Everyone thought Toast was toast. Now it’s planning an IPO.

When COVID hit the restaurant industry, Toast was in trouble. But things have turned around and now it’s prepping an IPO.

February 23, 2021

You know the satisfying feeling you get when a toaster pops up two slices of beautifully crisp, golden-brown toast? That’s probably how Toast is feeling now.

The Boston-based leader in software and hardware tools for restaurants was getting burnt last spring, but now it’s buttering up for an IPO.

Toast’s turnaround wasn’t fun

In April 2020, Toast CEO Chris Comparato announced a 50% staff reduction through layoffs and furloughs after restaurant sales dropped 80% in March.

But the company introduced new tools focused on food delivery and saw its valuation double to $8B between February and November.

The newly planned IPO would value bread Toast at $20B.

Unfortunately, the rest of the industry is still getting burned

In December, the NRA — “R” as in “Restaurant” — shared insights with congressional leadership that were quite troubling:

  • In October, 87% of restaurants reported a 36% drop in revenue year-over-year on average
  • 83% of restaurant owners said they expect sales to be even worse between December 2020 and February 2021
  • 17% of restaurants — more than 110k — are closed permanently or for the long term

Toast’s IPO isn’t a done deal. It’s also reportedly considering a sale or — no surprise here — a SPAC.

Whatever happens, we’re raising one glass to Toast for its remarkable achievements, and another to toast the restaurant industry for brighter days ahead.

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