The New York Times as a great article on Balthazar, one my favorite restaurants in NY, titled "22 Hours in Balthazar"
There's a lot of goodness, if you can read above, below and at the lies. Here's an excerpt.
When the first party sits down, a waitress takes their coffee order, turns around and heads straight to a computer terminal.
Balthazar’s waiters — like waiters at most restaurants — spend a lot of time doing the seemingly duplicative work of punching orders they have already written down onto touch-screen computers.
The point-of-sale terminals (or P.O.S., as the occasionally vexing machines are known) remove a certain degree of human error, but more important, they keep waiters on the floor, selling food and booze, turning tables as efficiently as possible.
Food runners bring the plates to the dining room; busboys take them back to the dishwasher. There is a coffee runner whose sole task is to bring coffee from the barista to guests. For the most part, a waiter’s job is to manage the flow of plates around the restaurant.
As Wendt explains, “Anything that we can do to keep the waiters on the floor more, we do.”
I love the breakdown of the work structure. And the last line is pure gold, keep the waiters on the floor! and the P.O.S. = waiter self-service means more time on the floor. If they are not on the floor, they are not selling and customers are not being served.