Best Restaurant Tablet Ordering & Tableside Ordering Systems

November 29, 2023

Restaurant Tablet Ordering and Tableside Ordering Systems are transforming the way restaurants operate and serve their customers. 

If you’re a restaurant owner, planning to open a new eatery, or contemplating a switch in your service model, understanding these innovative systems is crucial.

In this blog, we’ll dive deep into Restaurant Tablet Ordering and Tableside Ordering Systems, explaining what they are, how they work, and the extensive benefits they offer to your business and your customers.

Let’s start with an in-depth look at what these systems are.

What is Restaurant Tablet Ordering?

Restaurant tablet ordering is a modern approach in dining technology, where tablets are used for menu browsing and meal ordering. This innovative system comes in two forms: Server-Assisted and Self-Service. 

  • In the server-assisted model, waitstaff utilizes tablets for direct order taking, fostering a personalized dining experience with quick, error-free service. 

  • The self-service format, including Tabletop Ordering, empowers customers to place orders at their convenience, often integrated with payment and entertainment options. 

This system is particularly effective in fast-paced dining settings, offering convenience and technological sophistication.

What is a Tableside Ordering System?

A Tableside Ordering System integrates technology directly at the dining table, empowering customers to place orders effortlessly. It typically includes QR Code Ordering, where guests use their smartphones to scan a code, access the menu, and order. 

Handheld POS systems (often referred to as mobile point of sale or mPOS systems) are also part of this setup, allowing staff to input orders at the table for immediate processing. This system expedites the ordering process and significantly enhances the customer experience by reducing wait times and order inaccuracies.

How Tablet and Tableside Ordering Systems Work

Tablet and tableside ordering systems are reshaping the restaurant experience with innovative features. Here’s an overview of how they work:

1. Hardware and Software Integration

These systems typically involve tablet POS or touchscreen devices that are either provided to customers at their table or integrated into the table itself. The hardware runs specialized software for menu browsing, order placement, and payment processing.

2. Menu Display and Customization: 

The software displays the restaurant’s menu, often with high-quality images and descriptions of each item. Customers can browse through different categories (like appetizers, mains, and desserts) and sometimes customize their orders (like adding toppings to a pizza or choosing a salad dressing).

3. Order Placement: 

Once the customer decides what they want to order, they can place the order directly through the tablet. This order is then transmitted electronically to the kitchen or bar, often integrating with the restaurant's existing point-of-sale (POS) system. In some systems, servers are notified of the order and may confirm with the customer before it's sent to the kitchen.

4. Payment Processing: 

After finishing their meal, customers can use the tablet to view their bill, split it among multiple people if needed, and process payment. The system may support various payment methods, including credit/debit cards, mobile payments, and sometimes cash transactions with server assistance.

5. Feedback and Loyalty Programs

Many tablet ordering systems also include options for customers to leave feedback about their experience. They might also integrate with loyalty programs, allowing customers to earn points or rewards for their orders.

6. Data Collection and Analysis: 

The system can collect customer preferences and order history data, which can be used for personalized marketing and menu optimization.

Overall, tablet and tableside ordering systems represent a significant shift in the dining experience, offering a blend of convenience, efficiency, and modern technology.

Benefits of Implementing Tablet and Tableside Ordering in Restaurants

Embracing Restaurant Tablet Ordering and Tableside Ordering Systems is a game-changer for both the efficiency of restaurant operations and customers’ dining experience. Let’s explore the key benefits these systems offer.

For Restaurants:

  • Increased Order Accuracy: Utilizing a tablet based restaurant ordering system reduces order errors significantly. Customers review and modify their orders on the tablet before submission, ensuring accuracy.

  • Boosted Efficiency: The tablet ordering system for restaurants streamlines order taking. Orders go directly to the kitchen, minimizing the wait time for food preparation and improving the overall communication between staff.

  • Higher Order Value: By showcasing high-quality images and easy add-on options, restaurant ordering tablets encourage customers to explore more menu items, potentially increasing the average order value.

  • Lower Labor Costs: A restaurant tableside ordering system can lead to reduced labor needs. Servers manage more tables efficiently, and the need for additional staff, like bussers, decreases due to direct bill payments on tablets.

  • Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Offering a personalized and engaging dining experience, restaurant tablet ordering systems allow customers to interact with the menu at their leisure, raising overall satisfaction levels.

For Customers:

  • Convenience: Restaurant tablet ordering offers unparalleled convenience. Customers enjoy the freedom to place orders at their own pace, especially beneficial during peak dining hours.

  • Elevated Dining Experience: Tablet based restaurant ordering systems provide an interactive menu exploration, adding to the overall dining pleasure. The efficiency of these systems means less waiting time for customers.

  • Improved Server Interaction: These systems facilitate better communication with servers. Customers can easily request assistance or offer feedback, enhancing their dining experience.

Incorporating these technologies signifies a step towards modern, efficient, and customer-focused dining.

Why Restaurants are Switching to Tablets

The adoption of tablet-based restaurant ordering systems, including iPad POS solutions, is on the rise, and for good reason. Let's delve into why more restaurants are making the switch:

1. Enhanced Customer Experience: Tablets offer interactive menus and high-quality images, giving customers a detailed and engaging overview of their dining options. This not only aids in decision-making but also elevates the overall dining experience.

2. Streamlining Efficiency and Speed: A tablet ordering system for restaurants directly links orders to the kitchen, streamlining service and reducing errors. This efficiency translates to quicker service, happier customers, and increased turnover.

3. Cutting Labor Costs: Implementing restaurant ordering tablets can save labor costs. These devices manage tasks like order taking and payment processing, allowing for a leaner staff without compromising service quality.

4. Data-Driven Insights and Personalization: Tablet-based systems offer valuable insights into customer preferences, which can be leveraged to tailor the dining experience and refine marketing strategies.

5. Improved Order Accuracy: With customers directly inputting their orders, tablet ordering systems for restaurants drastically reduce order errors, ensuring that guests receive exactly what they want.

6. Dynamic Menu Management: The restaurant tableside ordering system allows for real-time menu updates, instantly displaying daily specials or unavailable items, which is more efficient than traditional paper menus.

7. Hygienic and Contactless Service: In response to health concerns, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, these systems offer a hygienic, contactless ordering method, minimizing physical interactions and enhancing safety.

8. Environmentally Friendly: Lastly, restaurant tablet ordering systems contribute to a greener operation by reducing the need for paper menus and receipts, aligning with eco-friendly business practices.

How to Choose a Restaurant POS System with Tablet Ordering

Choosing the right Restaurant Point of Sale (POS) system with tablet ordering involves several important considerations. Here's a guide to help you make an informed decision:

1. Understand Your Needs

Before exploring options, assess your restaurant’s specific needs. Consider factors like the size of your establishment, the volume of transactions, the complexity of your menu, and whether you offer services like delivery or takeaway.

2. Ease of Use

The system should be user-friendly for both your staff and customers. Tablets should have an intuitive interface, making it easy for staff to take orders and for customers to place them if self-ordering is an option.

3. Integration Capabilities

Check if the POS system can seamlessly integrate with your existing software, such as inventory management, accounting, and CRM systems. This integration can streamline operations and reduce manual work.

4. Hardware and Software Reliability

Ensure the tablets and the software are reliable and can handle high volumes of orders without technical glitches, especially during peak hours.

5. Customization and Flexibility

Look for a system that allows you to customize menus and pricing, and possibly even the layout of the tablet interface to match your restaurant’s theme.

6. Reporting and Analytics

A good POS system should offer comprehensive reporting and analytics to help you understand sales patterns, popular items, customer preferences, and other insights that can drive business decisions.

7. Customer Support and Training

Ensure the provider offers quality customer support and training for your staff. Good support can significantly ease the transition to a new system.

8. Cost

Consider the total cost of ownership, including hardware, software, and any recurring subscription fees. Compare these costs against the expected benefits and efficiency gains.

9. Security and Compliance

The system should be secure and comply with payment industry standards to protect sensitive customer data, like credit card information.

10. Scalability

As your business grows, your POS system should be able to scale with you, whether that means adding more tablets, features, or integrating with new technologies.

