Cash flow is the lifeblood of all businesses. In the past, everything from cattle to giant circular stones has been used to make payments. But nowadays, payments are made with things that are easier to carry around, like credit cards and smartphones. As a result, virtually all customers are now accustomed to paying with a credit card or debit at checkout to complete their dining experience.
Business owners now have even more options to make it easier for customers to make payments. New technologies are allowing restaurateurs to use payment processing solutions at the table, through mobile POS card readers, or even with customers’ smartphones.
Traditional Payment Processing Solutions
The typical payment processing that most restaurants have used for the past several decades uses credit card swipe machines and Point of Sale systems. After a customer finishes dinner, they hand a credit card to the server, who takes it to the server’s station, swipes the card, and brings a receipt back to the table for the customer to sign.
Customers are used to this system; it is easy for them, and they know what to expect. The downside is that the customer parts with their credit card, and there is the possibility for bad actors to steal your customer’s card data before they process the payment. It can also take time for your busy servers to get around to processing payments and slow down your table turn times.
For most businesses, however, this system works great. For example, fine dining restaurants may not need to look beyond the traditional payment processing solution since it still meets their needs.
Tableside Payment Solutions
Mobile POS Card Reader and QR Payment Solutions
With the development of smart mobile devices, the POS station has gone mobile. Now servers can take mobile card readers to the diner’s table for checkout. This could be a card-reading POS device or a tablet equipped with an attachment to read cards.
The development of QR code payment solutions offers numerous benefits for both customers and business owners. For example, in a restaurant using a QR payment processing solution, the server will give the customer a printed receipt with a QR code on it. The customer scans the code with their smartphone and can easily and quickly pay the bill. The QR payment option does not require the customer to download any software, and the restaurateur does not have to buy any new equipment.
These solutions are ideal for restaurants that have outdoor seating or wish to accept curbside payments. The ability to accept payment tableside or curbside saves significant steps for your servers and helps reduce congestion at critical choke points in your restaurant.
Both Mobile POS card readers and QR Payment Solutions offer increased security for your customers because they never have to part with their credit cards. In addition, reducing steps for your servers results in expedited customer service and faster table turns. As a bonus, germophobic customers can rest easy because they never have to contact another person to pay.
Both systems give automatic prompts for suggested gratuity leading to larger tips for your servers. With software that makes it easy to split checks and generate receipts quickly, your servers will be able to cover more tables, garner more tips, and lower your labor costs.
Why It’s Essential to Find the Best Payment Provider
As a business owner, you will have the opportunity to talk to a lot of people who want to sell you payment processing services. It is crucial to pick the right one. Fees are a prominent area to focus on. Naturally, you’ll want to spend as little as possible. However, fees are only one of the factors to consider. Review your contract carefully. Research the payment provider to see if they are a reliable company. Talk with other business owners who use their service to see if their customer service is as good as promised.
Payment solutions make it possible for cash flow to keep businesses running. How you accept payments from your customers makes a huge difference in what your customers think of you and how smoothly your company operates. Choosing a traditional payment solutions system or a newer pay-at-the-table system will significantly impact your business’s flow. As we have seen, mobile card reading devices and QR code payment systems can mean significant cost savings for business owners and improved convenience and security for diners.
Such a critical business function warrants an appropriate investment. Is it time to investigate whether your business is getting everything it can from your current payment processing solution?
Get the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have the best possible solution for your business; reach out to us now.