Tablet Point of Sale Software
Traditional point of sale (POS) terminals are a vast improvement over electronic cash registers, offering greater functionality and efficiency. Tablet point of sale software takes that improvement to the next level, giving you the capabilities to enhance the customer experience and streamline your operations. With a smaller, lighter, portable tablet platform, your staff can take orders and process payments from anywhere in your establishment, and they will have at their fingertips the power to boost sales and customer satisfaction. There are many reasons to consider adding tablets to your technology profile.
Overall Benefits of Tablet POS Technology for Businesses
While tablet point of sale software is especially well suited for restaurants and food service, there are several benefits for businesses of all types. These general advantages (as applied to restaurants) include:
Tablets offer greater flexibility of use than regular POS terminals. They can be mounted on a stationary unit that is either manned by a cashier or used as a self-service kiosk. Or they can be removed from the stand and used by staff to take orders and process payments anywhere on the house floor. If they are placed on tables for self-ordering, they can also serve as additional advertising space to promote menu items and specials, or to provide entertainment (such as a trivia game) for customers waiting on their food to arrive.
» Increased Efficiency, Accuracy, and Sales
Orders placed on tablets are transmitted directly to the kitchen, resulting in faster prep times. Several minutes can be saved if the server doesn’t have to take the order to a main terminal for entering, or submit a paper ticket that has to be deciphered. Kitchen staff can start preparing drink and appetizer orders before customers have even finished ordering their entrées. Accuracy is also improved, especially with self-ordering, as customers can make sure their order is exactly as they want it. Fewer errors will eliminate the costs of food and time wasted on wrong orders. And sales will increase in several ways: servers have consistent upselling prompts; self-ordering customers tend to be more comfortable ordering more food; and customers happy with the efficient, accurate service will return to dine again.
» Line Busting
Nobody likes long wait times, and you lose sales when frustrated customers give up and leave. Armed with tablets, your staff can move through the lines taking orders and speeding up the process, increasing customer through-put. A self-service option utilizing tablet point of sale software will have the same effect.
» Ergonomic Advantage
Traditional POS terminals can be a bit large and clunky, taking up more counter space than you may be able to spare — especially in a smaller establishment. Tablets, even mounted ones, are smaller and lighter, a better choice for tight spaces.
How Mobile POS is Changing the Restaurant Industry
It is perhaps not too great an exaggeration to say that tablet point of sale software is revolutionizing the restaurant industry, bringing several operational improvements to the table, such as:
» Replacing traditional paper-based ordering methods
Paper tickets can too easily be lost in the shuffle, damaged by steam or spills, or simply made illegible by bad handwriting. There’s too much potential for error, not to mention the costs of paper, ink, and printer maintenance, and the extra time spent running the paper ticked back to the kitchen or to a traditional POS terminal for entry. Submitting orders on a tablet (whether done by a server or a customer) is a much faster and more accurate process.
» Adding line-busting capability
When your POS is mobile, orders can be placed anywhere on the premises, eliminating register bottlenecks and meeting customers’ expectations of convenience.
» Increasing sales
With both self-service and server-placed orders, upselling suggestions are always included in a tablet system, and they tend to be quite effective at getting people to buy additional menu items (dessert, for example) and add-ons (such as extra cheese) or larger sizes and combos. And when tablets are available at tableside, tempting images of menu items can enable diners to place impulse buys, whereas if they had to wait on a server to place the order, they’d have time to change their minds.
» • Improving customer engagement and retention
Tablet POS can help attract more diners (and repeat business) with the efficiency, convenience, and payment-option flexibility they offer. On a deeper level, when the POS is integrated with loyalty programs and targeted marketing campaigns, customer data can be used to create personalized offers that encourage return visits. Customers appreciate feeling a sense of connection with their favorite brands, and offering relevant rewards based on their purchase histories fosters that engagement.
How Tablet POS Increases Table Ticket Size and Revenue
For restaurant owners, perhaps the biggest benefit of tablet point of sale software is the increased revenue it can generate in several ways:
» Upselling and Cross-selling
Even good servers can sometimes forget to ask questions such as, “Do you want to add a side salad for $1.00 more?” or “Would you like to try our new appetizer?” But a tablet POS can be programmed to present those options every time, whether it’s prompting the server with the information they need, or showing the self-ordering customer appealing images. Consistent upselling by tablets has been shown to increase average ticket size significantly.
» Increased Tips
Tablet POS can prompt customers not only to buy, but also to tip, and can suggest tip amounts. The greater speed and efficiency of tablet ordering and payment processes give servers more time to spend with customers, and tips will generally reflect customer satisfaction with the higher level of service.
