Point-of-sale vendor Toast announced Tuesday that it's releasing its first hardware product to accompany its suite of restaurant management software. The hardware suite is part of Toast's growth strategy and its efforts to capture market share from competitors, the company said.
The Android-based hardware suite includes four new devices: Flex, a 14-inch terminal available in single-screen, guest-facing and kitchen displays; Tap, a three-in-one payment processing device that supports contactless payments; and the Toast Hub and printer. The company said the hardware is ruggedized and designed for easy installation and to blend into a restaurant's decor.
Prior to this hardware launch, Toast has relied on off-the-shelf devices to support its software suite and payment services. Toast co-founder and president Steve Fredette said the company made a conscious decision to use Android versus Windows or iOS devices to keep costs down for customers. The flexibility and durability of Android devices also give Toast a strategic advantage against iPad players that are not as reliable, Fredette said.
The hardware launch comes on the heels of Toast's $400 million Series F, which brought its valuation to $4.9 billion. The Boston-based company said the valuation is representative of its growth over the last year, during which revenue increased by 109%.
Toast's technology platform combines restaurant POS, front-of-house, back-of-house and guest-facing technology with a bevy of third-party applications. The company claims that over one dozen restaurants join Toast every hour, giving it ever-increasing market share in the $900 billion restaurant industry.
"Restaurants are our core market and it's a large market that gives us a lot of runway for continued growth," said Fredette. "We are looking at investing in customer interaction, speed of service, and improving the employee experience -- those are big areas where we think we can grow."