Six Ways Contactless Payments Improve the Dining Experience

The rise in popularity of contactless payments can mean leaner operations, happier staff, and – most importantly – happier customers.

Contactless ordering and pay-at-the-table systems had already started gaining a slow-but-steady foothold over the past three years. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. That, in turn, forced the acceleration of adoption of contactless ordering and payment options from both the consumer and the restaurant sides of the business.

Now, two years into the pandemic and with things returning to some form of normal, contactless payments and ordering continue to be an integral way of doing business for restaurants ranging from cozy neighborhood mom-and-pop lunch spots to fast casual behemoths with locations around the world.

So, why is that?

For one, diners are getting used to it. 

A survey of 1,000 American adults by digital signage technology platform Raydiant found that:

  • 83 percent of American adults have used contactless payments at a brick-and-mortar business over the course of the past year.

What’s more – Consumers actually prefer contactless ordering and payment solutions.

Once more, from the Raydiant survey:

  • 57 percent of all Americans would rather patronize a business that offers contactless payment options rather than one that doesn’t. In other words, offering and promoting the usage of contactless ordering and payment methods is a competitive advantage for your restaurant.
  • Nearly half of all Americans – 47.2 percent — say they find using a contactless payment method more convenient than using cash or a physical credit card.

That’s where new solutions come in – and why more restaurants are employing technology like Copper’s contactless payment processing system across more of their locations.

Here are six reasons a pay-at-the-table system makes sense for your restaurant:

1. It’s Faster: As mentioned above, customers are turning to contactless payment options because they’re convenient. One primary convenience: pay-at-the table is a lot faster than traditional payment methods. By equipping your point-of-sale system to accept contactless payments using a QR code that people can simply scan on a smartphone, you’re empowering your diners to pay at their own pace. 

2. It’s More Efficient: Allowing diners to pay using a contactless payment method, in turn, reduces the number of times your staff needs to spend collecting and processing payments. This frees them up to serve other guests and/or perform other duties in your restaurants as needed.

3. It Helps You Turn More Tables: Allowing diners to pay at their own pace via a contactless method means you’re able to churn more tables quicker. No longer will diners have to wait for staff to come to them, which can be challenging during busier periods such as the evening dinner or morning brunch rush. Faster table turnover means you’ll be able to reduce wait times. Reducing wait times means less strain on your staff, happier diners, and an increased likelihood that they’ll return to your restaurant.

4. It’s Safer: Removing the need to pay with physical payment methods such as cash or credit cards means less physical contact overall between staff and diners. Diners have taken notice. In April 2020, MasterCard conducted a global survey of 17,000 consumers in 19 countries and found that 82 percent felt that contactless payments were safer than traditional payment methods. With hygiene and cleanliness being top of mind for just about everyone these days, especially when going out in public, implementing a payment option that is almost universally viewed as reducing personal health risk is a no-brainer.

5. It’s More Secure: Eliminating the need for customers to leave their credit cards or cash on the table when paying reduces the risk of those payment methods being stolen or lost. Contactless payment technology drastically reduces the overall number of touchpoints when it comes to completing a sale. Contactless payments are processed using encryption that protects a diner’s information every step of the way. 

6. It’s More Lucrative for Your Staff: Implementing contactless payment technology ensures that, as mentioned earlier, your diners are able to pay at their own pace while reducing the amount of time they spend waiting for the bill. Happier customers ultimately means bigger tips for your staff. What’s more – being able to turn tables more quickly means you’re going to get more diners in and out, in turn ensuring that your staff has opportunities to earn more money.