Maximize the success of your restaurant with mobility

Posted June 22, 2009

Mobile credit card reader
Whether your restaurant is large or small, or offers fine, casual or quickserve dining, your servers and managers will have the tools they need to capture, transmit and access information as needed, wherever they happen to be. As a result, overall operational efficiency is maximized. Productivity is improved through process automation, improving staff utilization. Servers and managers are more effective, able to take the right action at the right time to deliver a level of service that will not only set you apart from your competition — but will keep your guests coming back. And the ability to increase sales and the number of guests while substantially improving service enables restaurants all over the world to achieve a new level of success…and profitability.

Download whitepaper: Maximize the success of your restaurant with mobility

The challenge: improving efficiency and the guest experience in the fast paced restaurant world

In the restaurant business, service is king — but it is efficiency that ultimately drives success. Unlike other businesses that have days, weeks and sometimes months to complete the ‘sales cycle’, this fast-paced world completes guest interactions in just a few hours — or less. In that short amount of time, you need to deliver a stellar guest experience worthy of a return visit and the type of marketing that money can’t buy — word of mouth advertising. And that experience includes top-notch service as well as proper staffing, well maintained facilities and availability of menu items.

Regardless of the size or type of restaurant — from fine and casual dining to poolside restaurants in a hotel and quickserve establishments — it is efficiency that ultimately drives the guest experience, repeat business and your profitability. Out in the dining area, servers need to take orders promptly and accurately. The kitchen needs to receive the orders promptly in order to ensure timely preparation to meet customer service level expectations. Managers need access to a wide variety of information to ensure a consistent and exceptional guest experience. In the kitchen, inventories must be timely and accurate to ensure ample stock is on hand for the day’s menu. Food storage and preparation temperatures must be monitored to protect the health of your guests and to meet strict government regulations. And the state of the facilities — from the restrooms to the parking lot — must be monitored for cleanliness and safety.

In today’s restaurants, many of these processes involve steps that duplicate effort or are very time intensive, preventing the restaurant from achieving peak operational efficiency For example, servers take orders on paper, and then enter that same information again into the wired (stationary) point of sale (POS), duplicating the effort and doubling the opportunity for errors. Inventory is taken on a paper form and then either manually analyzed or input into the computer to create the order. Managers must run between the back room, kitchen and dining room to obtain the information needed to monitor general service levels as well as the state of the facilities.

Mobility can enable today’s restaurants to deliver an exceptional guest experience and achieve exceptional server and manager efficiency by streamlining and error-proofing everyday processes through applications such as tableside ordering and payment, real-time inventory management, food safety, facilities maintenance and mobile manager.

The solution: enhance the guest experience and improve employee efficiencies with mobility

Motorola enterprise mobility solutions can eliminate inefficiencies and errors throughout the restaurant by placing the tools employees need to take the most efficient action right at their fingertips. With a mobile computer in hand and a wireless connection to your network, workers can capture, transmit and access data in real-time. As a result, the redundant steps in your processes are removed — data entry takes place only once, and information is available and visible instantly at the press of a button. now, with minimal effort and maximum utilization of staff time, the restaurant achieves peak efficiency in nearly every area of your operations — from tableside ordering and tableside payments to automation of inventory, food safety and maintenance processes to the delivery of the right now information managers need to best manage in the right now environment of the restaurant. Now:

  • Order entry accuracy is improved

  • The right order is delivered to the right guest at the right time

  • The right amount is charged to the right credit card

  • The right ingredients are available at the right time to prepare the right meals

  • The right food temperature information is collected at the right time

  • The right maintenance checks and procedures are performed at the right time

  • The right staffing levels are maintained to ensure unsurpassed service

  • The right information is always at the fingertips. of managers, enabling the tight orchestration of operations required to deliver a consistent superior guest experience

With Motorola as your technology partner, you’ll have access to an integrated set of mobility solutions designed to streamline restaurant operations.

