tableside waitlist for bars blog image

What is Digital Tableside Ordering for Bars?

Today’s new technology offers fantastic service enhancements for both bars and venues that serve alcohol. All hospitality venues can enjoy everything the digital world has to offer — primarily one of today’s most useful operational tools, a tableside ordering app. We cover everything you need to know.

Tableside ordering for bars is part-and-parcel of everyday customer interactions. For some, customer bookings and waiting lists are also part of the overall picture — find out more about the technology available right now to help with these processes.

What is Tableside Ordering for Bars and Restaurants?

Everything you need to know about a bar tableside ordering system can be found in one trusty device: the smartphone. Via the magic of handheld technology customers in bars can:

  • order food and drink from an online menu, completely contactless
  • scan a QR code to redirect customers to browse a bar’s drink list
  • make instant payments via their own devices 

Essentially, a tableside ordering app has massive benefits for hospitality staff. Customers no longer feel rushed when a server comes their way. Nor do customers have to wait at a bar, catch the bar staff’s eye and attention, then wait for their drink to be prepared — always a pain when the bar is busy.

3 Quick Benefits

Staff can feel the benefits of tableside ordering immediately.

  • Less paper, less hassle. Since tableside ordering is totally contactless, this means less paper is involved. No menus, no pens, no paper receipts.
  • Better movement. Staff no longer trip between table legs. A tableside ordering app reduces all the back-and-forth from kitchen or bar to customer table.
  • Increased cover turnover. Everything is at the customer’s finger tips. As such customers no longer wait for menus or bills — reducing the time spent at tables themselves, allowing new customers to be seated quicker.

Why Use a Tableside Ordering App

An app can help counteract the daily hustle-and-bustle of heavy bar work. In particular, bar staff during peak hours are usually under tremendous pressure. They must draw on a variety of skills that include:

  • Exceptional customer service skills, interacting with a wide variety of guests
  • Terrific time-keeping skills, knowing how to work well under pressure
  • A fantastic ability to sell products, to verbally communicate and carry out basic orders all in one go

Venues like pubs, clubs, wine bars, hotels, and leisure centres that serve drinks employ exceptional staff teams who know how to operate efficiently and meet daily goals. 

Bar work is demanding, so a helping hand is always welcome. This is where tableside app technology comes in.

Second, with the hospitality industry facing soaring costs, both bars and drinks-only venues can use app technology to save money. Increased costs and industry VAT rates in the UK, for example, are one instance of the challenges the industry currently faces

Tableside ordering technology allows bar and restaurant staff to focus efforts on customer service, adding features such as a pre-order and pre-pay system.

Tableside ordering for bars
“Bar” by Rob Madeo via Flickr (Creative Commons 2.0)

Customers Can Pre-Order Drinks Online

This is one of the most impressive, most helpful features of a tableside ordering app that boosts drink sales for bars, restaurants, and other venues.

It’s an inevitability of every bar environment. At peak times, customers crowd to the bar to receive service. With one to two staff members at work, a customer may wait a good 5 to 10 minutes before service. All this hanging around may cause problems, possibly frustrating thirsty customers who eventually give up then leave.

However, with new technology, it doesn’t have to be this way. Customers can now pre-order and prepay for drinks from the table or before they enter the bar. The benefits include:

  • Less pressure on staff. With pre-orders in place, bar staff can pour drinks and have them ready for customers that have already been paid for. Delivering drinks is easy too. Table numbers and names printed alongside the drink order itself enable pre-orders to work.
  • More revenue. Customers are more likely to buy items when they appear on a smartphone screen. As such, bars can enjoy increased sales without much effort.
  • Increased accuracy. With online orders, bar staff know exactly what to serve their guests. This can be a cocktail with precise measurements, or a specialist brand that a customer has bought. Wave goodbye to any misheard orders — a problem well-known to all in busy bar environments. 

QR Code Features Help Enhance Bar Productivity

A QR code system can help further streamline orders, so bars can increase both order efficiency and daily revenue. Giving the customer an easy and fast way to use their smartphones for tableside ordering, it’s one of the best new technologies for bars to implement today. All it requires is: (1) a printout of the QR in visible places, such as tables, host stands, and indoor menus, and (2) a customer’s smartphone. The advantages include:

  • Faster turnover. Customers can efficiently choose their drinks and pay on the spot. Therefore, they no longer have to wait on staff to complete payments, and can leave whenever they want, freeing up tables and stools. The QR enables a seamless guest payment setup.
  • Happier staff. With a QR system in place, there are less tasks to worry about. Staff enhance their productivity and can focus on the tasks that remain.
  • More money. In regard to long-term benefits, both bars and chains save money on staff scheduling. An efficient QR tableside ordering system enables managers to reduce wait staff as needed.

Did you know bars, restaurants, cafes, and other venues can implement a QR waitlist management system? This allows customers to give venues their information if required to wait — without all the staff time spent on manual waitlist management. Reducing mistakes and using web autofill features, QR technology is here to help the hospitality industry build better customer service systems. 

Ready to revolutionise your bar’s processes for the better? Carbonara App is a restaurant ordering system built for both bars and hospitality venues, big and small. Read about one of our Italian users in our article “Monza Restaurant Delivers Stellar Service With Carbonara App”.