Toast announced Tuesday the promotion of the company’s cofounder, chief operating officer, and co-president Aman Narang to CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Narang will be replacing Chris Comparato, who has served as CEO for eight years. Both executives will remain on the board.
The leadership shakeup was announced less than two months after Toast reversed course on a controversial consumer-facing .99-cent fee on all orders over $10. When the order processing fee was first announced in June, it caused an uproar within the hospitality community among Toast customers, who were unhappy that Toast would bypass their direct customers to charge consumers. After digesting the negative feedback, Toast removed the fee a month later, with Toast CEO Chris Comparato calling it a ”mistake” that they won’t make again.
Although it is strongly possible that the leadership change had something to do with this spotlight on fee fatigue in the restaurant tech industry, Toast did not mention the controversy at all in its announcement of Narang as incoming CEO.
“Aman is the ideal choice to lead Toast into its next era of growth,” Chris Comparato, CEO of Toast said in a statement. “Aman knows Toast better than anyone, he knows the restaurant community, he is passionate about our customers, and he has the right ‘recipe’ of experience and a growth mindset. I have worked side-by-side with Aman since I joined Toast in 2015 and I am delighted to be transitioning the CEO role to him and continuing to support Toast as a board member.”
Narang was one of the cofounders of Toast, alongside Steve Fredette and Jonathan Grimm, and has been with the company for more than a decade from its humble beginnings in a basement in 2011. Before that he was a software engineer and held multiple leadership positions at the now-defunct Endeca, that was a leading hybrid search-analytical database.
“Chris has led Toast through an incredible period of growth, and I have deeply valued his mentorship and friendship as we built Toast into the industry leader it is today,” Aman Narang said in a statement. “The past decade since we founded Toast has been such a remarkable journey. 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.”