- Toast on Thursday acquired Sling, a restaurant employee scheduling and management platform. The purchase bolsters Toast’s Payroll & Team Management product suite, which includes Toast Payroll, Toast Tips Managers and Toast Pay Card & PayOut. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Sling, which first partnered with Toast in April 2021, allows workers to view and change shift schedules and communicate with team members in real time.
- Sling can also enhance Toast’s Team Management offerings by allowing restaurants to pay employees faster and better manage their labor costs, according to a press release.
Toast’s most recent acquisition reflects what is arguably the restaurant industry’s top need today: a stable workforce. According to a Popmenu survey, 51% of restaurateurs don’t have the staffing necessary to service on-premise dining this summer. With Sling, Toast sweetens its value proposition for restaurants looking to improve retention by enhancing worker services.
“Great employees are what make restaurants run,” Aman Narang, COO and co-founder of Toast, said in a statement. “By adding Sling to the Toast platform, we can provide a more comprehensive suite of team management products purpose-built for restaurants, from new hire onboarding to payroll processing, and now the ability to schedule shifts across the team.”
Sling’s capabilities could help Toast stand out from rival restaurant management platforms by offering employees better control of scheduling. This would complement Toast’s Team Management Suite, which currently allows workers to view their pay and benefits. By making it easier for restaurant staff to swap shifts with coworkers and create a flexible schedule, operators could improve retention — a key concern as restaurant industry employment is still down about 750,000 jobs (or 6% of pre-pandemic levels) from its February 2020 peak.
“Empowering restaurant employees was central to our founding vision,” Helgi Hermannsson, Sling CEO and founder, said in a statement.
Toast has expanded its offerings over the past few years, both through acquisitions and product launches. The company bought xtraChef, a back-office technology solution for restaurants, in June 2021 to streamline bookkeeping, inventory management and margin tracking. Toast also launched Toast for Hotel Restaurants in May to help hotel eateries boost revenue, facilitate check splitting and process room charges from its POS.
The company’s momentum has been accelerated by its IPO last fall, which raised $870 million on its first day. Toast’s product diversification and enhancement of existing offerings anticipates future restaurant needs — the company predicts restaurants will hike tech spending to $55 billion by 2024, compared to $25 billion spent in 2019.