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In an age of customer service and business efficiency, tablets are transforming the hospitality experience when it comes to both cafés and restaurants.
Streamlining both customer ordering and back of house business operations, restaurants deploying tablets as their mobile POS reportedly see a 10 per cent increase in the average check size.
But that’s not the only reward. Here are the top benefits of employing mobile tablets in cafes and restaurants.
In any hospitality environment the aim of the game is speed, service and accuracy. Whether it’s a Michelin-star restaurant or the local coffee shop, patrons seek to feel valued and tended to, while receiving seamless and professional service.
This is where tablets are making huge inroads into the hospitality experience.
Whether they are mobile or positioned in static stations around a restaurant or café, they allow servers to quickly take orders, cut the queue in quick-serve environments or offer personalized service right at the table-side in seated establishments.
Common features of Mobile POS (mPOS) for restaurants and cafés include:
• Tableside ordering for sit-down restaurants
• Self-service ordering for quick-serve restaurants
• Table management
• Mobile payments
• Split billing
• Menu and specials descriptions
• Automatic notifications that a menu item is running low or has run out
Meanwhile, the physical act of placing an order is greatly simplified for servers using tablets as their ordering pad.
Whether it’s a drink, entrée or dessert, meal items placed on a tablet POS can be automatically routed to the relevant area of the restaurant, such as the bar, the kitchen or the desserts station.
For servers and patrons all these functions streamline the hospitality experience. They help eliminate errors and miscommunication, while allowing staff to more efficiently do their job.
Behind the scenes, tablets are also offering greater efficiency to staff working back of house and the managers and owners or restaurants and cafés.
Features that common restaurant and café mPOS software include:
• Inventory tracking
• Item recipes
• Item cost to sale analysis
• Customer relationship management
• Staff scheduling including time clocks
• Section allocation
• Reporting and analytics
While some of these features may not be new, the real-time and remote access available courtesy of tablets and the Cloud offers restauranteurs the opportunity to streamline their operation, identify top selling items, and understand exactly what’s happening in their venue at any moment of any day.
Meanwhile, it’s not just the Point of Sale where tablets are making a very real difference in the hospitality environment.
They are also found in a host of other areas of restaurants and cafes in a bid to better meet the needs of both the modern consumer and the modern business.
In a competitive environment like a restaurant strip, the menu is often the differentiating factor that a prospective patron seeks to view before selecting the venue of their choosing.
Here too tablets play a role in the form of digital menus.
Positioned at the doorway of a restaurant, digital menus allow patrons to interact and engage with menu items, viewing images of the items on offer, delving into the wine list or desserts and understanding pricing.
In a distinct benefit over paper-based menus, these digital menus can be quickly updated over numerous outlets to illustrate specials, remove items that are out of stock or introduce seasonal items.
Gone are the days when a patron needed to walk into a restaurant from the street to make a booking. In addition to serving as a digital menu, a well-positioned tablet at a restaurant entryway can encourage people to make bookings then and there.
This offers the patron convenience, saves staff time, ensures accuracy when it comes to seating numbers, and allows the kitchen to better understand their patronage for the period ahead.
Then there are a host of other features that the restaurant kiosk can easily cater to. Want to encourage ongoing patronage through customer loyalty? Set up a tablet with a rewards program sign-up.
Seeking to gauge the customer experience or elicit their feedback through ratings and reviews? Incorporate this into your kiosk either as the main feature or in addition to digital menus and loyalty programs.
Mobility, ease of use and affordability make tablets one of the most popular tech tools available in restaurants today. With the ability to improve the patron experience and the business operation, their increasing popularity is evident in both single-venue operations and multi-outlet restaurant chains.