For Toast, the restaurant-tech firm, going public may be on the menu – The Boston Globe

But the story of how Toast steered through the turbulence of last year can’t wait.

I first wrote about the startup in December 2012, when cofounder Steve Fredette met me for lunch in Kendall Square and showed off a system that allowed customers to see their checks on a mobile app, split the bill based on what each ordered, and pay without waiting for the server to make several trips back and forth to the register.

That initial concept grew into a company that supplies a wide range of technology to restaurants, including for scheduling and paying employees, selling gift cards, and handling payments for online and in-restaurant orders.

Toast also sells Android-based hardware of its own design, such as hand-held devices that servers use to take orders and process credit card transaction, and screens that display those orders in kitchens.

Along the way, Toast has been forced to compete with other sharp-elbowed startups such as Square, as well as more-established players such as NCR…

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