Toast vs Aloha
Succeeding in the competitive restaurant industry means having the right technology.
The last thing you want to do is invest in a system that doesn't have the functions you need.
We'll highlight the business settings in which each both Toast and Aloha work best so that you can make the most well informed decision.
Continue reading to learn more.
Choose Toast If...
If you're looking for a more feature-rich POS system with ultra-detailed reporting, Toast is the better POS system. It is better suited to specialized restaurants, chains and franchises. While it is built to service thousands of locations all over the country if needed, it is also highly popular with single-owned restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, bakeries, and bars.
Choose Aloha If...
While Aloha POS and Toast POS offer many of the same features, restaurant owners find it easier to train employees on Aloha. More than 100,000 restaurants use NCR products, so if you have high turnover rates, it’s likely that your employees will already be familiar with the layout and have an easier time catering to customers right off the bat.
Toast VS Aloha POS System Comparison
Smaller or privately-owned restaurants, including cafes, coffee shops, bakeries, and bars
Larger, multi-location franchises with higher employee turnover
$90 or more per month (Quote-based)
$99 or more per month (Quote-based)
24/7 Customer Support
24/7 Customer Support
Monthly (No subscription required)
Online ordering on the free version, built-in payroll management, and transparent pricing
Strong real-time reporting features, more diverse integrations, free online ordering
Digging Into The Details
Toast's Best Features:
Toast has a strong lineup of POS hardware compared to its competitors.
You can find just about anything you'd need, no matter what type of eatery you are running, including desktop terminals, kitchen display systems, handheld devices, and customer kiosks for self-service.
The pricing is quote-based, and you can either choose to pay once upfront or pay in monthly installments.
The Toast Flex is one of our favorite POS terminals on the market today. This 14-inch touchscreen swivels for customer use, or alternatively, you can add a customer-facing display which makes use of an 8-inch touchscreen.
When it comes to third-party integrations, Toast comes out on top. This is simply because Aloha does not integrate with some of the most popular restaurant software partners on the market today, which include SpeedETab, Chowly, and Checkmate. You'll find a much higher number of labor and payroll software providers integrated into Toast's system as well.
The API in Toast's point-of-sale system is flexible, allowing you to utilize software from more than 70 restaurant technology partners.
One of the core offerings of Toast is its real-time reporting and analytics, which you can read and download on any device connected to the internet. The reporting software in Toast POS system syncs up to the internet and stores all of your most important data in the cloud automatically.
From inventory management data to customer data to sales tracking and beyond, all of the useful insights you need for your business become readily available.
Toast is one of the best enterprise POS systems. If you run a restaurant with multiple locations, you'll surely enjoy what Toast POS has to offer.
You'll be able to keep multi-location restaurant menus current, even with different prices or menu items.
You can even group certain locations together when creating reports to better organize your data.
For those operating a restaurant with a single location and a large online presence, staying organized between those two entities can be a challenge.
With Toast POS, you can create a centralized menu and use the intuitive Toast POS app to keep everything updated.
Toast gets a lot of positive feedback for its customer support. Many users have noted the customer support team is very professional. Unlike many larger POS system providers, there isn't much negative feedback about the company being hard to reach, either. Visit Toast customer service for more details.
Customer support is one of those elements that is often overlooked when considering certain POS system factors. Having reliable service when your POS system isn't functioning correctly or breaks down can be a major lifesaver.
Aloha's Best Features:
Aloha POS comes out slightly on top when it comes to ordering capabilities, as it allows patrons to order their food using multiple methods.
While additional features such as online ordering cost extra (same as Toast), which many customers feel should be included, the in-house ordering features are often raved about.
This company's ordering software is user friendly, especially the tableside ordering capabilities.
You have the ability to separate checks or split checks using this helpful POS software.
We love it for its quick communication functionality, keeping your front-of-house staff and kitchen staff connected through the busiest of shifts. Note that Aloha also allows for an entirely contactless experience, including contactless QR payments and contactless delivery. Whether your customers are dining in your restaurant or ordering delivery through your app, they can choose whether or not they want to engage with staff.
