Toast POS vs. Legacy POS Systems [Comparison]

Are you considering purchasing a legacy POS system such as Micros or Aloha?
Below are the advantages Toast has over a legacy POS system.

toast pos hardware

Compare POS Systems   Toast vs. iPad POS   Toast vs. Cash Registers

Thinking of making the switch to Toast from a legacy POS system?

We want to make the decision as easy as possible, so we’ve put together an easy comparison guide that’ll help you decide which option is best for you.

Below, you’ll find information to help you compare Toast and legacy POS systems, including features, pricing, customer support and reasons why current Toast customers made the switch.

BONUS: Download our Interactive POS Comparison Tool to research and compare point of sale systems for your restaurant.

1) Toast is affordable.

Toast is a software tech innovator.

Legacy POS companies, however, are technology vendors.

While Toast is investing in ongoing software maintenance, feature releases, and cloud security, legacy point of sale systems are investing in services, where they make most of their revenue with yearly support contracts, upgrade costs, and antiquated PC computers.

This means that, after legacy POS owners have poured tens of thousands of dollars into the upfront cost of the system, they will spend 2x that amount to service and support the system.

Mobile POS

Toast, on the other hand, charges a monthly or yearly subscription fee for our software. Our POS hardware costs are lower upfront because we’re built on Android systems. Finally, we provide 24/7 phone and email support free.

Why pay monthly for software? It’s the software that differentiates one POS system from another. We’re constantly troubleshooting and introducing new features to all of our customers on a monthly basis, free of charge and without interrupting service at your restaurant.

With Toast, you’re making an investment  in the immediate and long-term future in software that will grow as your restaurant does.

With legacy systems, you’re paying for a system that will sit on the counter and lose its value. In a year, three years, five years  that system on the counter is going to offer just as much as the day you purchased it.

Toast starts at $79/month for software and $1,350 for a terminal bundle.
Compare that to the $10,000 quote you get from a legacy vendor.

“I didn’t think we could afford a complete POS system. I’ve dealt with the big vendors before and there was no way we could pay those fees. Toast fits our budget and offers more than I ever expected from a POS system. Toast has exceeded our expectations and been a lifesaver for our business. We’re so glad we found them before we opened!”
- Jesse Lopez, Owner, Daddy O’s

Read the full review >

2) Toast is cloud-based, secure, and PCI compliant. 

We take POS security very seriously here at Toast.

10-inch-blue.pngOur customers trust us to not only enable them to complete transactions smoothly and to collect important guest data, but also to protect all information collected.

Many legacy POS systems operate on a PC computer. These systems are highly susceptible to malware, limited in storage, and send unencrypted credit card data to a local server in the back office.

What’s more, legacy software on PC computers falls out of PCI compliance every few years. (Windows XP is a great example.)  

You’re taking a lot of credit card payments. You’re getting a lot of information on your guests. You want to make sure that information is secure.

With Toast, sensitive data is stored on cloud-based servers. It’s not sitting in a back room, waiting to be hacked, but rather immediately encrypted and sent over to a separate, secure network. Since this data is not stored in servers on your property, customers are not at risk of having or being accountable for on-site data breaches.

It may be time to break up with your clunky, back-office server.

Unlimited data storage. No downtime. Empowering you to create the best guest experience ever.  


"Because Toast is cloud-based, we have the ability to push updates and manage our data remotely. We can integrate into other systems and host online ordering, gift cards, and loyalty on one platform. Toast's customer service alone is lightyears beyond the competition and they have proven over and over to be the perfect partner for Bareburger."

- Eric Kinniburgh, Bareburger CEO


3) Toast offers 24/7 support, free.Best POS Support

A large part of our mission here at Toast is transparency and doing right by our customers. Their success is our success. We’re a partner, and we’re with our customers every step of the way.

Legacy POS systems have spent years establishing themselves as the largest players in the POS space, but do not operate on the same philosophy.

Right off the bat, they lock restaurant owners into contracts that are hard to break, and then charge them yearly for services, support, and upgrades.

It’s no wonder legacy customers are afraid to switch; they don’t want to lose what they’ve already spent on support and upgrade costs.

But would you rather begrudgingly stick with a system that’s milking money out of you (and that you’re not in love with in the first place), or take the opportunity to make a better investment in a new system altogether?

At Toast, we’re transparent during every step of the process, and we follow through on our promises: to go above and beyond to make sure customers are successful and have a positive experience with our system.

We make contacting support easy -- just call the support line or email -- and also empower restaurant teams to train on their own time with the Customer Training Center. That’s all free. We are also there for installation, services, on-site support - whatever you need to be a happy customer.

We have customers all over the country who have made the switch to Toast from a legacy POS system.
Not a single one has ever gone back.


"I was able to outfit six of my restaurants with Toast for less than it would have cost me to outfit just one location with a legacy system. We rolled out Toast to all locations in just two weeks. The onboarding process was super easy. In one hour, we trained the whole restaurant."

