Tablets in Restaurants: How Long Should They Last?

 

If you’ve ever used an Oracle MICROS workstation, then you’ll know that they are built to last, both in terms of getting you through a busy night in your restaurant and in lasting many years – we have restaurant customers that are happily using workstations that they’ve had for two decades!

But as restaurants move to mobile POS tablets, can operators expect the same longevity from these devices?

Restaurant operators need to be thinking about two things when choosing the right tablets:

  1. How long should the battery charge on my device last?
  2. How many years should my tablet continue to provide value within my restaurant?

We recently surveyed hundreds of restaurant operators to find the answers to those two questions.

How long should a single charge of my mobile POS tablet battery last?
In our survey of restaurant operators, we asked how long the battery charge on a tablet needs to last. The average response was “12 hours” – given the average shift in the hospitality industry is between 8-10 hours, from an operator perspective that seems to make perfect sense.

But ask yourself how many tablets on the market today can last for 8 to 10 hours of constant use? Many operators find themselves having to buy two tablets for each server, one to charge and one to use. Others end up tethering supposedly mobile devices to charging stations and being forced to use them as fixed POS devices.

When researching your next device consider how it will be charged; will it be portable or fixed to a charging point? How many charges will you get out of your device; 100, 200, 500 charges? And how many devices will you need to buy; if the device doesn’t last a full shift, how many will you need to order so that your staff always have a charged device to hand? These are all questions you should consider when looking to purchase your next device.

When I invest in a tablet for my restaurant, how long should that device last?
Our survey of restaurant operators found that on average the operators expect their tablet to last for 4.35 years, or in other words 4 years, 4 months and 2 weeks. This again makes perfect sense when you are comparing the tablet to a fixed POS.

However, consumer based tablets are not designed to last this long in the home, let alone in the demanding environments that you find in most restaurants. So if you’re looking for a device to last 4 years, then industry-specific tablets are the best way forward for your business.

The other consideration is that new versions of consumer tablets are often released every 18 months and after 2 new releases, support for the older device is often dropped. This means that in just 3 years your consumer tablet is out-dated and no longer supported. If a tablet solution was introduced across hundreds of restaurants, there is a high chance that part way through the roll-out you find your chosen device is no longer supported. This is something that should be taken into consideration when looking to purchase your next tablet solution.

How can Oracle Hospitality Help?
Oracle Hospitality’s new Oracle MICROS Tablet 720 is designed to last with its lightweight, but rugged design, making it the ideal choice for restaurants, bars, stadiums, theme parks, hotels and other hospitality operators.

The Tablet 720 has also been created with both the user and the business ROI in mind. A ‘hot-swap’ battery has been built into the device, which means that your staff don’t need to leave it on charge when it runs out of power. Instead, they simply remove the depleted battery and replace it with a fully charged one whilst the device continues to run. This not only removes the need for two tablets, but also ensures that the server doesn’t lose any valuable data when waiting on tables or managing a line at a venue.

By: Eliott Simcock

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