Toast vs Clover
In the past several years, restaurants have had to drastically change the way that they operate. With digital ordering, contactless payments, and high-end restaurant management software, running a successful restaurant in the modern world is more high-tech than ever.
The last thing you want to do is fall behind the times.
Toast and Clover are two of the most popular restaurant POS systems on the market today, but which one has the most fitting features for the specific needs of your business?
That's exactly what we explain in this Toast Vs. Clover guide. Continue reading to learn more.
Choose Toast If...
Toast is an excellent choice for mid-sized and high-volume restaurants. With table management capabilities, digital ordering, and FOH/BOH communication baked in, it offers a wide range of tools to enhance restaurant operations. Over the years, Toast has become a popular option for specialized food-service businesses also. It is utilized in bakeries, cafes, coffee shops, and bars.
Choose Clover If...
Clover is the better option for small businesses that need a more budget-friendly POS solution. It comes with a wide range of third-party integrations, making it one of the most flexible systems in today's market.
Clover allows business owners to set up their POS systems with reputable payment processors, so it's also an excellent choice for high-risk businesses.
Toast VS Clover POS System Comparison
Full and quick-service restaurants that require high-end customization features and third-party integrations
Specialty full and quick-service restaurants that require high-end restaurant-specific tools
$49 to $1,649
$14.95 per month starting
$90 or more per month (Quote-based)
2.3% to 2.6% + $0.10 depending on plan
24/7 phone and email support
24/7 Customer Support
Invoicing tools, vendor management tools, and third-party seller oversight
Built-in payroll management features, free online ordering, and a transparent pricing model
Digging Into The Details
Toast's Best Features:
One of our favorite elements present in the Toast POS solution is its real-time reporting and analytics. The beauty of this reporting suite is that it updates to any internet-connected device in real time. You can be on the other side of the world reading today's customer and employee data.
If you run a multi-location business, you can sync your data to every brick-and-mortar location, funneling it to a single space on the cloud for easy viewing. The reporting provides business owners with a wide range of helpful data, including customer ordering data, inventory data, employee insights, and more.
POS Hardware Solutions
While Clover certainly has a quality lineup of competitive POS hardware, it can't quite match what Toast offers as an exclusive restaurant POS system solution. You can acquire just about any kind of hardware you would need, regardless of the type of restaurant you're running. Some of the most popular POS hardware solutions include kitchen display systems, desktop terminals, self-service customer kiosks, and handheld devices.
One downside is that the pricing for Toast POS hardware is quote-based, so you won't find specific pricing online. However, you can choose to pay in monthly installments or upfront, giving you financial flexibility.
One of our favorite POS terminals in the industry is the Toast Flex POS. It comes with a 14" touchscreen and a swivel display for a more seamless customer experience. You can even upgrade it with an additional customer-facing display that uses an 8" touchscreen.
Toast POS offers some of the best multi-location management tools in the game, making it one of our favorite options for franchises.
It's so easy to keep information current at your various locations, even if your restaurants feature different menu items or prices.
The ability to group specific locations together for real-time reporting makes it a viable option for large restaurant chains too.
As a new business owner, it can sometimes be easy to overlook trying to manage a brick-and-mortar location alongside an online ordering website or eCommerce portion of your business. If you have a large online presence or have an adjacent retail shop connected to your restaurant, you can keep everything updated with the intuitive Toast app. Visit how to use Toast POS system to learn more.
One place where Toast POS truly shines is its customer support team. This can't be said for many POS developers. However, looking at user ratings, it's clear to see that the Toast customer service team gets plenty of positive feedback. You won't often see negative reviews about the reps at Toast being difficult to get in touch with, as you might see for other similar-sized POS providers.
You may not put emphasis on customer support when looking for a new POS system, though in our book, it's one of the most crucial deciding factors. when your POS system isn't functioning as it should, having a support team to help you troubleshoot and get your business back up and running can save you tons of money.
One of the most popular features found in the Toast POS system is the menu management software. The ability to update your menu from any device and send that information out to multiple locations is very beneficial. Because Toast POS is a cloud-based solution, the updated menus will display themselves on all devices, ensuring that all customers and servers know about the newest items or the latest deals.
