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The Ultimate Guide to Tableside Ordering at Restaurants

Published Mar 27, 2023 Restaurant
The Ultimate Guide to Tableside Ordering at Restaurants
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“Quick summary” The restaurant industry has been completely transformed by technology over the past ten years, significantly altering many of the fundamental functions of the industry.

Tableside ordering is quickly becoming a popular trend in the restaurant industry, as it provides a more efficient and seamless dining experience for customers while also increasing the productivity and accuracy of restaurant staff.

This technology is also helpful for restaurants, as it can help them reduce wait times, streamline their ordering and payment systems, and ultimately increase their revenue.

Therefore, properly leverage this innovative tableside ordering for your company to increase client engagement and enhance the guest experience.

With all these benefits, it's simple to understand why purchasing a tableside ordering system is among the best methods for restaurants to boost productivity and their bottom line.

Let's dig down to more about it!

What is tableside ordering?

Tableside Ordering System

Any ordering and payment system enabling customers to peruse the menu, order food and drinks, and settle their bills while working with a server or their phone without any or limited staff interaction is called tableside ordering.

You've probably encountered tableside service if you've ever eaten at a restaurant where the staff member taking your order has a tablet for restaurant ordering in hand or if you've ordered food directly on your phone.

Portable POS and QR code ordering systems are used as restaurant tableside ordering systems.

They are an essential component in today's restaurants, where customers prefer a different and sophisticated approach. This model has been developed to meet the new requirements of restaurants and customers, enhancing the customer experience and increase revenue for restaurants.

Benefits of tableside ordering system for restaurants

Benefits of tableside ordering system for restaurants

1. Improved order accuracy

Even restaurants with Michelin stars frequently mix up orders. With tableside ordering, restaurants can expedite service while guaranteeing every transaction's accuracy. Real-time order placement on a tablet or smartphone device lowers the possibility of errors, contributing to a larger extent to enhancing the customer experience.

To enable wireless order placement and reduce errors, servers can use QR-code tableside ordering services. Tableside ordering at the restaurant allows servers to make sure that customers are actively participating, lowering the likelihood that they will place the wrong order altogether.

After a customer has successfully placed an order, it is immediately sent to the restaurant as part of the tableside ordering system. It helps restaurants minimize waste, leading to maximum utilization of resources and better revenues.

2. Faster order processing

Customers highly prefer tableside ordering because they do not have to wait for their orders and will get faster checkout procedures with contactless payment choices.

Customers, for instance, can check out the restaurant's menu when they settle down and fill in their food and beverage orders without interacting with the staff, thanks to tableside ordering via QR codes or kiosks.

Orders are delivered to the restaurant immediately in both situations, which speeds up table turns and can save a lot of time overall.

The benefit of tableside ordering for restaurant owners is that it enables servers to be more efficient and handle more tables, resulting in higher revenue and tips for the restaurant business.

3. Enhanced customer experience

The table ordering system for restaurants significantly enhances 1) order accuracy by removing server errors when taking orders and 2) speed and efficiency in payments and in placing and delivering orders.

Both of which increase customer satisfaction.

Customers always desire greater influence over the dining experience and will get it easily through table ordering technology for restaurants. And satisfied guests lead to increased customer loyalty along with more referrals from word-of-mouth and social media.

The learning curve with a table ordering system for a restaurant should be reasonably simple, whereas introducing new technology to a restaurant requires some getting used to. Whereas, with the tableside technology, this is different because customers are already accustomed to using iPads and cell phones.

This user-friendliness also adds to a better customer experience for your customers.

4. Upselling opportunities

Restaurants have an excellent chance to upsell products and increase the average quantity of orders through tableside food ordering and payment.

For restaurants, tableside ordering can result in outstanding upselling possibilities.

Using a mobile device or tablet menu ordering system to take orders at the table gives servers a chance to offer customers personalized suggestions and recommend extra items that go well with their orders.

When using tableside ordering at a restaurant, servers can recommend upgrades or add-ons that go well with a customer's purchase. For instance, they could recommend a dessert, a side dish, or a particular drink that goes well with their dinner.

Serves can make tailored suggestions according to a customer's choices, dietary restrictions, and prior orders. It can contribute to more sales and higher customer satisfaction.

