SpotOn vs Toast
The tools included in quality restaurant management software can make your life easier.
In your search for the best restaurant solution, you've likely come across the two popular POS systems we'll be comparing today, Toast and SpotOn.
And if you're not sure which option has the right design and features for your needs, you've come to the right place.
Come with us as we explore the ins and outs of Toast and SpotOn Restaurant POS solutions. We'll help you make the best decision for your specific operation.
Choose SpotOn If...
SpotOn POS system is recommended if you're looking for a multi-functional cloud-based solution that works just as well for retailers as it does for restaurants. You'll find a wide range of sophisticated features that span numerous industries, making it the more versatile choice of the two.
Choose Toast If...
Toast POS is a solid option for mid-sized to high-volume restaurant owners that need FOH/BOH communication features, digital ordering, and table management capabilities included. Toast has become one of the most popular POS choices for food-service businesses over the years, including sit-down restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, cafes, bars, nightclubs, and more.
SpotOn VS Toast POS System Comparison
Restaurants with adjacent retail or appointment-based businesses
Mid-sized and high-volume restaurants that need high-end restaurant-grade hardware and software tools
$65 to $95 per month + quote-based setup fee
$25 per month starting
$90 or more per month (Quote-based)
24/7 Customer support
24/7 Customer Support
Intuitive training tools, open-source hardware, and monthly contracts
Online ordering for free, transparent hardware and software pricing, and built-in payroll management
Digging Into The Details
SpotOn's Best Features:
Data is one of the most important commodities for running a successful restaurant, and luckily, this modern point-of-sale solution comes with an extensive data reporting and analytics suite.
All of the real-time data that you could want from your POS software is found within the SpotOn Restaurant system. From employee management and productivity to inventory tracking to product trends and beyond, you can view all of your most important insights consolidated on the intuitive user dashboard.
You can even set up the reporting software to notify you of large upward or downward data spikes that may be important for your operations.
The reporting app is also worth noting. This tool allows users to access data from any smartphone device, as long as there is internet access.
The beauty of SpotOn is that it goes beyond restaurants in terms of versatility. You'll find a wide range of industry-specific features, including those for restaurants, retailers, appointment-based businesses, and more. The developers at SpotOn made reached their goal of making their point-of-sale software the most versatile it could possibly be.
Whether you run a cafe, a nail salon, a repair shop, or a retail store, you'll be able to gain access to all the necessary tools you need.
Toast offers an extensive list of high-quality restaurant-grade hardware, though when it comes to versatile, sleek, and modern hardware, SpotOn is the winner. The SpotOn Poynt hardware solution is certainly one of the most popular devices in the company's lineup. This unique little piece of machinery features dual screens for staff and customer use, as well as two modes for use with your terminal or standalone.
SpotOn has tons of peripheral hardware you can integrate with, including barcode scanners, cash drawers, thermal printers, and more. The SpotOn Register package comes with all of these things, as well as a 13.3" modern touchscreen for ease of use.
Restaurant owners that need durable restaurant-grade hardware will enjoy the restaurant-specific package, which includes a 10" touchscreen tablet, an EMV pinpad, a cash drawer, a receipt printer, a built-in card reader, a backup wireless router, and a 19.5" touchscreen monitor.
There are also plenty of SpotOn hardware additions to choose from, including kitchen printers, food scales, and tableside handheld devices.
SpotOn beats Toast in the appointments game, offering an easy way for your restaurant to take online reservations or appointments and get reminders via text and email. The appointment system features a number of digital marketing tools and two-way texting tools for quick customer communication.
With these integrated tools, you can make sure customers are up to date with their future appointments and keep cards on file to reduce no-show revenue loss.
Reviews are the lifeblood of restaurant businesses these days, and being able to stay up to date with customer reviews is more important than ever.
One interesting feature found in SpotOn's solution is the review management feature. This tool consolidates all of your online reviews so you can view and respond to them in one place. The review management system will send you notifications each time a new review pops up if you'd like, allowing you to make amends for negative customer experiences or reward positive customer reviews as soon as possible.
Toast's Best Features:
Though SpotOn has a high-end line of sleek and modern POS hardware, it doesn't quite live up to the durability and restaurant-centric hardware that Toast offers. Remember, Toast is an exclusive restaurant POS solution.
