Toast is one of the most popular restaurant POS systems available. Recently, the platform has released its own catering and event management tool.
But, is this additional tool worth it?
The right software can make planning and management easier. All establishments are different, and you need to ensure that the software solutions you choose offer the right features for your business.
This guide explores Toast Catering and Events. Let’s break down the features, possibilities, and disadvantages of the platform.
Toast Catering and Events Overview
Toast Catering and Events is a software tool designed to improve operations for businesses that run events.
This tool can be added to the Toast platform you operate from and is only available for Toast customers. Toast POS clients can utilize this new tool to add functionality to their software.
Toast Catering and Events consists of three main functions. These are:
- Banquet Event Orders (BEOs): This empowers event venues to create BEOs for all kinds of occasions
- Estimates: This allows venues to generate estimates for events, which they can send to guests to approve and confirm
- Calendar view: Venues can access a shared central calendar that shows all upcoming event dates, along with the status of the event
The platform helps event venues and caterers gain more control over their events and stay more organized. Whether you offer full-service catering, or are catering for a once-off holiday party or special event, this tool can help keep you organized.
There are also two important integration features that the platform includes. These are:
- Google syncs: Toast Catering and Events syncs with your Google calendar so that you can add events to your calendar through Toast.
- Menu integration: Venues can make use of Toast menus, open items, and discounts to make it easier to manage event planning.
This tool offers a set of features to help caterers and event venues gain more control over the event management process.
How Does Toast Catering and Events Work?
For Toast customers, this tool fully integrates with your Toast POS system. This is a big advantage, as you can seamlessly share information between your POS and catering solution.
However, you must already be using Toast as your POS to access the events and catering module.
You can access the features of Toast Catering and Events features once you have the tool set up. Beyond what we listed above, these include:
- A lead management feature to help you understand and develop stronger relationships with customers
- A guest-facing lead form to help you generate new leads
- A payment management function to help you gain more control over event finances
- A catering pack list tool that makes it easier to prepare for your event
- Catering and events reporting modules to gain greater insights into your event performance
- Document creation tools that allow you to create prep lists, invoices, and BEOs
Through the central calendar, which you can filter based on month, day, or week, you can see your upcoming events or tasks.
You can access three different dashboards when you use Toast Catering and Events. These include your calendar dashboard, a dashboard for managing your invoices, and a dashboard for managing your catering orders (which includes your leads and orders).
With this combination of features, you can optimize your event and catering operations. You can also manage finances more carefully, and improve event preparation with the packing lists and BEOs.
This is a good start for streamlining event management and can work well for venues that do limited private events. However, if you’re looking for a more robust event management solution, you might want to use a platform that is dedicated to venue management.
Toast Catering and Events Pros and Cons
Toast Catering and Events can be a useful solution. As with any software tool, it comes with pros and cons. Let’s explore these in more detail.
- Integrates with Toast POS (which makes inventory management and tracking payments easier)
- Useful catering pack lists
- Good basic administrative functions, such as invoicing and calendar features
- Good value for money
- Integrates with your Google Calendar
- User friendly
- No in-app communication that allows you to respond to guests, access email templates, set up automated reminders, monitor communication metrics, or communicate internally with your team
- Not optimized for fast responses, which can result in lost events and revenue
- Not set up for availability management, which can lead to double bookings
- Minimal event software integrations are available
- No ACH payment option, which means you face higher payment processing fees as guests have to pay by credit card)
- Limited team functionality as the tool lacks tasks, team discussions, or event assignments
- Toast POS must be used, which could add risk to your events if you decide to stop using Toast POS or if you don’t have a need for a POS for your business
Who is Toast Catering and Events For?
As you can tell from the features and limitations, this is a fairly lightweight event management solution. This means the tool is only really suitable for restaurants that focus on catering or offer occasional, limited private events.
The tool’s strengths lie mostly in its catering-related functions. It is not as feature-rich as other event management solutions.
Pricing for Toast Catering and Events is not completely transparent, but the tool is known to cost around $100 per month on top of a regular Toast subscription.
Overall, Toast Catering and Events can be a helpful tool for restaurants already using Toast POS. The tool can allow you to optimize your catering offerings, as well as limited event operations.
The administrative features related to payroll, lists, and schedules are useful, and the software is easy to set up and use.
However, the platform may lack some of the more critical features for larger-scale event management. If you’re interested in using a more complete event management solution with a greater range of features, try Perfect Venue for free.