5. Labor cost reduction

Tableside ordering technology can help reduce labor costs in several ways. By automating the ordering process, restaurants can reduce the need for servers to take orders manually and free up their time to focus on other tasks. It can help reduce the number of servers needed to staff a restaurant, which can reduce labor costs.

This technology also comes in handy during peak hours. At that time, restaurants may need to hire additional staff to handle the influx of customers. Still, with table ordering technology, you can reduce the need for additional staff during peak hours.

By automating the ordering process, tableside ordering technology can help reduce the workload, which will also reduce the need for additional staff during peak hours.

While the initial investment in tableside ordering technology may be significant, the long-term investment will be worth it for your restaurant.

Choosing the right tableside ordering system

Choosing the right tableside ordering system

1. Wireless connectivity

Wireless connectivity can be very important for tableside ordering in restaurant settings. With wireless connectivity, restaurant staff can use mobile devices such as tablets for restaurant ordering or smartphones to take orders directly from the table, eliminating the need for traditional paper menus. It minimizes the chances of errors or miscommunication and wastage.

Wireless connectivity also allows real-time communication between the table and the kitchen or bar, ensuring that orders are transmitted quickly and accurately.

This platform enables restaurant staff to access information such as menu items, pricing, and availability in real-time, which can help to improve efficiency and customer satisfaction.

On top of everything, wireless connectivity can be a valuable tool for restaurants looking to streamline their ordering process, enhance customer service, and improve the overall dining experience for their guests.

2. Customizable menus

Tableside ordering technology should include customizable menus. Customizable menus as part of the tableside ordering system can make the ordering process more efficient and convenient for customers and restaurant staff.

With the Table side ordering platform's customizable menus, customers can easily select the items they want and make modifications to suit their preferences. It can reduce errors and delays in the ordering process.

Customizable menus can also be helpful for restaurant staff, as they can provide a clear and detailed record of each customer's order to help ensure that orders are prepared correctly and efficiently. In addition, customizable menus can help restaurants accommodate a wider range of dietary needs, such as vegetarian or gluten-free options.

Through this, restaurants can attract more customers and improve their overall dining experience.

3. Integration with POS systems

Integrating POS systems with Tableside ordering is another must-have feature for your restaurant business. It can help streamline operations by automatically transferring orders to the kitchen and processing payments in real-time while reducing errors, speeding up service, and improving overall efficiency.

Integration with POS systems can even help manage inventory levels by tracking sales in real-time, allowing staff to adjust inventory levels accordingly and avoid stock-outs or overstocking.

Through the integration, you can easily collect valuable data on sales, customer behavior, and inventory levels, which can be used to improve the menu, pricing, and overall customer experience.

POS system and tableside integration keep the financials, inventory, and orders together, ultimately leading to better business management for your restaurant, reduced costs, eliminated the need for manual entry or handwritten tickets, and improved inventory management.

4. User-friendly interface

An intuitive and easy-to-use interface can help ensure that customers can navigate the menu, make their selections, and complete their orders with minimal effort and frustration.

A user-friendly interface in the table-ordering technology can help streamline the ordering process, making it faster and more accurate, leading to improved efficiency in the restaurant, and allowing staff to serve more customers in less time. It can provide customers with a more seamless and enjoyable ordering experience, leading to higher satisfaction and repeat business.

It helps users in collecting valuable data on customer behavior and preferences, which can be used to improve the menu and pricing. Customers can easily browse the technology and place orders without any need from the staff, which results in a better customer experience.

5. Compatibility with mobile devices

Compatibility with mobile devices in tableside ordering technology can be very helpful for a restaurant in several ways. Mobile devices are portable and accessible, which means that customers can place orders from anywhere in the restaurant, including at their table, the bar, or even outside.

Compatibility with mobile devices in tableside ordering technology offers more flexibility in terms of the ordering process, allowing customers to customize their orders, view images of menu items, and even pay their bills from their devices.

With the integration, customers can use their own mobile devices to place orders, which is more convenient than waiting for a server to take their order leading to faster service and higher customer satisfaction.

It can help improve restaurant efficiency, enhance the customer experience, increase sales, and collect valuable data while also saving costs.

