Order and pay technology – both in store and off premise – is nothing new in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry. From order, pay and loyalty apps to self-service kiosk, fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, Domino’s and Panera Bread are rolling out customer-facing digital order and pay systems on mass and reaping a myriad of benefits in return. From boosted revenues (up to 20% on average), more loyal customers and reduced staff and operational-associated costs – it’s clear to see why digitising the order and pay process is a no brainer for Hospitality brands focused on customers looking for speed and convenience from their dining experience.
But what about the rest of the equation: the traditional, sit down, higher end, table service restaurants? Surely offering customers the option to order and pay for their meals themselves is going to detract from the special treatment they expect from these kinds of brands, as well as making the higher price tag harder to sell?
It’s all about choosing the best-fit solution for your brand. If you enter a high-end restaurant to be presented with a free-standing kiosk it isn’t going to be the same as having a server take your coat and advise you throughout the evening. Your experience won’t meet your expectations, and you might not return. However, by implementing part-journey order and pay solutions – such as pay at table technology – you can improve the guest experience and increase operational efficiencies whilst retaining the right level of customer service. And here’s why:
- You’re removing one of the biggest customer bugbears
According to a recent study by Oracle, 84% of customers agree that a quick and efficient service is important in dining experiences, while a further 78% agree that it’s important to them to be able to leave quickly when the time is right. Supplementing table service with pay-at-the-table technology gives guests the option to leave when they want, how they want. While still giving diners who want to take their time and pay via wait staff the chance to do so.
- Less time processing payments = more time to provide quality customer service
Pay-at-the-table technology eliminates time spent waiting for a server to become available to pay and leave. These moments are frustrating for the customer, and costly for the vendor: it’s dead time. And since wait staff can see what tables have been paid, they have a good idea of the floor as it stands.
- Dine and dash – legally.
Over 60% of restaurant owners have seen customers leave without paying the bill and more than one in 10 customers admit to having skipped on a bill at some point in their life. Furthermore, more than 50% of those who admit to leaving without paying have attributed it to ‘waiting too long for the bill’ or being ‘unable to find staff to take payment’. Pay-at-the-table technology gives customers the tools they need to dine and dash, legally, whilst taking the pressure off of staff to always keep abreast of payment statuses.
- Mobile payments are on the rise (futureproof now)
Cash is dying and digital payments are on the rise. By 2020, 47% of customers are expected to be using mobile payment and digital wallets. Restaurant operators need to get ahead of the game and start catering to this demand now. Pay-at-the-table tech comes in many shapes and forms; it can run on a restaurant-owned tablet or a customer-owned mobile device, and can be enabled by QR, NFC or Bluetooth. With so many different hardware and software combos comes lots of different payment integrations – from Apple Pay to stored credit to ecommerce integrations such as Adyen. There’s something for everyone. And for customers that prefer to pay via more traditional methods such as cash, your friendly wait staff will always be on hand to process their payment.