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Toast plans to organize chaos of delivery orders at restaurants

The flood of requests from DoorDash, Uber Eats, and others can be overwhelming

Toast CEO Chris Comparato is photographed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Toast CEO Chris Comparato is photographed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)Richard Drew/Associated Press

Restaurant technology company Toast announced several new products on Tuesday intended to deepen its ties to the industry.

The Boston firm already provides hardware and software to help restaurants take orders and payments as well as manage payroll. The new products include software to better manage takeout orders from third-party delivery services such as DoorDash and Uber Eats. Toast is also adding debit cards for restaurant owners and restaurant workers with special features to speed the flow of payments.

The goal is to make Toast’s software more and more essential for its restaurant customers, Toast chief executive Chris Comparato said in an interview.

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“Each of these products is planting seeds in the platform,” Comparato said. “And as our platform becomes this unified operating system, it’ll have more seeds within it that then grow over time.”

The new products arrive as Toast’s sales are surging. Sales for the first nine months of the year more than doubled to $1.2 billion while the company’s loss from operations shrank 32 percent to $111 million. Toast’s total net loss increased to $487 million from $187 million, largely due to accounting charges for changes in the value of warrants and derivatives.

The new debit card for restaurant owners will grant fast access to money from credit card sales processed by Toast, including on holidays and weekends, the company said. The card is available only to some customers under an early access program.

The card for restaurant employees will give access to wages and pooled tips immediately via Toast’s payroll software. The software is also getting a new feature to help restaurants manage and allocate pooled tips.

“With labor shortages and high, high turnover within restaurants, it’s critical for restaurants to engage their teams,” Comparato said. “We’re going to now give [employees] access to their pay much more quickly, versus waiting for a direct deposit or waiting for a printed check.”

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The delivery software is intended to simplify the chaotic task restaurants face of organizing orders coming in from the five large delivery services — DoorDash, Caviar, Grubhub, Postmates, and Uber Eats — each of which has its own platform software. By working with the services, Toast built connections into its software so that restaurants will be able to view and manage orders on a single, combined dashboard. They will also be able to assess the profitability of orders from each service. The feature is available this month.

Toast announced the new features at a virtual conference it held on Tuesday for its customers, dubbed Spark.


Aaron Pressman can be reached at aaron.pressman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @ampressman.