As vaccines roll out across the USA and dining rooms open back up again, you can be sure that consumer acceptance of, and expectations for technology at the table have accelerated. Modern Restaurant Management released an excellent article today by Corey Chao (MRM June 2 2021) that underscores the digital transformation that restaurants are making as a result of consumer preferences changing. Mr. Chao writes, “Many customers perceive services as being quicker and better when payments are conducted through digital payment platforms, leading to higher tips for servers and greater customer satisfaction with your business.”
He hit the nail on the head. Digital payment platforms that are quicker and easier, such as specifically designed pay at the table solutions, lead to better guest satisfaction and increased tips for servers.
A key element of the pay-at-the-table experience is that the guest has the freedom to choose when and how to pay. They don’t want to be on the server’s timetable, waiting for the server to arrive with the check, return to the POS, return with the payment and only then allowing the customer to pay. Needless to say, these steps can take a great deal of time and uses the server’s time needlessly. Even worse, some hand-held payment devices which allow payment in the server’s presence require the server to stand over the guest while they review the check and complete payment. That is an awkward solution for the guest when the server’s compensation relies heavily on tips. It also is a waste of the server’s time when they could be serving other guests rather than being tied up in the payment process. Having the guest in control of their payment experience with a device designed to be left at the table is critical to guest satisfaction.
Faster, more convenient payments result in a more positive dining experience for customers...
The best pay-at-the-table solution not only makes payments more convenient, but it will accept cash, gift card, credit card (swipe or chip) and digital payment by phone. It should also offer the ability to split the check by dollar amount, by number of people or by item. Imagine that a group of friends comes to a restaurant and one of them wants to buy a special bottle of wine for the others. The payment device can allow that guest to pay for the bottle of wine separately and the remaining check to be split otherwise. That’s a payment experience that will leave a positive note to the whole evening.
Capture Guest Feedback
Everyone knows that it’s easier and less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to win a new one. The best pay-at-table solution - one designed to be left at the table at the end of the meal – can help keep satisfied guests coming back for more and intercept unhappy guests immediately. With a quick survey, a restaurant can gather critical feedback to improve service, the menu and the overall guest experience. A negative review can trigger an alert to the manager in the form of a text or email which would prompt a visit to the table before the guest leaves.
Read more about The TableSafe Advantage.