The Future of Restaurant POS

By Jamie Hooker


If you’ve been to a Chili’s or Olive Garden lately, you probably noticed the tablet at the end of your table. Your server explained that if you wanted to order drinks, appetizers or desserts, you could do so through the weird device you’ve never seen at a restaurant before. “Why can’t I just ask you for that? This is weird,” you thought.

More restaurants are following suit after Chili’s and using tablets at each table as their new POS (point of sale) systems. Before you totally reject the idea and pledge never to use one, let me tell you the benefits. Waiters and waitresses get busy, and might not have time to visit your table as frequently as you would like them to. Ordering from your table is a good solution when you need a drink refill or you’re ready to move on to the next course. The only course you can’t order from the table is your main course (I’m guessing restaurants don’t want to completely replace their servers). Another benefit of the tablets is you can use them to pay for your meal too, instead of waiting for the check.

These tablets are the future of restaurant POS, and eventually will be the norm.  What does that mean for your servers? Will that job no longer appear on college student resumes? It’s hard to imagine a restaurant without a server right now, but later down the line it may be a reality. Some people prefer the restaurant experience as is, sans tablets, with interaction between your group and your server. That’s how they make their tips after all, isn’t it?

These new POS systems aren’t only for ordering food and paying for it. Some have games available for purchase on the tablet, which can be especially helpful if you have a restless child. This serves as another form of revenue for the restaurant, and the system almost pays for itself.

With technology comes change, and what we know to be the classic restaurant experience is slowly shifting. What do you think about using these tablets at restaurant tables? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!