Cali BBQ Media is a digital marketing and digital storytelling agency and studio

Listen

Hear the latest episodes

Watch

See the latest videos

Read

Browse the latest content

Toast Gets Rid of Customer Fee and Restaurant Owners Applaud

Toast Customer Advisory Board in 2023 at Toast HQ in Boston

Toast is removing the 99 cent online ordering fee that has been met with a lot of controversy. 

This is proof that Toast leadership listens to restaurant owners.

Along with hosting the Toast-sponsored Restaurant Influencers podcast, Cali BBQ Media founder Shawn Walchef sits on the Toast Customer Advisory Board

The restaurant industry proponent says a lot of loud vocal Toast customers came out against the fee. They did not want an online ordering fee for $0.99 to get passed directly to the customer. 

“So many people ask me, especially once this fee came out, why do I believe in Toast? 

It’s because of leadership. They’re willing to do the tough things. Tough decisions are hard to do the bigger your business gets. And they knew that this path to profitability would be controversial. Yet, after rolling it out, they have made this decision to remove it. 

That means that leadership listens. 

Toast is a company that you can believe in.”

Cali BBQ General Manager Eric Olafsen said his restaurant trusts Toast to give full control over the guest experience. Listening to customer feedback and rolling back the online ordering fee was more evidence that Cali BBQ aligned with the right restaurant technology partner.

“Not only does Toast listen to us, they actively seek feedback and make changes based on what we tell them,” Eric said. “Mistakes happen, it’s the recovery that counts.”

Toast Customer Advisory Board in 2023 at Toast HQ in Boston

Shone Tran is owner of Chicken and Rice and also a member of the Toast Customer Advisory Board (CAB). He said Toast is making a big statement with this news. 

“I think Toast is making a huge statement by ultimately saying “NO” to this trend of B2B technology companies charging end-users directly for technology,” Shone Tran said.

Daniel Stoller of Square Pie Guys agrees that reversing the fee was a step in the right direction. 

“Businesses must ultimately be profitable, of course, but it can’t come at the detriment of their direct (restaurants) and indirect (guests) customers.”

Another Toast CAB member is Shaz Khan, owner of Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks.

The business owner said he recognizes what this decision means for Toast’s revenue, and therefore stock price, but he is thankful the company made what he sees as the right decision.

“To know I stand with an organization that is committed to the right thing, and to listening, makes all the difference through the ups and downs. 

“They’ve reinforced the loyalty of their raving fans and made some even more new ones I am sure.”

Shawn Walchef and Chris Comparato at the New York Stock Exchange for the Toast IPO on Sept. 22, 2021

Letter from Toast CEO Chris Comparato

July 19th, 2023

To Our Customer Community, 

After extensive discussions with many of you, we have made the decision to remove the $0.99 order processing fee from the new version of our digital ordering suite by the end of this week.  

While we had the best of intentions — to keep costs low for our customers — that is not how the change was perceived by some of you. We made the wrong decision and following a careful review, including the additional feedback we received, the fee will be removed from our Toast digital ordering channels.

Each and every day at Toast we wake up focused on a single mission — to empower the restaurant community to delight your guests, do what you love, and thrive. Similar to how you run your restaurant, sometimes this involves making difficult decisions on whether to pass rising costs onto our community. 

For those who have been with Toast for a long time —  you know that for the last 12 years, there have been no broad-based price increases, despite significant investment in our platform. We continued this practice throughout COVID-19, even as we created a $35M Restaurant Recovery Fund that included millions of dollars in software relief for our customers, and continued advocacy for the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund. 

Many of you selected Toast because of our commitment to transparency and focus on helping you take control of the guest relationship. You hold Toast to a high bar and we remain committed to meeting that expectation.

In that same spirit of transparency, we also must acknowledge that innovation requires investment. Like any business, as we add new capabilities to our existing product suite, we will adjust pricing thoughtfully to help fund product investments and unlock innovation that delivers value to help you thrive.

I’d like to close by thanking you for your input and support of Toast. We can accomplish far more together than we can apart and we remain committed to supporting your restaurant and the industry well into the future.

Chris Comparato, Chief Executive Officer

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *