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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 29, 2015

Restaurant tech can leave servers more time to focus on dining experience

Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable paying, ordering and tipping using technology in restaurants, according to recent research from restaurant tech research firm Software Advice.

by Helen Leggatt

A recent report from Software Advice advises restaurants to tailor their self-service technology towards consumers that are increasingly comfortable using self-service POS systems.

The survey found that consumers prefer to use such technology to customize orders (47%), split a bill (39%), use multiple payment methods (31%), view images of menu items (26%) and view specials and discounts (19%).

More than two-thirds (68%) also said they prefer tipping using POS technology such as a tablet or iPad with 89% rating such a tipping method as either 'not at all difficult' or 'minimally difficult'. However, allowing customers control over their tip remains important. Two-thirds (66%) prefer to input tips themselves as opposed to having it set by the server. Furthermore, 29% are more likely to leave a tip if they are given the chance to opt-out of doing so.

dining_194509841.jpg"Data shows that casual and fast casual restaurants are the preferred formats that patrons would want to utilize this technology," said POS market researcher Justin Guinn of Software Advice.

"For fast casual restaurants or QSRs, it's essential that the menu be easily customizable and clear. For casual restaurants, the staff will need to think about self-service technology more as an 'assistant' to the server, as opposed to a replacement. Servers shouldn't feel intimidated by this technology. In fact, if they and the restaurant operators properly leverage it, it can open up more time to focus on the customer, thus giving them the opportunity to focus more on the dining experience."

Tags: point of sale, restaurant, technology

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