New Research: Improving Patron Experiences With iPad POS

Our friend Justin Guinn, market researcher at Software Advice, a company that offers insights on restaurant POS systems, has completed a new study on iPad POS systems. Below you will find a Q&A session with Justin, as well as a link to the study.

Q&A with Justin Guinn:

We know that iPad POS gives a server more mobility. What kind of result can that have on a restaurant’s operations?
“The mobility enabled by iPad POS systems awards restaurants many operational benefits. The ordering process is streamlined with mobile POS systems, since servers can input items into the system as customers order. Once a table is done ordering, the server just taps a button and the order is sent to the kitchen and/or bar. Not only does this expedite the ordering process, but these POS systems also prompted servers to upsell certain items as they enter them in. Thus, the system can also drive extra revenue through these upsells.”

Your report dives into the ways an iPad POS system improves the customer experience. How does it do this?
“Much the same as the operational benefits afforded by these systems, iPad POS systems can also offer impactful improvements to the customer experience. Since they cut down on the time that the server is spending going back-and-forth between the kitchen, it allows them to spend more time in their section, building a better relationship with their customers. When the operations are smooth and the server is happy, this all comes together for a nice dining experience. Plus, for some systems that enable self-ordering at the table on the iPad, the customer often feels more ‘in control,’ that what they’re ordering feels personalized since they can browse the menu by clicking on pictures and submit the order themselves.”

In your opinion, what’s the customer perception like today of a restaurant that uses a tablet-based POS versus those who are still using manual methods like paper tickets?
“iPads are a very consumer-friendly technology. For that reason alone, I think consumers welcome restaurants’ use of these systems. Just think of how often people are interacting with smart phones or tablets in their daily lives outside the restaurant. On top of that, as these systems become more and more common, customers will begin to expect them in restaurants. Therefore, not having iPad-capable POS system down the road could even be seen as a negative by customers moving forward.”

Do you think the prevalence of iPad-based POS systems will only increase in the years to come?
“The prevalence of iPad POS systems will definitely continue to increase in the coming years. They just simply make so much sense for restaurants that a shift or trend back to stationary, mounted terminals seems an unlikely choice when given the two options. Furthermore, as the adoption of mobile payments continues to rise, consumers will expect servers to have efficient ways of processing these mobile payments. The mobility of iPad POS systems allows customers to easily use mobile payment options. It’s for these reasons and more that we’re finding the restaurant owners, who we advise every day, are leaning toward iPad-based systems.”

Click here to read the full Software Advice study.

Author: Remigijus Pavydis