Implementation process

1. Choosing a reliable tableside ordering system vendor

Choosing a reliable tableside ordering system vendor is a crucial first step in the implementation process. A reliable vendor will provide a high-quality, user-friendly, and efficient system that meets your needs and requirements.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a tableside ordering system vendor:

(A) Features and functionality

Look for a vendor that offers a comprehensive range of features and functionality that meet your specific requirements. It may include features such as menu customization, order management, payment processing, and real-time reporting.

(B) Reliability

The vendor should have a proven track record of providing reliable, stable, and secure systems that can handle high-volume orders without crashing or slowing down.

(C) Support

The vendor should offer robust customer services, with a responsive and knowledgeable support staff accessible to help you solve any problems that may arise.

(D) Cost

The cost of the system should be reasonable and fit within your budget, with transparent pricing and no hidden fees.

2. Installing and setting up the system

Installing and setting up a tableside ordering at a restaurant can vary depending on the specific system and requirements of the restaurant. It requires careful planning, selection, and configuration to meet the restaurant's needs and provide customers with a seamless and efficient ordering experience.

Check out the detailed guide to get started:

(A) Evaluate the needs and requirements

The first step is to evaluate the needs and requirements of the restaurant, such as the number of tables, the menu items, and the types of payment methods that will be accepted to determine the appropriate system and setup.

(B) Select a tableside ordering system

Many different tableside ordering are available on the market, so it's important to research and select a system that best meets the restaurant's needs. Some factors to consider include the features, cost, compatibility with existing systems, and customer support.

(C) Install the hardware and software

Once the system is selected, the hardware and software will need to be installed. It may include tablet menu ordering systems or other mobile devices, charging stations, software applications, and necessary cables or accessories.

(D) Configure the system

The next step is to configure the system to meet the specific needs of the restaurant, which includes setting up menu items, prices, taxes, and payment methods.

3. Training employees to use the system

Training employees is a crucial part of the implementation of tableside ordering systems in restaurants. With the introduction of new technology, employees may be hesitant to embrace the change or may not know how to use the new system effectively.

Proper training can help employees feel more comfortable with the technology and reduce the risk of user error. It can also improve the restaurant's efficiency, allowing staff to take orders more quickly and accurately and reducing potential mistakes.

In addition, properly trained staff can provide better customer service, as they can answer questions and provide recommendations using the technology.

Overall, training employees is an essential step in implementing tableside ordering at restaurants, and restaurant owners should allocate sufficient time and resources to ensure that staff members are adequately trained.

4. Promoting the new system to customers

Promoting tableside ordering technology to your customers in a restaurant can help increase the adoption of the technology and improve efficiency and accuracy in your operations.

Here are some rewarding ways to promote a tableside ordering system:

(A) In-restaurant signage

Display posters and table tents with information about the tableside ordering technology in your restaurant, encouraging customers to use it.

(B) Social media

Promote the availability of tableside ordering technology on your restaurant's social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(C) Email marketing

Send out email newsletters to your customers, informing them about the benefits of tableside ordering for restaurants and any incentives or promotions you are offering.

(D) Offer incentives

Provide discounts, free items, or other incentives to customers who use the tableside ordering technology. It can help encourage customers to try the technology and increase adoption.

5. Monitoring and maintenance

The last step in the implementation process is properly monitoring and maintaining your tableside technology in your restaurant to ensure it functions properly and provides a positive experience for customers and staff.

Here are some steps to consider for monitoring and maintaining tableside ordering technology in a restaurant:

  • Regular inspections of the technology can help identify any issues or malfunctions before they become a bigger problem.
  • Establishing protocols for how to handle malfunctioning devices can help minimize downtime and ensure quick resolutions to issues.
  • Make sure to regularly check for updates and schedule updates during off-peak hours to minimize disruptions.
  • It is important to have a plan in place for providing support when a customer encounters an issue with the technology.

Challenges and solutions

1. Technical issues

Tableside ordering has become an increasingly popular trend in the restaurant industry. However, technical challenges can arise, which can affect the smooth operation of tableside ordering. These challenges include connectivity issues, hardware malfunctions, software compatibility, and security concerns.

