Toast | Empowering the Restaurant Community | Chris comparato

Chris comparato

CEO & Director

In today’s information age, the point-of-sale terminal (POS) has taken on a bigger role than simply crunching numbers and releasing receipts. Through a digital POS platform, users can view a restaurant menu and shop inventory, as well as simplify the order-taking process with their mobile devices. Some platforms even account for loyalty programs and online ordering, which is critical given the COVID-19 pandemic.

That said, the POS software market is filled with worthwhile options that offer solutions to various industries. From restaurants to retail stores, you will find platforms that streamline workflows and generate reports. Options are aplenty, thus shortlisting the most ideal products and providers can be a challenging task.

Toast [NYSE: TOST] is a cloud-based, all-in-one digital technology platform purpose-built for the entire restaurant community. Toast provides a single platform of software as a service (SaaS) products and financial technology solutions that give restaurants everything they need to run their business across point

of sale, operations, digital ordering and delivery, marketing and loyalty, and team management. By serving as the restaurant operating system across dine-in, takeout, and delivery channels, Toast helps restaurants streamline operations, increase revenue, and deliver amazing guest experiences.

Toast recently announced an agreement with Marriott International, Inc. to make its Toast for Hotel Restaurants technology available to food and beverage outlets within Marriott’s Select service hotels in the United States and Canada.

Toast for Hotel Restaurants is designed to meet the unique needs of hotel restaurant operators and offers robust integrations with leading hotel property management systems (PMS), helping them leverage technology to enhance the hospitality experience with more integrated food and beverage operations and a streamlined experience for staff and guests.

“Forward-thinking hotel companies like Marriott want a curated food and beverage experience to be innovative, fully integrated with hotel operations, and easy to adopt for franchisees—while maintaining efficiency and scalability across brands and geographies,” said Aman Narang, COO and Co-Founder of Toast. “We’re honored to offer our innovation across a variety of service models, including full-service, quick-service, poolside and in-room dining, to Marriott’s Select service properties, and enhance hotels’ staff and guest experience.”

Under the aegis of Chris Comparato, CEO & Director of Toast, the company has seen immense gain in revenue and clientele. He has led Toast through several significant stages of growth in its mission to empower the restaurant community to delight their guests, do what they love, and thrive. In 2020, Chris (along with Toast’s founders) was the overall national winner for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award, recognizing the team’s effort to help the industry adapt, innovate, and transform. Chris has an extensive background in leading high-growth SaaS, software, and consulting companies with a focus on building strong teams and a passion for customer happiness.

Toast Launches Order with Google Integration

Toast announced the Order with Google integration that allows restaurants using Toast Online Ordering to unlock a new channel for more orders. Order with Google is fully integrated with the Toast Point of Sale (POS) and is seamless for restaurant owners and guests alike.

“As restaurants look to optimize their businesses across multiple channels and revenue streams, online ordering has become a critical channel for any restaurant,” says Aman Narang, chief operating officer and co-founder of Toast. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Google to help Toast customers maximize their online presence and take control of their ordering channels. As restaurants continue to grow their takeout and delivery business, this integration will increase Toast customers’ visibility through Google Search and Maps—with ordering made easy for guests.”

According to Toast’s Voice of the Restaurant Industry survey, off-premises dining was cited as one of the top ten areas of focus for restaurants in 2023. The data also revealed that on average restaurants are managing seven service models including off-premises businesses like takeout and delivery. With millions of restaurant guests searching for restaurants online, this new collaboration with Order with Google allows Toast restaurants to activate an important new channel and drive awareness by tapping Google Search and Maps as an efficient ordering channel and marketing engine. Order with Google makes it simple for restaurant guests to search for the food they’re craving, connect with restaurants in the area and pay ahead or on arrival.

“We’re seeing a big trend where our guests want to order ahead through technology because of the simplicity, so we were excited to turn on the Toast Order with Google integration,” says Michael Lin, President of Sunright Corporation. “Tons of guests find us by searching ‘Bubble tea shops near me’ so it’s great how seamless Order with Google is for our guests. All of the information they need is on one page and they can easily browse pictures and then order without being redirected to a new page.”

Toast’s Order with Google Integration will also allow restaurants to:

  • Take control of takeout and delivery by unlocking new ordering channels: Now, Toast restaurants can sell to guests through three ordering channels: Toast Online Ordering, Toast Takeout App and Order with Google. Toast empowers restaurants to grow their takeout and delivery businesses while protecting their bottom line from third-party commission fees.
  • Manage ordering channels easily with seamless integrations: Order with Google uses the same menus, hours and quote times as Toast Online Ordering, so restaurants can customize their settings in one place. Their updates automatically flow through to Order with Google in real-time. Plus, restaurants can easily toggle Order with Google on or off at any time, giving restaurants full control of all their ordering channels.
  • Offer a seamless guest experience: With one search, a guest can read reviews, see photos, order and pay, all in one place. Order with Google supports the full range of off-premises needs from online ordering for takeout and delivery to handling payment ahead of time.

Toast announces integrated invoicing service

The company launched Toast Invoicing allows restaurants to bill for catering and wholesale orders in addition to in-person, takeout and delivery orders. The system integrates with a restaurant’s menu through the main Toast system. It also integrates with the Toast POS and KDS systems along with online orders. Companies can send invoices from POS systems or from various mobile devices with an online connection, allowing invoice payment via web connection. The service is available at no additional cost to existing Toast customers.

