- Restaurant POS platform Toast announced a suite of new products on Tuesday that enhance how operators receive money, pay and tip their employees and manage their operations and delivery networks.
- Toast Restaurant Card is a debit card that provides rapid access to credit card sales and cash back rewards from restaurant-specific merchants. Toast Order Hub allows restaurants to view data from Toast and third-party delivery channels on a single dashboard. Toast Tip Manager calculates and moves pooled tips to Toast Payroll, making tips and wages accessible via the Toast Pay Card (a prepaid debit card) and allowing employees instant access to a portion of earnings after every shift with PayOut.
- This product rollout follows Toast's public debut in late September, which raised $870 million on the first day of the company's initial public offering. The IPO is one of the largest in the restaurant technology sphere for 2021 with a valuation of $20 billion.
Toast's technology enhancements could streamline operations for restaurants struggling to protect their bottom lines amid the labor shortage. Seventy-six percent of restaurant workers cited low pay and tips as the top reason they are leaving the industry, which could make PayOut an attractive recruitment and retention tool.
Three out of four restaurant operators report that hiring and maintaining staff is their number one challenge, pushing major chains and independents alike to hike pay, offer signing bonuses and roll out new benefits. But for operators who can't afford to boost wages — at least not to the degree that it would differentiate them from competitors — daily payouts could help satisfy employee demands.
"This is really driven by customer input and feedback," Aman Narang, Toast's co-founder, president and COO, said of Tip Manager. "You would see at the end of the night... [restaurateurs] would spend like half an hour ... to actually figure out how to divide tips between the front of the house and the back of the house and make sure that wages are settled properly."
Narang said automating this process through Tip Manager, which integrates with Toast's POS system can help save operators time and stress, as well as improve tip allocation accuracy.
As part of its employee payment solutions, Toast also offers a prepaid Mastercard debit card, or Pay Card, that gives restaurant staff an alternative way to collect their pay outside of paper checks or direct deposits. This offering could help restaurant staff avoid late fees, overdraft fees or high-interest payday loans by giving them access to wages sooner, as well, Toast stated in a press release.
"As more and more restaurants are going toward tips being paid out through wages versus being able to cash out at the end of the night, the ability to have access to your pay in real time is really valuable," Narang said. "Imagine that you clock in, you clock out and through your card and the app that complements the card you can see in real time what you earned that day."
A growing number of major restaurant chains and franchisees have been launching daily pay options to help with staffing. Jimmy John's and Taco Bell franchisee Pacific Bells, for example, both partnered with DailyPay in September. The trend began pre-pandemic, with Checker's, Church's Chicken and Pizza Hut offering same-day and next-day paychecks to employees in 2019.