No matter what kind of restaurant you're running, you can find the most popular hardware solutions through Toast, including handheld devices, self-service customer kiosks, desktop terminals, kitchen display systems, and more.
Do note that the hardware is quote-based, meaning you'll have to get in touch with them to get specific pricing. The good thing is that they offer financial flexibility in the ability to pay upfront or in monthly installments.
We absolutely love the Toast Flex POS. This 14" touchscreen unit comes with an intuitive swivel display for the most streamlined customer experience possible. If you want to take its capabilities even further, you can upgrade it with the customer-facing 8" touchscreen.
The multi-location management tools offered by Toast are some of the most robust on the market, which is one of the reasons it is our favorite all-in-one POS option. Being able to maintain current information throughout your various locations with a single system can make your life much easier, especially if you run a multi-location business with different products and prices at different locations.
Large restaurant chains can take advantage of the fact that they can group particular locations together for macro management and more cohesive real-time reporting.
Plus, these tools work really well for business owners that need to manage their brick-and-mortar location alongside their eCommerce business. Being able to maintain consistency between your restaurant and adjacent online retail shop, for example, is easy with Toast POS.
Visit the how to use Toast POS system guide for more information.
Menu Management Tools
The menu software found within Toast POS software is some of the most flexible on the market today.
Whether you use a Mac desktop, a Windows desktop, a Linux desktop, an iOS device, or an Android mobile device, you can update the menus from multiple locations at once.
Thanks to the fact that Toast is a cloud-based POS software, your menus will be updated automatically on every display.
Toast is the clear winner when it comes to third-party integrations, as it integrates will pretty much every popular restaurant software partner on the market today, including Checkmate, Chowly, SpeedETab, and more. Compared to SpotOn's point-of-sale software, you'll find a more diverse range of payroll and labor management tools on Toast's system.
One thing that we love about Toast is its open API flexibility. If you have a developer that works on your team, you can integrate with more than 70 restaurant technology providers to amp up your system and customize it to your restaurant's unique needs.
Though it's a fairly large company at this point, Toast still gets plenty of positive feedback regarding its customer support. The user ratings make it easy to see that Toast's customer service team is highly communicative and professional. We don't often see negative feedback about them being difficult to get in touch with.
We say it time and time again, but customer support is a severely overlooked element of point-of-sale providers. Consumers often get drawn in by sleek hardware and intuitive software. However, if the tools you have aren't reliable or if you're dealing with a system breakdown in the middle of a lunch rush and you can't get in touch with someone on the support team, your business can get stuck in a rut.
The quality of customer support is one of the main SpotOn drawbacks. We often see customers complaining about not being able to get in touch with the SpotOn support team, especially during crucial moments, such as when system bugs or shutdowns arise. Not many consumers put an emphasis on customer support when purchasing a restaurant POS, though the fact of the matter is that your POS software is the brain behind every business operation. If it's not running in good condition at all times, you risk losing out on precious revenue.
Secondly, SpotOn is not the most user-friendly system in the world. Some of its basic features, such as its menu management and inventory management tools, require a bit more of a learning curve than we'd like. If you run a restaurant with a high employee turnover rate, having to constantly train new employees on a difficult system can be taxing.
One of the biggest drawbacks of Toast's point-of-sale is lack of pricing transparency. Just about everything you purchase through the company is quote-based, including hardware, software, and payment processing. This makes it more difficult to compare prices and find the best deal.
Another negative aspect is that being locked into a contract comes with the Toast territory. Other POS systems offer much more flexible month-by-month contracts. The problem with long contracts is that they often come with hefty cancellation fees. If you decide to jump out of your Toast contract midway, you'll have to pay for it.
Which Is A Better Value?
With so many POS systems on the market, finding one that offers the features and support you need for a price that works for you can be quite difficult. While both of these POS systems are great for restaurant owners, offering unique software options, back-office tools, and specialized restaurant management features, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
If you're looking for a high-end restaurant-focused system with durable hardware and robust software that can handle high-volume food and drink operations, Toast is the better choice.
On the other hand, if you're after a high-tech and flexible system that can handle the operations of hybrid businesses, such as those that offer retail and food services, SpotOn is the better choice.
With that said, both of these are excellent choices for small businesses seeking out tools to increase sales and promote growth.