Upserve vs Toast
If you run a restaurant, having a high-quality POS system can help you process payments, track inventory and analyze sales just to name a few benefits.
The last thing you want to do is invest in a system that lacks the features you need.
Two of the most popular restaurant POS systems on the market today are Toast and Upserve - and we're here to help you decide which would work best for your restaurant.
Continue reading to learn everything you need to know in order to make an informed decision.
Choose Upserve If...
Upserve is a great option for fine dining and higher-end dine-in establishments. With feature-rich software, flexible hardware, and a number of excellent loyalty program services, Upserve POS has become well-renowned by established restaurants across the country.
Choose Toast If...
Toast POS is a better option if you're a specialty restaurant, such as a bakery, coffee shop, or fast casual diner, that needs high-quality marketing and loyalty program tools.
Upserve POS VS Toast POS System Comparison
Established high-end restaurants and fine-dining establishments
Specialty full and quick-service restaurants that require high-end restaurant-specific tools
$1,350 for a POS terminal with a credit card reader and monitor. You can also use iPads and Android tablets as terminals
$59 per month starting plus the cost per terminal, which is anywhere from $40 to $60
$90 or more per month (Quote-based)
24/7 Customer Support
24/7 Customer Support
Free trial, modifiable custom features, and responsive customer service
Built-in payroll management features, free online ordering, and a transparent pricing model
Digging Into The Details
Upserve's Best Features:
The Upserve menu management is one of the best features in the Toast feature set. Managers can use menu management tools to add and customize menu items, as well as allow servers to find specific menu items through complex searches or search categories.
You'll also find menu inventory countdowns in this software, letting your staff know when certain products are sold-out or low in stock. If items are sold out, Upserve's system can automatically mark them as "out of stock" and order more.
One of the truly neat features of Upserve is that it can flag certain menu items as "greatest hits," "one-hit wonders," or "underperformers."
Your staff can use this information to see what is selling really well to make on-the-spot recommendations or see what is not performing well and try to push it for better sales.
One of the main reasons restauranteurs invest in high-end POS solutions is that it streamlines communication between FOH staff and BOH staff. A restaurant can't function correctly with a lack of communication between servers and chefs, and Upserve's features make it clear that it's a priority.
The communication features available on Upserve POs can keep your front-of-house and back-of-house employees in tune with each other. Servers can easily send and communicate special requests from employees to the kitchen.
For example, a customer might plug in the system regarding subbing an item for another.
There's also a handy "hold item" feature, which you can use to tell the kitchen to make something later.
Employee Management and Training
The employee management system is very robust and can be used to designate employee roles or dole out certain permissions to some employees vs. others.
For example, you might give certain employees access to certain menus based on what time they are working or higher-level employees access to returns and exchanges.
Managers can also initiate the employee training mode, which can help new employees that are learning the workflow of this POS solution.
If you have a restaurant with a high turnover rate and you can't sacrifice the time and resources to train new hires each time one comes through the door, this feature can be incredibly beneficial.
Employees can leave any notes they need regarding the previous night's shift, providing feedback through checklists and custom questions.
In all of the Upserve POS plans, you'll find the Upserve Workforce tool, which is a scheduling tool managers can use to create and assign schedules, manage clock-ins, or send shifts to employees.
The restaurant analytics platform found in Upserve is known as Upserve HQ. You can think of the HQ portion of the software as the brain.
This user-friendly tool compiles all of your data in a single place, helping you save time and identify potential chances to alter your operations.
You'll find plenty of capabilities in this system, including:
The data found in Upserve HQ can also be accessed through Upserve Live, which is the developer's app that is available on Android mobile, iPhone mobile, and Linux mobile. You can use this handy app to track the operations of your restaurant in real-time.
Without proper customer support, troubleshooting issues with your POS software or hardware can be difficult. Having a person you can hop on the phone with when issues arise.
Upserve's customer support hours are great, providing support 24/7, 365 days per year, with each of its software plans. There are several ways to get in contact with the customer support team as well, including chat training, email, text, phone, and more.
Around-the-clock live support can be super helpful for any business that works outside of normal business hours, such as bars and nightclubs.
Toast's Best Features:
Online ordering is more popular than ever, and more and more businesses are starting to offer it.
