New York: Ernst & Young recently announced its 2020 EY US Entrepreneur of The Year winner, with the executive team of Toast Inc., led by president and co-founder Aman Narang, winning the top prize.
Narang, an Indian American entrepreneur, was among four individuals at Boston, Massachusetts-based Toast – president and co-founder Steve Fredette; chief technology officer and co-founder Jon Grimm; and CEO Chris Comparato the others – to be recognized by EY in its 34th annual competition.
The Narang-led Toast team emerged from dozens of entrepreneur finalists across the country, many of whom were Indian American executives
Founders Narang, Grimm and Fredette set out with a vision to create a cloud-based mobile payments application for restaurants. But in conversations with restaurateurs, they soon realized that what the industry really needed was a comprehensive solution to a broad menu of management challenges, EY said in a profile of the winners.
So, they shifted gears and began developing a software platform that could perform a wide range of tasks for restaurateurs, from accepting payments and online orders to managing inventory and staff, all from a cell phone, it said.
Toast’s fortunes really started to heat up when Comparato signed on as CEO. Since then, Toast has become one of the fastest-growing companies in New England, employing 1,500 people and serving restaurants across the country, the profile notes.
Toast integrates and streamlines data from multiple entry points, including the kitchen, online ordering systems and guest loyalty programs, which enables restaurateurs to focus on creating the perfect patron experience, improve table turnover times and drive more sales, it said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic tested the resilience of the restaurant industry by limiting in-person dining, Toast quickly stepped up to help. In addition to communicating more frequently with restaurant owners, the company revamped its to-go app and online ordering functions to help minimize face-to-face interactions, it adds.
Toast also demonstrates its commitment to the restaurant industry through its philanthropic efforts, providing 50,000 meals through the No Kid Hungry program and rescuing half a million pounds of food with Project Bread, according to the profile.
For winning, the Toast executives now advance to the EY World Entrepreneur of The Year Award competition, which will be announced in June 2021.
In addition to Narang and Toast, other entrepreneurs were recognized as national winners, including Raj Vattikuti, founder and executive chair at Altimetrik.