To address these challenges, choosing a reliable vendor that provides regular maintenance and upgrades to their hardware and software is crucial. It can help prevent and resolve technical issues like weak or unstable network connectivity or device malfunctions.

Additionally, regular network testing and troubleshooting can help to identify and resolve connectivity issues before they impact the customer experience.

By addressing these technical challenges proactively, restaurant owners and managers can ensure that their tableside ordering system operates smoothly and efficiently, providing customers with a seamless and enjoyable dining experience.

2. Customer resistance

The use of tableside ordering technology in restaurants can improve efficiency and enhance the dining experience for some customers, and others may be resistant to using it. Customers may not be familiar with the technology or may not feel comfortable using it.

Another challenge is that some customers may be concerned about the privacy and security of their personal information when using tableside ordering technology.

Solving this challenge of customer resistance requires a delicate balance between embracing new technology to improve efficiency and the customer experience.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Make sure that the tableside ordering technology is easy to use and that customers understand how to use it.
  • Highlight the restaurant's benefits of tableside ordering technology, such as faster service and more accurate orders.
  • If customers have concerns about using the technology, address them promptly and honestly.

3. Staff training

Staff training is among the biggest challenges when dealing with tableside ordering in your restaurant. The last thing you want is to have full-fledged technology in place, but your staff doesn't know how to use it.

This lack of staff training will also result in a bad customer experience, tarnishing brand reputation and losing sales.

So, here are some ways to solve this challenge:

(A) Provide comprehensive training materials

Staff training materials should be developed to provide comprehensive instructions on how to use the tableside ordering technology. These materials should include written instructions, videos, and hands-on training sessions that allow staff to practice using the system in a controlled environment.

(B) Offer ongoing support

Staff may encounter issues or have questions when using the tableside ordering technology in a live environment. It's essential to provide ongoing support to help staff overcome any issues they may encounter. This support can be provided in the form of a helpdesk, live chat, or onsite support staff.

(C) Encourage feedback

Finally, it's essential to encourage staff to provide feedback on their experience with the tableside ordering technology. This feedback can be used to identify areas that need improvement and refine the training materials and support provided.

4. Maintenance and upkeep

Maintenance and upkeep of tableside ordering technology can be a significant challenge for restaurants. Neglecting constant maintenance and support can result in equipment failure, decreased efficiency, and reduced customer satisfaction.

These challenges can be time-consuming and expensive, and failure to maintain the technology can lead to lost revenue and decreased profitability.

Here are some things you can do to maintain tableside ordering technology:

(A) Regular cleaning

Tableside ordering technology can accumulate dirt, dust, and food debris over time. So, restaurant staff should follow the manufacturer's guidelines to clean and maintain the tableside ordering technology.

(B) Software updates

Regular software updates are essential to maintain the functionality of the tableside ordering technology. Restaurant owners should schedule regular updates to ensure the technology runs on the latest software version.

(C) Scheduled maintenance

Restaurant owners should schedule regular maintenance checks for the tableside ordering technology. By conducting scheduled maintenance, restaurant owners can identify any issues before they become major problems.

(D) Technical support

Restaurant owners should have access to technical support for the tableside ordering technology, including phone support, email support, or onsite support.

5. Cybersecurity

Restaurants are concerned about the increase in credit card theft and how it will affect them. Credit card fraud has long affected the restaurant business, which is becoming more prevalent as technological solutions advance.

Restaurants give back the credit card to the diner after the payment. Despite appearing proficient and effective, it eventually results in credit card fraud.

Restaurants and diners can eliminate possible fraud with a tableside ordering system. And the reason for this is that the customer's credit card is kept in their possession and out of sight, eliminating any possibility of deception.

Ahead of the curve, modern restaurant owners ensure their tableside ordering POS system complies with the most recent PCI security standards. When a customer initiates a payment through tableside ordering, it provides additional protection and protects any information from being disclosed to outside parties.

Tableside ordering best practices

1. Establishing a seamless communication system

With the aid of tableside ordering technology, you can establish a solid connection between the server and customers that can instantly inform them about special offers, prices, and sold-out products.

Instead of depending on servers or scrawled chalkboards to communicate information from the kitchen, restaurants are switching to digital menus, typically linked by a server, QR code, or strong app, which update instantly across touchpoints. Even your digital menu can be altered to represent the choices at a particular chain restaurant.

