I hear of mobile POS being sold as a device that boosts the image of a restaurant or bar as a technology innovator. While this may be true, the rationale for using mobile POS is founded in more hard-nosed business logic.
Table side order taking, that is only possible with mobile POS, eliminates delay between a guest placing an order and the KOT being printed in the kitchen. The minutes saved reflects in food being served to the guest earlier. Which in turn could result in faster table turnover. Busy restaurants, with a wait queue, would find these minutes saved invaluable in serving a few covers more per busy meal-period. An extra $10 earned from one extra cover served per day is a lot more than the cost of a few mobile POS devices.
Table side order taking on mobile devices has other benefits also. Serve staff do not need to walk over to the POS at a side station to enter orders taken on a writing pad. It reduces the chance of errors and improves the possibility of cover wise order taking in fine dining restaurants. By avoiding the distraction of having to go to the POS station, serve staff are able to attend to guests. F&B outlets using mobile POS are likely to see an improvement in guest services.
Critics will point out that mobile POS has existed for quite a while. But, they remained an expensive technical novelty without delivering tangible benefits. Such critics are right, but, only about legacy mobile POS. Those POS were often directional and required the order taker to face the receiver rather than the guest while taking an order. Quite unacceptable. Legacy devices were heavy, expensive and required very precise touch to use. Mobile POS based on earlier technologies were premature and ill-suited to F&B operations.
Contemporary tablet PCs have changed the mobile POS dramatically. Screens are larger, menus are easier to read. Navigation no longer requires precision and man-machine interaction techniques have improved (as demonstrated by smartphone applications). Cost of ownership of mobile POS has also reduced a lot. Today, mobile POS can be truly intuitive to use, may be affordable and could deliver expected benefits. How much of the promise is delivered no longer depends on availability of technology. It depends on how the vendor has used the technology.