Clover's Best Features:
Customer Relationship Management
While Toast has excellent customer relationship management capabilities, Clover's comes at a lower cost and offers more flexibility.
With Clover's customer relationship management software, you can store customer contact information and purchase history to better serve your loyal customers.
You can even utilize the high-end built-in loyalty programs to reward consistent customers, keeping them coming back.
Beyond its standard customer relationship features, Clover users get access to a feedback app. Customers can use the feedback app to review products and services your restaurant offers, giving you insights into what your customers think, so you can make potential pivot decisions for your business.
Clover offers one of the most flexible systems on the market today. While Toast POS was made specifically for restaurant owners, Clover dips its toes into several business types, great for those who run hybrid stores. Not only does Clover integrate with hundreds of the market's best software integrations for restaurants, but you'll also find a wide range of payroll and labor integrations built-in.
The Clover system has a user-friendly open API, making it a great choice for businesses that have developers on their teams and want to integrate custom features. Head over to how does clover work to learn more.
Employee Management Features
Clover comes with a wide range of employee management features, and its staffing features are some of the best on the market, offering high-end functionality. With this software, you can measure employee performance using easily accessible staff reports.
Baked into the systems is an array of employee incentive tools, which you can use to motivate your average employees and reward your best ones.
We love the customizable permissions features. With this feature, you can give certain employees, such as your managers, access to certain parts of the POS software or hardware, such as returns and exchanges.
The payroll management system Clover provides high-end tracking functionality. It's easy to keep track of your payroll with the Clover app, no matter how many employees your business has.
With the integrated payroll features, you can manage scheduling duties, time-tracking, and other essential payroll duties that often require tons of time.
Not only does having an integrated payroll management system lower your labor costs and increase your time spent on less automatable tasks, but it also increases accuracy.
While Toast comes out on top with its restaurant-specific hardware, Clover has a gorgeous lineup of distinctive hardware that is great for mobile or on-the-go food businesses.
The handheld device from Clover is a major standout. Plus, unlike the competitive device from Toast, this handheld Clover hardware can be used just as easily in retail settings as it can be in quick-service restaurants. Restaurant owners will surely enjoy it for tableside ordering too.
One of the biggest downsides to Toast POS is that both the hardware and software are quote-based. They also don't provide transparency when it comes to their payment processing fees.
It can be a bit frustrating as a customer to have to put in extra time and effort to score the best deal on a POS system. Having to sit through a consultation with a Toast expert just to get price quotes can be an arduous process. As someone who is busy running a business, you may not have the capacity for it.
One of the other major Toast POS drawbacks is the contractual obligation. To start using Toast, you need to sign a contract that typically locks you in for anywhere from one to three years. Unfortunately, you have to fork over a relatively large cancellation fee if you decide to leave during your contract period.
One of Clover's major drawbacks is that the system is sold through numerous third-party sellers without much oversight. While its widespread availability certainly makes it a more accessible POS system, you have to exercise a fair amount of caution when purchasing a Clover POS system.
When you purchase a Clover system from third-party sellers, the contractual obligations can vary widely. The last thing you want to do is overpay for your hardware or lock yourself into an expensive contract for three years. With that said, there are plenty of reputable Clover POS service providers out there. You just need to conduct research with care.
Another downside is that all Clover hardware solutions connect to your payment processing merchant account. This means that you won't be able to reconnect with another merchant account if you realize that your chosen payment processor isn't the right choice for you later down the road. Instead, you will have to purchase brand new Clover hardware to work with a different credit card processing company.
Which is A Better Value?
When it comes to Clover vs. Toast, both of these POS solutions have all of the essential features needed to run a successful restaurant. However, when it comes to modern digital ordering, hardware flexibility, and restaurant-specific features, Toast comes out on top.
However, Toast costs far more than Clover, making it a bit more exclusive. Even mid-sized businesses may have trouble paying the additional costs to take advantage of its high-end features. Restaurant owners who have the money to spend will surely like Toast's ability to follow industry trends for quick-service restaurants and full-service restaurants.
Clover, on the other hand, is an exceptionally flexible system that steps outside of the restaurant industry, working equally well with retail shops and eCommerce businesses. If you run a hybrid business, Clover may be a better option overall.
We hope our Toast POS vs. Clover guide was helpful in pointing you toward the best decision.