TouchBistro vs Toast POS: What’s The Difference?

touchbistro vs toast pos

TouchBistro and Toast POS are two popular restaurant point-of-sale (POS) systems designed specifically for the food and beverage industry. While both aim to streamline restaurant operations, improve customer service, and enhance business efficiency, they have distinct features, pricing structures, and usability that cater to different types of restaurants. Below, we’ll dive deep into their differences, including aspects such as hardware, software capabilities, integrations, customer support, and overall user experience.

1. Overview

TouchBistro is a highly regarded POS system built exclusively for the restaurant industry. It’s an iPad-based solution that focuses on delivering an intuitive, user-friendly experience for restaurant staff. TouchBistro supports a range of restaurant types, including full-service restaurants, quick-service, bars, and cafes.

Toast POS

Toast POS is an Android-based system that also caters specifically to the restaurant industry. It offers a comprehensive suite of features designed to help restaurants manage operations, including online ordering, delivery, and contactless payment solutions. Toast POS is known for its robust hardware and software integration capabilities.

2. Hardware and Operating Systems
  • Hardware: TouchBistro operates exclusively on iPads. This choice of hardware makes it highly mobile and easy to use for staff who are already familiar with iOS devices. It requires minimal setup, and the sleek design of iPads complements the aesthetic of modern restaurants.
  • Operating System: TouchBistro is built for iOS, leveraging the stability and security of Apple’s ecosystem. This makes it a good choice for restaurants already using Apple products.
Toast POS
  • Hardware: Toast POS is designed to work on Android devices. Toast offers proprietary hardware, including terminals, handhelds, and self-service kiosks. The hardware is designed to be durable and is well-suited for the fast-paced environment of a restaurant.
  • Operating System: Toast uses an Android-based operating system, which offers flexibility and customization options. The proprietary nature of Toast’s hardware and software ensures seamless integration and optimized performance.
3. Software Features
  • Table Management: TouchBistro provides a robust table management system that allows restaurants to design floor plans, manage reservations, and monitor table status in real-time.
  • Menu Management: The system offers extensive menu management capabilities, including customization, modifiers, and pricing options. It supports various menu types like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and specials.
  • Order Management: TouchBistro’s order management is intuitive, allowing servers to take orders quickly and accurately. The POS supports split bills, course management, and custom orders.
  • Inventory Management: TouchBistro includes basic inventory management features, helping restaurants track ingredient usage and manage stock levels.
  • Reporting and Analytics: The POS provides detailed reports on sales, labor, and inventory. These reports can be customized to meet specific business needs.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): TouchBistro includes CRM features like customer profiles, loyalty programs, and marketing tools to enhance customer engagement.
Toast POS
  • Order Management: Toast offers advanced order management features, including order tracking, modifications, and split bills. It supports various order types such as dine-in, takeout, and delivery.
  • Inventory Management: Toast provides comprehensive inventory management, allowing restaurants to track ingredient levels, manage suppliers, and automate reordering processes.
  • Menu Management: The system supports detailed menu management, including item customization, modifiers, and pricing. Toast also integrates with third-party delivery services for seamless online ordering.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Toast offers robust reporting and analytics tools, including real-time sales data, labor reports, and inventory tracking. These reports can be accessed from any device, providing flexibility and convenience.
  • CRM and Marketing: Toast includes powerful CRM features such as customer profiles, loyalty programs, email marketing, and promotions. These tools help restaurants build strong customer relationships and drive repeat business.
4. Integrations and Add-Ons
  • Third-Party Integrations: TouchBistro integrates with a wide range of third-party applications, including accounting software (QuickBooks, Xero), payroll systems, and marketing tools. These integrations help streamline various aspects of restaurant management.
  • Add-Ons: TouchBistro offers several add-ons like online ordering, reservations, gift cards, and loyalty programs. These add-ons can be purchased separately based on the restaurant’s needs.
Toast POS
  • Third-Party Integrations: Toast POS integrates with numerous third-party services, including accounting software, payroll systems, and delivery platforms. This ensures that restaurants can connect their POS with other essential business tools.
  • Add-Ons: Toast offers a variety of add-ons, such as online ordering, delivery management, loyalty programs, gift cards, and employee management tools. These features are designed to provide a comprehensive solution for restaurant operations.