One of the main advantages of Toast POS over Upserve is its online ordering capabilities, as the system connects directly to the kitchen, minimizing communication errors and streamlining the ordering process for both guests and employees.
You can use the Toast online app to connect your Toast system directly to your kitchen display screens. The feature will organize online orders and send out notifications to guests or servers when meals are ready.
This feature offers a much more intuitive system flow, especially in a world where online orders are the norm.
Toast excels when it comes to third-party integrations, allowing managers to customize the system to better fit the establishment. While Upserve has plenty of third-party integrations it is connected with, Toast has the upper hand in terms of how many partnerships it has made.
Toast has numerous integrated payroll and labor software providers in its integration list as well vs. Upserve, great for maintaining and streamlining employee operations.
One thing we truly love about Toast is the open API. If you run an established restaurant with a developer on board, you can customize your system in ways beyond what you'd be able to do with Upserve. Flexibility is truly one of this solution's best selling points.
Trying to consolidate information and data from multiple locations can be difficult.
However, Toast POS makes it easy with its multiple restaurant management features, even if some of your restaurants have different prices or products.
The ability to group specific restaurant locations together when drafting reports has never been easier in a restaurant POS.
If you only run a single site, though you're struggling to maintain consistency between your brick-and-mortar location and your website, Toast POS can help.
Using a single screen, you can develop a centralized menu for every outlet, making sure your pricing and products are always up to date.
We'd be lying if we said that Upserve doesn't have a strong hardware lineup. Toast's hardware is some of the most flexible in the industry. Just about any kind of hardware you'd need for payment processing and communication can be found in the Toast lineup.
Some of the top hardware options include self-service customer kiosks, handheld POS devices, kitchen display systems, and desktop terminals.
Though each of these hardware devices is special in its own right, the Toast Flex is one of our most highly recommended. This flexible POS terminal utilizes a handy 14" swivel display, which you can turn back and forth between the cashier and the customer.
To minimize transactional steps, you can upgrade to the terminal with the additional 8" customer-facing touchscreen display. And if you ever run into issues with hardware, Toast customer service is available around the clock.
Toast has long been praised for its real-time reporting and analytics. In fact, Toast POS delivers some of the best and most in-depth reports in the industry. Whether you need insight into customers, revenue, pricing, employee users, or payments, you can quickly and easily gather organized data from Toast.
The reporting software found in Toast's point-of-sale software syncs up to the internet and consolidates all of your most important data in a secure cloud location that only you can access.
The inventory management features are incredibly helpful, providing ingredient-level tracking to keep your restaurant functioning at a micro level.
One of the biggest drawbacks of Upserve is that it does not have an online ordering system that syncs directly to the kitchen. In a post-Covid world where contactless ordering is the norm in many places, it is quite surprising that this feature has not been integrated into Upserve's systems. We hope that they choose to integrate it in the near future, as it could help create a more seamless guest experience.
Many users have also noted the non-responsiveness of Upserve's customer support team. While the company offers 24/7 support, making it an excellent choice for after-hours businesses like bars or nightclubs, being difficult to get in touch with kind of makes it irrelevant.
One of the biggest drawbacks of Toast is its pricing model. Unfortunately, you won't find any price clarity on the Toast website, as the company uses a quote-based system to provide prices for its customers. This quote-based system includes hardware, higher-tier software, and payment processing. Customers must meet with a rep from Toast to get pricing to compare with other point-of-sale systems, which can make the entire purchasing process more complex.
One of the other main Toast drawbacks is that they have a long contract that users must sign when they start using the service. The contract can be anywhere from one to three years with renewal options. The biggest drawback is that you have to pay a hefty cancellation fee if you decide to stop using the company's service during your contract period.
Which Is A Better Value?
Both of these point-of-sale systems offer incredible value for restaurants. You get exceptional hospitality features, quality support, and plenty of flexible hardware options.
If you run an established, high-end restaurant, we recommend going with Upserve. On the other hand, if you run a specialty restaurant and you need a POS system that won't cost you as much money, Toast POS is a better option.
We hope that our Toast POS vs. Upserve guide has been helpful in comparing these two restaurant POS solutions. In the end, many businesses use these point-of-sale solutions and find success, so we recommend starting out with a trial from each to determine the best fit.