Motorola has what it takes to maximize efficiency and reduce errors throughout your restaurant. Our fully integrated solutions include:

  • A broad array of mobile devices — from mobile computers to two-way radios — designed to handle the daily ‘use and abuse’ in the restaurant environment

  • Wireless local area networks (WLANs) for a real-time robust wireless connection to your business systems

  • Software that enables centralized management of your entire mobility solution — including the wireless LAN, the mobile devices, and the applications and data resident on those devices

  • Best-in-class applications from our award-winning partner ecosystem

  • A full suite of services to provide assistance with any and every aspect of your Motorola mobility solution — from planning, design and deployment to day-to-day technical support

  • And the ability to standardize on one easy-to-manage flexible device to support all these applications simplifies the architecture — and the cost — of your mobility solutions

  • Deep vertical industry expertise that enables us to deliver solutions that incorporate best practices in restauranteering

With Motorola inside your restaurant, your guests will enjoy consistent and differentiating service, and you will enjoy the improved utilization of staff and reduction of errors that leads to the ability to increase your customer base, your success levels… and your profitability

Put mobility to work in your restaurant…with Motorola mobility solutions.

Tableside ordering

For most restaurants, taking orders is a completely manual process. Servers use pen and paper to write down orders on an order pad, and then walk to the POS computer to enter the order. The server wastes time processing the order twice — time that could be better spent taking care of more guests. There is an increased opportunity for errors — orders that may be written down accurately could be inadvertently entered incorrectly into the POS. And in a busy restaurant, especially at peak meal times, servers may have to wait in line to enter orders into the POS — time that could be much better spent catering to guests.

With a wireless tableside ordering system, servers can enter orders directly into a mobile computer —the orders are instantly sent to the right place via the wireless lAn — the bar or the kitchen. The need to process the order a second time at the POS terminal is eliminated, improving efficiencies in the major restaurant choke points. And orders are highly accurate — there are no errors due to illegible handwriting or keying mistakes at the POS.

In addition to taking orders electronically, the server can also access a wealth of information to further improve service — and productivity. Guests with food allergies or specific food preferences might ask if a menu item includes a certain ingredient. Electronic access to recipes or the daily special enables servers to answer those questions instantly— no trip to the kitchen required.

Communications are streamlined as well. Menu items that are no longer available are usually listed on a blackboard in the kitchen. A server might take an order unknowingly for an item that is no longer available, requiring an extra trip to and from the kitchen to complete the order and potentially irritating the guest. With a mobile device in hand, servers have a real-time list of unavailable items. And if a server enters an order for an item that is no longer available, an alert can be delivered to prevent the entry of that item, along with a list of alternative selections for instant cross-selling.

What are the benefits of a wireless tableside ordering system?

Service levels reach a new all-time high

Instead of requiring a server to run back and forth to the stationary POS, bar and kitchen, runners can be utilized for the actual delivery of food and beverages. Orders are transmitted in real time,reaching their destination promptly and without delay — beverages might even arrive before the server has finished taking orders from all the guests at a table. And since the server rarely needs to leave the dining room floor, they are more available and more attentive to guest needs.

Increased check size per table

With mobility, your servers now become sales people. Servers can be presented with items to cross-sell and up-sell. Since servers now spend most of their time out on the floor with their tables instead of running to the POS, bar or kitchen, they are available to offer to replace a beverage the moment the glass is low, to suggest additional items and to take those spur of the moment orders before guests have a chance to change their mind. The result is a healthy increase in sales — many restaurants report an increase between 8 to 14 percent in the average check size, with 10 to 12 percent higher beverage sales and 11 to 12 percent higher appetizer sales.

Increase in the number of guests served — and revenues

The increase in efficiency translates into faster service

— which in turn translates into the ability to serve more guests during peak times. Restaurants have reported an increase in table turns between 30 and 50 percent — substantially increasing revenues.

“ Our wait staff is more productive, our process is more efficient, and food and beverage sales have increased more than ten percent.”

Wende curtis, owner of comedy Works in Denver cO comments on their Motorola wireless tableside ordering system

Minimize write-offs and lost revenue

Since all items must be entered into the mobile computer to trigger service to the table, all items are accurately captured on the bill. lost revenues, and their impact on profitability, are eliminated.

