How tableside POS equipment is revolutionizing how restaurants work

Tableside/self-service point of sale solutions are slowly changing the restaurant experience. In the past, going out to dinner followed a specific formula. You sat at the table, ordered from a waiter, ate, and then submitted your credit card when presented with the bill. At this point, the server processed the card out of sight and returned it. However, this typical chain of events could become of a thing of the past as self-service payment technology for restaurants becomes more common. From fast-casual shops to sit-down restaurants, this type of technology is a game changer.

Restaurants consistently benefit from more digital tools. Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized dining, especially from the consumer perspective. Eleven percent of customers already use their own devices to pay for meals. It seems natural to extend the benefits of tablets to restaurants as well. Now restaurants are implementing tablet POS systems that allow patrons to pay at the table without having to wait for a server to close out their meal.

Dining on their own terms

Utilizing self-service POS solutions reduces waiting time for diners. When restaurants provide self-service point of sale devices for customers to use, diners are able to order on their own time. They can order their food as soon as they know what they want rather than waiting for the server to come by. Patrons are able to receive their food more quickly and businesses can turn more tables, leading to a greater profit. It's easier for customers to purchase more food with the push of a button, rather than flagging down a staff member. All in all, these types of restaurant POS solutions provide such a positive experience that many customers indicate they're likely to tip more when they use this technology.

Marketing and engagement benefits

Having a self-service  point of sales solution at the table provides more opportunities for restaurants to engage with customers through various marketing techniques. Many of these POS solutions  can present surveys that allow businesses to gain important feedback about the dining experience and obtain contact information from guests. These tools could also give businesses an opportunity to include more information about dishes so customers can be sure they are ordering something they will like. It also provides added value for families with children, because some solutions contain games that can keep the kids occupied while they are waiting for their meals to arrive. In addition, there is reduced possibility for error when customers enter orders themselves.

Additional revenue streams

Another benefit of tableside/self-service tablets is the ability to sell advertising space. Restaurants can partner with other local businesses to show diners advertisements while they eat. Restaurants can also take advantage of this strategy. At Chili's restaurants for example, the tableside point of sale depicts pictures of desserts roughly halfway through the meal. This strategy has increased dessert sales almost 20 percent . Through this approach, restaurants could encourage drink refills and other additional purchases to increase bill amounts.

Tableside/self-service POS solutions are upending the dining experience. This technology has a positive impact on diners and businesses alike. In the future, these types of point of sale systems have the potential to become a much more prevalent part of the restaurant landscape.