Bringing Table Service to the 21st Century

Radiant Systems buys Orderman, a European mobile payment device vendor. Radiant's purchase will expand its portfolio to include wireless pay-at-table capabilities.

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Radiant Systems, which sells retail solutions with a strong focus on the hospitality vertical, is buying Orderman, an Austrian vendor of wireless handheld ordering and payment devices for the hospitality sector.

Radiant announced the acquisition July 7.

"Orderman allows a server to come to the table, enter a customer's order into a mobile device, transmit the order to the kitchen, and then accept payment later," said Radiant CEO John Heyman. "Payment and ordering (devices offer) great return for restaurant operators."

Heyman said Radiant bought Orderman as part of a larger strategy to expand globally. He said Orderman has a strong presence in Europe, and Radiant intends to bring the mobile solution to the United States and other global markets. In addition, he said the technology will help meet industry demands for increased credit card security, customer service and server productivity. It could also translate into higher tips for servers.

"We see mobility as an increasingly important trend for consumers, restaurant operators and servers," Heyman said.

Orderman devices produce ROI by enabling servers to wait on a greater number of tables, which increases table-turns and improves order accuracy.

In addition to being deployed in restaurants, Orderman mobile POS (point-of-sale) devices are also deployed in European arenas, stadiums and ski resorts. Orderman solutions are distributed through a reseller network of more than 600 partners, predominantly located in Europe. Heyman said Radiant will leverage Orderman wireless expertise across all segments of retail and hospitality it serves.

A March report on U.S. wireless POS technology from Mercator Advisory Group indicates that the U.S. market for pay-at-table solutions is lagging behind expectations and has considerable room for growth.

"The pay-at-table proposition is stuck between compelling business benefits and a set of barriers that affect not only the merchant buying the gear but the distribution channel selling it," states the report.

According to the report, less than 20,000 proximity-based wireless POS systems, such as pay-at-table applications, shipped in the United States last year. The complexity of the technology is cited as the most significant obstacle, with retailers needing to change how they deliver service while ISO and channel partners have to deal with support challenges.

Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out's Retail Site.