TouchBistro vs Toast
If you're in the market for a brand new restaurant management system and don't have hours upon hours of extra time to dedicate to research, you've come to the right place.
We're here to point out the important differences between TouchBistro and Toast that you need to know before making your purchase.
Our TouchBistro vs Toast guide will help you make a confident buying decision. Let's dive in!
Choose TouchBistro If...
TouchBistro is an excellent hybrid system that uses hardwired cloud-based software - great for those who want access to their data through a local connection. The POS software works on iPad, making it an ultra-portable solution for pubs, bakeries, food trucks, and smaller restaurants with less complex inventory management needs.
Choose Toast If...
Toast POS is a better choice for more established restaurants as well as those with diverse needs. If you have the additional funds to dole out for this system, you'll get to take advantage of some of the most sophisticated restaurant tools on the market as well as restaurant-grade hardware.
Toast POS VS TouchBistro POS System Comparison
Local and independent establishments with fewer complex needs
Established sit-down restaurants and establishments with more complex inventory needs
$69 per terminal starting
$90 or more per month (Quote-based)
Interchange Plus with TouchBistro or third-party quotes
Interchange Plus with TouchBistro or third-party quotes
24/7 Customer Support
24/7 Customer Support
Complex inventory management tools and credit card pre-authorization
Built-in payroll management features, free online ordering, and a transparent pricing model
Digging Into The Details
TouchBistro's Best Features:
TouchBistro is a great option for small businesses with its hardwired system. Many POS providers are moving to purely cloud-based POS system solutions nowadays, which can certainly be convenient, though there are times when having a local, hardwired connection can be beneficial.
For example, you'll always be able to access your data if your internet connection goes down. In many ways, this characteristic acts as a backup for your front-of-house and back-office operations. You never have to worry about the risk of potential downtime with this restaurant POS system.
User-Friendly iOS Operating System
Just about everyone and their mom knows how to use an iPad. In a way, its use is hardwired into our brains, and there are very few people that need to be taught how to go through basic iPad operations.
TouchBistro uses an iOS operating system. There are major benefits to using iOS instead of Android, like Toast. iOS is a closed platform, which is less prone to viruses. Plus, when updates are rolled out, your devices will update seamlessly.
The one thing to note is that there are fewer customization options for iOS. However, in many ways, this can be a good thing for independent restaurants, as the system is naturally more user-friendly. Your staff will feel more familiar with the features TouchBistro has vs. those Toast offers.
Payment processing is a MAJOR consideration when comparing POS systems.
TouchBistro takes the lead when it comes to payment processing, as it offers more variety than Toast POS. To get the best deal, you can select your ideal payment provider. One feature we love is the ability to add PayPal to your online ordering system for added customer convenience.
You can also sign up for the TouchBistro interchange-plus payment processing plan if you're looking for a plan that is less expensive than a fixed pricing model. However, you will need to get in touch with TouchBistro for a quote.
In the past two years, online ordering has become more prominent than ever. Now, in a post-Covid society, having strong online ordering and contactless payment tools is somewhat of a requirement for success. Many people are still ordering for delivery from home. This means you need to have strong delivery tools and integration with third-party delivery apps.
When it comes to online ordering specifically, TouchBistro is a better choice. When comparing TouchBistro POS vs. Toast, it's easy to see that these companies are closely aligned when it comes to their delivery systems.
Both of them handle pickup and delivery from social media pages or integrated websites, as well as integrate with apps.
However, the TouchBistro online ordering function is $25 cheaper each month. You'll find online ordering integrated into the Toast Essentials Plan, which is a whopping $165 per month, though it is only included for the first three months.
With a strong customer loyalty solution, you can keep your best customers coming back with unique incentives and rewards.
While Toast offers a robust loyalty program, there are certain features found in the TouchBistro system that aren't found in Toast's software. For example, you can make special notes in the TouchBistro loyalty program software. Let's say you have a customer that has specific allergies or dietary restrictions. You can create a note for the kitchen so that there is never any worry about giving your most loyal customers the right products.
Overall, having the ability to craft personal profiles for your customers makes it a better choice for family restaurants or local restaurants that develop loyal groups of regular customers.
Toast's Best Features:
Both Toast and TouchBistro offer third-party integrations, allowing customers to mold their POS systems to their businesses. However, TouchBistro misses the mark without integrations from major service providers, including OpenTable, GrubHub, SpeedETab, and HotSchedules.
