How Payment Technology Encourages Diners to Spend More Money and Time at Restaurants

by Tony Rose3 Min Read

The latest trend in successful eateries may not be the creative cuisine or their hotspot neighborhood locations, but rather technology. If you own or manage a restaurant, and you’re not using the latest payments technology, pay attention to this scenario:

Imagine your waitstaff with a mobile point-of-sale-system (mPOS) at each table, taking orders and accepting card payments without having to walk across the restaurant to the cash register station.

Then, imagine all of the information––the order, charges, credit card and customer data––from your entire waitstaff flowing into one central POS system that integrates with your bank account and all of your operational systems.

We’re talking savings here. Time saving, money savings and probably a few headache savings, as well. As a restaurant owner or manager, you could very easily track inventory, staff, loyalty programs and your bottom line. The best part is, your customer experience would also be smooth, efficient and happy-making.

Today’s Diners Expect Convenience of Mobile Tech

Modern consumers are not imagining. They’re demanding. Millennials, in particular, are favoring mobile ordering ahead of time, so their food is ready when they arrive for pick-up at their favorite carry-out location. 

Today’s tech-trendy consumers simply want to wave their mobile devices and pay, too. Mobile payments, such as Apple Pay® and Android Pay™, make it easy to move lines or bust lines at a fast-food joint, coffee shop or carry-out location. But at the table of a full-service restaurant, mPOS devices are what’s fresh on the payments menu.

An mPOS device is a smartphone, tablet or other wireless device that’s used to accept credit and debit card payments. And everyone on your staff can have one in hand to take orders and accept payments. The diner can insert or swipe their card into the device, then sign on a print-out receipt or with a finger directly on screen. No more hand jotted order-taking, no more waiting for the bill, no more waiting for the return of their card.

Since ordering and paying are simplified, the waitstaff can focus on making the customers’ dining experience even more exceptional. Plus, all of the information throughout the restaurant goes into one integrated system, and the manager can track it all, easier than ever before.

Technology Can Reward Loyalty and Fill Tables

What sort of loyalty program are you currently serving up? The ways of the past include punch cards and rewards numbers, neither of which are engaging today’s foodies. New technology can notify customers with coupons, discounts, earned points per dollar purchased, geolocation offers and a lot more.

Get creative with technology. And get your waitstaff involved, too. Maybe they could offer an instant discount at the table for signing up for a loyalty program, which would undoubtedly help your program to grow. If your employees are the ambassadors of your program, it becomes another way to deliver best-in-class service to the most loyal customers and to build relationships with new ones.

Here’s the simple part. The customer can sign up in seconds on an mPOS device with their email address or a phone number for text notifications. Keep it simple, and customers are more likely to join.

Then, you can incentivize your customers with birthday discounts, free meals for the most loyal, or invitations to receive a special offer during a “happy hour.” All of which will not only make customers happier, but staff and managers, as well.

The Return for Your Technology Investment

The dining scene has evolved and will continue, with integrated technology becoming not just optional, but essential. The only question is: if you have not made the transition to an integrated payments technology system, when will you?

Considering the complexities of operating a restaurant, all the opportunities for simplifying and growing your business with the latest payment trends, consumer demand for technology, and a mobile device in just about everyone’s hand, an increased ROI seems imminent.

Tony Rose

@vantiv | LinkedIn | Website

Tony Rose is a Director of Product Management: Mobile at Vantiv, a leading provider of payment processing services and related technology solutions for merchants and financial institutions of all sizes.

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