Arcane POS vs Toast: How We Compare

Arcane POS vs Toast: How We Compare

by Michael Roche - January 12, 2021

When it comes to comparing the Arcane POS vs Toast, there are a lot of questions to answer. Given the robust features of both, these two POS systems deserve a closer look next to each other.

Toast POS system in useArcane POS system

(Above left: Toast POS system in context; Above right: Arcane POS system)

Let’s start by addressing perhaps the most fundamental difference between these two POS solutions.

Industries Served: Arcane POS vs Toast

Arcane POS

With strong marks on inventory management (see below), the Arcane POS is a common choice for retail merchants. But if you’re not in the retail space, fear not: the Arcane POS works well across industries, particularly with our Stripe WooCommerce Plugin. Whatever kind of merchant you are, Arcane’s point of sale solutions can help you meet your transacting needs.

Toast POS

If the associative name hasn’t tipped you off yet, the Toast POS solution caters exclusively to the restaurant industry. While this certainly comes with a few industry-specific advantages if you’re a restaurant merchant (we’ll cover these later), merchants outside the restaurant space will need to look elsewhere for their POS needs.

Inventory Management

Knowing what you have available to your customers is important. Both the Toast and Arcane point of sale solutions accomplish this, but in different ways.

At Arcane, both our Stripe Terminal solutions – Arcane POS and our Stripe Terminal for WooCommerce plugin – will sync directly with your existing ecommerce website (in some instances, they’ll also sync up with your ERP software).

Toast’s restaurant POS solution accomplishes this with optional add-ons that merchants can pay extra for – like Online Ordering and Delivery. Since all of this occurs within the Toast platform, one drawback is that your online ordering website could run into creative limits with regard to its design. Also, if you have an existing ecommerce website, Toast’s online ordering site will exist separately from it – that means you’ll have to conduct data transmission between the two to sync them up.

POS Terminal Hardware

When it comes to comparing our Stripe terminal vs Toast in terms of hardware, there are some significant differences. Toast offers an integrated touchscreen POS that is specifically designed for use in restaurants, with considerations like an IP54 spill-proof rating.

Our Stripe POS creates a virtual terminal (which can be used by all kinds of merchants) by pairing the VerifoneP400 or BBPOS Chipper with another device of your choosing. For the Verifone P400, all you need is a device with a browser and WiFi, while the Bluetooth-based BBPOS Chipper pairs with anything Android or iOS.

The Mobile Card Readers

The mobile card readers for these two solutions are similar in their functionality. Both offer contactless payment options like hover/tap, as well as insert and swipe transactions. As far as technological differences go, Toast’s mobile card reader is part of an integrated system, clipping to the side of the POS terminal hardware or free-standing. With regard to the Arcane POS, both the the Verifone P400 (WiFi/browser-enabled) and the BBPOS Chipper 2X BT (Bluetooth-enabled) are free-standing.

Arcane POS vs Toast: Pricing & Cost Transparency

In addition to the monthly SaaS fees and hardware costs, some of the more important considerations you’ll make as a merchant involve the associated fees for credit card payment processing services – that’s why at Arcane, we’re clear as day about letting you know just how much you’ll be paying in payment processing fees.

Arcane POS transaction fees, SaaS fees and hardware costs:

  • 2%+0.15 (with the Virtual Terminal) or 0.30 (Manual) and $25/mo + ($50/mo for P400 rental or $299 purchase; $60 for BBPOS purchase)

With Toast, you need to enter your information into their sales funnel before Toast fees start to come into focus – and even then, according to one recent review, some merchants have complained about not getting the credit card rates they were promised.

That being said, here’s a realistic glimpse into the cost of Toast POS. Please note that these are Toast’s baseline prices.

  • $0/mo for small restaurants just starting out (does NOT include POS transaction fees and and the Online Ordering feature is an additional $50/mo)
  • $99/mo for restaurants looking to expand into off-premises channels (does NOT include POS transaction fees)
  • $199/mo for restaurants looking to leverage their data to expand business through both new customer acquisition and repeat sales. (does NOT include POS transaction fees)

If you’d like an in-depth breakdown of our Stripe Terminal by the numbers, you might enjoy exploring our Stripe vs Square comparison article, as well.

If you found this article helpful, stay tuned for more POS comparison articles in the days to come!