After the pandemic, restaurants were forced to adapt to lockdowns and restrictions, as well as adopt new technologies like contactless payment and integrations with delivery. After having to adapt to lockdowns, conditions, and wave after wave of pandemics, restaurants now face a new set of challenges.

Fortunately, the technology that helped restaurants survive the pandemic can help them thrive despite these new challenges for the industry. Tableside and contactless ordering and payment allow you to serve more customers faster and better with fewer staff.

Learn everything you need about tableside payment and ordering, as well as how to implement them in your restaurant.

What is tableside Order?

Customers order and pay at the table rather than at a central counter. This can be done by a server with a handheld device or their mobile phone. Tableside ordering can be found in sit-down restaurants from pubs and bars to fine dining, but is also becoming popular in quick service places to help manage long lines.

If you use QR codes, customers may not have to wait to be served if they order tableside. Customers can also collect their food and drink without having to get up.

What does a tableside order system do?

Tableside ordering systems are technology-driven solutions that simplify the ordering and payment processes. Tableside ordering in restaurants can be implemented in several different ways:

  • QR Code Ordering System
  • Handheld POS System
  • self-service kiosks

A tableside ordering system allows servers and guests to place orders and have them sent to the kitchen for preparation, and if the restaurateur has enabled tableside payment, settle the bill in seconds.

Restaurateurs have the option to integrate tableside payment and ordering functionality, ordering functionality, or just payments based on their workflows and preferences.

What is the tableside payment?

The process of tableside payment is to take a customer’s expense at their table. The server brings a handheld device directly to the customer’s table. This is an alternative to getting the card to a central point-of-sale (POS) and paying the bill. Tableside ordering systems include payment and ordering functionality. However, the term tableside payments can refer to a restaurant that is equipped with portable terminals.

You can improve your guest’s experience by enabling tableside payments if you already have a system for ordering at the table. You will need to use a handheld device, such as a mobile payment terminal (or portable POS), in order to implement tableside payments.

Tableside ordering systems in restaurants: The most common types

Self-service kiosks are available in certain restaurants. However, their hardware can be very expensive. This is why they are mainly used by larger food chains like Mcdonald’s. This and other factors make QR code ordering and handheld POS devices more cost-effective and popular tableside ordering systems.

QR Code Ordering Systems

Customers can scan QR codes with their mobile devices to bring up the digital menu of the restaurant. The menu can be browsed, orders placed, and payments made with just their mobile device.

With sophisticated QR code order systems such as Order Anywhere, guests can split the bill and settle it using multiple payment methods.

Handheld POS System

Equipping your servers with a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) or handheld POS system is another way to integrate tableside ordering into your restaurant operation. With a handheld POS, your servers can carry your POS and payment system around in their pockets or aprons.

Servers can now take orders and punch them in, process payments via contactless or physical cards, and send receipts by email to customers without ever leaving their tables. The charges are sent to the kitchen, where they can begin preparation.

These portable POS systems can reduce wait times for your guests, improve the accuracy of orders, and provide your staff with access to important information and your menu. This means that there is no need to spend time arguing with the kitchen over whether a certain dish contains an allergen or if it has a particular ingredient. (Hallelujah!)

By speeding up your ordering and payment processes, you can give your servers more time to spend on providing a great customer experience. This includes delivering food to tables when it is still hot, cleaning tables, returning glassware to the bar, and performing the other million tasks that keep a restaurant running smoothly.

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