iPad Restaurant POS systems: The Top 3 Benefits For Your Restaurant
The restaurant industry has changed pretty dramatically over the past few decades. Restaurants are increasingly letting go of the pen, paper and cash register in favor of iPad Restaurant POS systems.
The adoption of cloud-based POS systems is partly due to a shift in the way consumers exchange currency for goods and services. According to Business Insider, 75 percent of transactions will be cashless by 2025. With customers using physical money less and opting to conveniently tap their phones or swipe their cards instead, restaurants needed to adapt and meet their customer’s expectations.
While some early adopters swear by the convenience and efficiency the technology provides them, others are a little more skeptical. Let’s dive into the three major benefits of an iPad Restaurant POS system including better communication with guests, waitstaff, and kitchen staff, easier floor management, along with key features that you should look for when adopting the technology.
Improve communication between your waitstaff and the kitchen
The worst thing your waitstaff can hear from a customer is “this isn’t what I ordered”. The root cause of that unfortunately common scenario is miscommunication.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
Your waitstaff jots down a customer’s order with a pen and paper, then runs that order to the pass and tells the line cooks which dish to prepare and in what order. If your cook’s want to verify an order, they need to read a written note that might be messy or worse, incorrect.
If that situation sounds familiar, your kitchen workflow is prone to human errors that ultimately have a negative effect on your customer’s dining experience.
One of the major benefits of an iPad Restaurant POS system is that it keeps your waitstaff and kitchen staff in sync, and removes the possibility of misreading an order. Let’s revisit the scenario above, but with an iPad Restaurant POS rather than a pen and paper.
Here’s the solution
Rather than jot down a customer’s order with a pen and paper, your waitstaff selects the right order from a color-coded, easy-to-understand menu list and verifies the order with the customer. Instead of running that order to the kitchen, your waiter just needs to press a button to send the order to the appropriate kitchen workstation.
Once your waiter sends the order to the kitchen, your kitchen staff gets a notification on their iPad Kitchen Display System. They don’t need to squint or ask for clarification, each order is clearly listed and even color-coded to help them keep track of their workflow.
Grey: new orders
Orange: the order is being cooked
Green: the order is ready
Additionally, if a guest changes their order, the waitstaff can input the order change and your kitchen staff gets notified in real-time, avoiding unnecessary food prep and a potentially awkward interaction.
When a customer’s order is ready, the waitstaff assigned to that table is notified in real-time. No more running back-and-forth between the kitchen to check in, more time spent being hospitable and establishing a connection with guests.
The result of implementing an iPad Restaurant POS at your restaurant is a quick, accurate, and streamlined order workflow that benefits your waitstaff, kitchen staff and guests. Communication is key to a great dining experience.
Keep tabs on your tables
An iPad Restaurant POS also typically comes equipped with user-friendly floor management tools that help your staff discretely keep track of what stage of the meal cycle each table they’re serving is at while scaling the volume of tables they serve per service.
An adjustable floor plan enables your waitstaff to routinely check in on how their guests are doing without seeming like they’re hovering. Color-coded table status’ will notify them if a table is free, occupied, or ready for their bill. When the time comes to wrap up a guest’s meal, your waitstaff can use their iPad Restaurant POS to split, finalize and print each customer’s bill, even working if your WiFi goes down.
When your waitstaff is equipped with that information in the palm of their hand, they can turn tables at a much quicker rate, without coming off as pushy or rushing your guests. Additionally, your customers don’t need to suffer that waiter — You know, the one who comes back to the table every 10 minutes and interrupts your conversation to ask “how is everything here?”.
Get a better understanding of which dishes are popular and which aren’t
While you might have a gut feeling of which menu items are your best-sellers, you might be wrong. An iPad Restaurant POS helps you turn your sales data into action.
Forget running your sales and inventory reports in spreadsheets. They’re time-consuming, prone to errors, and can get increasingly complicated as you keep adding information to them. iPad Restaurant POS systems come equipped with robust sales, inventory, and employee performance reporting capabilities.
Want to see how many tables each of your waiters serve per shift or the average value of each table they serve? An iPad Restaurant POS can do that.
Want to see which menu items have the highest profit margins, or which are your actual best-sellers? Just click a button to run a daily, monthly, or annual sales report and get informed.
An iPad Restaurant POS’ reports enable you to make decisions based on facts, not instincts. The result is that you maximize each of your dishes’ profit margins, invest only in inventory you know will sell, and plan employee work schedules that maximize both your table turnover rate and sales per table.
What key features should your iPad Restaurant POS include?
The benefits of an iPad Restaurant POS are numerous, but it’s important to also know which features to look for when you’re shopping around for the perfect fit. If you’re in the market, be sure to look for these features:
Mobile, cloud-based: when your Restaurant POS is cloud-based, you can run your business from a tablet (like an iPad), and access your reporting features from your smartphone.
Tableside ordering: this feature goes hand-in-hand with your Restaurant POS being mobile and cloud-based. You want to enable your servers to take orders, keep track of tables and process payments all with guests at their table.
Modifiers: whether it’s allergies, food restrictions or simply what they prefer, you want to be able to let your kitchen staff know to remove certain ingredients from an order.
User-friendly: look for a Restaurant POS that has an intuitive, easy-to-understand interface. When things are well-organized, color-coded, and customizable, you can train new staff faster and increase everyone’s productivity.
Regular updates: any POS worth its salt is regularly updated with new usability improvements, features and security updates. No product is perfect, but if you know the company’s developers are constantly trying to improve their product, you know you’re in good hands long-term and won’t need to switch down the line.
Multi-location support: even if you aren’t thinking about expanding to multiple locations in the short-term, consider your future aspirations — you want a Restaurant POS that supports your business as it grows, not stunts it.
Real-time reporting: whether you want to check out your sales, employee productivity and inventory at the end of each shift, week, month, or year (we personally recommend doing all three) you want to your Restaurant POS to have great reporting capabilities that let you get as granular or high-level as you want.
Offline mode: your Restaurant’s internet connection can be its best friend or worst enemy. Look for a Restaurant POS that lets you send orders to the kitchen and process payments even when your internet is down. Once you’re back online, all your data gets synchronized.
The bottom line
Restaurant owners, managers, servers, kitchen staff, and customers all benefit from an iPad Restaurant POS, and the good news is that this technology has never been more powerful or accessible.
The right Restaurant POS will improve communication between your waitstaff and the kitchen, accelerate workflows and service, and give you real-time insights that help you make smarter decisions — all while modernizing your customers’ dining experience.
Whether you’re thinking of opening a restaurant, or you’re a seasoned pro looking to make a change, make sure that your Restaurant POS is the right fit and assure that it’ll offer you the same benefits as the ones listed in this article. Plus, look for a Restaurant POS that will integrate with your reservation system, so you can track spend and customer order history in real time, tying detailed POS information into guest profiles. Remember, you want a system that fits into your long-term aspirations and helps you grow your business — not stunt it.