The 8 Most Important Types of Technology Used in a Restaurant
By: AJ Beltis
Aug 15, 2018
It's an exciting time to own a restaurant.
Yes, competition is fierce, but the industry is full of passionate professionals, causing diners to fly to new restaurants in mass numbers.
To stand out from the crowd of other restaurants, you'll need to offer great food, impeccable service, and unbeatable efficiency. These days, all three of these can all be achieved with restaurant hardware and modern technology.
Read on for a list of 8 useful pieces of POS hardwareand restaurant technology used in a restaurant.
Speaking of efficiency, modern POS technology through touchscreen terminalswas arguably established in the name of efficiency. Most of these terminals are equipped with restaurant software designed with an intuitive interface that lets new hires start taking order immediately and effortlessly.
An easier order-taking process speeds things up, which leads to more orders coming into the kitchen (and more food coming out). Some terminals even contain an attached credit card reader, so cashiers can swipe and have the customer sign on screen in a matter of seconds without any waste of paper (or time).
2. Receipt Printer
As beneficial to efficiency that digital receipts can be, most restaurants - especially full-service restaurants - still want to have the options of paper receipts. Typically, you'll have two choices when it comes to receipt printers - impact and thermal.
One kind of printer is the ink (or "impact") printer. This is a favorite for the back of the house due to its louder printing process. If chefs are tied up, they might not notice a new slip show up in the printer. Impact printers help to avoid this kind of problem by catching the attention of cooks in a more alerting way.
The other option is a thermal printer, which most find to be useful for the front of the house. It prints faster than traditional ink printers and is less noisy. Since these receipt printers don't use ink (they "burn" the paper with thermal heat), you won't have to waste time or money swapping out ink cartridges. Again - efficiency is a big reason why one would want a thermal printer in their restaurant, but both have a necessary place in many restaurants.
3. Cash Drawer
Above all else, a cash drawer is essential for all restaurants that value safety and efficiency. It's not exactly the newest piece of technology on this list, but that speaks to how tried and true it is for all restaurants.
If you are looking for a more modern approach to managing your restaurant's cash drawer, sync it up with your POS so that all transactions can be recorded. Naturally, you should also lock your cash drawer overnight and empty it out regularly for added security.
4. Self-Order Kiosk
A growing trend in quick-service restaurants,self-order kioskshave been gaining popularity since appearing in restaurants like Protein Bar, Panera Bread, McDonald's, and Wendy's.
This restaurant hardware is surging in popularity due to its ease of use and visual nature - both of which encourage upselling in a way that isn't too pushy.
I could go on and on about the benefits of kiosks - how they're empowering restaurant guests, how they shorten your lines, how they free up your staff to do other tasks, etc. But the main takeaway on kiosks is that they are seeing increased demand from both restaurants and diners in QSRs.
5. Handheld Server Tablet
Imagine if your servers could close a check with one visit to the table instead of the four it takes to ask a party if they're ready for the check, bringing them their check, taking the check, and bringing back their change if they paid in cash.
Handheld tablets for restaurants allow for at-the-table ordering and payment so servers can turn tables faster and customers can wait less time for their food and their bill. This increases the number of customers you can serve and the number of orders you can fulfill in a given shift, not to mention satisfying your servers with more tips.
If you want patrons at your bar or restaurant to follow along with their purchase, a pole display screen is the way to go.
Pole displays show the itemized price per each food or drink ordered. Since this is a legal requirement in some areas of the country (I'm looking at you, San Diego!), an item like this may be needed in your restaurant in order to comply with restaurant and retail law.
7. Kitchen Display Screen
Some restaurants have quite a hectic kitchen, and so printed tickets might not be the most viable option. Instead, these kitchens rely on a kitchen display system, or a KDS.
Mounted to the kitchen wall, a kitchen display will show all open orders for the back-of-house team to see in one place. This makes it easier to stay organized in the back of the house, which keeps things sane in the front of the house as well.
DISCLAIMER: All of the information contained on this site (the “Content”) is provided for informational
purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal, accounting, tax, career or other professional
advice. The Content is provided “as-is” without any warranty of any kind express or implied, including
limitation any warranty as to the accuracy, quality, timeliness, or completeness of the Content, or fitness
for a particular purpose; Toast assumes no liability for your use of, or reference to the Content. By
accessing this site, you acknowledge and agree that: (a) there may be delays in updating, omissions, or
inaccuracies in the Content, (b) the Content should not be relied upon or used as a substitute for
consultation with professional legal advisors, (c) you should not perform any act or make any omission on
basis of any Content without first seeking appropriate legal or professional advice on the particular facts
circumstances at issue and (d) you are solely responsible for your compliance with all applicable laws. If
do not agree with these terms you may not access or use the site or Content.