As the calendar turned from 2021 to 2022, the labor shortage issue continues to remain at the forefront of the restaurant industry.
In December of 2021, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of hires in food services was 1.063 million, which doesn’t seem like an alarming number.
However, the era of the Great Resignation continued, and 958,000 left the industry, which is almost a wash when the numbers match up. More than 10% of the open U.S. jobs are in the restaurant industry. That number has been consistent since the start of 2020.
Restaurant operators need to streamline their services with digital technology to help alleviate staff shortages.
What is Tableside Ordering?
Tableside ordering is a system that allows customers to see menus, place orders, and make payments through the use of their own devices, using a tabletop kiosk or through a server using a tablet.
The value in tableside ordering is providing a better customer experience while increasing speed of service and faster table turns.
There are several forms of tableside ordering where the ordering method has the same result. All orders go from a digital device and directly to the kitchen.
Mobile POS: Handheld POS devices can be carried anywhere in a restaurant, which reduces the need for servers to make constant trips to and from anchored central POS stations.
Kiosks: Kiosks allow customers to order and pay at the device. Self-service kiosks include descriptions of menu items so customers can customize their order how they would like.
QR Code Ordering: QR code ordering allows customers to use their own devices. Once scanned, the restaurant’s online menu populates and enables customers to order and pay on their device.
Restaurant Benefits of Tableside Ordering
1. Increased Speed of Service and Table Turns
The advantage of tableside ordering means customers don’t have to wait to order and can speed up the checkout process with contactless payment options.
For example, tableside ordering through QR codes or kiosks, customers can look at the menu when they sit down and punch in their drink and food orders without seeing the server.
In both cases, orders are sent directly to the kitchen. That alone could save almost 10 minutes.
The benefit for the restaurant owner is it allows servers to increase their efficiency and handle more tables, yielding better tips for them.
With a mobile tableside ordering system, servers no longer have to take multiple tables orders at once and then input them into the POS all at the same time. This can cause back up in the kitchen and leaves more room for order errors which can impact the dining experience negatively.
2. Increased Order Accuracy
With tableside ordering, a server is fully engaged with customers meaning there’s less chance of having an incorrect order.
In addition, the server isn’t taking a customer’s order, then going to another table to take another order before putting them into a central POS, where the server can make a mistake.
With a mobile tableside ordering system, the server is right there with the customer. The order goes in at the table and is sent to the kitchen.
To take a further step in efficiency, QR code ordering empowers customers to order and pay on their own device, saving staff even more time to handle other duties. Whether an order is sent from a server’s mobile device or from a guest’s phone, it goes directly to the kitchen and creates and open ticket to keep the customer and server in sync.
Increased order accuracy makes the lives of the server and kitchen staff easier. It can also help restaurants save on food costs and waste.
3. Improved Security
There is several advantages for customers who pay on their own device. As a restaurant owner, you should take the opportunity to provide the guest with as many options as you can.
Payment options like ApplePay and GooglePay give the customer a contactless payment method. There’s added security since the customer’s payment card number isn’t exposed to anyone.
Paying at the table through the server’s mobile POS solution is another option where the customer gets insurance of a safe transaction since everything is processed in front of them.
Restaurant patrons are concerned about credit card fraud, and it’s easy to fall victim at eateries. When diners hand over their card, they don’t see where their card goes and what’s done with it. Tableside ordering and payment mean customers’ cards are always in their hands, so they feel confident in the security involved in paying for their meal.
4. Improved Server Knowledge
A tablet provides everything your server needs to know about the menu, automating pricing, payments, and inventory.
Servers can look at their mobile device if a customer questions an ingredient they don’t like or are allergic to a particular item. There’s no running back to the kitchen to ask the chef what’s in a dish.
Staff members can let guests know about daily specials and promotions or upsell an item efficiently at the table.
5. Show Customers Restaurants Can Evolve
Evolving as time goes by doesn’t mean a restaurant loses its specific charm or soul, simply that it’s finding new ways to enhance current business aspects and processes.
Customers like seeing eateries keeping pace with new norms and emerging technology. About 65% of customers say they would visit a restaurant more often if self-service kiosks were offered and 70% of consumers prefer using self-ordering technology.
Changing to keep up with the time's lets clients know the restaurant is current, flexible, and open to change.
6. Better Tips, Better Reviews
With better engagement, order accuracy, and speed of service, servers will notice they will be getting better tips due to an enhanced customer experience. In addition, tableside ordering enables servers to handle more tables, generating more tips for each shift.
Once customers get to experience this digital shift of tableside ordering, they may be more likely to share their great experience with online reviews through sites like Google and Yelp. According to a Harvard Business School survey, an increase by one-star on Yelp shows a 5-9% increase in revenue.
Delight Customers With Tableside Ordering
It’s vital for a restaurant owner to keep customers happy because delighted customers return more often, replace with other people, and advocate for the brand to others.
Tableside kiosks can be as customizable as the restaurant makes it, which empowers guests to customize their order improving the overall customer experience.
Guests don’t need to wave down a server or ask about the daily specials. They can simply use the tableside ordering services and do what they please at their own pace.
With a mobile tablet solution, customers have a direct connection with the server and a better satisfaction that their order will be correct and accurate since the server is sending the order to the kitchen right in front of the customer.
Most importantly, customers will enjoy an improved dining experience. Customers can expect faster ordering, delivery, and checkout. Along with more accurate orders, a greater sense of security when paying, and an overall smooth and efficient process.
Tableside ordering can help restaurants streamline operations, support staff, improve customer experiences, and revolutionize the process of dining.
Mad Mobile helps companies reimagine how they connect with customers. We enable everything, from extending the functionality of your current systems to a complete POS replacement for restaurants of all sizes.
Our unique platform allows restaurants and retailers to achieve mobility with their existing systems to increase sales, digitize the guest experience, and keep up with consumers’ changing demands.
What kind of tableside ordering does your restaurant offer?
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