11. Trial Periods and Demos

Opt for a system that offers a trial period or demo so you can test its functionality in your restaurant environment.

12. Reviews and Recommendations

Check reviews from other restaurant owners and seek recommendations. First-hand user experiences can provide valuable insights into the system’s performance and reliability.

Remember, the right POS system can enhance the efficiency of your operations, improve customer satisfaction, and ultimately contribute to the success of your restaurant. Take your time to research and choose a system that best fits your restaurant's unique needs.

What is the Best Restaurant Tablet Ordering System?

Chowbus POS stands out as a leading restaurant tablet ordering system, offering a comprehensive solution that goes beyond mere ordering. It's designed to enhance the dining experience for both customers and staff. This system allows for more speed and sales, offering a one-stop ordering and payment solution. It’s not just about ordering. It’s about creating an efficient, contactless experience that caters to the modern diner’s preferences.

Key Features of Chowbus POS:

  1. Efficiency and Convenience: With direct kitchen integration, orders are processed faster, reducing wait times and improving table turnover by up to 25%.

  2. Cost-Effective: Reduces labor costs and print expenses, with an average saving of $8,000 per month for restaurant owners.

  3. Enhanced Customer Experience: Big screen displays of dish photos provide a vivid browsing experience. It also allows for immediate seating and ordering, reducing customer wait times.

  4. Data Collection and Loyalty Programs: Collect valuable guest data for targeted marketing and loyalty programs, leading to a higher rate of returning customers.

  5. Operational Excellence: Streamlines waiter workflows, minimizing errors and enhancing overall operational efficiency.

Real-Life Success Stories:

  • Xiao Long Kan, Chicago: "Chowbus POS Tablet Ordering has been a game-changer for our restaurant. Our guests appreciate the convenience and control they have over their dining experience. It has significantly reduced waiting times and enabled us to serve more customers without compromising on quality."

  • KAJIKEN, Baltimore: “One of our biggest issues was trying to have servers write everything down and remember everything. The Chowbus tablet ordering has smoothed out everything in the restaurant. The food comes out quicker, tickets get to the kitchen faster, and there are fewer errors.”

  • Shu Da Xia Hotpot, Boston: "Tablet ordering has greatly helped us improve customer service. During peak dining hours, there are many customers waiting at our entrance. We provide iPads to customers in advance to familiarize themselves with the menu, and they can also pre-order on the iPad. This allows us to serve them immediately upon seating, greatly reducing customer wait times and complaints. Moreover, this method has significantly increased our table turnover rate!"


Restaurant tablet ordering and tableside ordering systems provide numerous benefits for restaurant owners aiming to improve customer satisfaction, streamline operations, and maintain competitiveness in the ever-evolving dining landscape. 

As technology progresses, these systems are set to play an increasingly crucial role in shaping the future of the restaurant industry. To guarantee success, it is important to evaluate your options carefully, select the system that best fits your restaurant’s needs, and embrace the innovative opportunities offered by tablet based restaurant ordering systems.

Ready to take your restaurant to the next level with tablet ordering and tableside systems? Book a free demo or consultation with Chowbus POS, a leading provider of restaurant technology solutions. Discover how our innovative POS system with tableside ordering capabilities can transform your restaurant’s operations, enhance the dining experience, and boost your bottom line. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to stay ahead of the competition. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and see the benefits of our cutting-edge technology. Your success is just a click away!

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Tablet Ordering System

Dive into our FAQ section to explore everything you need to know about Restaurant Tablet Ordering Systems, including insights on Tableside Ordering and Tableside Service.

What is Tableside Ordering?

Tableside ordering is a convenient dining experience where restaurant staff take orders directly at the customer's table, using handheld devices, rather than having patrons place orders at a central location like a counter or cashier. 

What is Tableside Service?

Tableside service refers to a dining experience where restaurant staff take and serve orders directly at the customer’s table. This personalized approach enhances the overall dining experience, allowing patrons to interact with the server and customize their orders to their preferences. Tableside service often includes menu explanations, wine recommendations, and preparing certain dishes right at the table, creating a memorable and enjoyable dining atmosphere.

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