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Toast vs TouchBistro: What’s The Best POS For Restaurants

Updated: May 6, 2024

Written by

Gabriel Nwatarali

There’s a wide variety of point of sale (POS) systems on the market but which ones are the best POS for restaurants? As a restaurateur, you want a POS system that helps your restaurant stay organized and effectively manage, including handle day-to-day operations. A POS system like that is essential to any restaurant’s success. Two POS systems stand out in this regard, and it’s a choice between Toast vs TouchBistro. TouchBistro POS and Toast POS are the two most widely used systems among food service enterprises. These POS systems are one of the few that stand above the rest and have both become incredibly popular over the years. Today we’ll be pitting them against each other to find out which one’s better. Ring the bell because it’s Toast vs TouchBistro. Time to find out which one is right for you!

The best POS for restaurants: features


TouchBistro practically has everything a restaurant needs to thrive. The POS runs on an iPad and being wireless makes it suitable for tableside order entry. That means your waiters can take orders while at the customer’s table, no more running back and forth. TouchBistro also has several built-in admin features such as table and customer relationship management tools. The table management feature lets you design your restaurant’s floor plan, see an overview of available and seated tables, including taking orders. Additionally, you can move things around easily if you ever change your restaurant’s seating arrangements. Overall, TouchBistro has plenty of features that make it really easy to conduct transactions.


Toast POS really excels with the distribution and use of gift cards, which is a great marketing tool. The POS also gets an A for its loyalty program and tracking feature. While Toast has great management features, it doesn’t hold up against TouchBistro’s. Nonetheless, it still provides sufficient reporting and analytic tools. Another notable feature of both POS systems is inventory tracking. While TouchBistro is more efficient in this department, both programs will let your staff know when you’re running low on food items. With both products, you can update and change menus on all devices from one location/computer/device.

Hardware requirements


Toast's POS hardware You need the right hardware to run any software and with POS systems, the hardware is often the deciding factor. So which platform is the best POS for restaurants in this regard? Well, hardware needs can increase the price you pay for your POS system. TouchBistro’s software runs on iOS or Apple devices. Specifically, you’ll need an iPad, Apple Mac mini or iMac computer, and Apple TV to run the program. The Mac computer serves as the core system and is required to run multiple instances of your POS software in several devices. In other words, it enables you to have an iPad for every staff on your team that requires one. All devices are hooked or linked up to the core hardware (Mac mini or iMac), which syncs all your data in the cloud. This enables anywhere, anytime access to reports and analytics. Also, you can add as many additional devices to your restaurant. Without losing data or having to reset core functions unique to your business. One thing that is really awesome about TouchBistro hardware is that you can buy your own. This can mean huge savings on cost. Just make sure you purchase the compatible models they specify. Worth noting is that the Apple TV is optional and only recommended if you plan on displaying your menu digitally (board-style) at your restaurant.


Toast-vs-TouchBistro-What’s-The-Best-POS-For-Restaurants The hardware requirement for Toast is much more specific. The company offers its own terminals and handheld devices. These are specifically designed for their POS software. Device types come in different styles and varying sizes with the ability to process transactions. They also offer extra hardware that may improve restaurant operations or customer experience. The Toast kiosk is a self-service display that allows customers to place orders by themselves. The Toast Kitchen Display System helps folks in the kitchen work more efficiently by keeping orders organized. Also, it can tolerate high temperatures (or heat). In addition, the Toast Guest-Facing Display lets customers view their orders as it’s being entered. This can be mounted on the counter or terminal stand. Overall, TouchBistro is the best POS for restaurants in this regard since companies can use their own hardware.

POS Pricing: Toast vs TouchBistro

Both companies offer different packages with varying prices. Each package is meant to suit different situations or needs. TouchBistro starts at $69 per month for its software but increases in price when the hardware is added or multiple software licenses are purchased. For example, their unlimited package allows the hook up of six or more devices at an investment of $539 per month. This is the recommended plan for large-scale dinners. Toast works a little differently. As previously noted, you have to purchase vendor specific hardware to use Toast POS, unlike TouchBistro. The initial buy-in price for hardware starts at $899 and software begins at $79 per month. In addition, Toast offers installation services for its hardware and software, which starts at $500. TouchBistro takes this round as the best POS for restaurants.

Pros and cons: Toast vs TouchBistro

No great POS system is without flaws, but sometimes those flaws can be costly. TouchBistro is notorious for being very user-friendly, making it easy for anyone to learn how to use the system. This reduces your overall cost of onboarding, saving you money. Also, TouchBistro gives you the freedom to choose your own payment processor so you can mitigate cost in that area as well. However, the company has been accused of having sub-par customer service. While this is most likely because it’s such a widely used platform and misunderstandings are bound to happen, it’s still no excuse for poor service. Toast is also held in high regards for being a user-friendly platform. Customer service is one of the better aspects of using their POS system. However, the massive downside to Toast is that it carries a heavier price tag than TouchBistro or other POS systems. Also, restaurants are locked into Toast’s method of processing payments, which means a processing fee you can’t control. That’s definitely something to look into because anything more than 1.8 percent adds up pretty fast. Plus fees may not be guaranteed, so your prices might rise in the future. When it comes to Toast vs TouchBistro on price, this round goes to TouchBistro again because it’s more affordable, making it the better POS for restaurants.

The best POS for restaurants: Toast or TouchBistro?

In general, POS systems offer different advantages and disadvantages. Ranging from customer relations, operations, marketing, kitchen management, etc. They run on various types of hardware and are unique in their own way so your choice will depend on needs. Both Toast and TouchBistro can improve order processing and workflow for your staff. However, TouchBistro has a wealth of features and is affordably priced. Also, the accessibility and mobility that’s possible when running a POS system on an iPad, makes it the best POS for restaurants. Toast is simply too expensive even though it has similar features and capabilities. There are three main categories that can make or break a POS system. These are hardware needs, software features, and credit card processing. TouchBistro scores an A+ in all three categories. You aren’t locked into vendor-specific hardware rental, nor are you forced to use their payment processor. Plus they practically have all the features included in Toast. All of the aforementioned is why TouchBistro POS is taking the title of best POS for restaurants.

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Gabriel Nwatarali

Gabriel Nwatarali is a digital marketer and designer, who has successfully helped several organizations complete complex marketing, including design projects. He's the founder of Tech Help Canada, a results-driven design and marketing agency. He also regularly contributes his knowledge of tech, digital marketing, and business to online publications.