Leveraging Pay-at-the-Table to Improve the Customer Experience and Streamline Operations

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Building a positive restaurant guest experience relies on a lot of factors, with food quality and quick and friendly service certainly being the most important. With this in mind, restaurants need to take advantage of the technologies and solutions available to them that can help them streamline their business, which in turn will keep customers happy while also driving higher revenue. One solution that is already popular in Europe and many parts of Canada is Pay-at-the-Table (PATT).

PATT solutions have evolved significantly from just allowing customers to complete the payment at the table rather than having the server take their card back to the point of sale (POS) station. Now, fully integrated solutions can include other services like live menu updates, ordering, loyalty and service ratings. Restaurants can also leverage data and analytics, inventory and staff management applications to gain better insights into the operational aspects of their business.

Pay-at-the-Table Fosters a Better Customer Experience

For restaurants, PATT can be seen as a key differentiator for guests. Even with the most basic solutions, guests are provided a higher level of payment security since their card never has to leave their hands. This also reduces the risk that a staff member could copy the card’s details. Since the payment is completed at the table, customers can pay their way, whether they want to insert their chip card, tap for contactless or use a mobile wallet.

By streamlining the payment experience, you also allow guests to leave more on their terms. Rather than waiting for their server to return with their check, guests can complete the payment when they’re ready and leave at their convenience. This ensures that a poor payment experience doesn’t ruin an otherwise positive meal.

Operational Efficiencies Created by Pay-at-the-Table

While creating a better guest experience will certainly help restaurants increase their popularity and drive more revenue, it’s not the only way that PATT solutions can benefit your business.

  • Data and analytics: Collecting data on most ordered dishes, average table bill, table turn time, inventory, etc. can all help paint a better picture of the business. This can help refine the restaurant’s strategy and menu to better serve customers while also reducing overhead through more accurate inventory control.
  • Live updates through the cloud: Leveraging a smart device for PATT brings all sorts of benefits to restaurants, the biggest of which is the ability to make live updates based on item availability. For example, if a server is using a smart device to enter in a group’s order right at the table, they can confirm all menu items are still available, and if not, help a guest adjust their order at the point of service. Previously, a server would need to return to the table to get an updated order after finding out that the meal was out of stock. Cloud updates can also be used to help remind servers of certain meals or specials to recommend to customers.
  • Efficiency creates revenue opportunities: PATT solutions enable servers to accept payment as the bill is presented, removing the additional steps traditionally needed to process a credit card at a POS station. On average this saves servers nine minutes per table, which over the course of a shift, adds up. (review our PATT ROI calculator to see how much revenue you could add in a night)

Find the Solution that Fits Your Business

No two restaurants are alike – so why should you need to adapt to a solution that doesn’t fit your business? Luckily, there are a wide variety of form factors and accompanying software solutions that can be leveraged to fit the needs of your business. From all-in-one tablet solutions to mobile POS to wireless terminals there is a solution available that fits your customer experience needs.

Interested in learning about how your business can benefit from Pay-at-the-Table? Get in touch!

Kyle Utterback is Senior Account Manager at Ingenico Group, North America

Photo by Alex Haney on Unsplash

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