How Mobility Can Be Your Competitive Advantage

By Jackie Prange

Server dropping meals to table with iPad POS tucked in apron pocket

You and three friends are seated in a restaurant. Your waitress comes to take your drink orders. Ten minutes later, she comes back (empty handed) to ask your friend if she ordered the house red or house white. Another 30 minutes and your three orders of chicken wings arrive from the kitchen as two – the extra sauce and side of fries you ordered nowhere in sight. You and your friends are ready to bolt, but when you ask for separate checks, you’re confronted with a frustrated sigh, followed by another long wait while your server stands in line at the POS station waiting to manually split each bill.

Did you enjoy this restaurant experience? No. Do you have any desire to return? Definitely not.

Enter the mobile POS system. With the flexibility and portability that a mobile POS allows, you can guarantee your patrons will never endure an experience like the one described above. Here are four reasons a mobile POS system might just be the best investment you make this year.

Enhance Customer Experience

Ensuring customers are happy is every restaurateur’s top priority. With a mobile POS, your customers will be thrilled to know that the second their order has been taken, the kitchen has received it. By eliminating the extra step of staff running back and forth from the table to a stationary terminal to place an order, your employees have more time to spend tableside, engaging with customers.

They can also leverage the POS as a visual menu, showcasing your different offerings to guests who can’t make up their mind on which dessert to choose or who are curious to see what your selection of cocktails looks like.

Arming your staff with the ability to input orders tableside shows that you care about catering to their ever-changing needs and that you want to do everything you can to ensure their experience at your establishment goes off without a hitch. By giving your staff the tools required to deliver a seamless restaurant experience, you can expect a dramatic increase in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and positive word of mouth.

Upsell with Ease

The more time your staff are able to spend tableside, the more chances they have to upsell items to patrons. Upselling is yet another benefit of a mobile POS system, since servers can use the device to advertise high-resolution images of different plates to guests. If a customer can’t decide if they want to try the chef’s special dessert, their server can effortlessly showcase a mouthwatering photo they won’t be able to refuse.

A smart mobile POS will even go so far as to prompt servers to upsell. For example, if they’re entering an order of nachos, a modifier will appear on screen reminding them to ask the guest, “Would you like to add guac to that?”. Even while taking dessert orders, you can set your POS to have a pop-up reminding staff to ask: “A coffee as well?” These helpful reminders will make your staff superstar upsellers, while also increasing their tips thanks to the increased check sizes.  

Streamline Your Order Taking

A mobile POS can also help you streamline your business operations by increasing employee productivity, efficiency and most importantly, sales. Order taking doesn’t have to be a convoluted process. Servers can send orders directly from the mobile POS to the kitchen, without having to race to and from a stationary terminal that’s bottlenecked by other servers.

Cloud POS systems not only allow restaurant workers to use mobile tablets to streamline the ordering process, so food is delivered to customers faster, but it also makes for painless order modifications, allowing servers to accommodate custom requests on the fly. Light on the tomatoes, heavy on the dressing, and cheese please? No problem. With a POS that your servers can take tableside, these order modifications will no longer cause your staff to run for the hills.

By significantly increasing the speed and efficiency of service, staff are able to turn more tables in a shorter amount of time. One mobile-POS-loving restaurant, Crosstown Pub in Chicago, describes how they benefitted from parting ways with their stationary POS system: “We turn over 176 more tables than we previously could with a traditional POS system, which equates to at least $2,000 a night, four nights a week.”

Create a Better Checkout Experience

Checkout – the last exchange between your staff and your customer. A mobile POS can help end this interaction on a positive note by allowing your staff to conveniently take payment at the table. The days of cumbersome painful payment processing are over; your staff no longer need to make a mad dash from a stationary POS to a patron’s table to take payment. Instead, provide your patrons with the ability to make a secure payment from the comfort of their seat, without their credit card leaving their sight. This mobility is an added level of convenience for both your staff and customers. Some mobile POS systems will even allow the customer to sign on-screen and receive an emailed receipt seconds after.

What about the dreaded “Can we split this bottle of wine between the three of us, put all the apps on her bill, and the dessert between the two of us?” You bet. With a mobile POS all checks can be split easily at the table and your customers will be forever thankful for the ease of which they can settle their bills and be on their way.

With over three-quarters of restaurant owners and managers citing the benefits of mobile devices as the top reason to upgrade their POS systems…why wouldn’t you? Set yourself apart from competitors. Thanks to speedy and reliable mobile POS technology with tableside ordering ability, you can make your customers experience top-notch, your staff more efficient, and your business more profitable.

Photo of Jackie Prange
by Jackie Prange

Jackie was a Content Marketing Specialist and Social Media strategist at TouchBistro before moving into business development role. She covered the latest food, dining, and technology trends for the restaurant industry. A lover of all things coffee, Jackie’s hobbies include breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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