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National Restaurant Association - 4 considerations for implementing tableside tech

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4 considerations for implementing tableside tech

Any time you place technology in front of a restaurant guest, you can potentially disrupt their dining experience. If you opt to implement tableside technology, think about how you can leverage it to increase customer and employee satisfaction. At the 2015 Restaurant Innovation Summit, Lisa Landsman, head of industry - restaurants at Google; Raymond Howard, cofounder of Ziosk; and Chris DeFrain, chief financial officer of Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews - Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group, discussed the perks and considerations associated with tableside tech:

  • Server availability. By allowing guests to order and/or pay at the table electronically, servers may not need to leave their sections as frequently and can hone in on providing fantastic service; on the flipside, customers aren’t left in limbo waiting for their server to annotate order add-ons and run credit cards.

    Before rolling out tableside technology at a restaurant, train employees on the functions and perks of the devices so they understand their roles. According to DeFrain, Red Robin - Lehigh Valley has experienced a more than 10 percent increase on appetizers and desserts with the devices, and, likewise, server tips can be positively affected.
  • Content control. Convincing customers to download a mobile app and maintaining a presence in their phones can be tough. “There’s so much real estate,” Howard said.

    With tableside technology, restaurant operators can select the device capabilities that may best complement the customer experience, in hopes of removing friction from the digital experience. Ensure you have Wi-Fi, power and access points set up properly prior to launching.
  • Entertainment. Games on tableside devices can bring people together, Landman said. They can also bring in added revenue. If games on your devices are pay-to-play, make this clear upfront to avoid customer confusion. “Game revenue is adding to our overall profit,” DeFrain said.
  • Data compilation. When tableside tech is used, restaurant operators can connect data – order information, loyalty points, survey responses, ratings and more – to a bill. From this data, restaurant operators can also create coaching reports for employees. “It’s pretty game-changing on the data side,” Howard said.

    To protect customer and employee data, take cybersecurity seriously. Review materials available at restaurant.org/cybersecurity to learn more.

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