Toast CEO Chris Comparato on Why Restaurants Need a Tech Partner That Cares Interview with Toast CEO Chris Comparato about leading with the customer in mind, having a digital-first mentality, and how technology like Toast is helping restaurants thrive.

By Shawn P. Walchef

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Takeaways from this episode:

Digital-First Mentality — Chris Comparato understands the restaurant business. He also understands how a shift from tried-and-true methods to a digital approach is beneficial to the advancement of the landscape of restaurants. The future of hospitality is digital.

Hospitality Mindset — Deep empathy for the customer base is the tie that binds Toast, businesses, and the community. Chris Comparato believes that leading with a hospitality mindset, and an unwavering level of care is the catalyst for improvement in the industry.

Strength by the Ecosystem — A robust ecosystem that includes the customer base allows Chris Comparato and Toast to be the best, most equitable partners possible with companies that implement Toast technology and resources.


Technology helps successful restaurants thrive.

Toast, as defined by CEO Chris Comparato, is "a restaurant specific end-to-end platform that helps the restaurant community grow their revenue, streamline operations, and drive amazing guest experiences."

Though the suite of Toast services certainly helps restaurants transition from traditional practices into the wonderful world of digital hospitality, at its root, Toast is constructed to close the loop of restaurant ecosystems so that the customer experience is consistently excellent through the entire process.

"Every stakeholder in this restaurant, community, and restaurant ecosystem is going through a transformation," Toast CEO Chris Comparato tells Restaurant Influencers podcast host Shawn P. Walchef of CaliBBQ Media. "And the transformation revolves around digital and how could a digital first mentality drive change."

Toast leads with the customer in mind, and they understand that each customer experience is unique but equally important. "It's all about leading with that hospitality mindset, which is one of our core values," says Comparato.

The heart of Toast is not exclusive to the restaurant. The idea of a hospitality mindset stretches across the infrastructure of any business. Comparato clarifies, "you don't have to be a vendor in the restaurant ecosystem." Empathy, deep empathy, is what allows Toast to create tools that embody the service-first mindset and allow their partners to deliver optimum customer experiences. It also gives them a voice by creating an environment "where you're listening, you're creating dialogue, you're trying to improve."

Ultimately, that is what Toast is about. Perpetual improvement, pliable application of tools, and honoring the context of customer experiences is why Toast exists.

"We want to make sure that we're freeing up your time and energy to do more of what you love, so not being stuck in archaic business processes," the executive says of Toast.

Toast helps with that by offering modules that not only simplify restaurant processes, but can also work in conjunction to do so. Comparato calls it the "steps of service methodology". It is a system in which the Toast services complement each other in order for restaurants to modify the tools to fit the proper context of the customer experience.

"Our mission," explains Comparato, "is to empower the restaurant community to delight their guests, do what they love, and thrive."

What successful restaurants love the most is their guests. Spending time with them, and serving them in the best, most complete way possible. Toast is available to assist with accomplishing that goal because they share the same hospitality mission as their restaurant partners.



NOMINATE A RESTAURANT INFLUENCER — Do you know someone who is killing it on social media? Let us know by emailing or sending the @calibbqmedia team a DM on social media.


Restaurant Influencers is brought to you by Toast, the powerful restaurant point of sale and management system that helps restaurants improve operations, increase sales and create a better guest experience.

Toast — Powering Successful Restaurants. Learn more about Toast.

Shawn P. Walchef

Founder of Cali BBQ Media

“Be the show, not the commercial.”

Cali BBQ Media Founder Shawn Walchef helps brands and leaders leverage the new Business Creator Economy with strategic Smartphone Storytelling and Digital Hospitality.

His Cali BBQ restaurant company has generated more than $35 million since opening in 2008. They operate numerous locations in San Diego and beyond.

Shawn’s weekly video series Restaurant Influencers (published by Entrepreneur Media and produced by Cali BBQ Media) has been seen by over 25 million people.

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