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Restaurant Tableside Ordering & Payment: The Winning Guide [2024]

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In this age of technological sophistication, integrating technology into your restaurant business can offer a significant advantage in attracting and accommodating customers. One of the most significant advancements in this regard is the adoption of tableside ordering and payment systems. This technological revolution has not only simplified the ordering process but has also enhanced customer satisfaction. In this guide, we will delve into the concept of tableside ordering, explore tableside payments, understand the components of a tableside ordering system, and discuss the most common types of restaurant tableside ordering systems. Additionally, we will uncover the many benefits that restaurants can reap from the implementation of this game-changing innovation.

What is Tableside Ordering?

Tableside ordering is a dining service method where restaurant staff takes customer orders directly at the table. This can be done through various means, such as handheld devices or tablets. The primary goal of tableside ordering is to enhance the customer experience by providing a more efficient and personalized service. Instead of relying on traditional pen-and-paper methods or stationary point-of-sale (POS) terminals, which require customers to signal a server or stand in line to place an order, tableside ordering brings the convenience of placing orders right from the dining table.

This approach has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its numerous advantages, both for customers and restaurant owners.

What are Tableside Payments?

Tableside payments are an extension of the tableside ordering concept. Once customers have finished their meal and are ready to settle their bill, the tableside payment system allows them to do so right at the table. This eliminates the need to wait for a server to bring the check, take the payment, process it at a centralized POS terminal, and return the receipt.

With tableside payments, customers can review their bill, split the check if dining with a group, and make a payment using various methods, including credit/debit cards or mobile wallets. This streamlined process minimizes wait times and enhances the overall dining experience.

The combination of tableside ordering and tableside payments creates a seamless and efficient dining experience, where customers have more control over their dining pace and payments, leading to higher satisfaction levels.

Check out: The Rise of Pay-at-Table Technology in Restaurants

What is a Tableside Ordering System?

A tableside ordering system is a comprehensive technology setup that facilitates tableside ordering and payment processes. It consists of various components, including hardware and software, that work together to streamline the entire dining experience. Let’s explore the key elements of a tableside ordering system:

1. Handheld Devices or Tablets: These are the hardware components of the system that servers and waitstaff use to take orders. These devices are equipped with specialized software that allows staff to input orders, customize them based on customer preferences, and send them directly to the kitchen or bar for preparation. This eliminates the need for paper order slips and reduces the risk of order errors.

2. POS Software: The heart of the system, POS (Point of Sale) software, is the core that manages orders, payments, and various other aspects of restaurant operations. It integrates with kitchen display systems (KDS) to ensure a smooth flow of orders to the kitchen and the bar. It also manages inventory and generates reports for performance analysis.

3. Payment Processing: The tableside ordering system should be integrated with secure payment processing solutions. This allows customers to make payments at their tables, whether by card, mobile wallet, or other electronic means. It should also be compliant with industry standards for data security to protect customer payment information.

4. Menu Management: The system should have a user-friendly interface for menu management, enabling easy updates and customization of menu items. This feature is essential for accommodating changes in the menu, such as seasonal specials or ingredient substitutions.

5. Customization and Integration: Restaurants should be able to customize the system to fit their unique needs and integrate it with other software solutions they may already be using, such as reservation systems, loyalty programs, or online ordering platforms.

The most common types of restaurant Tableside Ordering Systems

There are various types of tableside ordering systems available to restaurants, each with its own set of features and advantages. Let’s explore two of the most common types:

QR Code Ordering & Payment:

QR code ordering and payment systems have gained immense popularity, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how they work:

  1. Menu Access: Customers scan a QR code placed on their table using their smartphones. This instantly opens a digital menu on their device, allowing them to browse through the available items.
  2. Order Placement: Customers can select their desired items from the menu, customize their orders, and send them to the kitchen. This eliminates the need for physical menus and reduces the risk of cross-contamination.
  3. Payment: After finishing their meal, customers can use the same QR code to access their bill and make a payment using their preferred method. Some systems even allow for bill splitting and tipping directly from the device.

Advantages of QR Code Ordering & Payment:

  1. Contactless: This system promotes a touchless dining experience, which is particularly appealing in a post-pandemic world.
  2. Cost-Effective: It’s generally more cost-effective than purchasing specialized hardware like handheld devices.
  3. Ease of Implementation: Implementing QR code systems is relatively straightforward, and they can be easily adapted for menu changes.
  4. Customer Convenience: Customers have complete control over the ordering process and payments, enhancing their overall dining experience.

Handheld POS System:

Handheld POS systems are designed for restaurant staff to use at the table when taking orders. These systems are more traditional in the sense that they rely on proprietary hardware:

  1. Waitstaff Usage: Servers carry handheld devices, often tablet-sized, to take customer orders at the table. These devices are equipped with software that connects to the central POS system.
  2. Order Accuracy: Orders are input directly into the device, reducing the risk of miscommunication or errors that can occur when relying on handwritten orders.
  3. Speed and Efficiency: Orders are sent to the kitchen or bar in real-time, improving the speed and efficiency of service.
  4. Payment Processing: Some handheld POS systems are equipped to handle tableside payments, allowing servers to generate the bill, process the payment, and provide a receipt at the table.

Advantages of Handheld POS Systems:

  1. Customization: These systems can be customized to fit the specific needs of the restaurant and can often integrate with other restaurant management software.
  2. Real-Time Updates: Orders are sent to the kitchen and bar in real-time, reducing the lag time associated with traditional paper order slips.
  3. Upselling Opportunities: Waitstaff can use the devices to suggest additional items, desserts, or specials, leading to potential upselling opportunities.

