Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Restaurants are dynamic, changing, and in high demand. Payment preferences often change with the value of ticket items. One survey found that 88% of diners pay for high-ticket, fancy dinners using credit. However, if a patron buys just an appetizer, they’ll opt for a debit card. Your restaurant’s credit card processing must meet the changing payment demands of consumers.
Additionally, restaurant payment processing must:
- Be fast and efficient
- Create a good customer experience
Customers demand an experience that starts with exceptional seating and ends with a satisfying meal. If one point in the process is not up to the customer’s standard, it can impact your eatery’s reputation. While there’s a lot that you can focus on, an excellent place to start is merchant services for restaurants.
6 Ways Restaurant Credit Card Processing Can Improve Customer Experience
1. Accept Multiple Forms of Payment
Credit card processing for restaurants goes well beyond accepting just credit cards. Today’s consumers like multiple forms of payment when sitting down to eat, including paying by:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Contactless payment
- Gift cards
Multiple payment options allow customers to choose their preferred payment method when ordering food. Due to the shift in health consciousness among consumers and restaurant employees, contactless payment is one of the most popular payment options and one that all restaurants must offer.
2. Accept Mobile Payments
Mobile payments, especially from younger generations, are on the rise. Accepting mobile payments doesn’t increase fees or costs for the business, and it’s an option that offers:
- High-end security
- Rapid payment
- Ease of use
Customers already have a smartphone in their pocket. Depending on the credit card processor chosen, you can offer them the option of paying with their mobile phones.
3. Integrated Inventory Management
Inventory management is one of the more advanced options with credit card readers that will connect to the cloud or internal databases to help manage inventory. For example, if you sell frozen take-and-go options, you can manage the inventory with each sale.
Maintaining accurate inventory allows you to:
- Meet customer expectations
- Ensure items are in stock
On the back end, management can also run reports on some units to see what items are selling quickly and to reorder ingredients and supplies as needed. From an operational and customer perspective, inventory management makes the most sense as your restaurant grows.
4. Easy Patio Payment Options
Do you have a patio or outside area where customers can sit down and eat? Instead of making your patrons walk back into the restaurant to pay for their food, you can implement mobile card readers that allow customers to:
- Pay anywhere that you have a solid Internet connection
- Eat and pay outside
Additionally, mobile readers allow for payment on the go if you have a food truck or plan to sell food items outside of your restaurant, such as at a local food tasting event. The right credit card processing system for restaurants will allow you the flexibility to accept payments anywhere your patrons are located.
5. Create a Check Splitting System
Customers are changing the way that they pay for food. In the past, it was most common for one customer to pay the entire bill. However, there has been a major shift in payment habits that has customers splitting bills.
Advanced credit card processing terminals will allow you to:
- Rapidly split bills
- Print multiple receipts
- Reduce employee error
Check splitting is one of the best ways to accommodate customers, especially younger patrons. People are “paying their own way,” and splitting checks give the customers the option of splitting the check down the middle or just paying for their own food.
6. Add Loyalty and Gift Card Programs
Consumer habits often lead them to eat at the same restaurant multiple times a month. Restaurants can use their merchant services and terminals to create loyalty programs. These programs:
- Encourage customers to come back to your eatery
- Improve your marketing opportunities
- Create a memorable experience
Additionally, the right system will empower your restaurant with a new sale item: gift cards. Patrons that come to the eatery can often purchase gift cards for their friends, spurring new business opportunities.
When credit card processing for a restaurant is combined with the right point-of-sale system, it helps improve customer loyalty and experience.
Restaurant merchant services are always changing, and it’s up to your business to keep on top of growing trends. The right restaurant credit card processing point-of-sales systems can help you stay ahead of new technologies and consumer needs.
The payment space is one that is dynamic and always changing.
Setting your restaurant up with the right systems today will allow you to leverage opportunities in the future. Adopting these new and exciting payment methods may even help you attract a new generation of clientele to your eatery.