How Does Toast Make Money? Toast Business Model In A Nutshell

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Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business



In the ever-evolving world of the restaurant industry, Toast has emerged as a trailblazer with its innovative business model.

With a comprehensive range of cloud-based software and hardware solutions, Toast provides point-of-sale systems and digital ordering plans to over 48,000 restaurants.

Despite initial funding challenges and outdated systems prevalent in the industry, Toast persevered and revolutionized restaurant technology.

This article delves into the intricacies of Toast's business model and explores how the company generates revenue through its cutting-edge offerings.

Key Takeaways

  • Toast makes money by selling hardware and software packages for point-of-sale systems.
  • They also generate revenue through their digital ordering plans for restaurants.
  • Toast provides customizable point-of-sale packages for restaurants, with additional hardware available for purchase.
  • They offer online ordering, delivery, and other features through their digital ordering plans, charging a per-order service fee.

Toast's Founding and Challenges

Toast faced significant challenges during its founding due to the complexity of the industry and the outdated systems used by many restaurants. The restaurant industry, known for its poor margins and tight budgets, made it difficult for Toast to secure early funding. Moreover, many restaurants were still using antiquated systems that were over twenty years old.

These funding difficulties arose from investor hesitancy to invest in a sector with such complexities and outdated technology. However, despite these challenges, the founders of Toast, who previously worked at software company Endeca, recognized the opportunity to revolutionize restaurant point-of-sale systems. They saw the potential to provide modern, customizable solutions to streamline operations and enhance efficiency in the industry.

Revenue Generation Categories

After overcoming initial funding challenges, Toast has established revenue generation categories that contribute to its success in the restaurant software industry. These revenue generation categories include:

  • Point of Sale (POS) Systems: Toast offers customizable POS packages for restaurants, with different plans available based on the growth stage of the restaurant. Additional hardware can be purchased as required for an upfront fee and sometimes a monthly fee.
  • Digital Ordering: Toast also offers three plans for restaurants that want an online presence. These plans include online ordering, delivery, and other features. Delivery services are available at an extra cost, and Toast charges a per-order service fee.
  • Hardware Sales: Aside from software packages, Toast generates revenue through the sale of hardware such as tablets and terminals, which are essential components of their POS systems.
  • Software Subscriptions: Toast offers software subscriptions for its POS and digital ordering systems, providing restaurants with ongoing access to their services and updates.
  • Service Fees: Toast may charge service fees for additional services such as technical support, onboarding assistance, and training.
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Through these pricing models and revenue diversification, Toast has been able to establish a robust business model that caters to the needs of the restaurant industry.

Point of Sale Offerings

One key aspect of Toast's revenue generation is its range of customizable point-of-sale (POS) offerings for restaurants. Toast provides different plans based on the growth stage of the restaurant, allowing for customization options to meet specific needs.

In addition to software packages, Toast also offers additional hardware that can be purchased upfront or sometimes with a monthly fee. This allows restaurants to expand their POS capabilities as required.

Digital Ordering Plans

The next aspect of Toast's revenue generation focuses on their digital ordering plans for restaurants. Here are some key points regarding Toast's digital ordering plans:

  • Toast offers three different plans for restaurants that want an online presence.
  • These plans include online ordering, allowing customers to place their orders digitally.
  • Delivery services are also available as an additional feature, enabling restaurants to offer delivery to their customers.
  • Toast charges a per-order service fee for utilizing their delivery services.
  • Pricing options for the digital ordering plans may vary based on the specific needs and size of the restaurant.

Toast's Evolution and Growth

As Toast continued to expand its digital ordering plans for restaurants, the company experienced significant evolution and growth. Toast's expansion strategy focused on providing comprehensive restaurant technology solutions, including customizable point-of-sale packages and online ordering options. This approach allowed Toast to cater to the specific needs of different types of restaurants at various stages of growth.

To highlight Toast's evolution and growth, the following table illustrates key milestones and achievements:

Milestones and Achievements Year
Toast started as a consumer app 2012
Over 1,000 merchants using Toast's service 2013
Providing point-of-sale systems to 48,000+ restaurants Present
Successful IPO, raising $870 million 2021

These milestones demonstrate Toast's successful transition from a consumer app to a leading restaurant technology platform. Looking ahead, Toast has promising future growth opportunities, including expanding its customer base, developing innovative features, and exploring new markets. By continuously adapting to the evolving needs of the restaurant industry, Toast is poised to maintain its upward trajectory and solidify its position as a key player in the market.

