In 2023, it is estimated that 87 million Americans will dine out on Mother’s Day. This is great news for restaurants, but they should also be prepared for an influx of customers coming with their most special guests, and expecting nothing but a prime customer experience that will pamper their mothers.
In this article, we’ll look at how payments technology has evolved over the last few years and became an important ally for restaurants that want to level up their customer experience and their revenue while handling the busiest days of the year.
QR Codes and the Concept of Ordering or Paying Ahead
The restaurant experience has changed in many ways, and, over the past few years, the pandemic accelerated a major shift. On-demand delivery has grown, and consumers have become used to quick service and ordering through their smartphones, even while waiting at restaurants.
One notable development is the prevalence of QR codes. By scanning QR codes with their phones, diners can view the menus to order – saving restaurants the need to print new menus every time there’s a change – then pay their bill in seconds with pay-at-table online checkouts. This saves that customer – and their mom – the inconvenience of having to ask for the check, wait, hand over a card, wait again, and then have to calculate the tip manually. When offered an online checkout instead, the customer quickly gets a prompt asking for their preferred payment method and can conveniently choose from pre-suggested tips.
A recent Paysafe study with 200 U.S. in-store merchants (including restaurants and cafes) found that many are looking to implement more modern systems within the next two years: 49% want to offer smartphone-driven systems, such as QR codes, and 42 percent plan to offer self-service checkouts.
There are solution providers who offer restaurants technology to allow their customers to pre-order online (whether they choose to go or to dine-in), or to order from self-ordering kiosks. This type of technology-aided self-service speeds up things in the kitchen, and is not subject to misunderstandings between customers and cash operators, all while reducing the burden on the staff and the waiting time for customers.
This is important for restaurants, bars, and other food service locations, not only because it increases customer and employee satisfaction, but also because it increases the turnaround capacity of the restaurants, which directly impacts the business success of the operation.
Happier Staff and Reduced Costs
While there are many reasons to use QR codes at a restaurant for customers’ benefit, they can also help to cut overall costs and boost the morale of employees such as waiting staff. With QR codes for menus and payments, restaurants eliminate the need to maintain physical menus and the receipt paper associated with traditional point-of-sale (POS) terminals. This helps reduce expenses and improves the restaurant’s overall efficiency.
Another consideration is the positive impact on employees. Over the last few years, many restaurants and food service establishments have struggled with staff shortages. From ordering to settling bills, QR codes and mobile payments allow restaurant owners or managers to streamline the workloads of their wait staff. By having other methods and tools that make their jobs simpler and easier, servers and other staff might be more satisfied and could be more likely to stay on the job for longer.
The streamlined customer experience obtained with mobile POS systems ensures that diners are also more likely to leave larger tips. There is far less friction around paying and tipping when a customer only needs to click a button as opposed to doing the math to leave the desired tip amount.
Paysafe’s study on U.S. in-store trends validates the above, having found that 75 percent of merchants agree that the system pre-suggestion of tips increases the amount received in gratuities. And 84 percent found that suggesting tips helps motivate their personnel.
One thing is certain: nobody likes to wait – either seated or in lines. By providing fast service, customers can quickly receive their food, savor their meals, and remember the positive experience. Anything other than that will be remembered as friction, especially when Mom wanted to treat Mom to her special day.
Restaurant operators that choose to invest in an efficient payments system will see their operation be streamlined, their customers happier, faster service and increased capacity of customer turnaround, and more satisfied staff. With that, payments technology proves its value to the restaurant industry by delivering solutions now and every busy day of the year.