Self-service options are taking a firm hold in businesses all over the country. In many ways, they are expected by some customers. One type of business that has been a little slow to embrace this technology is the restaurant. With a lot of importance placed on customer interaction, some restaurant owners have been hesitant to switch to a less-personal mode of service. However, restaurant tablets can offer great benefits when placed and used strategically. This can be especially true when the target customers belong to the Gen X, Gen Y, and Millennials groups.
Why Tablets Work Better Than Apps
It seems that just about every restaurant has an app available. Some of these work well and attract customers, but many apps have been thrown together haphazardly. Without real consistency in the way the apps work and the quality of the programming, customers can be hesitant to embrace the technology. If customers tend to frequent a large number of eating establishments, they’ll have to keep track of an app for each of those restaurants. By switching to tablets, restaurants free customers from storing apps. With smartphone space at a premium, this can be an important attraction.
The Advantages of Restaurant Tablets
How are restaurants using technology to deliver better customer service? These include improved order accuracy, security for credit card purchases, a convenient source of nutrition information, and increased speed of service. Other benefits include additional ordering stations during peak hours, entertainment for customers who are waiting, alternative income streams from other restaurant services, and order information that travels directly to the kitchen. These are the benefits that come with those tablets located within the restaurant. When it comes to tablets situated outside of the restaurant there are additional benefits. Convenient access to a tablet located in public areas outside of the restaurant can increase the number of customers frequenting the establishment, for example.
Are there drawbacks to the tablet system? When the tablet is installed, the technology requires additional expense and a certain amount of time. Vandalism could be a factor to be considered, as well as supervision and maintenance efforts. Of course, there could be those customers who get frustrated when the tablet doesn’t work properly or when the customer doesn’t understand how to operate the programming. As tablets become increasingly popular, it’s important for restaurant owners to find ways to compensate for the disadvantages.
Multiple Solutions for a Variety of Situations
There are a number of options available. For example, some restaurants have moved to staffed tablets. These might be used to ease customers into the new technology. They represent a compromise: advanced technology without losing the personal touch. Another option that addresses the need for increased convenience while still providing access to a cheerful face is the table side tablet. Of course, there are those options that are fully self-service. These come complete with touchscreens and independent access. These models are used to speed up the ordering process before customers even reach their seats.
Now Is the Time to Add a Tablet
The best time to install tablet technology is when a restaurant is young. At this point, it would be easier to include the technology in the business plan. Planning ahead for better service, increased numbers of customers, and guests who spend more money can be satisfying for new restaurant owners. However, established restaurants can enjoy these benefits as well. With a bit of new construction and extra maintenance, the restaurant tablet could become a very positive addition.