The Pros and Cons of Using Server Notepads

Server notepads and order pads are small carbon or carbonless sheets that can fit easily inside a back or apron pocket. These notepads allow servers to take and update orders, as well as mark down seating numbers, dietary restrictions, allergens and special requests for the kitchen. They also allow servers to double-check orders with guests to make sure everything was communicated correctly when the order was taken.

Some restaurants have made the switch recently from handwritten notepads to electronic order-taking devices. On the surface this technology is new and exciting. New technologies are designed to make service more efficient and make life easier for serving staff.

But do they really improve service and enhance the guest’s experience?

While online digital ordering systems offer some benefits for restaurants, like streamlining service by sending orders straight from the table to the kitchen, there are some things to keep in mind when using them. Technologies, and the systems on which they run, are prone to technical problems. Many systems require a setup fee or subscription fee to access all its features as well.

Many of these digital systems also require an email for the receipt – something to which many customers are adverse.

Using Server Notepads in Your Restaurant

Conversely, the analogue nature of traditional order pad bypasses any technological issues that might arise and at a much lower cost to the restaurant.

Server notepads are of course not perfect. There are a couple of drawbacks that arise from using this more traditional system. Paper order pads require the middle step of sending written orders to the kitchen via POS system at a server station or giving the order to the kitchen or chef directly.

The benefits, however, are abundant.

Benefits of Traditional Restaurant Order Pads

Efficient – Order pads are an efficient tool pure and simple. As mentioned above, servers using notepads will never have to worry about losing an order when the system glitches or goes offline. If there is a power outage or your POS systems crashes every allergen,dietary note and special order will still be safe and sound.

Cost-Effective – Items like WaitRPads® and other server notepads are not only much thriftier but they don’t have any hidden costs, maintenance fees or monthly contracts associated with them.

Flexible – Flexibility in this case refers to both the use of the item as there is space to add specific details and notes that cannot be planned for ahead of time. In addition the pad is available in various sizes, colours and styles to best suit a servers need.

Accurate – By using a traditional order pad, the responsibility starts and stops with the server, ensuring accurate orders make it to the kitchen and ultimately to your customers. With WaitRpads, for example, accuracy is ensured because:

  • Each server has a number corresponding with the number on their pad, making it clear to the kitchen whose orders go with what customers.
  • Many pads come with bottom tear off stubs that can be kept by servers or given to the customer as a form of receipt.
  • Order pads are simple and organized. Every order detail can be recorded and conveyed to the kitchen.

WaitRpads®, OrderPADS™ and accessories help boost your bottom line while safeguarding against mistakes or technical difficulties that force a server to start the order from scratch. This keeps everyone from the server, to the chef, to the customer sitting down for their meal happy and satisfied with their experience. 

While new and exciting technologies absolutely have their place in restaurants, pubs and cafes some things, like classic notepads and order pads, are more efficient just the way they are.

Browse our selection and learn more about how tradition order pads can save money and boost service here:


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