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Tabletop Payments Fly Into Red Robin

With Red Robin’s new tabletop payment tablet option, there won’t be any more customers asking “can we have the check, please?”

The burger franchise announced last week that it would be rolling out touchscreen Ziosk tablets at each of its restaurant’s tables, eliminating that wait time that may turn off some customers. It also has the potential to turnover tables faster, which could help bring in more customers throughout the business day. The official rollout that will happen this year marks the end of a two-year test to find the right system.

Using the Ziosk tablets at each table also gives customers to ability to order right from the table, ask for drink refills and request assistance. Another perk of having the tablets is it allows Red Robin to pitch its loyalty program directly to customers at the table, and at the same time offer customers a chance to provide feedback that the restaurant can then use to improve customer service. Ziosk is a popular tablet option at 1,350 other restaurants nationwide, including Chili’s, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill and Abuelo’s.

Along with the tabletop tablet introduction, Red Robin plans to remodel 125 more restaurants, open 20 more of its full-service Red Robins and five of its Red Robin Burger Works, CEO Steve Carley told Restaurant News.

Just as mobile innovations heat up the payments and commerce space, the restaurant has seen a lot of innovation impacting the space. And restaurants are turning toward mobile to help attract more customers. Getting consumers through the door ranks among the top challenges in the dining industry and turning those first-time diners into regular customers comes next. Having options to attract customers through mobile technology for making reservations and paying the bill is becoming more critical to drawing in diners, keeping consumers happy and having them want to come back.

“The battle for market — or stomach — share in the restaurant industry is as fierce as ever. The winners will be those who pursue the right paths to growth and value creation, while reigning in costs,” said Eric Dzwonczyk, managing director at AlixPartners and co-lead of the firm’s restaurant and foodservice practice.

No matter which way you slice it, mobile innovations in payments, retail and dining are interconnected in terms of capturing more customers. Consumers seem to be willing to use technology in both those instances, but don’t always have the options offered at their fingertips.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s data: “More than 40 percent of all adults say they’d be likely to place their orders at quick-service restaurants via the restaurant’s website, a smartphone app, or in-store terminals if they had the option. Nearly three in 10 adults — and four in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 — say they’d be likely to pay for their quick-service restaurant orders by mobile or wireless device if they could.”

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