As the challenges of 2020 continue into the new year, many restaurateurs are looking into tech-savvy solutions to streamline their operations in 2021. A growing technology investment among modern restaurants is tablet POS. Enhancing your existing POS and carried by employees, tablets allow orders and payments to be made tableside and even outside, offering more accurate, efficient, and safe service. Choosing the best tablet for deployment is essential.
Introducing a fleet of tablet POS is a significant investment. That’s why it is so critical to ensure the tablet you choose has all the right features to genuinely improve your business and make your investment worthwhile. Without the right features, the new technology could actually complicate your operations rather than help them.
Before making a decision, ask yourself these four questions to ensure that you choose the best tablet for deployment:
Is It Durable?
Durability is an essential feature to consider when choosing a tablet. In order to protect the technology you’ve invested in, it is critical to ensure that it can withstand the bustling restaurant environment. Restauranteurs have a wide variety of tablet options to choose from and may be swayed by brand names and fancy designs. For example, some restaurateurs have opted for consumer-grade devices like iPads for their tablet deployments. While these devices are on-trend, they are not designed for the rugged restaurant environment.
Instead, choose a tablet that won’t be easily compromised. Restaurants are fast-paced, busy places where spills by staff and customers are a common occurrence. Because of this, the tablet you choose should be dust and splash resistant. Before buying, you’ll want to ask what the IP rating is. IP ratings of IP54 or higher offer protection against dust, dirt, and water that may harm the equipment. Drops to concrete floors are also common, and by giving your staff one more thing to carry, the best tablet for deployment will be drop-resistant on a multitude of surfaces, including concrete.
Download our free ebook: How to Implement a Tablet POS Solution to Complement Your Traditional POS
How Functional is It?
Tablets are used for much more than processing transactions; they also have the potential to provide inventory information, streamline ordering, and even compile customer data. As an extension of your POS, you should choose a tablet with the functionality to handle everything your POS can. This means ensuring that your tablet has the RAM and processing power to handle multiple business applications, as well as run your point-of-sale technology smoothly both inside for tableside orders and outside for outdoor dining and curbside service.
In addition to processing power, the tablet you choose should have an operating system that is simple and easy to use. Android is the recommended choice for mobile tablets as its familiar interface allows for effortless employee training. Without an intuitive operating system, the quality of service that your employees can provide may decline as they struggle to navigate a complicated system.
Finally, you should consider ergonomic design. The best tablet for deployment will be light, compact, and comfortable to hold so that it doesn’t complicate staff functions. It should feature a large display screen for easy reading and navigation, enabling your staff to offer speedy and accurate service.
Can it Process Various Payment Options?
One of the most popular reasons for implementing tablet POS is to process payments tableside and outside for curbside service or outdoor dining. Some tablets are used to take orders but can’t process payments. When deciding on the best tablet for deployment, ensure that you choose one with an MSR (magnetic stripe reader) or EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) reader built-in so that staff can process payments from anywhere.
With the rise of contactless payments, your tablet should also include built-in NFC (near-field communication) technology to process mobile wallet payments. Growing increasingly popular among the younger generations and those who prefer a safe, contact-free transaction, it would be in your best interest to deploy tablets that accommodate these payment options. The right payment technology will not only streamline checkout, but it will also increase customer satisfaction and table turnover.
Does it Support Additional Accessories?
Finally, the tablet you choose should include or easily accommodate various peripherals that allow for additional functionality. While you might not need them right away, these additions can be implemented later as need be. Such accessories include:
- Barcode scanners
- Fingerprint reader
- Shoulder holster
- Hand strap
Scanners and readers should feature fast data capture to allow for high-speed activity, such as scanning coupons or clocking in using fingerprints. Accessories like shoulder holsters and hand straps will enable your staff to offer hands-free service and reduce drops as much as possible.
To ensure you see the ROI on your technology investment, it is crucial to choose a tablet with the power, functionality, and other features to help improve your operations, not hold them back. In the end, tablets should make the lives of you and your staff easier—not harder. When choosing the best tablet for deployment, it’s also helpful to consider the vendor you’re choosing. Touch Dynamic’s durable tablets are built to last, with all the features you need to take your restaurant operations to the next level. To learn more, contact our team of experts today.