The employee management features found in the NCR Aloha POS system are outstanding. And user ratings indicate that it's a clear winner. You'll find a number of helpful tools in the NCR Aloha point-of-sale solution for your employees to manage their time and responsibilities. Some of the features include task management and overtime.
One of the unique features built into this software is the tip-sharing distribution, which makes it quick for employees to divvy up tips after shifts, so they go straight into their paychecks.
If you're a business owner that spends your time between restaurant locations or often find yourself out and about on the go, having the ability to keep tabs on your business is essential.
In such a fast-paced industry, you know that you can't afford to miss something important.
This is where the NCR Aloha POS app comes in handy.
With this helpful app, you can access your restaurant's inventory levels, employee working hours, net sales for each hour, and additional metrics providing useful insight into how your business is doing each day.
These mobile tools also allow you to see which of your employees is clocked in at any time, how many guests are currently in your restaurant, and how many tables are currently seated.
One neat feature of the NCR Aloha POS app is the ability to connect to NCR Aloha hardware whenever you are in the same location. Essentially, you'll get an extra piece of POS hardware at your disposal without having to pay the additional cost.
The flexibility of the NCR Aloha POS system allows business to be run in any way you choose, whether you're a table service restaurant, quick-service restaurant, fast-casual restaurant, or bar.
For example, the menu management features are some of the best available, allowing you to easily create food order modifications and deliver upsell suggestions to your employees as they move through the payment process.
Other fulfillment features found in the Aloha point-of-sale system include loyalty programs, customer information storage, and kitchen schedules.
The menu-building feature found on the Aloha POS system is one of the most instinctive on the market. You can easily create separate menus for in-house dining, delivery, pickup, third-party delivery, and more. The nice thing is that you can dial in these simple changes on the main dashboard of your POS system and see those changes reflected throughout every customer stopping point.
To go along with the menu-building experience, Aloha delivers a custom branding experience as well. You can use your own colors and logos to create brand consistency throughout each of your menus, from your in-house online menus to your online ordering platform.
Simply upload photos of your menu items alongside your logo to make the experience more memorable for your customers.
While Toast provides a starting price for its software, just about everything else is quote-based, including its payment processing fees, higher-tier software, and hardware. As a customer, you'll have to put in more work upfront to get the best deal for your system. Spending time going through a consultation with a representative from Toast to get simple price quotes can be a long process, and as you know, time is money.
Another troublesome drawback of Toast POS is that you need to sign a contract when you begin using the system. The contract typically lasts around one to three years, and you must renew it every year. If you decide to leave during your contract period, you could end up having to pay a hefty cancellation fee.
One of the major drawbacks of the Aloha POS system is the lack of transparency in pricing. While Toast POS also has a lack of transparency in the pricing information department, Aloha somehow makes it more difficult for customers to determine what their prices will be, estimate their initial or ongoing costs, or compare this restaurant POS system with other restaurant POS systems they like.
Many Aloha restaurant POS users have also noted the sub-par customer support they get from the provider. There are several customer reviews out there stating the dissatisfaction they felt when attempting to acquire decent support during their system setup or when trying to add third-party integrations.
Lastly, you don't get online ordering capabilities with the main version of Aloha POS. The same thing goes for Toast POS, which is a bit frustrating when you consider that these are the two large restaurant POS software solutions on the market today.
Which Is A Better Value?
It's difficult to pick between these two systems, as they both offer such incredible features. But at the end of the day, Toast POS is a stronger system overall. You'll get much more capability out of it, especially if you run a non-franchise restaurant and growth and expansion are your main goals.
With that said, there are several large restaurant chains working with NCR Aloha or other NCR modules, so this is not to say that you can't run a successful restaurant empire with a single NCR Aloha POS system as your "brain."
Both of these systems have many features for food service businesses that you won't find in other systems, such as robust inventory management systems, management solutions for vendors, quality data reporting, customer relationship management tools for better service, and much more.
In all, there is no question that each of these POS software solutions offers a uniquely high level of functionality no matter which restaurants they find themselves in.