Point of Sale

Toast Butters Up The mPOS Evolution

Tablet tech innovations have driven down costs of restaurant POS software, making owners savvier while also delivering better service to customers. Plus, added efficiencies are driving up profits. In this month’s mPOS Tracker, Toast’s President Steve Fredette shares his vision for the future of restaurant tech — and why that vision recently helped his company raise $30 million.

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The mPOS Tracker is designed to offer an organizing framework for evaluating the many players that have entered the mobile point of sale (mPOS) sector for all mobile devices.

This month’s tracker features the latest innovations by players in the industry and an ever-expanding player directory. Along with coverage of highlights coming out of the National Retail Federation’s BIG Show 2016, PYMNTS covers other notable news and trends, such as EMV continuing to steal the spotlight in the mPOS world, with many EMV-centric partnerships recently being announced. Players are clearly seeing value in the inherent ease of transactions unlocked by EMV.

What’s Cooking in Restaurant mPOS?

The mPOS space is rapidly evolving into mobile capability far beyond mobile payments. And the restaurant industry is a hotbed for mobile, which is having a profound and transformative effect on the space. Mobility in restaurants has the potential to improve everyone’s restaurant experience, from customers to staffers to owners. And it’s not just about paying with a mobile tablet — it’s an experiential and operational overhaul.

For our February mPOS Tracker Cover Story, PYMNTS interviewed Steve Fredette, co-founder and president of Toast, an all-in-one, cloud-based, POS and restaurant management system. The discussion dives into the evolving restaurant experience, and how technology is catalyzing the evolution. Here’s a sneak peek:

 “Adoption, Fredette said, is driven by the ease of use of the mobile tablet system. Older, Web-based POS systems, he said, were “a little bit clunky,” not to mention time-consuming to train staff on. And, in a high-turnover business like the restaurant industry, those hours of training can add up quickly.

“I tend to believe that one of the big things that has allowed software as a service to really disrupt the point-of-sale market, in particular in restaurants, is app platforms like Android and iOS,” Fredette said. Toast is Android-based, which, Fredette said, allows for flexibility to build for multiple screen sizes.

“We’ve built everything mobile-first,” he said. “Older POS systems’ technology was built for systems like Windows,” he said, “where mobile was more of a bolt-on or an afterthought.”

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