Mobile point-of-sale systems may be one of the most disruptive introductions into the restaurant business in recent years. A growing number of businesses are deploying POS solutions that either run on mobile devices (such as tablets or smartphones) entirely or have mobile components that grant businesses more flexibility in regard to where they and how they want to process payments.
1. Save space
In the restaurant business, space is at a premium. Owners want their customers to be as comfortable as possible while they eat, but at the same time, they want to serve as many customers as possible. Traditional POS solutions often require a larger footprint that demands a certain amount of space within the building and they are often inflexible - they cannot be moved around easily if restaurant owners want to reconfigure the layout of their business. This puts eateries at odds - they don't want to cram diners into smaller spaces, but at the same time, the fixed POS demands space.
"In the restaurant business, space is at a premium."
A mobile POS using tools such as tablets can actually be a significant upgrade in that regard. Tablets are much smaller than conventional POS systems, allowing restaurants to free up more space for the diners. This can be particularly important in fast-moving restaurants where customers expect quick service - the extra space not only opens up more room for customers, but also for wait staff and pick-up guests.
2. Pay at the table
As PaymentsSource noted, many restaurants are introducing table-side tablet devices. The mobile tools can be used to convey information, such as menu items or nutrition facts, to entertain guests with games and trivia or to call service employees when needed. Now, some restaurants such as Olive Garden are allowing guests to pay directly through tablets. This can free up wait staff to spend more time serving customers and during busy hours, ensures guests can pay and leave whenever they want, rather than being stuck waiting on the bill.
While paying at the table can lead to a boost in efficiency, it also gives more control of the dining experience to guests. Perhaps they want to be left alone as they eat, or maybe they prefer the human interaction. Either way, the customer gets to decide based on their preferences, which can only lead to a better experience.
3. Save money
Budget is always a primary concern when running any business, and companies want to make the most affordable purchases that still fulfill all of their needs as an enterprise. Tablet-based POS systems are often less expensive - especially considering BYOD options - when compared to conventional fixed POS solutions.
Tablet devices have seemingly cropped up at businesses across industries and are used for a variety of purposes. For restaurant owners, the value they provide in terms of saving space, money and improving the overall dining experience can be a pivotal benefit.