With payment experiences and technology rapidly changing in the United States, a growing number of restaurant owners across the country are starting to grab on to the latest in payment technology. Pay-at-the-Table (PatT) has been popping up in restaurants of all sizes, allowing them to better meet customer demand for ease of payments while also streamlining their processes. While restaurants of all sizes can find benefits in tableside payment processing, casual dining establishments are the ones who have the most to gain.
There are a number of benefits for implementing PatT at a casual dining establishment. It brings the point-of-sale straight to the customer’s hands, which in turn helps increase revenue and table turn rates. Beyond the increase in revenue and table turn rates, PatT devices are great for protecting customer’s sensitive cardholder data. Increased security means less chargebacks, eliminating the stress of the liability burden placed on merchants.
Small pizzerias, coffee shops, cafes, and other casual dining establishments could benefit from a payment system that gets customers in and out the door. With everything restaurant owners have on their plate, payment processing shouldn’t be one of the burdens.
Here are each of those benefits in greater detail:
Cutting down wait times by bringing the device directly to the table not only results in higher table turnarounds but it also increases the face time customers will have with their server. This results in better tips for servers, especially because of how much PatT streamlines the payment process. Beyond face time and better service, the terminal can simplify tipping by offering suggested tip amounts or tip percentages.
One of the biggest perks of PatT solutions is that it boosts convenience for the customer. It is extremely common for groups of people eating at a food establishment to want to split the check and pay with more than one card. PatT offers the option to split check and accept more than one card for payment.
There should be no doubt that pay-at-the-table solutions can help casual dining enhance their customer service and experience. Casual dining establishments tend to be busy and have less face time with customers, which is where offering PatT comes in handy. Offering PatT shows your customers you are dedicated to giving them more options to pay, as well as giving them a convenient payment experience. According to the NRA’s 2015 Restaurant Forecast, 79 percent of consumers said they thought that technology increase convenience and that technology is a big factor in where they choose to eat.
Security for smaller restaurants and dining establishments is critical when talking about credit cards and identity theft in the digital age. The transactions that give the most peace of mind are the ones where the card never leaves the cardholders hand and sight. This reduces potential identity theft and card skimming by staffers. In the past, customers’ cards left their hand for up to 10 minutes at a time. There have been instances where waiters are part of fraud groups that aim to collect credit card data.
It can be expensive for a business owner to upgrade their establishment to EMV. For casual dining establishments, a lot business owners do not have the sort of flexible income to pay for becoming EMV compliant. With the owner responsible for paying back every single chip card chargeback fee, even one could destroy a casual dining joint. PatT devices already come EMV compliant, bringing instant security to a business.
Business owners not only have to run their business but they also have to run their staff. Training wait staff is time consuming and time is a very limited thing to a business owner. Bringing the payment device to the table puts the process into the hands of the customer. This saves time and energy training waiters to work the cash register or point-of-sale system. It also opens up more time for your waiters to worry about other tables and not about processing payments.
The rising popularity and implementation of PatT solutions is certainly not a trend that should be ignored, especially by casual dining establishments. The overall customer expectation now is that their experience will include convenience and technology. While the decision of how to implement this technology is specific to each business owner, successful operators should utilize these benefits above and research PatT to look at how to bring the best technology to their operation.
Nicole Bryan is the digital content writer for Sterling Payment Technologies, a payment processing company based in Tampa, Florida. Sterling is a payment processer that offers solutions that help grow their customers’ businesses more profitably and efficiently.