5. Pricing
  • Software Costs: TouchBistro has a tiered pricing structure based on the number of licenses and features required. The base price starts at around $69 per month per terminal, with additional fees for add-ons like online ordering and reservations.
  • Hardware Costs: Since TouchBistro operates on iPads, the hardware costs will depend on the number of iPads and accessories (like stands, printers, and card readers) needed. Restaurants can purchase these directly from TouchBistro or use existing iPads.
  • Additional Fees: There might be additional fees for payment processing, support, and installation, depending on the restaurant’s specific needs.
Toast POS
  • Software Costs: Toast POS also uses a tiered pricing model. The software starts at around $69 per month per terminal, with various packages available based on the features required. Advanced features like online ordering and delivery management may incur additional costs.
  • Hardware Costs: Toast’s proprietary hardware typically involves higher upfront costs. The exact pricing will depend on the specific hardware components required (e.g., terminals, handhelds, self-service kiosks).
  • Additional Fees: Toast may charge additional fees for payment processing, installation, and ongoing support. These fees can vary based on the size and needs of the restaurant.
6. Customer Support
  • Support Options: TouchBistro offers 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and chat. They also provide a comprehensive online knowledge base with articles, videos, and tutorials.
  • Onboarding and Training: TouchBistro offers onboarding assistance and training sessions to help restaurant staff get up to speed with the system. This can include in-person training, online webinars, and self-paced learning resources.
  • Community: TouchBistro maintains an active community forum where users can share tips, ask questions, and connect with other restaurant owners and staff.
Toast POS
  • Support Options: Toast provides 24/7 customer support through phone, email, and chat. They are known for their responsive and knowledgeable support team.
  • Onboarding and Training: Toast offers comprehensive onboarding and training services, including in-person training, online courses, and detailed documentation. This ensures that restaurant staff can effectively use the system.
  • Community: Toast has a vibrant online community where users can interact, share best practices, and access a wealth of resources to optimize their use of the POS system.
7. User Experience
  • Ease of Use: TouchBistro is praised for its intuitive and user-friendly interface. The iPad-based system is familiar to many users, making it easy to navigate and use effectively.
  • Customization: TouchBistro offers a high level of customization, allowing restaurants to tailor the system to their specific needs. This includes custom floor plans, menu configurations, and reporting options.
  • Reliability: The system is known for its stability and reliability. Since it operates on iOS, it benefits from Apple’s robust security features and regular updates.
Toast POS
  • Ease of Use: Toast is designed with a user-friendly interface that is easy to learn and navigate. The Android-based system is flexible and adaptable to various restaurant environments.
  • Customization: Toast offers extensive customization options, enabling restaurants to create personalized workflows, menus, and reports. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for complex operations.
  • Reliability: Toast is recognized for its robust performance and reliability. The proprietary hardware and software integration ensure a seamless and efficient operation.
8. Target Market

TouchBistro is ideal for small to medium-sized restaurants, cafes, bars, and food trucks that prioritize ease of use, mobility, and a familiar interface. Its iPad-based system is particularly attractive to establishments looking for a sleek and modern POS solution.

Toast POS

Toast POS is well-suited for a wide range of restaurant types, from small cafes to large multi-location chains. Its comprehensive feature set and robust hardware make it a good fit for high-volume establishments that require a reliable and scalable solution.


Both TouchBistro and Toast POS offer powerful solutions tailored to the unique needs of the restaurant industry. The choice between the two largely depends on the specific requirements and preferences of the restaurant.

  • Choose TouchBistro if:
    • You prefer an iPad-based system.
    • You need a highly intuitive and user-friendly interface.
    • You are a small to medium-sized establishment looking for an affordable and scalable solution.
  • Choose Toast POS if:
    • You prefer an Android-based system with proprietary hardware.
    • You require advanced features like comprehensive inventory management, delivery integration, and extensive customization options.
    • You are a larger restaurant or chain that needs a robust, scalable solution with strong customer support.

Ultimately, both systems are capable of enhancing restaurant operations, improving customer service, and driving business growth. Evaluating the specific needs and priorities of your restaurant will help determine which POS system is the best fit for your business.

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