Tableside Ordering POS Devices Gaining Foothold at Many Restaurants

June 5, 2017

Over the past few years, many Americans who dine out frequently have probably noticed the slow but steady proliferation of devices at every table that allow them to place orders, pay checks and more.

Over the past few years, many Americans who dine out frequently have probably noticed the slow but steady proliferation of small devices at every table that allow them to place orders, pay their checks and more. While these are particularly popular at large chain restaurants, they’re also being adopted by smaller, locally owned businesses for a similar reason: Tableside ordering makes the dining experience easier for customers and more efficient for restaurants.

With this in mind, now may be the time for any restaurant thinking about a POS upgrade to weigh how tableside can work for them. And when trying to determine the best path forward, restaurants may want to consider the benefits of working with POS resellers who can help them on a number of fronts when it comes to new options for adoption.

Tableside ordering is becoming increasingly common for restaurants nationwide.Tableside ordering is becoming increasingly common for restaurants nationwide.

A Clear Opportunity
One of the big advantages tableside devices provide to restaurants is the ability to funnel transactions through any omni channel efforts restaurants are now undertaking, according to Hospitality Technology. A lot of businesses are now turning to online ordering and even the use of mobile apps (the latter being primarily for larger restaurant chains). Empowering consumers to use all these devices in conjunction with one another could be a great way for restaurants to stand out.

Of course, many restaurants are operating on relatively tight budgets, so it may be necessary to do plenty of research before making any final decision, the report said. This will help restaurant owners not only determine which options will work best given their bottom lines, but also which can integrate best with their current back-end data collection efforts.

A Locally Owned Example
Bully’s East, a restaurant in San Diego, recently moved to adopt tableside ordering devices and realized a number of benefits in short order, according to Business Solutions. By using tableside tablets and wireless printers, the restaurant was able to cut labor costs and boost both efficiency and accuracy of handling customers’ orders. Simply put, the number of benefits these devices provide are significant when a rollout is handled with care.

“When we armed our wait staff with iPad Minis for tableside ordering and payments using Epson’s Mobilink P20 wireless printers, they were able to really speed up service for large parties,” Bully’s East owner Derek Dahlen told the site.

A More Advanced Effort
Meanwhile, McDonald’s is perhaps the best-known restaurant in the world, and it too sees the benefit in adopting digital and tableside ordering, according to a separate report from Hospitality Technology. These efforts are designed to do something unique that perhaps only a business like McDonald’s could accomplish: Reduce customer wait times to the point they are non-existent. McDonald’s first launched its “Wait Time Zero” effort in 2014 in an effort to potentially reduce costs and increases revenue considerably.

CEO Steve Easterbrook recently estimated that if 20 percent of the company’s drive-through customers were to order in advance and simply pick up their meals, and another 20 percent ordered online or via mobile and picked up the orders curbside, the average McDonald’s location could serve an additional 20 cars per hour. Moreover, test attempts to increase efficiency in other ways have been successful overseas, and are now coming back to the U.S. as well.

While hitting zero wait time isn’t going to be feasible for most restaurants, it can nonetheless provide an instructive example of just how ambitious restaurants can get with their efficiency through the benefits of tableside.

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