Toast also features a wide range of labor management and payroll app integrations, helpful for automating your mundane tasks and making sure your employees are getting paid on time and in full.
Flexible Hardware Options
Any successful restaurant we can think of has durable hardware to match, such as kitchen display systems, self-service kiosks, and receipt printers.
The restaurant-grade hardware that Toast offers makes it a much more flexible solution. In terms of durability alone, the heat and grease-resistant hardware can handle the most chaotic of kitchens. You'll also find a wider variety of hardware, including scales and barcode scanners, ideal if you're a specialty shop, such as a bakery.
The one thing to note is that unlike TouchBistro, which you can use with your iPad, you have to purchase hardware from Toast. You cannot use your own system.
Toast takes the cake when it comes to ordering functionality, which is one of the reasons it consistently tops lists as the best restaurant POS software. Beyond its sophisticated functionality, including tableside ordering, customizable menus, and the ability to reopen old checks, you get a few features that you won't find in TouchBistro software.
For example, Toast can automatically 86 items when it recognizes that they are out of stock, ensuring that there is never any miscommunication regarding what you do and don't have between your employees and customers.
Toast also has a drive-thru management system that is slightly more robust than Toast, making it a more flexible choice for specialty businesses.
Toast acquired xtraCHEF back in 2021, revamping its already robust inventory management system with an even better one. You can order your ingredients based on location in the restaurant, such as in the main refrigerator or on the bar shelf, and assign section responsibilities, such as line cook or barista.
You can even organize your products by recipe, group, or as individual items. There are several methods for setting the price of a single unit too.
For example, you might choose to set prices based on the average of the last few purchases or by the last cost.
The inventory management system offers forecasting to determine the potential scarcity of some items, track waste, and manage vendors along the way. It's a much more robust system than TouchBistro in many aspects.
You'll find better customer management tools for a lower price when you use Toast. At either 0.4% per transaction or $75 per month, you can utilize Toast's digital marketing and online ordering plan, which allows you to create loyalty programs and run marketing campaigns.
Customers can receive texts from your restaurant when they make online orders to give them consistent updates. If they sign up via your loyalty program, they will reward points on their credit card. You don't even need to create your own loyalty cards! Toast will automatically track customer orders, which is an excellent feature for certain eateries, such as pizzerias, where customers often order the same things consistently.
One of the main drawbacks of TouchBistro vs. Toast is the inventory management system. It definitely requires a bit of administrative attention and it isn't nearly as robust as the Toast POS solution. If you have complex inventory needs and want access to features like auto 86-ing, waste tracking, demand forecasting, shelf layout, or menu reports that you don't need to add via third-party apps, it might not be the best choice.
One other downside of TouchBistro is that it does not support credit card pre-authorization. If you run a bar, this can be a major problem, as customers won't be able to leave tabs open.
Lastly, getting restaurant POS hardware from TouchBistro requires a custom quote. The lack of transparency some POS hardware providers have can be a bit frustrating, especially if you're comparing POS systems.
One of the biggest downsides of Toast is that you need to use Toast POS hardware with the all-in-one POS. While there are tons of quality hardware options to choose from, it lacks the flexibility of using your own hardware like TouchBistro. You can't simply hook up your iPad and get started using the POS system.
Similar to the hardware, you're also locked into Toast's payment processing. While the payment processing rates aren't high, not having the ability to shop around and find the best payment processors or use your current payment processor can be frustrating. We wish Toast wasn't so stringent when it came to exclusivity.
Lastly, to use Toast, you have to sign a contract. The contract can vary from customer to customer and can last anywhere from one to three years. Most restaurants sign a two-year contract when they work with Toast. The problem is that once you sign the contract, you're locked in with the fear of having to pay a hefty cancellation fee if you ultimately decide that Toast isn't the right choice for your needs.
Which Is A Better Value?
At the end of the day, trying to determine the winner in the TouchBistro vs. Toast debate requires a fair amount of thought. Toast is a more complete restaurant management system compared to TouchBistro, making it a better choice for sit-down restaurants or specialty food businesses, including bakeries, bars, nightclubs, or cafes.
On the other hand, TouchBistro is a simpler and less expensive system. It's an excellent restaurant POS system for business owners on the go, including those that own food trucks or do pop-ups around town. With that said, it's certainly not a meager option when it comes to features. You'll find plenty of robust tools within TouchBistro's system, with solid inventory management, employee management, and menu management system.