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The Pros and Cons For Restaurants Investing In Pay-At-The-Table Technology

All types of restaurants are finding pay-at-the-table apps more popular as alternatives to traditional point of sale systems traditionally used to process card payments. Pay-at-the-table allows servers and customers to complete payment processing in a single trip to the table by the server with a tablet that contains the entire payment system. In this post, we will examine some of the pros and cons that restaurants find when investing in pay-at-the-table technology.


Increased Security

Customers enjoy a greater sense of security when they do not have to part with their card during the payment process. The restaurant industry has been plagued at times with card skimming by servers in addition to outright theft of card information while servers leave the table with the customer’s card. Pay-at-the-table systems also can provide alternate and more secure payment methods to customers that rely on passwords and not on card information like Google Pay and PayPal.

Simplified Receipts and Expense Tracking

Pay-at-the-table technology eliminates the need for paper receipts and the associated cost and waste. Paper receipts are expensive and thermal printing paper contains many chemicals, including potentially dangerous BPA. Printer expense and the time lost with maintenance and installing paper is also eliminated.

Modern pay-at-the-table software greatly enhances access to payment data for both customers and restaurants. Restaurants can download sales and expense data directly without the expensive data transfer process required with traditional POS systems. Customers automatically have a digital record of their payment, and printing a paper receipt that has to be later copied and/or stored is not necessary.

Increased Marketing Opportunities

Pay-at-the-table software enables restaurants to ask customers for valuable marketing information at the time of payment. Receipt screens can ask customers for their email address and also for consent to send emails with marketing information. Loyalty programs using email addresses and mobile numbers allow customers to receive valuable promotions and discounts while providing the restaurant with consumer preferences and other marketing information. Consider the power of a text message to a customer from a sports bar on the night of a game for the customer’s favorite team that provides a nice discount on the customer’s favorite menu item.

Greater Customer Satisfaction and Table Turn

Unlike traditional POS terminal sales, pay-at-the-table cuts out trips from the customer table to the terminal. Sales are completed much more quickly and customers are able to get on their way without waiting on a server who might get distracted by other customers or a manager while out to run a card. Restaurants are able to get tables cleared and turned over faster and more efficiently without leaving customers wondering where their server has gone.

Higher Tips For Servers

Tip prompt screens used by pay-at-the-table systems typically result in higher tips for servers. Customers also are prompted to make a tip decision while the server is present and able to make the best personal impression on the customer about the quality of the products and service they have received. Higher tips result in happier employees throughout the entire restaurant.


Additional Technology Expense

Adding pay-at-the-table systems requires an initial investment in the tablets and software needed to operate, and many small restaurants are not as willing to deal with the expense. As traditional POS terminals are eliminated through attrition and depreciation, the marginal expense of pay-at-the-table systems can become much easier to accept, however.

Some Customer Experiences With New Technologies Will Take Time To Be Acceptable

Some customers aren’t as ready to adapt to technology and feel that the extra time they spend using a tablet to input payment information a hassle. Like most new technologies, it is likely that more and more customers will become accustomed to new ways of doing business over time, especially given the many benefits for customers of pay-at-the-table systems. For the time being, most restaurants will likely prefer to maintain cash and card POS terminals in addition to pay-at-the-table systems.

PayHub Payments offers innovative and seamless payment processing for all small businesses, including restaurants and foodservice companies. We are your partner in processing all types of card and electronic payments efficiently and at a fair, honest, and transparent rate. Your business’s security and success is our highest priority, and we are always ready to assist with your decisions regarding payment processing systems and hardware. Our unmatched customer service will make the savings we can provide even more attractive.

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