NB: The most important screen (by a looong way) is the Orders screen. That the one that will determine the success of this app and the winning design. I would suggest submitting only that screen and afterwards building the Login and Table screens.
1. Login screen
Display the restaurant name and the waiters (no photos -- just names). Does not have to be a list -- can by boxes/grid. The waiter logs in by selecting his name and them swiping a pattern lock.
2. Tables List screen
Display the restaurant name, the waiter name and the tables. Each table should only have the table name and (on 1 or 2 tables) an icon alerting the waiter that an order has not be sent to the POS (probably because the waiter is out of WiFi range).
The waiter clicks on a table to go to the Order screen.
3. Order screen
The most important screen!
This is where the waiter takes the order and sends it to the POS. You do not see previous orders here -- they have been deleted from the app when they were sent to the POS.
This page is divided into:
(1) the Menu -- all the items on the menu
(2) the Order -- list of menu items ordered
And they both need to be seen AT THE SAME TIME. So the waiter can enter items and see them on the order. Like always seeing your shopping basket while you are shopping.
The most obvious way to do this (and what everyone in our office has suggested) is to have the screen landscape with the menu on the left and the order on the right. When you pick an item on the left, it appears on the right immediately. That does mean that the size of the menu becomes as small as a phone menu, so it might be a good idea to look at phone apps to see how they navigate through a menu. A number of restaurants have apps that let customers order. Or take-away apps.
On the Order section, items on the order can be deleted and their quantities can be changed -- just like most ordering website/apps. When the waiter has finished, he clicks "Send" or "Clear". And he goes back to the Tables page.
Tricky Thing #1: Menu hierarchy
The Menu that the waiter clicks through can have many different levels. For a pizza, one restaurant might have it here: Pizza/Skinny Pizza Pollo. But another might have it under: Pizza/Skinny Pizzas/Skinny Pizza Pollo. So the design needs to handle a Menu with many different levels. The way our POS handles this is that it just opens a new screen for each new level.
Tricky Thing #2: Modifiers
Some menu items come with a selection of modifiers. So, a burger could come with "No Lettuce" and "Well Done". A menu item could have zero, one or many modifiers. In a previous version of this brief, I said you could get a modifier on a modifier -- forget that. You can get lots of modifiers, but only on a menu item (for this design at least). The waiter needs to select a modifier from the Menu section and see it on the Order section.