Guest Column | July 2, 2014

Top 8 Benefits Of Mobility For Hospitality

Andre Nataf, Senior Business Development Manager, Digital Dining

By Andre Nataf, Senior Business Development Manager, Digital Dining

Mobility improves efficiencies of all tasks in all verticals — look at police cars all equipped with laptops nowadays and utility workers and package delivery services equipped with mobile PDA devices. But nowhere is it more useful than in restaurants. That is because restaurants have been using touchscreen terminals to ring up orders and service customers for decades, and with mobility you are basically making that powerful, seasoned terminal portable. Portable to the client, to the drive-thru line, to the table, and anywhere you need to place an order or service the client. As a result restaurants can organically, drastically minimize natural inefficiencies that exist in every restaurant.

Looking at a micro view of those inefficiencies I have put together a list of the top eight benefits of outfitting a restaurant with mobile tablets or PDAs in place of conventional terminals:

  1. The system behaves as powerfully and reliably on a tablet as on a terminal, virtually giving the restaurant mobile terminals. This means they can do whatever they could before, in any place in their restaurant, without being tethered to spot. This reduces the travel time of a server, increases the table turn, and decreases wait time in line. 
  2. It enables suggestive ordering — now that servers are always present with their customers when they take an order they can have the system remind them if you are missing any high profit item in the order.
  3. The kitchen is paced because now orders are placed real time, immediately after the order is taken.  
  4. It enables quicker service times, since the servers are not running to terminals every time they have an order to place. They literally can eliminate 5 to 10 minutes over the course of a meal.
  5. Using a device’s camera and photo gallery, servers can show “today's specials” at the table or take and email special event — anniversary, birthday etc. — pictures at the table.
  6. Merged with other apps like wine, beer or farm-to-fork apps, it can help pair menu items or even show educational videos.
  7. Payments and loyalty can be done right on the mobile device eliminating the need for a server to take the credit card out of the customer’s site.
  8. Mobile printing can reduce even more time by allowing the server to print at the customers’ side as opposed to running to a printer.

These features of mobility in hospitality make restaurants more money — and give VARs insight into the benefits and ROI of the solutions they are selling.