Restaurant management platform Toast today launched what the company is calling its “contactless payments suite” that includes two new social distancing-friendly ways for customers to pay for their meals: Toast Go 2 and Toast Order & Pay. The products aim to minimize staff-to-customer interactions for both off-premises orders and those that take place in the dining room, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
Toast Go 2 is the latest iteration of the company’s existing handheld POS device. This time around it includes the option for contactless payment forms from Apple, Google, and Samsung. Because its handheld, it can be used in more locations than the dining room, curbside pickup and drive-thrus being two obvious places. Toast said in today’s release that this latest version of Toast Go has processing speeds that are “three times faster” than previous generations.
Meanwhile, Toast Order & Pay is the company’s take on the contactless payments technology most restaurant tech companies now offer. With it, customers can browse menus, select food, and pay for it from their own mobile device. Toast’s version follows similar offerings from Presto, Paytronix, Zuppler, and many others.
However, all of these companies are trying to push contactless tech for the dining room when there aren’t many restaurant dining rooms to speak of at the moment. New pandemic-related restrictions are sweeping across the U.S. and either limiting or shutting down indoor dining once more. While demand for more contactless tech indoors will likely exist over the long term, there may be less use for it over the next several months.
Toast, then, is wise to diversify its contactless platform with the addition of Toast Go 2. Making off-premises orders more efficient (i.e., faster) is a huge priority for restaurants large and small nowadays — as lengthening drive-thru wait times and a surge in to go orders can attest. That factor will stick around long after the pandemic leaves us, making handheld POS tech a valuable play for the longer term.