EMV pay at table
Restaurants have been slow to adapt to pay-at-table technology despite the fact that it can save customers time and increase server tips.

Imagine for your restaurant faster turnover, increased customer satisfaction, higher tips for the servers, and lower chargeback fees….

There’s one simple solution for this: pay-at-table technology. Whether it’s older technology like a terminal chip card reader or newer technology such as a tablet point of sale (POS), pay-at-table technology is here. Thus far, though, relatively few restaurants are using pay-at-table technology.

And it’s not like customers aren’t asking for pay-at-table technology; demand is there. According to the National Restaurant Association’s State of the Industry report, 61% of diners polled find the option to pay at the table with a tablet POS enhances the dining experience.

Is there a downside to pay-at-table technology?

Which begs the question: if you’re a restaurant owner, what are you doing still reading this? Why aren’t you contacting POS support services right now? Don’t you want speedier turnover and better customer satisfaction? Perhaps you’re wondering what the drawback or darkside is to having your servers take payment right at the table?

If that’s the case, there’s really is no downside other than investing in the minimal cost of tablet hardware. Plus, there’s another upside of pay-at-table dining: enhanced security. Chances are very high that if you upgrade your POS to include tablet pay-at-table capability, it will include EMV (chip-card reading) technology. It’s shocking that despite EMV technology dating back to at least 2015 in the U.S., less than half of all restaurants (42%) use chip card readers. 

If your profit margins are razor-thin, it’s understandable that you’d be reluctant to invest in new technology. However, if you’re not yet using EMV technology, think about how much you could potentially be forced to pay in chargebacks. Having the latest pay-at-table technology will cut down on chargebacks and make your customer’s data even more secure.

Higher Tips for Servers

It’s impossible to say exactly what your return on investment will be if you start offering pay-at-table. But another way you’ll save money, most likely, is not having to invest as much in new-hire training or job ads. That’s because pay-at-table usually results in better tips for servers. The reason why is because your customers will be happier not having to wait as long for the check. (Remember, “TIP” stands for, as legend has it, “To Insure Promptness.”) If your servers are getting good tips, they will be less likely to find another job.

There’s a psychological factor for higher tips with pay-at-table tech…. When a server presents the tablet POS, the server will usually stay at the table to thank the customer for coming in. While the server is waiting to thank the customer, the customer is presented with easy-to-calculate tip options (i.e. 15%, 20%, 25%) on the tablet. While the easy-tip-calculator is very convenient, some customers may feel awkward selecting the tip amount with the server standing adjacent.

However, whatever awkwardness that might be felt will likely be cancelled out by the appreciation of not having to wait for the server to present the bill, walk the card to the payment terminal and wait for the card and receipt to return to the table. To prevent any awkwardness, should you wish, you can train the staff to briefly walk away from the table after inserting the credit card in the payment reader.

Pay At Table Technology

If few or any of your competitors currently offer pay-at-table, consider this a golden opportunity to be an innovator. Also, if you do adopt pay-at-table technology, state it loud and proud on your website and on your social media profiles. Let customers know that from now on, they will not only have an amazing meal, but the service will be even better. Younger diners especially will like that your eatery is using pay-at-table technology. Younger diners are more likely to post on social media about their great experience, leading to new business for you.

Contact us today to see how easy it is to implement pay-at-table technology.

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