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Key Highlights and Successes

Toast has achieved significant success and notable milestones in its journey as a leading restaurant technology platform. Here are some key highlights and successes:

  • Toast's competitive advantage lies in its comprehensive suite of restaurant management tools, which include point-of-sale systems, online ordering, and delivery services. This integrated approach sets Toast apart from competitors and provides a seamless experience for restaurant owners and customers.
  • With over 48,000 restaurant locations using Toast's point-of-sale systems, the company has had a significant impact on the restaurant industry, streamlining operations and improving efficiency.
  • Toast's successful IPO in 2021, where they raised $870 million, is a testament to their growth and market potential.
  • From its humble beginnings as a consumer app focused on mobile payments and loyalty, Toast has evolved into a full-fledged restaurant technology platform, catering to the unique needs of the industry.
  • By 2013, Toast already had over 1,000 merchants utilizing its services, showcasing its early success and rapid adoption in the market.

Toast's IPO and Financial Success

Toast's successful IPO in 2021 is a testament to the company's financial success and market potential. The IPO raised an impressive $870 million, indicating investor confidence in Toast's business model and growth strategies. Let's take a closer look at Toast's financial success through a table summarizing their key financial highlights.

Year Revenue (in millions) Growth Rate
2018 $250
2019 $400 60%
2020 $823 105%
2021 $1,500 82%

As shown in the table, Toast's revenue has been growing significantly over the years, with a compound annual growth rate of approximately 82%. This growth highlights the effectiveness of Toast's business model and its ability to meet the evolving needs of the restaurant industry. With a successful IPO and impressive financial performance, Toast is well-positioned for continued success in the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Toast Differentiate Itself From Other Cloud-Based Restaurant Software Companies?

Toast differentiates itself from other cloud-based restaurant software companies through its customizable point-of-sale packages and digital ordering plans. This allows restaurants to tailor their systems to their specific needs, giving Toast a competitive advantage in the industry.

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What Are Some Key Features and Benefits of Toast's Point-Of-Sale Systems?

Toast's point-of-sale systems offer customization options and a user-friendly interface. They provide different plans based on the restaurant's growth stage, with the option to purchase additional hardware. These features enhance operational efficiency and improve the overall dining experience.

How Does Toast Handle Customer Support and Technical Assistance for Its Software and Hardware Packages?

Toast provides customer support and technical assistance for its software and hardware packages. They offer various support channels, including phone, email, and online resources. Their dedicated support team ensures that restaurants receive timely assistance and resolve any technical issues they may encounter.

Can Restaurants Customize the Digital Ordering Plans Offered by Toast to Fit Their Specific Needs?

Restaurants can customize Toast's digital ordering plans to fit their specific needs, offering pricing flexibility. Toast provides various plans that include online ordering, delivery, and additional features. Customization options allow restaurants to tailor the plans to their requirements.

How Has Toast's Business Model Evolved Since Its Founding in 2012?

Since its founding in 2012, Toast's business model has evolved from a consumer app to a full restaurant technology platform. With an expanding customer base of over 48,000 restaurant locations, Toast's revenue generation has grown through its point-of-sale and digital ordering solutions.


In conclusion, Toast has successfully navigated the competitive landscape of the restaurant industry. This success can be attributed to its offering of innovative point-of-sale systems and digital ordering plans. Despite facing initial funding challenges and operating in an industry with outdated systems, Toast has managed to establish itself as a reliable provider. Currently, it has over 48,000 restaurant locations as clients.

Furthermore, Toast's financial success is evident through its successful IPO in 2021. The IPO raised an impressive $870 million, reflecting investors' confidence in the company's ability to shape the future of restaurant technology.

Overall, Toast's journey in the restaurant industry showcases its ability to overcome obstacles and adapt to changing market demands. With its innovative solutions and strong financial backing, Toast is well-positioned to continue driving technological advancements in the industry.

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