“Whether it’s a bakery fulfilling an order for a wedding or a downtown brewery selling craft beer to other local businesses, restaurants have evolved to more than just providing guests an incredible on-site experience,” Aman Narang, president and co-founder of Toast, said in the release. “Our customers are managing in-person dining, online orders, catering and wholesale orders all under one roof. Toast Invoicing is another key building block for restaurants to expand their service models and grow their entire business all on one platform with Toast.”

“I used to designate about one to two days to invoicing,” Brynn Keefe, manager of Luna Bakery & Café, said in the release. “Now within five or ten minutes, I can send a contract through an invoice and the customer pays it within a day or two. I never would’ve thought the food industry would need technology like we do. Now that it is here, I can’t imagine life without Toast Invoicing.”

Serving Clients with Best of Services

Luna Bakery and Cafe, an Ohio-based mainstay and #1 “Best Bakery 2022” according to Cleveland Scene, is certainly no stranger to baked goods.

Luna was started by pastry chef Bridget Thibeault of Flour Girl and restauranteurs John Emerman and Tatyana Rehn of The Stone Oven Bakery & Café. As a powerhouse team with vast industry experience, it’s no surprise that Luna saw fast success after opening its doors in 2011. They expanded the original location several times and now have a second location, as well as a production facility, to keep up with the demand of their customers.

But, like many cafes, the day-to-day pastries are only one piece of the pie. Luna runs a large catering and events production arm, whipping up cakes for special days from birthdays to weddings. “A large percentage of our sales in the cake shop are based on weddings, which we’re glad to have back [after the pandemic],” shares Brynn Keefe, Luna’s Cake Shop Manager and Decorator. “I would say we do about three to seven wedding cakes a weekend, in addition to our birthday cakes and anniversary or celebration cakes,” Brynn says.

Unfortunately, serving up that many event orders isn’t always a piece of cake when it comes to managing the backend. Invoices and paperwork can easily pile up and eat into the workday.

“I used to designate about one to two days of just office emails and doing the invoices, for calling customers, getting them on the phone, leaving voicemails, having them call us back to confirm their order verbally,” Brynn recalls.

Once Luna started using Toast Invoicing, that all changed. “Now, just within five or 10 minutes, I can send a contract through an invoice and they pay it within a day or two and we’re done,” says Brynn.

By switching to Toast Invoicing, you can say goodbye to paper invoices and manual payment tracking. Since switching, Luna Bakery creates and sends digital invoices using any computer or mobile device as well as monitoring invoice sales and payments using Toast Reports and Performance Center. Plus, Toast Invoicing allows them to see all orders on a calendar to get a convenient bird’s-eye view of what’s coming up.

No one starts a bakery because they love paperwork. It’s the artistry of the cakes and the impact you get to have on someone’s special day — that’s what keeps a baker coming back every morning.

So, when it comes to choosing an invoicing platform for your restaurant, why not go with one built specifically for restaurants?

“I love Toast Invoicing for the fact that it’s designated and geared towards the food industry,” shares Brynn. “It’s very straightforward. It keeps our lives simple. We don’t have a ton of time to sit at a desk — we’ve got stuff to make — so, we can just go in, make a quick invoice, and be done.”

Plus, Toast Invoicing takes into account things that folks outside of the industry may overlook. For example, Toast Invoicing allows you to download prep lists per order. This has made preparing for large orders easier, says Brynn: “With those large-scale orders, the Toast Invoicing system can produce a prep list for you to say how much of something you’ll need. Ideally, it will pull from your menu what ingredients you need to fulfill that and it can make a prep list for your team. Instead of you going in and writing one by hand after looking over the invoice, it does it for you.”

Luna’s employees aren’t the only ones benefiting from Toast Invoicing. Customers now have an easier method for paying invoices than they did before.

“The customer can pay it at their leisure within the timeline, which is great for our customers who have busy work schedules — and we have limited cafe hours — to be able to pay those invoices without having to meet face-to-face and also be able to track the details on those to know that customer paid with confirmation of seeing that invoice,” Brynn shares.

Through Toast Invoicing, Luna Bakery and Cafe can accept payment online via credit or debit card, 24/7. They can also set payment due dates and remind guests to pay on time without having to pick up the phone. And, since Luna Bakery and Cafe uses Toast POS to run the bakery, they can easily collect deposits and apply them to orders online or directly on the POS device.

Guests can also leave a tip directly on invoices to share their appreciation, which can then be distributed using Toast Payroll. It can be a win for everyone involved.

For Brynn, there’s also a unique benefit to using Toast’s digital invoicing platform: a history of past invoices and orders at her fingertips. Oftentimes, a Luna customer will order a wedding cake and then look to order the same cake flavor and filling years to come in celebration of their anniversary. In the past, this meant Brynn would have to search through papers to find the couple’s order. Now, she simply needs to find the invoice within Toast. Happy couple, happy baker.

As restaurants continue to grow their takeout and delivery business, this integration will increase Toast customers' visibility through Google Search and Maps—with ordering made easy for guests

Chris comparato

CEO & Director