Better staff utilization

Restaurant work is very labor intensive. But mobile computing increases worker productivity, yielding better utilization of staff: now the same number of servers can handle more guests — and deliver better service.

Tableside payment

Traditional payment processing requires workers to take credit and debit cards from the table to the POS and back, impacting productivity and guest wait times as well as creating the potential for credit card fraud such as skimming, where the card information is illegally captured for later purchases

— either by the server or whomever is processing the transaction.

But when servers carry a mobile computer with a magnetic stripe reader and a compact mobile printer, processing of payments can be completed right at the table:

  • The payment card is never out of the guest’s sight, improving security. Skimming is no longer possible, nor can the card be inadvertently or purposefully charged twice, and the card won’t accidentally wind up in the hands of another guest in the event of a card mix-up.

  • Guests experience minimal wait time for payment processing.

  • Server productivity is improved — there is no need to waste time walking a card back and forth to the POS or waiting in line at a busy POS during peak times.

Food safety

Restaurants must monitor the temperatures of food in the refrigerator as well as during preparation in order to ensure the safety of the food served and to comply with government regulations, such as HAccP Hazard Analysis and critical control Point (HAccP). While collecting this information is time consuming, it is crucial to preventing foodborne illness, protecting the health of your guests and helping to reduce liability.

In addition to the capture of the temperatures, employees need to know what protocol to follow in the event a temperature check reveals an exception to the acceptable temperature. As a result, workers involved in these tasks typically spend time entering temperature on a paper form and manually comparing it to the normal temperature ranges printed on the sheet. If a temperature is out of range, workers must then search for policies and procedures to determine next steps.

Mobility can heavily automate and error proof this process, improving the safety of the food you serve, the productivity of the workers involved in the collection of this data as well as accountability. Armed with a mobile computer and a Bluetooth digital temperature probe, employees can collect the required data in seconds, with a complete audit trail that includes: the date, the time, the employee name and the temperature. The computer instantly determines if the temperature is acceptable. In the event the temperature is not in the proper range:

  • Workers are automatically presented with the next step, ensuring adherence to restaurant and government regulations.

  • An alert message can be automatically and instantly sent to the restaurant owner, manager, chef and any other appropriate personnel.

When workers are armed with a mobile computer and a digital temperature Two-way radios enable managers to provide a quick update for the probe, employees can quickly and easily monitor food temperatures to kitchen staff on incoming guest volumes and reach custodial staff protect guest health and comply with government regulations. for emergency cleanups.

In addition, the information collected resides in a database instead of on paper forms. A time-efficient rich analysis of the data is now possible, revealing trends that may enable proactive action to prevent a food safety incident. And reports can be generated for government compliance and monitoring food safety procedures and data — all at the press of a button.

Quality assurance (QA)

The condition of your facilities has a major impact on the quality of the guest experience. Standard operating procedures (SOP) in use today to record and track the state of key areas of the property are typically manual — an employee with a clipboard, paper forms and pen notes the status of the various areas, such as the restroom, parking lot and main entrance. Managers do not have easy visibility into when or who executed the tasks, and must either visually check the areas, locate the binder where the paper forms are stored or request that workers report in when maintenance activities are complete.

When these SOPs are automated via a mobile device, managers can pre-schedule maintenance, and based on that schedule, a message can be delivered to alert a worker to perform the task at the right time. In addition, checkboxes can walk employees through the proper maintenance process, providing verification that tasks were not only executed, but also completed properly. A message or photo can be sent to a manager when scheduled maintenance is completed, or a report generated on demand. And in the event the manager becomes aware of an urgent maintenance issue, there is no need to physically search the premises to locate maintenance staff — a message can be sent to the maintenance worker at the press of a button. In addition, accountability is improved

— all maintenance activities now have a complete audit trail including the name of the worker who performed the check and the time the check was performed. As a result, SOP’s are performed at the right time, with the right procedures, keeping the restaurant in great shape — with minimal effort.


