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Optimizing Labor Costs by Combining Tableside Ordering with Inventory Tools

In the competitive restaurant industry, finding ways to optimize labor costs while maintaining excellent customer service is essential for success. One effective strategy that many establishments are adopting is combining tableside ordering with inventory tools. 

This innovative approach not only streamlines the ordering process but also provides real-time inventory data, leading to improved efficiency, reduced waste, and ultimately, cost savings. 

Key Features of Tableside Ordering with Inventory Tools

Implementing tableside ordering with inventory tools offers a range of key features that contribute to labor cost optimization and operational efficiency. Let’s explore some of these features:

  • Real-time inventory updates 
  • Menu customization
  • Automated order transmission
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Seamless integration with POS systems
  • Enhanced communication
  • Waste reduction

By leveraging these key features, restaurants can optimize their labor costs, streamline operations, and provide an exceptional dining experience for their customers. But we’ll dive deeper into them now.

The Power of Tableside Ordering

Tableside ordering involves equipping servers with handheld devices, such as tablets or smartphones, to take orders directly at the table. This eliminates the need for traditional pen-and-paper order taking and reduces the time spent on relaying orders to the kitchen.

By leveraging technology, tableside ordering enhances the overall dining experience by minimizing errors, improving order accuracy, and increasing the speed of service. However, the benefits go beyond customer satisfaction and extend to labor cost optimization when combined with inventory tools.

Real-Time Inventory Management

Integrating tableside ordering with inventory tools allows for real-time inventory management. As servers take orders on their handheld devices, the inventory system is automatically updated, providing accurate and up-to-date information on ingredient availability. 

This real-time data enables the kitchen staff to prepare orders more efficiently, reducing the time spent on unnecessary ingredient substitutions or delays caused by out-of-stock items. 

By having a clear picture of inventory levels, restaurants can optimize their purchasing decisions, minimize waste, and avoid overstocking, resulting in significant cost savings.

Streamlined Communication

Traditionally, the process of relaying orders from the table to the kitchen involves multiple steps, including writing down the order, manually entering it into the POS system like iPos Point of Sale, and then communicating it to the kitchen staff. 

This multi-step process is not only time-consuming but also prone to errors and miscommunication. With tableside ordering, the entire process is streamlined. Servers can input orders directly into the handheld device, which then sends the order directly to the kitchen. This eliminates the need for manual entry and minimizes the chances of miscommunication, leading to faster order processing and improved kitchen efficiency.

Enhanced Staff Productivity

By combining tableside ordering with inventory tools, restaurants can enhance staff productivity. With real-time inventory data readily available on the handheld devices, servers can inform customers about any out-of-stock items or suggest alternative options, reducing the need for time-consuming back-and-forth conversations with the kitchen. 

Additionally, the automated order transmission to the kitchen eliminates the need for servers to physically deliver paper tickets, allowing them to focus more on providing attentive and personalized customer service. The increased efficiency and productivity of the staff ultimately lead to reduced labor costs.

Accurate Sales and Inventory Reporting

Another significant advantage of integrating tableside ordering with inventory tools is the ability to generate accurate sales and inventory reports. With traditional order taking methods, tracking sales and inventory can be a tedious and time-consuming task. 

However, with the automation provided by the integrated system, restaurants can easily access comprehensive reports that provide insights into sales trends, popular menu items, and inventory usage. 

This data allows establishments to make informed decisions regarding menu offerings, pricing strategies, and inventory management, further optimizing labor costs and overall profitability.

Minimized Food Waste

Food waste is a significant concern for restaurants, as it not only impacts the bottom line but also has environmental implications. By combining tableside ordering with inventory tools, establishments can minimize food waste. 

The real-time inventory data ensures that servers are aware of ingredient availability and can communicate any limitations to customers. This proactive approach reduces the chances of customers ordering items that cannot be fulfilled, minimizing food waste caused by unused ingredients. 

Plus, the accurate sales and inventory reports enable restaurants to identify trends and adjust their purchasing and production accordingly, further reducing waste and optimizing labor costs.

Training and Onboarding Efficiency

Integrating tableside ordering with inventory tools also improves training and onboarding efficiency. The user-friendly interface of handheld devices makes it easier for new employees to quickly learn the order taking process. 

With the integrated system, they can familiarize themselves with the menu, input orders, and understand the inventory management process more efficiently. This streamlined training process reduces the time and resources required for onboarding new staff, allowing restaurants to optimize labor costs associated with training and ramp-up periods.


In conclusion, combining tableside ordering with inventory tools is a powerful strategy for optimizing labor costs in the restaurant industry. The integration of technology streamlines operations, enhances staff productivity, reduces waste, and provides valuable insights for decision-making. By embracing this innovative approach, restaurants can achieve cost savings while delivering exceptional customer service and maintaining a competitive edge.

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