It's similar to having a direct connection between your website shop and inventory, and it makes sure that diners aren't promised things that the kitchen is unable to provide.

Restaurants can easily promote particular menu products via table ordering apps and digital displays. So, tableside ordering at the restaurant is effective and efficient and aids in enhancing communication and interaction between management, employees, and clients.

2. Encouraging server-customer interaction

During tableside ordering technology, you can improve efficiency and accuracy. And it's essential to maintain a balance between technology and personal interaction.

  • One way to encourage server-customer interaction is by having servers introduce themselves and engage with customers. It can help create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere while personalizing their service to make customers feel valued and appreciated.
  • You can even opt for servers explaining the tableside ordering at the restaurant with any questions or concerns they may have. It can make customers feel more comfortable with the technology and reduce the risk of errors or misunderstandings.
  • Encouraging server-customer interaction can also involve having servers make menu recommendations based on the customer's preferences or dietary restrictions.
  • Finally, encouraging server-customer interaction can involve following up with customers after their meal to ensure that they had a positive experience to show them we care about them and their overall experience.

3. Managing customer expectations

When implementing tableside ordering at a restaurant, it's important to manage customer expectations to ensure they have a positive experience and don't feel frustrated or confused by the technology.

Here are some tips for managing customer expectations:

(A) Provide clear instructions

Make sure to provide clear instructions on how to use the technology, including any specific steps customers need to take to place their order. Consider including visual aids such as diagrams or videos to help customers understand how to use the technology.

(B) Offer alternatives

Not all customers may be comfortable using technology, so offering alternative ordering methods is important, such as traditional paper menus or ordering with a server, is important. It can help ensure all customers feel comfortable and have a positive experience.

(C) Provide customer support

Make sure to have a plan in place for providing customer support if they encounter any issues with the technology. It can include having a staff member available to assist with orders or providing a phone number or email address for customers to contact for support.

4. Providing backup options for system failure

Having a backup in case anything goes wrong is always a good idea to go with. Having something you can rely on when the table side ordering doesn't work or your customer doesn't know how to use it, customers would know that you care about them while even going smoothly with your restaurant operations.

Here are some backup ways you can try!

(A) Traditional paper menus

Having traditional paper menus available can provide customers with an alternative ordering method in case the technology fails.

(B) Servers taking orders

In case of technology failure, servers can take orders manually, just as they would before the introduction of the technology.

(C) Portable devices

Some tableside ordering systems come with portable devices that can be used in case the primary system fails. These devices typically have the same functionality as the main system and can be used to take orders and process payments.

5. Incorporating feedback and making improvements

Incorporating feedback and making improvements is a crucial practice to ensure that tableside ordering technology is effective and meets the needs of customers and staff. You can deliver a better customer experience with feedback while making a competitive edge.

Here are some of the effective ways to collect feedback and incorporate them:

(A) Conduct surveys

Surveys are an excellent way to gather feedback from customers and staff to know about the user-friendliness of the technology, the speed of service, and the accuracy of orders.

(B) Analyze data

By analyzing data from the tableside ordering technology, you can identify areas where improvements can be made. For example, you can track the time it takes to process orders, the number of errors, and the number of complaints for further improvements.

(C) Solicit feedback from staff

Staff members are the ones who use the tableside ordering technology on a daily basis. By soliciting feedback from staff, you can identify areas where the technology can be improved.

(D) Collaborate with the provider

Work closely with the provider of the tableside ordering technology to identify new features or updates that can improve the technology.


The internet landscape for restaurants is continuously changing. While many brands have effectively embraced tableside ordering technology, others are still figuring it out.

Whether you have already implemented this technology or are planning to do so, we have put together this comprehensive guide to assist you.

Customers are also delighted by this technology and are usually more at ease using their own devices because tableside ordering technology expedites the procedure, reduces errors and miscommunication, and produces positive outcomes.

Therefore, tableside technology will be the next big thing in restaurant payment processing and customer interaction. And if you are looking to know more about it or want to incorporate tableside ordering at a restaurant, then you can reach out to us & our team will gladly assist you.