Indeed, the power of the touchscreen continuous to invade the restaurant industry.
We have discussed here not too long ago how a lot of restaurant diners have been captivated by the trend, fascinated by the fact that they are gaining more control of their food and wine purchases, as well as the fun that they are having with the experience.
If truth be told, the seemingly growing popularity of tablet use in the whole hospitality industry make people wary of a technological invasion, as it’s looking to replace menus and the whole POS systems; not to mention the jobs of restaurant servers (in their superior aprons) and cashiers.
But regardless of caution and wariness, tablets are a hit and are still one of the major customer traffic drivers in many restaurants. Foodservice consulting and research firm Technomic reports that 27% of restaurant diners are interested to use tablets in full-service restaurants, while 36% of quick-serve customers are fascinated with the gadgets.
“The primary function of tablets in restaurants is its role as a menu,” said Erik Thoresen, Technomic’s director for consulting and research. “Its ordering functionality is also very lucrative, although a bit more complex.”
iPads are continuously being tested at more restaurants across the country, expediting orders for their guests. McAllister’s Deli, a Mississippi-based fast casual chain with 300 locations, claims to have been benefitting a lot with the use of the tablet, having it built and customized according to its needs.
Some restaurateurs also get hold of less-expensive iPad-based solutions that they can download and use on their own tablets.
Alex Barrotti, CEO of iPad solutions supplier Touchbistro, Inc., attests to the cost-effectiveness of the solution, saying, “because our company’s solutions are already on the iPad platform, we turn out a lot more inexpensive than the mainstream tablet ordering systems.”
The only thing is that customers are still cautious in paying for their meals using tablets, as they still prefer to pay directly to the restaurants’ servers in quality aprons. Technomic’s Thoresen says that there’s only a good 20% of FSR (full-service restaurant) customers who opt to pay for their meals using tablets.
“This means that today’s market is indeed driven by customer adoption, and not restaurateur adoption,” he said. “Tablets also offer a lot of opportunities for customer engagement by means of its entertainment functionality. The ability of tablets to entertain guests through its games, entertainment for children, and information about the restaurant’s social media accounts make it compete head-on with today’s other interactive technologies.”
For restaurants who are contemplating on this move, check out other options in our articles Tablet Ordering Systems Out In The Market, iPads In Restaurants and Restaurant Solutions Outpacing Each Other.