Why order pads remain the go-to choice for many restaurants.

Sponsored by NCCO 

The restaurant industry demands consistency and accuracy, and the technology that many restaurants implement can frequently slow operations down due to connectivity issues or system malfunctions. When this happens, traditional check pads are a fail-safe option. They don’t come with a complex system or rely on an internet connection, making them a reliable and trusted method for taking orders.

“If the operating system goes down, which happens quite often, we have to revert to old-school handwritten notes. If I didn’t have the order written down in the first place, I don’t have anything to refer to,” says Drew Lehmann, a server at Meritage, a refined French bistro in St. Paul. 

Another challenge is the cost associated with implementing and maintaining these advanced systems. These expenses can be burdensome for small and independent restaurants, and the return on investment may be unclear. 

“All these new companies come out with systems that can include everything from sales to menu writing to order taking, but many of their systems are very expensive, with hidden fees and monthly costs. Plus, there is often no staff to help you on the customer service side. It may give the illusion that it will benefit the restaurant, but it can cause many issues.” says Brandon Randolph, culinary director of Purpose Driven Restaurants, a collection of modern restaurants in St. Paul.

On the other hand, order pads are cost-effective and easy to integrate into existing workflows without racking up expenses.

One of the most critical aspects of the restaurant experience is the personal touch that servers provide. Traditional order-taking using order pads allows servers to maintain eye contact and engage with customers. It’s a more intimate and personable approach than using a handheld device for orders, which can make the server appear distant. 

“Gauging customers’ body language and reactions is part of being a good server or bartender,”  Lehmann says. “I don’t enjoy giving my order to somebody looking down at a device; I might as well be at a counter. I don’t think a lot of them give full-on attention because they’re fussing with electronics instead of simply writing down orders.”

Additionally, the personal touch servers provide while using order pads can influence diners to order more. The connection established through personal interactions can lead to upselling opportunities where servers can suggest additional items or beverages, increasing the average ticket size.

There is also less room for error with traditional checkpads. The server focuses on taking orders rather than navigating a digital interface, so it minimizes the chances of inputting incorrect items or missing specific requests, leading to higher order accuracy.

NCCO Foodservice Solutions has been a trusted name in the industry. The company offers a variety of order pads in different sizes, colors, and styles. These options cater to the diverse needs of restaurants and their customers. Depending on the restaurant’s size, layout, and menu, GuestChecks can be customized to fit seamlessly into operations. NCCO GuestChecks are the ultimate choice for restaurants wanting a reliable order-taking solution while giving customers the traditional restaurant experience they deserve. 

Visit NCCO’s website to see how order pads can improve restaurant operations.

By Olivia Schuster

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