Restaurant Benefits of Tableside Ordering & Payment

Implementing tableside ordering and payment systems offers numerous benefits to both customers and restaurant owners. Let’s explore some of these advantages:

Elevating Customer Experience with Tableside Magic

Tableside ordering and payment systems offer a significant enhancement to the overall dining experience. By streamlining the process from order placement to payment settlement, these systems reduce wait times and minimize the potential for errors. Customers appreciate the convenience of being able to place their orders directly from their table, whether through QR code menus or handheld POS devices. The accuracy and efficiency of these systems contribute to higher customer satisfaction, as it ensures that their orders are prepared precisely and served promptly. This level of control and convenience not only meets but often exceeds customer expectations, making their dining experience more enjoyable and memorable. In an industry where customer loyalty is paramount, such enhancements can make all the difference.

Improve Efficiency

One of the standout benefits of tableside ordering and payment systems is the tremendous improvement in operational efficiency they bring to a restaurant. The traditional process of servers taking orders, manually transcribing them, and walking back and forth to stationary POS terminals is replaced with a streamlined, real-time system. Servers can efficiently manage more tables, as they don’t need to spend as much time on administrative tasks. This newfound efficiency not only allows restaurants to serve more customers but also enhances the overall pace of service. Reduced wait times lead to more satisfied customers, who are likely to return and recommend the restaurant to others. Ultimately, improved efficiency translates into higher revenue and profitability for the establishment.

Trimming Costs, Boosting Profits

Tableside ordering and payment systems offer an unexpected bonus for restaurant owners by reducing operational costs. The elimination of paper menus and order slips not only contributes to a more eco-friendly operation but also reduces expenses associated with printing and maintaining physical menus. The digital nature of the system also minimizes the risk of costly order errors, as orders are recorded accurately and transmitted directly to the kitchen and bar. This means less waste due to incorrect or duplicate orders, which can result in substantial savings on ingredients and other resources. The cost savings achieved through the adoption of these systems can significantly impact a restaurant’s bottom line, making it a fiscally responsible choice for owners and operators.

Data and Analytics

In an increasingly data-driven world, tableside ordering and payment systems provide restaurants with a treasure trove of valuable information. These systems generate comprehensive data and analytics, offering insights into sales trends, menu item popularity, and customer preferences. This data allows restaurant owners and managers to make informed decisions regarding menu updates, pricing strategies, and promotional campaigns. It empowers them to adapt to changing customer tastes and preferences, ultimately driving higher revenue. Additionally, real-time inventory management is made possible, enabling restaurants to maintain optimal stock levels of popular ingredients and reduce waste. The ability to harness and leverage data through these systems is a game-changer for restaurants seeking to stay competitive and innovative.

Beyond the Plate with Upselling

Tableside ordering systems present an excellent opportunity for upselling. Waitstaff can use these systems to suggest additional items, such as appetizers, desserts, or wine pairings, directly to customers when they are making their selections. With the ease of customizing orders and exploring the full menu on digital platforms, customers are more receptive to recommendations. This leads to an increase in the average check amount and boosts revenue for the restaurant. Furthermore, many of these systems integrate with loyalty programs and customer databases, allowing for personalized promotions and discounts based on individual customer preferences and behavior. The combination of real-time suggestions and tailored promotions creates a powerful tool for driving sales and enhancing customer loyalty.

Safety and Hygiene

Especially in the context of the global pandemic, the safety and hygiene benefits of tableside ordering and payment systems cannot be overstated. These systems offer a contactless dining experience, minimizing physical contact points between staff and customers. Whether it’s using a QR code to access the menu or settling the bill on a tablet, these touchless options reduce the risk of virus transmission and provide customers with peace of mind. This safety measure aligns with evolving customer expectations for a more sanitary dining experience, and it can be a compelling factor for guests when choosing where to dine. The integration of safety measures into the overall dining experience is a strong indicator of a restaurant’s commitment to customer well-being, building trust and encouraging return visits.

Meet Payperse: Your Ultimate Tableside Ordering System

Payperse is a cutting-edge QR code ordering and payment system developed by Fleksa, catering specifically to restaurant owners. This innovative platform simplifies the dining experience by offering a convenient table-side ordering and payment solution. Customers can effortlessly place their orders by scanning a single QR code provided at their table. By leveraging this technology, diners can browse menus, select their desired items, and finalize their payments with ease, all from the comfort of their own devices. Payperse not only streamlines the ordering process but also enhances the overall efficiency of restaurant operations, reducing the need for traditional menus and minimizing contact between staff and guests. It’s a modern and user-friendly solution that combines technology and hospitality to create a seamless dining experience for both customers and restaurant owners. Want to try for your restaurant? contact us today! 

In conclusion, tableside ordering and payment systems have become a game-changer in the restaurant industry, offering a host of benefits to both customers and restaurant owners. Whether through QR code systems or handheld POS devices, these innovations have redefined the dining experience, making it more efficient, convenient, and enjoyable. As we enter 2024, it’s clear that this trend is here to stay, and restaurants that embrace it will undoubtedly thrive in the competitive world of dining. So, if you’re a restaurant owner looking to enhance your operations and customer satisfaction, it might be time to consider implementing a tableside ordering and payment system.

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