Improving Turnover Rates with Implementation of Rugged Tablets

Similar to any service-based industry, restaurants are ever-changing and constantly adjusting to current trends and new innovations in the marketplace. What distinguishes restaurants from other industries, however, is how quickly they can implement new trends in their business as well as how strategic, sometimes small changes have a significant positive impact on the growth of the business. Following the successful execution of a new trend or change, a restaurant can easily go from unknown to the next must-try spot practically overnight.

However, not all trends and changes restaurants implement are aesthetic-based or can be easily seen on the surface such as the physical design of the restaurant or the menu. Some of the most impactful trends restaurants decide to follow lie within the technology that they use within their daily operations. 

In this fast-paced digital age, it is no surprise that 2019 has become the year where restaurants have begun to slowly convert their operations, specifically at-table ordering, to be conducted digitally on hand-held tablets. 

This tablet trend has only continued to grow in popularity and wide-spread use as the year progresses due to the fact that it has proven to be the most efficient piece of technology on the market that doubles as a positive catalyst for both economic growth and consumer satisfaction. 

Along with high customer satisfaction, restaurants priorities, especially in regards to the tech that is used and the systems that are in place, are to save time and maximize profits. Durable tablets are a fast-catching trend because they save time and maximize profits in multiple ways. This alone is reason enough for the growing interest in durable tablets, but it definitely isnt the only one. 

Five Reasons Durable Tablets are the Tech Trend for Restaurants

#1. Faster Service Time and Increased Customer Satisfaction 

The employment of durable tablets simplifies the ordering process from table to kitchen. An order placed on a tablet at the table and is sent directly to the kitchen with no lag time in between. This means there is less work for the server to do, as well as the order sent in real-time to the kitchen so the kitchen can start processing the order immediately. Ultimately, this improved process provides the customer with food faster than when a server takes the order and enters it at a stationary machine. Having a tablet for at-table ordering allows the server to access the daily specials accurately and also reduces human error with multiple requests and reduces delays for getting orders to the kitchen. 

With a rugged tablet for restaurants, there are also fewer mistakes made in the order itself. Often, customers want to customize their order due to food allergies or preferences, and the easy digital input eliminates the risk of something being forgotten or translated incorrectly on the paper order slip. Another aspect that helps quicker service time is the ability for the platers to send a ready message to the servers tablet so they are instantly notified when the food is ready to serve. Lastly, when a customer is ready to pay and leave, they can process payment at the table for a faster checkout process and feel secure knowing their payment card is not leaving their sight. Each tablet is equipped with a barcode scanner that makes it easy for restaurants to implement the use of loyalty cards for returning customers, which can easily be swiped by the customer at the table for tracking purposes of the utilization of their loyalty cards.  All of this combined creates a quick service time that keeps customers happy and allows for increased table turnover to allow for more people to be served, increasing the profits of the restaurant. 

#2. Efficient Inventory Management

Ensuring the restaurant is fully equipped with the items on the menu is of utmost importance to customer satisfaction. A restaurant must consistently ensure they keep all food items in stock, not running out of food but also not ordering food too early to prevent food spoilage. Implementing durable tablets for restaurants improves inventory management because as food is ordered by customers, the rugged tablet can automatically track the inventory of food and drink items reporting when an item is running low. This reduces the amount of time team members need to take inventory of items at the end of their shift, allowing them to close earlier. Management can log in daily or as often as they need to pull a report on all of the inventory in the restaurant, ensuring that the ordering of needed items happens in a timely manner and as needed according to the inventory in stock or items running low.  

#3. Tracking Food Temperatures

Keeping food at the right temperature is an important aspect of running an efficient restaurant business. Different kinds of food need to be stored at varying temperatures, for example, meat or chicken needs to be stored at a temperature that is different than a vegetable or side item.  Tracking the temperature of which food is stored in a timely process because it requires a person to manually check on the food and log the temperatures at specific times. Implementing rugged tablets for restaurants into the daily process of tracking food temperatures, reduces the need for a person to manually check the temperatures of the food. With the use of a rugged tablet and a connected USB thermometer, the tablet automatically logs the temperature and stores it in a file for the future, instead of a team member constantly having to write it down. This ensures the temperatures are optimal, the food is safe from bacteria, and a record of the temperatures are logged so a manager or team member can look at the log to ensure there are no issues with the food. 

#4. Reduced Labor Costs

One of the largest expenses required for running a restaurant is labor. One way restaurants can save money is to find ways they can reduce the number of laborers required to work in the business, while simultaneously maximizing the work that can be completed in any given shift without overextending their team. The incorporation of a rugged tablet into the business helps achieve the goal of saving money on labor. With a durable tablet in-hand, servers can comfortably assist more tables than before because there is less running back and forth to the kitchen than usually required. With the ease of ordering drinks and food directly while at the table, a server has more time to focus on customer service rather than keeping track of food and the customer simultaneously.  Tablets can reduce staff 2 to 1 for 10 tables which is a pretty significant margin of cost. 

#5.  24/7 Operation

Durable tablets are equipped with hot-swappable batteries that reduce downtime needed to charge tablets or switch machines. During busy times, like the lunch and dinner rush, if a tablet battery is running low, a team member can simply go to the battery dock, grab a fully charged battery and swap it out and the tablet will not lose power. Quickly returning the low battery to the port to charge, means no downtime or missed orders. Hot-swappable means that the batteries can be swapped in real-time without the tablet turning off or going down during the process of the switch. This is especially important for team processing orders during busy lunchtimes. Restaurants can purchase additional batteries and the four-bay charging cradle which charges up to four batteries at the same time. 

The benefits of implementing durable tablets for restaurants include the efficient use of time and the maximization of profits, they all also work towards increasing customer satisfaction — which is the ultimate goal for a restaurant. Durable tablets are the perfect fit for restaurants to create a smoother process flow of daily operations and to increase profits while enhancing the customer experience and creating happier customers. The reduction in time it takes for servers to take orders, run food and keep track of customer demands gives servers an opportunity to spend more time connecting with the clientele to improve the overall satisfaction and experience of the customer.