Some of our QSR customers had switched entirely to online ordering, but wanted to open up some tableside options as their cities permitted. It was not sanitary to keep handing out the same “number” markers for each table, nor was it ideal to permit a line to form near the register. Our solution is tableside ordering – it prevents a line from forming at the register and removes the need to use the same “number” markers over and over again.

What it does

Customers can scan a QR code at their table and order from the menu without needing to interact with wait staff for ordering or purchasing, providing less personal interaction, making all parties safer during the COVID-19 crisis.

How we built it

  • We added a way for our app to read additional path parameters for /tables/X, which can be manually entered by the customer - e.g. or be embedded into a QR code
  • Our app pre-fills in a new “table number” field if it’s in the URL, or the user can manually enter it, and we attach this to our internal version of the order prior to submission to Square’s Orders API
  • We append the “table number” to the end of the Display Name field in the Order Fulfillment Details object within the Square Order
  • We added an option to allow tableside orders in our Kyoo Dashboard for existing merchants to opt-in to this feature

Challenges we ran into

  • We don’t have an easy way to allow customers to order before they have a table, we could re-use our curbside architecture but worry this could be confusing for merchants to find the table number potentially in two places
  • If a business is using pickup orders and tableside orders, their Order tab in Square may become cluttered, we may later use the “Shipping” fulfillment type so they are separated
  • We opted to not solve the problem of multiple customers wanting to order from their own phones, yet combine their order and/or share a tab in the initial version

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • We think the simplicity of using the QR codes will work for most users
  • We were able to build this feature in under three days Provides a safer environment for business employees and customers

What we learned

  • Square does not offer a table management API
  • Square does not allow for open checks to be used in the same way as the POS

What's next for Tableside

  • We’d like to authorize a card as a “tab” at the beginning of a meal, and allow several customers to order using the same card, and/or add additional line items to their order during the meal without having to incur additional flat $0.30 processing fees
  • We’d like to provide a way for merchants to define their tables in advance, rather than rely on free text inputted by the customer or a QR code, which also would allow for automatic QR code generation and potentially even table reservations in the future
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