Last Updated On August 27, 2020 / Written By Chloe Henderson

Restaurant Tablets- Is It Worth the Investment?

Restaurant tablets have gained momentum among many businesses due to their ability to enhance guest experience and profits by increasing service speed.

Implementing restaurant tablets allow businesses to optimize their ordering and transaction efficiency, promoting table turnover rates and customer satisfaction.

New restaurant technology continues to improve customer experience by providing new dining-in elements such as tableside ordering and payments. Major chains, including Applebee's, have found success in testing portable terminals and have implemented them in all of their U.S. locations. Applebee's released a study that more than 70% of their guests engage with the tablets, and more than 50% use them for quick transactions.

Other studies have shown that guests are more likely to tip their servers when using tablets because of their preprogrammed buttons. These terminals can formulate tips according to the selected gratuity percentage, eliminating the need for manual, and often incorrect, calculations.

Restaurant tablets are available through many point-of-sale (POS) systems and can help extend customer insight through streamlined orders and payment fulfillment.

3 Things to Consider Before Investing in Restaurant Tablets

As competitive as the restaurant industry is, businesses need to consider how implementing new technology such as portable POS terminals can benefit them. Some significant elements to keep in mind include-

1. Enhancing Customer Experience

Even businesses that provide an excellent dining experience can find ways to improve and customize their service. Tabletop tablets allow customers to place their own orders and transactions, significantly reducing their wait time. There are also portable POS terminals that can be placed on check-out counters that require less room and wiring than traditional solutions. This allows restaurants to implement multiple transaction stations to increase traffic flow without the risk of overcrowding.

2. POS Integration


Modern POS solutions should be able to integrate any hardware seamlessly. Advanced systems can create a centralized database that collects insight from all devices, allowing restaurant owners to see reports on sales, payment methods, and profits.

3. Upgrade Options


As with any device, hardware deteriorates and needs to be upgraded as time goes on. This is especially the case for tablets in the restaurant industry that are subject to spilled food and beverages. Therefore, businesses should check with their providers to discuss replacements, future options, and software updates. Securing back up plans ensures that operations can proceed without interruptions in the case of tablet damage.

6 Ways Tablets Can Transform the Dining Experience

After weighing the logistics of restaurant tablets, business owners should acknowledge the advantages these technologies give them over competitors, including-

1. Inclusivity

As technology evolves, the preferred method of communication adapts accordingly. The younger generations typically prefer using technology such as phones, laptops, and tablets to communicate, and the restaurant business is no exception. Restaurant tablets allow consumers to place their orders at their own time without feeling pressured or uncomfortable. This option is also great for individuals that have trouble speaking to servers due to a disability, anxiety, or language barrier.

2. Personalization


Portable POS devices only present installed software or applications to customers, allowing them to create their orders on a user-friendly solution. Consumers can personalize their orders based on any food allergies or dietary restrictions that they may have. Menus on POS systems can be customized to fit any needs and even recognize regular guests using a loyalty program and suggest dishes from their purchase history.

3. Updated Menus


Traditional menus require constant updating due to food stains, wear-and-tear, and new items. However, digital menus on tablets can be updated at any time to advertise premier dishes and even show a company's rebranding. This eliminates the expenses related to designing and printing menus. This technology also displays what menu items are sold out or no longer offered. Tablets also provide better access to data such as nutritional information and dishes that contain allergens.

4. Minimized Wait Times

Making customers wait for a server to take their orders or print out their bills can significantly lower customer satisfaction. On the other hand, an overzealous waiter that constantly interrupts their meal with check-ins can also annoy consumers. Restaurant tablets streamline the ordering and transaction process by allowing guests to conduct these operations at their own time. Customers can use the terminal to pay with a credit or debit card or alert the server to bring the bill if they are paying with cash.

5. Reduced Human Error


It is easy for an order to be miscommunicated between the guest and server, resulting in an incorrect meal and an unhappy customer. However, allowing the consumer to place their own orders limits the risk of errors and takes the stress off of servers. This is vital for customers that have severe food allergies or strict dietary needs.

6. Streamlined Orders


POS solutions integrate restaurant tablets with kitchen monitors to streamline orders. Unlike traditional paper tickets, monitors allow the entire kitchen staff to view incoming requests without the struggle of deciphering different servers' handwriting. Cooks can also interact with servers by sending alerts of menu item stockouts that automatically update the digital menu to show what dishes are unavailable.


Casual dining is still an essential element in the restaurant industry, requiring businesses to find new ways to improve customer experience and service. Modern technologies like restaurant tablets meet these needs while also increasing profitability and operational efficiency.