Toast, a restaurant POS company, has launched a new mobile application called the Toast TakeOut app, according to reports.
The company, which had a $115 million Series D funding round last July, said the app will allow customers of restaurants the company serves to order ahead and then pick up the food in the store.
The app was launched on Tuesday (Jan. 29), and it will only be available on Apple devices at first. It will not deliver food.
“As we look at… what Starbucks has done with their app, we also see the growth of takeout as a trend and on opportunity,” said Aman Narang, a co-founder of Toast.
The mobile market for order-ahead is growing rapidly, and could be worth $55 billion in the next half decade. Panera Bread, in 2012, was one of the first companies to use the feature. Starbucks has an order-ahead feature that’s become an integrated part of the company’s business, representing up to 30 percent of all the company’s transactions in 2017.
The orders that customers place with the Toast app will go straight to the restaurant’s POS. For diners, there’s no extra fee involved, and for restaurants there’s a 3.5 percent processing fee.
“If you look at our history, we started the company in 2012 as a consumer app,” Narang said. “We had built an iOS application at Firebrand Saints in Kendall Square to make it easy to pay … at restaurants: That was the beginning of Toast.”
The $115 million Series D funding round, which was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., valued the restaurant management platform company at $1.4 billion, the company said in an announcement at the time.
“The way restaurants serve their customers is going through a fundamental change, and the technology that enables restaurant operations must respond to these new demands. Toast does this,” T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund Portfolio Manager Henry Ellenbogen said. “Our investment in Toast reflects our belief in the firm’s ability to become much larger over time. We look forward to working with Toast’s management team as they help their clients and grow the business.”