How nLTS Adapters Can Simplify Your Online Food Delivery System

By: Adam Swimmer

4 Min Read

6 Feb, 2022

With the rise of customers ordering food online, many restaurants use tablets to field these orders, often provided by food delivery partners. This article shows how LAVA’s nLTS adapters with Ethernet connectivity can provide a strong addition to a restaurant’s online delivery orders.

Part of the issue restaurants faces with online orders is that most markets have multiple third-party food delivery services. Restaurants often have to partner with most, if not all, of these services in order to maintain a good customer base.

If each food delivery service provides a separate tablet to the restaurant, it can quickly become cumbersome to juggle all the different devices and ensure they stay charged while communicating with the network and order printers. When the tablets are not set up properly, the restaurant might miss incoming orders, or there could be confusion in the kitchen and the food preparers end up making the wrong meal. This can lead to the restaurant getting a bad reputation and losing customers.

An nLTS adapter with Ethernet capabilities, such as the nLTS-E, can be an excellent pairing for these tablets. The nLTS-E works with select Micro USB Lenovo tablets, including the Lenovo Tab M8 HD (TB-8505F), which is often the tablet of choice for major food delivery companies. This adapter provides the tablet with SimulCharge (simultaneous charging and access to data) and Ethernet connectivity. For additional functionality, you can pick up the nLTS-2UE, which adds two USB-A ports for peripherals.

The Ethernet port provides a reliable 10/100-capable wired network connection for the tablets that are more stable than Wi-Fi. It allows the tablets to connect to both the internet, so they won’t miss an online order, and the restaurant’s internal network. If the restaurant has a POS system connected to a router, then all the tablets with nLTS Ethernet-capable (nLTS-E and 2UE variants) adapters can access the same receipt printer through that network connection. If you don’t have a POS system connected to a router, you could choose to hook up a card reader and receipt printer to each of the adapters through the nLTS-2UE’s two USB-A ports. 

To have more options on where to place the tablets, you could opt to upgrade your adapter to either an nLTS-P2UE or nLTS-vc2UE. These adapters offer the same functionality as the nLTS-2UE but are powered differently. While the nLTS-2UE uses the standard 5-volt, 2-amp charger that mobile devices use, the nLTS-P2UE uses Power over Ethernet (PoE) and the nLTS-vc2UE has a built-in voltage converter that can take a power input of between 9 and 36 volts DC. The higher power allows these adapters to be used farther away from the power source. (If you don’t need the USB-A ports, check out the nLTS-PE and nLTS-vcE for similar power upgrades.)

PoE provides both power and a wired network connection over the same Ethernet cable. It allows the adapter to be installed up to 328 ft (100 m) from the power source. This should give you enough room to put the tablet just about anywhere in the restaurant – even mount it on the wall if you so choose. If your restaurant doesn’t have a PoE-capable network switch available, you can hook up a third-party injector, which turns a regular LAN connection from a modem or router into PoE.

In contrast, the nLTS-vc2UE plugs into a regular electrical outlet, meaning you don’t need any special power infrastructure or need to buy any additional hardware other than a DC power supply with a Barrel Jack connector (2mm center pin positive). This makes it a slightly more cost-effective alternative to PoE, though; the powering distance isn’t as great. With a voltage converter-equipped adapter, you can place the adapter up to 50 ft (15 m) from the AC power source. This still gives you more options on where to place the tablet as opposed to using a standard charger. With 5-volt power, it’s not recommended to extend the charging cable beyond 3 ft (1 m); otherwise, you may not have enough power for the peripherals or properly charge the tablet.

With restaurants having to juggle multiple tablets from different food delivery services, LAVA SimulCharge adapters can be a boon for them. The nLTS-E, for example, provides select Lenovo tablets with a wired network connection, while the nLTS-2UE has both Ethernet and two USB-A ports for peripherals. This allows the restaurants to keep track of any online orders and communicate with their internal network. You can also upgrade to models with either PoE or a built-in voltage converter that uses higher voltage DC power, providing for more options on where to install the tablet.

For more information on LAVA’s nLTS adapters, check out the website.