Restaurants Can Improve Operations and Customer Experience with Pay-at-the-Table

Couple having dinner at a restaurant and making a toastA lot of factors go into making a well-liked restaurant, from serving great food and providing top-notch service to ensuring a positive guest experience. In today’s digital age, the tech and restaurant industries have merged to streamline these processes, ultimately improving operations and customer satisfaction, all by using innovative technology, such as a Pay-at-the-Table solution.

Pay-at-the-Table has evolved into so much more than just accepting payments at the guest’s table. Now, fully-integrated systems incorporate customer-focused services including live menus and bills, ordering options, loyalty, service ratings, etc. For the benefit of the restaurant, services like data analytics, inventory and ordering, staff management, etc. are also available. Pay-at-the-Table is becoming increasingly popular in restaurants, and with frequent advancements in the industry, the expansion of capabilities isn’t the only thing that’s changed.

A Full Range of Back-End Benefits

Restaurant owners can take advantage of new features of Pay-at-the-Table that will benefit both them and their customers. On the back-end, payment systems take some of the heavy lifting off of the restaurant staff and even encourage more business. The following Pay-at-the-Table services function as major benefits to restaurants:

  • It’s a differentiator. The enhanced experience can be a draw for guests, making the more innovative restaurants, a top choice. The customers who are attracted to this ease of payment and unique experience will be likely to return and spread the word.
  • Data and analytics. Restaurants can use data collected through the Pay-at-the-Table systems to evaluate operations based on most popular dishes, busy periods, average table turnover time, inventory and ordering, etc. This can help restaurants refine their strategy on the most effective ways to provide meaningful experiences to their customers.
  • Live updates through the cloud. This allows restaurants to keep menus updated. For example, if the kitchen runs out of an ingredient, the restaurant manager can take options off the menu in real-time.
  • New efficiencies. Servers don’t have to spend time shuffling credit cards back and forth, freeing them up to focus on food delivery and customer engagement. This also increases table turnover.
  • Increased opportunity for profit. With tables freed up sooner, restaurants can serve more guests. (Check out this ROI calculator to see just how big of an impact this can have on your restaurant business.)

Solutions for Every Scenario

Restaurant owners may worry that the implementation of these systems will require a major overhaul of their payment infrastructure. But with many great solutions available and new ones emerging, restaurants can benefit from Pay-at-the-Table and find the right fit no matter their situation. A restaurant that has a legacy system in place but wants to add Pay-at-the-Table as a feature can take advantage of many solutions available in the market. If a restaurant hasn’t opened yet, it could benefit from an all-in-one solution.

Compliance with EMV Chip Technology Standards

Security is always a concern, especially for payment transactions where customer information is at risk. With the U.S. now primarily using EMV chip technology to protect against counterfeit card fraud, many restaurants have been looking for a way to accept chip cards within their unique environment. Pay-at-the-Table allows them to do this while giving the customer control and peace of mind because they never lose sight of their card. As a bonus, many of these newer solutions are equipped to accept all major payment methods — mobile and contactless payments (such as Apple Pay and Google Pay) included. This gives restaurant guests more choice in how they pay, and therefore a better overall experience.

Pay-at-the-Table has evolved from a way to accept payments to a complete experience, both for the restaurant guest and the business itself.

Want to find out more about Pay-at-the-Table? Get in touch!

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


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