How to Use TOAST POS: Getting Your Restaurant Setup

How to Use TOAST POS: Getting Your Restaurant Setup

If you’re considering switching your restaurant over to Toast POS, you have some decisions to make regarding your services, your hardware, and – importantly – your transaction fees. The following is a brief overview of what it takes to start using Toast POS, its unique benefits, and what the alternatives are if it isn’t the right system for you. 

1) Understand the Benefits and Drawbacks of Choosing Toast POS

Toast POS is the most popular point-of-sale system in the restaurant industry for a reason – it offers restaurateurs everything they need from a POS from a single source. In short, it’s easy. The downside, however, is that it’s expensive. Toast POS does not allow your restaurant to connect your own payment processing – all transactions are handled through Toast. Unfortunately, the transaction fees charged can be significantly higher than those available from traditional payment processors, cutting into your profits on every table. Toast POS also makes it difficult to use non-Toast-branded hardware, meaning even if you already have a set of tablets or existing POS hardware, there’s a very high chance it’ll all need to be purchased again. 


2) Select the Package and Hardware That’s Right for Your Restaurant

Hardware: While you may find yourself locked into Toast’s branded hardware, the good news is you’ll have plenty of choice in how you design your POS setup. Toast has options ideally suited to restaurants of all sizes, from single handheld terminals ideal for businesses like food trucks to multi-station systems that can be deployed across the largest chains. Flexibility is a good thing because Toast hardware isn’t cheap. A terminal and card reader starts at about $850, and a terminal bundle with accessories like receipt printers and stands starts at $1,400. Handheld mobile units run another $600 each. While the hardware isn’t cheap, it is very nice and well designed. 

Software: Toast POS offers four basic packages: Starter, Essentials, Custom, and New Restaurant Basics. Prices range from as little as $0 per month (for exceptionally limited functionality) well into the thousands for the largest custom solutions. However, most restaurants will be able to get by with the basic package, which starts at $165 per month and is surprisingly feature-packed. Restaurants looking for more also have the option to expand their Toast POS with extensions for things like payroll, albeit at an added cost. 


3) Install and Setup Your New Toast POS

You’ll be glad to know that initial installation and setup are included in all packages, removing at least one potential headache from switching POS providers. However, restaurants switching locations, renovating, or just reinstalling or reconfiguring their systems will either have to pay for the service or handle things on their own. With that being said, Toast POS does offer easy-to-follow setup guides, ensuring you won’t need a computer science degree should you decide to make changes to your setup. 

Toast POS Quick Setup Guide

Toast POS Hardware Installation Guide


Alternative Option: POS and Traditional Merchant Account

If you’re looking to continue using existing iOS or Android-based hardware from your previous POS or you’d prefer not to put up with inflated transaction fees, Toast POS may not be for you. Luckily, with the right payment processing partner, you can enjoy the best of both worlds – reducing your monthly transaction fees with a traditional merchant account and getting a POS ideally suited to your restaurant’s needs.

BAMS offers our merchants in the restaurant and hospitality industries some of the lowest fees available, thanks to our interchange-plus pricing – the lowest cost and most transparent pricing model in the payments industry. Our focus on offering you as many POS integrations as possible also means that your restaurant will have the flexibility to choose the right system for your business, including more hardware flexibility than Toast POS can offer. 

To find out more about how a BAMS merchant account can help you save money and get a great POS system, start your free five-point price comparison today.