeout, which flow seamlessly into the POS system alongside dine-in and takeout orders. Toast takes care of finding a driver, by automatically dispatching the order to whoever is available and closest. From there, customers receive real-time updates on their order status as the driver picks up the order from the kitchen and delivers it to the customer. Both payment and tipping are handled seamlessly within the Toast system.
Customers ordering delivery experience convenience and transparency when ordering from restaurants that use Toast delivery. At the same time, restaurant owners are able to increase revenue and operational efficiency, while gaining data-driven insights and maintaining brand consistency.
Toast continues to be a leading force in the POS industry in 2024, offering a robust set of features that enhance restaurant management. Its integrated ecosystem, user-friendly interface, and cloud-based nature contribute to its popularity among over 60,000 restaurants in the US. The Integration Marketplace further sets Toast apart, providing a streamlined experience for connecting with third-party applications, from online ordering and inventory management to marketing and analytics. The anticipation of ClearCOGS joining the integration landscape promises advanced forecasting capabilities, addressing a current limitation and enabling restaurants to plan more efficiently. Toast's commitment to evolving features and integrations positions it as a valuable partner for restaurants aiming for success in an ever-changing industry.
ClearCOGS is an advanced forecasting solution that provides detailed and accurate insights into individual menu items and ingredient demand for restaurants. By leveraging cutting-edge artificial intelligence, ClearCOGS empowers establishments to anticipate demand, reduce waste, and optimize operational costs. Its integration with Toast's POS system promises to enhance restaurant planning, contributing to improved profitability and a competitive edge in the dynamic hospitality industry.