- Pete Minich, Owner, Fresh City

Read the full review >


4) Toast lets you customize your setup.

From full service and quick service to cafes and nightclubs, every restaurant is different. We believe that there is not one end-all be-all solution for every restaurant. Rather, we believe restaurant setups should be adaptable. If you need to add new specials, change the way you close out the day, or make tweaks to displays and item modifiers, you should be able to do that in seconds.

That’s why Toast allows customers to customize their setup completely, from the various types of hardware to the exact menu configuration and workflows.

What’s more, with our cloud functionality, Toast empowers restaurant owners to make changes to their system on the fly.

You do not need to be in the backend on a web browser. With the right permissions, you can manage your restaurant anywhere, anytime, with any device connected to the Internet.

Each system does not need to be refreshed individually. Modifications sync across all tablets and terminals automatically, with no downtime that interrupts service.

Finally, you don’t need to sacrifice security for convenience. Your sensitive data is stored on cloud-based servers; it’s not sitting in a back room, waiting to be hacked, but rather immediately encrypted and sent over to a separate, secure network. Our motto when it comes to the cloud POS security is this: we take it very seriously.

Here are just a few ways you can use the power of the cloud with Toast Restaurant POS:

Easy menu modifications

In the restaurant environment, we know that a situation can change very quickly; your staff needs to be adaptable. The Toast system's Quick Edit Mode allows staff members with the appropriate permissions to quickly make changes on the fly. 

Comment on an order

Toast employees and managers can comment on specific orders or checks about the experience, noting reasons for voids, slow service, or general positive guest experiences.

Automate your restaurant workflows

Have your orders go directly to the kitchen display system, with notifications on the server side so your front of house and back of house communicate efficiently. In fact, why even separate them? It’s time for a “one-house” system. 

"Toast is the best investment I’ve ever made. I’ve saved thousands of dollars on food costs by being able to track my inventory better and removing the menu items that are a drag on my bottom line. The fact that I can update my menu in Toast and it automatically updates my online ordering has probably saved me five to six hours a week."
- Matt Stanfield, Owner, Mattenga’s Pizzeria

Read the full review >

5) Toast is designed specifically for restaurants.

Tired of having to navigate away from complex tools and features you never use?

With Toast, you don’t have to. All features are built with restaurants in mind.

When Toast started in 2011, we knew we wanted to focus specifically on the restaurant industry. We never wanted to expand to other industries, because we know that a lack of focus leads to a lack of execution.

Legacy systems, on the other hand, are not specific to any industry. They service hotels, restaurants, retail, convenience stores, and more with the same software and hardware.

Every “little” feature we publish makes a big deal to restaurants. Anything that improves their workflows is a success in our book. Legacy systems may not be as focused on building those seemingly “small” features for the restaurant industry, even if those features make a big difference to the people who rely on the system night and day.

We built Toast to look and feel like an extension of your restaurant. When a server logs in, they see a simple menu and can pick and choose items quickly and easily:

Toast POS menu

But on top of that, we added awesome core features like quick menu modifications, tableside ordering and payments, real-time sales and labor reporting, and a powerful restaurant customer database.

And if you ever want to enhance Toast beyond the core restaurant POS, you can do that with any of our revenue-driving modules:

Online Ordering  |  Loyalty Program  |  Gift Cards  |  Menu Software

“We want to run delis, we don't want to be an IT shop... Toast is just what we needed - it saves us money while providing the functionality and tech support we needed so we can focus on serving our customers.”
- Mike Miller, Beach Hut Deli

Read the full review >


Here are a few more reasons to switch...

We hope this comparison guide was useful to you.

Making the switch is easy; you can get your whole restaurant set up on Toast as soon as possible. 

To sign up for your free, no-risk demo, just click here. 

If you're not ready for a demo, check out what current Toast customers have to say. We work hard to get to know all of them. One of the things we always ask is: why did you sign up for Toast?

Many happy customers have switched from legacy point of sale systems. Here are their thoughts:

"The Toast system is very intuitive to what we need. It was able to reduce the number of inputs that a cashier had to put in, adding up to a quicker dining experience within the restaurant. It was also very fast for training. Because it’s simpler and quicker, our employees were able to pick it up in less time than they were for our previous system."

- Jeff Jacobson, Costa Vida COO


“With our old system, it was always a hassle to change things - always two or three windows. But with Toast, I can make changes right from the POS in just a few seconds. Toast is simple to use and has everything that we need - actually, it has even more than what we need, so we know our restaurant can grow with Toast."

- Charles Gonzalez, Owner

"Before Toast, I'd never had my expectations completely met when it came to the type of support we received. The level of ownership that Toast has taken over our success is something I've never seen from any other restaurant technology company."  

– Ben Kaplan, Director of Operations