Toast Restaurants in 2017 - A Year in Review

By: Kendal Austin

5 Minute Read

Jan 31, 2018

You must have Javascript enabled in order to submit forms on our website. If you'd like to contact Toast please call us at:

(857) 301-6002


Just so you know, we’ll handle your info according to our privacy statement.

Year In Review 2017 Blog Header


Looking back on 2017, the Toast restaurant community has a lot to celebrate. 21,028,863 pizzas and 14,325,884 burgers later, they have strong momentum heading into the new year. This thriving group of restaurants also gives us insights into trends and data that can impact everyone in food service.

Here’s a preview of the key insights pulled from the Toast restaurant community. 

Boston & Los Angeles are the Best Tipping Cities

While labor costs are rising dramatically in some major cities, hiring and maintaining talented staff are top concerns for restaurateurs across the country. The Restaurant Technology in 2017 Report found that “labor and hiring” was the top concern for restaurateurs. It comes as no surprise that tipping is a major factor in the satisfaction and retention of staff.

According to the data collected from Toast customers in 2017, restaurants in Boston and Los Angeles have some leverage in this tough job market.

Boston topped out as the highest tipping city, averaging 16.3% in full service restaurants. Click to Tweet

Los Angeles is the city most likely to include a tip on a bill. 80% of all orders had a tip applied in 2017. Click to Tweet

Tips, along with a fair wage and strong restaurant culture, will ultimately drive retention.

Emily Brazill

"Employee morale was consistently identified as the biggest challenge according to over a dozen interviews we conducted with restaurant managers in multiple locations across North America. And it goes without saying that fair wages and tipping can go a long way in improving staff retention and morale. There is a direct correlation. Getting employees who fit into your culture and are excited about growing to stick around - not only helps your bottom line – but helps with customer service and employee morale."

- Emily Brazill, Product Marketing Manager, 7shifts

Budweiser, Miller & Coors are the Most Popular Beers

While local brews have increased in popularity over the years in recent years, the large beer companies continue to be top dog.

The top ten beers sold in 2017 were:

1) Budweiser
2) Miller
3) Coors
4) Corona
5) Michelob
6) Blue Moon
7) Stella Artois
8) Sam Adams
9) Yuengling
10) Modelo

This data is corroborated by analysis done by the liquor inventory software, BevSpot.

Stephen Ngo

"It's indicative of the extent to which AB InBev (Budweiser + Michelob + Stella Artois), MillerCoors (Miller + Coors + Blue Moon), and Corona have consolidated the mass-market part of the beer industry, and will continue to consolidate in other segments of the industry.” 

- Stephen Ngo, Marketing Data Analyst, 

Mobile Matters

Data suggests that if your restaurant is utilizing online ordering, it’s imperative that the site be mobile friendly. Consumers use their mobile devices for everything from watching Netflix to banking.

Web traffic from mobile devices contributed to a significant portion of revenue for Toast restaurants in 2017.

In 2017, 40% of online orders were placed on mobile devices. Click to Tweet

Adam Garfield

Consumer expectations have shifted towards mobile over traditional web-based platforms across all sectors, and F&B is no exception. People want to use the same device that they're using to text, send emails, and look at Facebook, to order and pay for their favorite menu items. Mobile is increasingly becoming the preferred way for customers to place transactions, and the merchants that understand this trend will realize the benefits of higher average ticket sizes, increased throughput, strengthened customer engagement and frequency, and a superior guest experience."

- Adam Garfield, Co-Founder & CEO of

When Margins are Squeezed, Food Cost Counts 

As margins in food service continue to get squeezed with higher rent and increasing minimum wage, restaurants are taking a hard look at food costs. Gone are the days where restaurateurs could get by with wishy-washy data and careless inventory tracking.

1,589 people used the Food Cost Calculator in 2017. Click to Tweet

This free tool automatically calculates menu prices based on desired margins and compares them to other restaurants within a region. 

Jim Berman.jpg
Jim Berman

“Costs are, predictably, always all over the place. Labor cost can be up, food cost can be down. Rent always seems to be up. Product cost is always suspect, so employing tools like Food Cost Calculator makes sense. Everybody is taking harder looks at labor [using analysis tools like Hot Schedules] and other controllable expenses, as well. Margins are shrinking, so it makes sense that food cost is an imperative target on which to set sights...

Going into 2018, the use of data and analysis tools will not only be part of marketing and demographics, but will be one more element for smarter back-of-the house operations.”

- Jim Berman, Chef & Restaurant Connisseur

Running a restaurant may still be a tough job in 2018, but we can count on new tools and even more data at our disposal than ever before. Armed with the right technology, staff, and product mix, restaurant operators have much to look forward to in the coming year.

Congratulations to the thriving Toast restaurant community, who had a record-breaking year in 2017. We're looking forward to our continued partnership with you in 2018 and beyond.

You must have Javascript enabled in order to submit forms on our website. If you'd like to contact Toast please call us at:

(857) 301-6002

First and Last Name is required
Phone Number is required
Restaurant Name is required
What is your role? is required
Yes, I’d like a demo of Toast, a restaurant technology platform.
Yes, I'd like a demo of Toast is required

Just so you know, we’ll handle your info according to our privacy statement.

DISCLAIMER: All of the information contained on this site (the “Content”) is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal, accounting, tax, career or other professional advice. The Content is provided “as-is” without any warranty of any kind express or implied, including without limitation any warranty as to the accuracy, quality, timeliness, or completeness of the Content, or fitness for a particular purpose; Toast assumes no liability for your use of, or reference to the Content. By accessing this site, you acknowledge and agree that: (a) there may be delays in updating, omissions, or inaccuracies in the Content, (b) the Content should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal advisors, (c) you should not perform any act or make any omission on the basis of any Content without first seeking appropriate legal or professional advice on the particular facts or circumstances at issue and (d) you are solely responsible for your compliance with all applicable laws. If you do not agree with these terms you may not access or use the site or Content.