If you are going into business with a new restaurant, then deciding on things like the design, branding and the food on the menu can be as exciting as it is important. However, another thing you will need to decide on is the processes for customers to order food. There was a time when this was something of a no-brainer, because you only really had two options – waiting staff could take their order at the table, or, in a more casual restaurant, such as a pub, sandwich shop or fast food place, people could order food at a counter.
Now, however, there is a third option in the mix, which is proving quite popular – tablet ordering systems. If you haven’t considered tablet menus for your new restaurant venture yet, here is what you need to know:
What Is Tablet Ordering?
Essentially, tablet ordering means there are fixed tablets in your restaurants, displayed either on the tables in a more traditional dining setting or in kiosks around the restaurant in a fast food style setting, where people can browse the menu and submit their food orders. These systems then send notifications to the kitchen of what has been ordered and can either record what people need to pay for to create a final bill at the end of the meal, or take payment instantly (again, allowing for both traditional dining and fast food style practices). Popular tablets like Apple iPads or Android OS based tablets are generally used, with stands or kiosks designed specially for keeping the tablets looking good with the restaurant décor and branding, and ensuring high security in heavy trafficked areas, providing peace of mind – click to find out more about tablet enclosures and iPad kiosks as digital menus.
What About the Apps?
If you want people to order using tablets, then you need to lock the tablets into a mode that just runs the system you are using to display the menu and take orders. This is to make sure it is easy to use for customers who may not own tablets, and also to stop people just playing around with your tablets instead of using them for their intended purpose! You can have a custom app made for your restaurant, though this can be expensive. Instead, most people who choose this option use existing, customisable menu and ordering apps and set them up for their own menus.
When Is Tablet Ordering the Best Option?
Tablet ordering is great in many ways – it makes life easier for your staff, prevents customers getting frustrated waiting for service, and means there’s no risk of waiters or point of sale staff getting orders wrong. However, it best suits restaurants with a young, tech savvy target audience, or a trendy image.
Some customers still prefer the personal touch of ordering from a real person, and may find tablets bewildering. If you mainly serve the office lunch crowd or young professionals, tablet ordering is perfect for you, but if you are going for a family friendly or traditional restaurant then it may be best to offer both table service and digital menus to suit everyone.