Picture this scenario: Guests are seated and given menus. They wait patiently for a server to take their order. They give their drink order, and the server rushes away before they can communicate that they are ready to order. And if it’s busy, who knows when they’ll be back to ask about appetizers or answer questions. This scenario isn’t fun for either the customer or the servers.
Now consider this one: Guests are seated and can begin to immediately review the menu and make their selections. They can order their food whenever they are ready and order more items whenever they want. Their server has plenty of time to answer any questions they have and get them whatever they need during the meal. When they’ve finished, they can pay for their meal and leave.
The difference between these two scenarios? The second one took advantage of a tableside ordering system. If you’re still not convinced, here are 4 reasons why your restaurant needs tableside ordering.
1. Tableside Ordering Gives Guests More Control
Tableside ordering gives your guests more control. Their experience in your restaurant starts off on a positive note. They are greeted by a friendly face at the host/hostess station and ushered to their table. They can choose the cadence of their meal. If they want to sit and chat, they won’t be disturbed by a server trying to get their order. If they want to order their food right away, they can do that without delay.
Servers will come around to tell them the specials and answer any questions, but the rest is up to them. They can order appetizers right away and wait to order their meal, or even skip right to dessert if that’s what they want.
Tableside ordering systems accommodate substitutions and special requests and let guests flag food allergies. When they’ve finished their meal and are ready to go, they just pay and leave. No waiting for the server to deliver the check and then more waiting for the server to take their payment.
2. Tableside Ordering Improves Guest Experience
In the scenario above, tableside ordering has a direct impact on the guests’ dining experience. They get exactly what they ordered because the tableside ordering system eliminates server error. And their food gets to their table faster. This solves two of the major complaints customers often have about restaurant service.
How many times have you been in a restaurant, waiting for a busy server to take your order, and thought, “If only I could put the order in myself?” With tableside ordering, your customers have much more control over their dining experience. They can put their order in when they want to. And when guests are in control, they are happy guests. The result? Increased customer loyalty and increased word-of-mouth recommendations.
3. Increase Revenue with Tableside Ordering
Not only will your restaurant’s guests enjoy being in control of the ability to order and pay when they wish, but the increased efficiency and speed of service will improve table turnover, letting you serve more people faster. It will be reflected in increased repeat visits and more word-of-mouth recommendations.
Plus, restaurants who use tableside ordering usually see an average 5% increase in the amount spent. Customers generally order more items and say yes to the programmed upsell messaging in the system.
4. Collect Better Data with a Tableside Ordering System
A tableside ordering system can give you a wealth of information about your guests’ ordering habits. It can tell you what the majority of them order and when, and how they prefer to pay. You can use this information to help with ordering from vendors and to better strategize your marketing. You can also maximize your pricing for increased profitability and sales.
Whether shortening the ordering process or gaining valuable insight into your guests’ behavior, tableside ordering gives your restaurant the cutting-edge required to get ahead in this competitive restaurant space. Guests have made their opinions known: It’s crucial for restaurants to consider what their guests want to turn them into repeat visitors.