» Digital Receipts
Increased revenue also comes in the form of cost savings. Tablet POS can send customers digital receipts by e-mail if they want one, rather than wasting paper and ink on printed copies. Your environmentally-conscious diners will also appreciate your efforts to “go green,” and will want to keep frequenting your establishment.
Benefits of Tablet POS and Pay-at-the-Table Technology
Tablet point of sale software and pay-at-the-table technology offer a variety of advantages for everyone involved: employees can do their jobs better; customers gain a more positive experience; and the house profits.
» Server Benefits
- Less running: When servers don’t have to run orders back to the kitchen, or run credit cards back and forth to a central terminal for processing, they save a lot of steps and time that can be better spent interacting with customers.
- More table turns: Faster ordering and payment processes lead to more table turns per shift — and more tip opportunities. Tableside tech can increase turnover time by 7 to 10 minutes.
» Customer Benefits
Invest in software that can be configured to auto-generate reorders when ingredient SKUs reach pre-defined levels. This prevents ingredient shortages while also keeping customers happy. Loyal customers expect that their favorites will always be available, so leverage the right software to make sure you can deliver consistently.
- Fewer mistakes: Especially with self-ordering, customers can be sure they’ll get exactly what they ordered, prepared to their specifications.
- Greater data security: When customers can pay at the table, their credit or debit cards stay under their control, eliminating the risk of card skimming and potential fraud or identity theft.
- Shorter wait times: Faster table turnovers lead to shorter wait times for incoming customers. The sooner a hungry diner can be seated and start ordering, the happier they’ll be with the experience.
» House Benefits
- Higher profits: Larger ticket sizes, more customers served, more satisfied customers retained, less paper and food waste, and more efficient labor use all add up to greater profits.
- Fast ROI: Tablets and tableside devices often have a lower initial investment cost than traditional POS. And with the revenue generation and cost savings that will follow, return on that investment won’t take long.
Common Mobile POS Myths
If you’re still hesitant about tablet point of sale software, even after considering all of the benefits to be gained, it may be because you’ve heard one of these common misconceptions. So let’s set the record straight on these myths.
» Credit card information isn’t secure
Just like traditional POS technology, mobile POS must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), stringent guidelines and regulations designed for maximum safety of card transactions and sensitive customer data.
» Tablets aren’t as reliable as traditional POS terminals
Restaurants simply need to choose rugged tablets designed for commercial use rather than consumer-grade models. These tablets will have higher resistances to dust, spills, and temperature extremes, and can withstand being accidentally dropped or knocked off a table. Rugged tablets are just as sturdy and reliable as fixed terminals.
» It’s just a fad, and it isn’t really more efficient
With steadily growing numbers of restaurants adding mobile technology, tablets aren’t going away anytime soon. And faster order processing with greater accuracy and increased customer convenience certainly qualify as more efficient than traditional POS alone.
» It’s an unnecessary expense
All of the advantages outlined here should make it clear that tablets are necessary. As for the cost, it may be lower than you think, especially because the operational streamlining and increased customer satisfaction lead to a high return on investment (ROI).
Are You Using mPOS Incorrectly in Your Restaurant?
you’re using it the right way. There are a few common errors that can make your system less effective; but these can be corrected with a little extra care in the selection process. Here’s what to watch out for:
» Running all operations on mPOS alone
While tablet technology is versatile, it isn’t quite powerful enough by itself to handle all of your operational data processing and storage. Tablet point of sale software works best when it augments a traditional POS terminal. Some solutions have all-in-one fixed terminals that pair with removable tablets, combining power and mobility.
» Buying tablet software before making sure it will integrate with other systems
Before you buy, you need to find out if the tablet system will work with the rest of your solutions, including your traditional POS, kitchen display system (KDS), and back-office software. For example, the tablet needs to integrate with inventory control so that your stock levels reflect and include tablet transactions. Your provider can help you select solutions that work together seamlessly.
» Using a cloud-based solution that depends entirely on Internet connectivity
The cloud has definite advantages, such as anytime, anywhere access to your business data. But Internet outages can and will occur, and you don’t want them to bring your operations to a halt, costing you revenue and, potentially, customers. Look for a hybrid solution that hosts data locally and syncs with the cloud. If you lose your Internet connection, you’ll still be able to take orders and payments, and the information will go to the cloud when connectivity is restored.
While there are a few mistakes to avoid, the biggest incorrect way to use tablet POS is to not use it at all. Restaurants need every technology advantage to stay ahead in a highly competitive environment and provide customers with the efficiency and convenience they expect. If you’re ready to add tablet point of sale software to your arsenal, look for an experienced provider. Focus has been part of the restaurant tech industry for nearly three decades. Contact Focus to find out more about a range of solutions designed to help make your restaurant a success.