How Restaurants Can Optimize the Customer Checkout Process with New Payment Technologies |

By offering a pay-at-the-table option — a mobile point-of-sale that allows restaurants to accept and process payments at the table — you are able to optimize the dining experience for customers while saving your servers.

By Afshin Yazdian, CEO of US Acquisition at Paysafe – 25/07/2022

A lot has changed in how restaurants have adapted to weather the pandemic. Your company may have experienced staff turnover and you or your team have had to embark on a digital and social media adventure to survive. But I’d bet your checkout process still has a lot to do, as it does in most restaurants. By reviewing the thoughts below, your restaurant(s) can not only avoid losing customers due to payment method preference, but also seize an opportunity to stand out by providing the ultimate payment experience. Spoiler: it also means savings and more profits.

It seems QR codes are popping up everywhere these days after the pandemic pushed towards contactless. If you haven’t already, consider introducing a digital menu powered by a QR code. These are quite easy and inexpensive to make (this site offers the QR code for free). This could save you considerable printing costs.

Find a freelance designer who can make it visual. Pictures are great, especially if your menu is less traditional – and can save you having to ask your staff to explain dishes to you over and over again. This also manages customer expectations. Also find out how to update the menu online. This comes in handy when your restaurant lacks certain ingredients or the ability to serve certain dishes, or even for seasonal dishes you can offer.

Serve cash fast and easy

Time equals money for you and convenience for your customers. Everyone appreciates being served in a timely manner, and that also counts for checkout. Bringing the bill and having to return the card to the cashier for a transaction not only poses a risk of fraud but also takes time away from your service staff which could be invested in other activities (we will talk about the lack of staff later , but every task counts) and faster table turnover – which I’m sure would be appreciated at the busiest time of the day.

By offering a pay-at-the-table option — a mobile point-of-sale that allows restaurants to accept and process payments at the table — you are able to optimize the dining experience for customers while saving your servers. A mobile POS can pre-suggest tips, eliminating pen and paper fiddling, eliminating the pressure (and time) on your customer to calculate tips on the spot, and increasing the chances that your staff will receive a good tip. With higher tips, your servers can be happier and more likely to stay on the job – and we know staffing shortages have been an issue. Some systems even offer survey options to measure food quality and service levels – more data you can work with to optimize your operation.

Bill splitting is just a click away for most credit card transactions, which is convenient for group customers who will appreciate real-time bill settlement.

If you have a larger restaurant, you may be ready for the kiosk order and upfront payment. McDonald’s is a benchmark in self-service mode for high traffic areas, such as airports and shopping malls. It reduces the demand for staff while providing a visual experience for your customers. In tourist areas, item images are self-explanatory and menus can be offered in different languages ​​for foreign visitors, further reducing the demand for staff while providing a modern experience.

If your operation is large enough, it should have its own mobile app. Chick-fil-A is the gold standard in customer experience by offering location-based alerts, SMS receipts, knowledge of preferred past orders, locations, payment methods, and various pickup options (curbside street, driving, in person) . All this while also giving loyalty points to customers. Some modern point-of-sale systems offer many of these same features through their own app stores, allowing restaurants with local reach to compete with national brands and offer the latest technology to their customers.

It’s important to present your customers with all the options they want when deciding how to pay, and cash should be included. But handling cash comes with risks, such as theft, hurting employees, or even employees who make mistakes when processing invoices. Transferring and depositing cash becomes an additional burden for the restaurant manager, who is usually responsible for making bank deposits. Not to mention the health issues of handling cash in the first place. So offer cash as a card payment option, but keep in mind that customer preference for digital and contactless payments continues to rapidly accelerate.

Take advantage of free accessories

Your business can also benefit from free accessories such as check displays, signs, and hand sanitizer dispensers offered by various card networks. Most card brands (for example, check out this website or this one) offer free items that help merchants offer payment options to their customers and are useful items that merchants need on a daily basis.

As the world recovers from the pandemic and family reunions and summer travel are back in full force, consumers are eagerly returning to restaurants. Even with rising inflation and economic uncertainty causing consumers to try and save where they can, they are still opening their wallets for dining out. Now is the time to harness what payments can do for your business – from reducing costs to increasing profits, plus providing the opportunity to wow your new or returning customers with a payment experience. transparency that will build lasting customer loyalty.

Afshin Yazdian is CEO of US Acquiring at Paysafe, which provides robust, affordable, and scalable restaurant payment solutions for quick service and full service restaurants. He joined Paysafe in July 2020 and leads the firm’s Global Merchant Solutions team. Prior to joining Paysafe, he served as President and CEO of New York-based Cynergy Data until its merger with Priority Technology Holdings in 2014, where he continued as President of the merged companies. During his tenure at PRTH, Afshin made the organization one of the top 10 US processors and helped lead the company’s listing on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Earlier in his career, Afshin served as co-founder and executive vice president and general counsel of iPayment, Inc., also leading the company’s growth into one of the leading payment processors in the United States.

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Elaine R. Knight