Life at Toast Blog

Toaster Spotlight: PJ Perger, Senior Engineering Manager, Onboarding Applications

Senior Engineering Manager, Onboarding Applications


Toast originally got on my radar through my wife and her professional network.  My move to Toast was precipitated by taking stock in my life and work situation at the time, and determining where I was achieving fulfillment and where I wasn’t.  The book Designing Your Life and the concept of ikigai helped me determine I was looking for a job that aligned with my values of work ethic / rest ethic balance, and where I could be proud of how my work contributed back to a community and industry I found meaningful.



Enjoying the Northern California coast during a camping trip with my now-wife (2018).  Little did I know at the time, I’d be proposing on this very rock 2.5 years later.

Toast’s commitment toward bettering the restaurant industry for businesses, workers, customers, and the environment appealed to my interests and values.  Additionally, I felt Toast was a company with ample potential for revolutionizing the restaurant industry, as well as having all the right ingredients (strategy, people, funding) to make it happen.

After a career predominantly in backend infrastructure engineering, I wanted to stay in the engineering space but explore a different set of problems.  I saw an opportunity at Toast to be closer to the customer experience and product, to learn more about business decisions and strategy, and to develop professionally in new ways as a leader and teammate.  My role puts both the team’s tech stack and its product and business goals in my purview.  It’s invigorating to explore and bridge the two, and build scalable solutions to power the onboarding applications and experiences we provide to our customers.

I’m grateful that I have a chance to influence our overall business priorities, while also staying close to the technical aspects of our space. This gives me a chance to grow my leadership skills, while also tackling technical challenges. Our team primarily develops in Kotlin for the backend and Javascript & React for the frontend.  Services, tools, and frameworks we integrate with include: DynamoDB, GraphQL + Apollo client, Pulsar, LaunchDarkly, DataDog, Salesforce, and Plaid.

So many restaurants are small businesses, and there’s a strong connection between the restaurant industry and topics important to me such as food waste and security, environmentalism, and supporting local businesses.  It’s so rewarding to build software that has a direct or indirect impact on all of these meaningful topics, and a blessing to have fun doing so.  I love asking restaurant owners and workers how they feel about Toast.  The praise is of course great, but even when there’s criticism or opportunity, I feel empowered to actually do something about it. 

I’m currently on the Onboarding Applications Team, where I’m front and center for the customer experience. It's so exciting that my team is a significant manifestation of our company’s values. We don’t just build software; we also focus on enablement and process improvements that will further enhance the customer experience, while also reducing Toast’s operational costs. Toast balances building world-class products with remembering that we’re here to serve our customers and their guests. This balance is evidenced by how we do business: what features and experiences we prioritize, our commitment to operational excellence, giving back to the community and industry (Toast.org). I feel a strong connection between Toast’s product and values, and my own interests and values. It makes it pretty easy to show up to work eager and energized!

Our team is composed of the most empathetic, curious, talented, and supportive group of individuals I’ve ever had the honor to work with.  Working at Toast means community: supporting the restaurant community, while being part of a strong team community every day I come to the (virtual) office.



Celebrating the holidays and signing my Toast offer.  Dinner with my wife at Harbor House Inn in Elk, CA. (Dec 2021)

Check out these engineering opportunities across the globe and come build with us as we enrich the food experience for all! 


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