Lightspeed Restaurant vs Toast POS: Which is Better?

Lightspeed Restaurant vs Toast POS

When comparing Lightspeed Restaurant and Toast POS, two leading Point of Sale (POS) systems designed for the hospitality industry, it’s important to evaluate them across several dimensions to understand which might be better suited to specific business needs. Both platforms offer a range of features tailored to streamline operations, enhance customer service, and boost sales for restaurants, bars, cafes, and other food service establishments. However, their differences in functionality, usability, pricing, integration capabilities, and customer support can make one more suitable than the other depending on the specific requirements of a business.

Overview of Lightspeed Restaurant

Lightspeed Restaurant is a cloud-based POS system known for its flexibility and comprehensive feature set. It’s designed to cater to the needs of various types of food and beverage establishments, from small cafes to multi-location restaurants. Lightspeed’s strengths lie in its extensive customization options, robust inventory management, and detailed reporting capabilities. It also offers a kitchen display system, table management, and customer loyalty features, making it a well-rounded choice for businesses looking to manage their operations efficiently.

Overview of Toast POS

Toast POS is another popular cloud-based restaurant management platform that offers an all-in-one solution specifically tailored for the foodservice industry. Toast stands out for its ease of use, strong focus on restaurant-specific features, and integration with a wide range of third-party applications. Its core functionalities include tableside ordering, online ordering and delivery, a kitchen display system, and advanced reporting. Toast also provides hardware specifically designed for restaurant use, ensuring durability and reliability in a fast-paced environment.

Feature Comparison

Customization and Ease of Use

Both Lightspeed Restaurant and Toast POS offer a high degree of customization, allowing users to tailor the system to their specific needs. Lightspeed provides detailed configuration options for menus, floor plans, and pricing strategies, which is particularly beneficial for businesses with unique setups or multiple service types. Toast, on the other hand, emphasizes ease of use and quick setup, with intuitive interfaces and straightforward configuration processes that minimize the learning curve for staff.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is a critical component for any restaurant, and here, Lightspeed Restaurant often has the edge. It offers detailed inventory tracking, supplier management, and order automation, making it easier for businesses to manage stock levels, reduce waste, and optimize their purchasing process. While Toast also provides inventory management features, they may not be as comprehensive or detailed as those available in Lightspeed, particularly for establishments with complex inventory needs.

Integration Capabilities

Integration with other software and services is essential for seamless restaurant operations. Toast POS excels in this area with a wide array of integrations available, including popular accounting software, payroll services, and third-party delivery platforms. This extensive ecosystem allows restaurants to create a highly integrated technology stack. Lightspeed also offers various integrations, but Toast’s focus on the restaurant industry has led to a more targeted selection of partner integrations that cater specifically to the needs of foodservice businesses.

Customer Support and Reliability

Customer support is another critical factor, especially for businesses that rely on their POS system for day-to-day operations. Both Lightspeed and Toast provide 24/7 customer support, but user reviews and feedback suggest that the quality and responsiveness of support can vary. Toast has been praised for its dedicated support and resources for onboarding and troubleshooting, which can be particularly valuable for businesses without a dedicated IT team.


Pricing is always a key consideration. Both platforms typically offer a subscription-based model, but the total cost can vary significantly depending on the hardware requirements, number of licenses, and selected features. Lightspeed monthly subscription prices range from $69 USD/month to $399 USD/Month. Toast offers a unique approach with its Pay-as-you-Go plan, which can be appealing for new or smaller establishments with tighter budgets, but their processing fees are higher than average which stands at 3.09% + 15¢ processing fee. However, for businesses planning to scale or requiring advanced features, a thorough comparison of the long-term costs and value of each platform is necessary. On one hand, you can pay a defined monthly subscription fee or pay a higher processing fee which can add up as you grow and do larger volumes of business. For example, with Toast’s processing fee, if you do $100,000 USD a month in business and your average ticket size is say $20 USD, you will pay $3,090 (3.09%) + $750 (100,000/20 = 5000*.15) = $3,840 USD per month. That is equivalent to at least one or more employee monthly salary in the United States or 3 or 4 in some countries.


Determining whether Lightspeed Restaurant or Toast POS is better for your business depends on specific needs and priorities. Lightspeed Restaurant may be the better choice for establishments that require robust inventory management and detailed customization options. It’s also well-suited for businesses operating in multiple locations or with diverse service models.

On the other hand, Toast POS is likely the better option for restaurants looking for an intuitive, all-in-one solution with strong integration capabilities and dedicated hardware. Its ease of use and comprehensive support can be particularly advantageous for smaller operations or those with less technical expertise.

Ultimately, the decision should be based on a detailed assessment of your business’s specific requirements, budget constraints, and growth plans. It may also be beneficial to request demos or trial periods from both companies to gain firsthand experience with each system’s features and usability. This hands-on approach can provide valuable insights into how each platform can meet your operational needs and support your business objectives.

Scroll to Top