Making sure that the right items are in stock can be a time-consuming and costly endeavor. Employees with clipboards visually scan and note inventory in the bar, refrigerator and on kitchen shelves with a pen and paper. Managers must then analyze the paper inventory forms or enter the data into the computer inventory system to create orders.

But when workers are outfitted with a mobile computer with bar code scanning capabilities, a complete and highly accurate inventory can be taken in a fraction of the time. Time is saved on inventory takes, and the electronic information can be instantly compared to minimum quantity inventory levels to trigger the automated creation of an order. In addition, since the bar code is tied to lot numbers and expiration dates, the restaurant can instantly identify any food items that have been recalled or are nearing end of life, improving food safety.

In receiving, the bar code or RFID tags on incoming shipments can be scanned, and the shipments instantly reconciled with purchase orders. Inventory is instantly visible from the moment of arrival,

preventing menu items from inadvertently moving to ‘unavailable’ status when the missing ingredients are simply in a box in the backroom waiting to be unpacked. And any incoming shipments that contain recalled product can be instantly and automatically identified. The shipment can then be refused at the door, eliminated the time that would have been wasted processing the items into inventory, only to have to process again to remove from inventory.

Mobile manager

With mobile devices, the tools managers need to keep the restaurant running and ensure quality of service for guests is literally always at their fingertips. Two-way radios enable managers to quickly reach kitchen and custodial staff. And mobile computers provide access to the information needed to easily:

  • Monitor wait times at tables

  • check the status of tables to better manage the waiting list

  • Access the labor schedule to address real-time schedule changes (for example, to ensure ample staff in the event a worker calls in sick, or if the restaurant is busier than expected and more staff is needed)

  • Send alerts to all servers when a menu item is no longer available

  • Send alerts to maintenance staff for prompt emergency clean-ups

  • Monitor maintenance schedules and records to ensure maintenance is performed properly and on time

  • check inventory status and react before there is an issue that impacts service levels

  • Issue complementary or discounted items as needed to offset negative service exceptions and protect restaurant reputation

  • control labor costs by receiving real-time overtime alerts

  • Monitor total sales as well as sales by server

Mobile access to this data eliminates the need for managers to spend time in the back room, reviewing information on clipboards or on the computer. As a result, managers can remain out on the dining room floor virtually all the time, able to keep a close eye on operations and lend a hand wherever needed — for example, to shadow a new server or address a guest issue before it escalates into a scene that might be visible to nearby diners.

Line-busting and more in quickserve environments

Where full service “sit-down” restaurants need to manage service levels at the table, the register lanes are the critical service point in quickserve restaurants. To minimize wait times during peak periods, workers can utilize a mobile computer to take orders from guests while they are waiting in line. Orders reach the kitchen faster, and by the time guests reach the register to pay for their order, their food is ready and waiting. Unlike full-service restaurants, where each server requires a mobile computer, the quickserve establishment can deploy a common pool of mobile computers that can be used by any worker whenever the need arises. And during non-peak times, the same mobile computers can be used to streamline other restaurant functions, such as food safety and inventory management, allowing quickserve restaurants to maximize the value of this business investment.


Whether your restaurant is large or small, or offers fine, casual or quickserve dining, your servers and managers will have the tools they need to capture, transmit and access information as needed, wherever they happen to be. As a result, overall operational efficiency is maximized. Productivity is improved through process automation, improving staff utilization. Servers and managers are more effective, able to take the right action at the right time to deliver a level of service that will not only set you apart from your competition — but will keep your guests coming back. And the ability to increase sales and the number of guests while substantially improving service enables restaurants all over the world to achieve a new level of success…and profitability.

For more information

For more information on how your restaurant can benefit from Motorola enterprise mobility solutions, please contact us.

About Motorola’s Enterprise Mobility Solutions for Restaurants

When it comes to enterprise mobility, Motorola delivers the dependable real-time connection you need to streamline your restaurant operations. As an industry leader, we offer the proven expertise and technology you need to achieve maximum value and a fast return on your mobility investment. We offerevery day of the year.

Filed under: Point of Sale,White Paper