Restaurants today look a lot different than they used to a few years ago. A big reason for this is the integration of technology. 

Software integration and restaurant automation in the food service industry are helping restaurants not only tackle labor shortages but also improve customer experience, increase profit and expand. This is true for all kinds of restaurants, be it quick-service restaurants such as BurgerFi or local mom-and-pop restaurants.

The restaurant tablet ordering or tableside ordering is one such solution that is benefitting restaurants of all types and scales. 

As a customer, you might have noticed the server coming up to you with a tablet to take your order. You might have also come across restaurants that have a tablet placed on the table for you to enter your order. 

This article looks at how the restaurant tablet ordering system works. We then explore the benefits of this technology and suggest some of the best tablet ordering options available in the market.

How Do Restaurant Tablet Ordering Systems Work?

Restaurant tablet

Tableside ordering technology or the tablet ordering system allows you to take orders, process the payment, and offer other options to manage your guests, all while you are at the table, using just a tablet.

It is essentially a restaurant workstation for the servers available on a tablet. This means no more writing down the orders on paper or running to the kitchen. 

The tablet can also be used by the customer to place the order themselves. These tablets are also known as tabletop tablets. 

The technology involved in a restaurant ordering system includes tablets that are connected to the POS, and display screens for the kitchen. Software solution companies can provide POS solutions that will typically include both the software and the hardware. 

The staff inputs the order directly into the tablet which goes to the kitchen as soon as the information is entered. The kitchen staff then starts preparing the order. 

This type of ordering system allows your server to complete the payment on the table side when the customer is ready to pay. 

5 Benefits of Tablets for Restaurant Ordering

Tableside ordering has benefits for both the business and the customers. When used properly, tablet technology can provide an excellent customer experience. 

The tablet technology when used either by the customer or the server provides the following benefits: 

  1. Reduces order time: Tablet ordering saves servers time to go back and forth to add any information to the order. This means the server can take the order faster and the restaurant can deliver it faster.
  2. Increases table turnover and revenue: When the order is taken faster, it can be processed faster, therefore increasing the table turnover time. Allowing your customers to pay at the table is also one of the effective ways to maximize the table turnover rate. Not to mention, a higher turnover rate means you serve more customers, which means more revenue.
  3. Improves accuracy: Restaurants using handheld tables see a higher order accuracy rate because the information is being entered directly into the POS. In case of any changes made to the order, the server can change it right away.
  4. Saves paper: With tablet ordering, you will also save on receipts. Customers don’t usually ask for receipts (unless it’s for business purposes), and because the experience is fast and convenient, customers are more likely to be satisfied.
  5. Fewer wait times: Customers can avoid waiting for the server using tabletop tablets. They can also add items to the order without having to wait for the server to come again. Advanced tablets have options such as “call the server,” which lets the customer speak to the server instead.


What to Look for When Considering Restaurant Tablet Ordering

The benefits of the restaurant tablet ordering system might be tempting, but consider the following when choosing the ideal tablet technology for your restaurant:

Customer using tablet

Tabletop vs handheld tablet

Depending on the customer base and restaurant style, decide whether you want table tablets for the customers like the ones in Applebee’s or handheld tablets for the server like in TGI Fridays.

Understanding your audience preference is key since some customers might prefer the traditional interactions over the tablet experience. Customers who like to have more control over the ordering process are likely to prefer tabletop tablets.

Tablets can also be introduced as an aid to the servers especially when the customers are being introduced to this technology for the first time.

Added Features

Tablets in Applebee’s also feature some games that can be played by paying small fees. Features like these can help restaurants help bring in extra revenue and also entertain the customers.

Don’t miss out on other beneficial features that the software company should offer. Some of these features include audience analysis, sales reports, inventory updates, menu updates, and easier interface options.


While some POS systems can easily integrate with tablet ordering technology, others are completely incompatible. It is recommended that you check the compatibility of the current POS.

Weigh the cost of investing in a new POS system to avoid any surprise fees.

The Best Restaurant Tablet Ordering for Customers

The best restaurant tablet ordering system for the customer should align with the type of experience your customers prefer.

Millennials and Generation Z are more likely to positively respond to new technology compared to baby boomers. Keep this in mind when introducing tablets to facilitate the ordering process.

When purchasing tablet software solutions, ask the company for security measures against hacking and secured payment methods.

The staff should be well trained to answer any tablet-related questions that customers might have. The staff should also be prepared to process order requests and process payments using alternative methods in case of technical issues with the tablet.

At GRUBBRR, we provide automation solutions for restaurants that are proven to improve customer experience, reduce long wait times, and increase revenue. Contact our team today to learn how these solutions can help your business today!