Toast CEO Chris Comparato is stepping down after more than eight years leading the giant restaurant technology supplier.
He will be replaced by COO Aman Narang, who co-founded Toast in 2011 and has had a hand in virtually every part of the business since then. The transition will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.
No reason was given for Comparato’s departure. Both he and Narang will remain on the company’s board, though Comparato will cede the chairman role to Mark Hawkins, current board member and former CEO of Salesforce.
Toast hired Comparato in 2015 to help scale the company. At the time, Boston-based Toast had just 80 employees and 500 customers, but had ambitions to reach hundreds of thousands of restaurants in the U.S.
Under Comparato’s leadership, the company has grown to 4,500 employees and about 93,000 restaurant locations and is on track to generate more than $1 billion in revenue this year. He also led the company through its initial public offering in 2021.
This summer, Comparato oversaw one of the bumpiest periods in Toast’s history after the company began charging guests a 99-cent service fee on all online orders over $10. After a loud outcry from restaurants, Toast nixed the fee, and Comparato admitted it had been a mistake.
He will leave the company in experienced hands with Narang, who co-founded Toast along with Steve Fredette and Jonathan Grimm, former colleagues at software company Endeca. The initial product was a mobile app that allowed customers to pay their tab on their phone. It has gone on to become a full suite of restaurant tech products spanning the front and back of house.
Over the years, Narang has led Toast’s sales, marketing, business development, customer success, fintech and operations departments. He has been co-president since 2012 and became COO in 2021.
“The past decade since we founded Toast has been such a remarkable journey,” Narang said in a statement. “I am honored and excited to accept the responsibility of CEO. It is an exciting time to be part of the restaurant community and I am grateful and ready for the opportunity to serve it and our Toast employees as we continue to deliver on our mission to help the industry thrive.”
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