Tabletop Devices Part 2: 3 Key Considerations Before Installing in Your Restaurant

As discussed in a previous post, there are a number of benefits to installing tabletop ordering and payment devices in your restaurant. That said, there are also some considerations that you need to take into account before you take the leap. Here are a few of the biggest concerns.

Customer Security and Integration with Current Point-of-Sale Systems

The first, most important factor in the choice about installing tabletop devices in the restaurant is whether or not you can find a provider who can integrate those devices seamlessly with the current point-of-sale (POS) system. Beyond basic ordering and payment processing functionality, the tabletop device should be designed to look as much like the original POS as possible as well. This speeds up the amount of time it takes to educate servers, who in turn must educate customers, about how to use the device. When choosing a tabletop device provider, look for reliable pay-at-the-table functions, durability, lifespan and reliability of the unit, connectivity to Wi-Fi and the ability to expand ordering capabilities.

In terms of customer security, tabletop devices can actually help ease customer concerns. It gives customers some security to swipe their own cards and confirm their tab and tip amounts themselves, complete with a receipt printed from the bottom of the device.

Getting Server and Customer Buy-In on Restaurant Tabletop Technology

One key aspect of successfully using tabletop devices in the restaurant is getting server buy-in on educating customers about them. Around 65-70% of customers will use tabletop devices to place their orders—after the host has introduced them to the technology. Staff need to know that these devices can save time and can possibly make them more money. Several restaurants using the devices have actually seen a slight increase in the average tip left on a table with an ordering device. They also need to know that these devices are not a replacement for their skills, but rather a helpful tool that they can use. Since most customers are already carrying and using their smartphones all day long anyway, educating them about using the devices is often easy. They tend to embrace and even expect this sort of technological convenience.

Consider How Much Automation You Want in Your Restaurant

Another consideration you’ll want to take into account is how much automation you want to have in your business. The point is to enhance the customer experience, not alienate them or make them feel like they’re serving themselves. Some restaurants don’t allow full menu ordering from the device, following the philosophy that if customers do everything themselves they don’t feel like they’re getting service. The choice depends on the type of establishment you run. The take home message is that using tabletop technology should enhance, and not change, the guest dining experience. Humans are still the focal point; ordering capabilities have just gotten better.

The above factors should be taken into account before installing tabletop devices in your establishment. That said, restaurant operators who have taken the leap with tabletop technology are finding it a helpful and cost effective tool that enhances guest experiences, shaves off valuable service time and puts guests in greater control of their dining experience than ever before.

 

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One Response to “Tabletop Devices Part 2: 3 Key Considerations Before Installing in Your Restaurant”

  1. lyndaybaker Says:

    Reblogged this on lyndaybaker.

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