How to help increase restaurant revenue with digital payment solutions

Editorial Team

7 min read
Smartphone scanning QR code to pay at sushi restaurant

The restaurant industry continues to grow, with optimistic projections for sales, staffing, and customers in the near future. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2023 State of the Restaurant Industry report, the foodservice industry is projected to add 500,000 jobs, which will surpass pre-pandemic levels. Additionally, 47% of foodservice operators expect competition to increase year-over-year.

One way restaurant owners can stand out among the competition is through an improved, more seamless customer transaction process. Digital payment solutions make it easier for customers to pay their bill and gain visibility into charges. They also help restaurant staff manage their time better, with a convenient and more accurate payment solution that enables payments to be collected right at the table or online while ordering.

What is a digital payment?

Digital payments are transactions that can be completed via digital, online, or other electronic methods–for example, a mobile wallet, eCommerce site, in-app checkout, eCheck, or QR code technology. The availability of digital payments is expected to continue to increase. Statista projects an 11.8% compound annual growth rate of digital payment transaction value from 2023 to 2027.

Restaurant owners can become leaders in payment transactions and increase their average restaurant profit per month with this user-friendly technology in their establishments.

Benefits of digital payment solutions for restaurants

In a restaurant, every minute matters in the guest experience. When a server has to walk back and forth from a table to the point-of-sale (POS) system in a restaurant, it increases the amount of time a diner has to wait to get their payment processed. It also takes servers away from all the other tables they have to manage, which could impact the guest experience.

Digital payment capabilities can mean faster payment processing for both customers and servers. It speeds up the payment processing experience when dining, which also makes it easier to manage customer flow, including walk-ins and reservations.

Enhanced security

Any business that captures, processes, transmits, or stores credit or debit card information must adhere to and maintain compliance with the data security standards set by the Payment Card Industry (PCI). PCI compliance guidelines help merchants facilitate the proper processes and implement the right technology to help protect customer payment data against fraud.

With PCI-compliant digital payment processing, you and your customers can feel more secure knowing that sensitive payment card information is better protected from cyber theft.

Additionally, digital payment options can help remove the need for customers to hand over their credit or debit cards to servers to take them to another location to process payments. This can help minimize fraudulent transactions.

Streamlined restaurant operations

Restaurant owners know how many moving parts work together for a seamless dining experience. With digital payments, you can easily add the capability to your existing POS system. If you take payments in different places (like at a counter and at POS stations, for example), digital payments can be integrated into existing POS systems and add new convenient capabilities to your transaction process.

Digital payments can enhance your operations, by giving customers and servers more options for how to handle the check. You can minimize manual processes that eat up time, and make your operations more efficient with digital payment offerings.

Data analytics for informed decision-making

With POS reporting, you can collect customer behavior data to learn more about your guests. You can also gain insights into sales trends, from which food and drinks sell the best to which servers have the highest ticket sales. With more data, you can shape your restaurant strategy from an informed approach.

Customer experience and satisfaction

When the dining experience unexpectedly goes too long, and customers have somewhere to be, they often want their checks processed as quickly as possible. Contactless payments can offer faster checkouts. A customer can scan the QR code on the check with their smartphone, pay the bill via an online checkout form, and be on their way in seconds.

You can also equip your servers with handheld POS devices and mobile card readers that can take payments right at the table. Or, allow them to accept contactless payments using Tap to Pay on iPhone.

A great meal can be impacted when a customer has to flag down a server for help processing their check. With digital payment options, anyone can help a customer pay their bill. This convenience could positively impact the guest experience, which could mean more positive reviews and loyal customers for your restaurant.

Personalization and loyalty programs

With digital payment solutions, customers can sign up for your restaurant’s loyalty program right from their table. This can help save time by automating a manual process you’d otherwise have to complete, making it easier and more accurate to capture customer data during the payment process.

Loyalty program sign-ups also enable your restaurant to improve the personalization you offer when communicating with customers. Based on dining habits, restaurants can use personalized customer rewards to help build customer loyalty. Points-based loyalty programs can motivate diners to keep coming to your restaurant, which rewards both your business and your customers.

Feedback mechanisms

Digital payment processing options can also help collect customer feedback by enabling the diner to take a survey or leave comments during the checkout process.

When customers sign up for a loyalty program, they’ll have additional ways to get in touch with you. You can enroll them in email marketing campaigns that they can respond to, and they’ll be able to find other ways to contact you, such as your website, social media channels, and review sites you have profiles on.

Revenue generation

With digital payments, you have the potential to increase revenue by offering more payment options for your guests. Enabling customers to use their preferred payment methods can help increase order ticket size and keep them coming back to your restaurant.

Increased upselling opportunities

Another way you can increase your average restaurant profit margin with a digital payment solution is by using the data you gather to enhance your customer relationship management. You can use customer data to:

  • Recommend upsells and new products
  • Promote specials
  • Offer coupons
  • Personalize loyalty programs

You can also use customer data to increase restaurant ticket sizes. For example, you might discover diners generally order the same combination of items, such as a soup and sandwich with a fountain drink. This might inspire a new combo menu item that boosts total sales. Or, you might discover that specific products sell better at lunchtime. You can create a prix fixe menu  that features your best-sellers.

Online ordering and delivery integration

A digital payment system can also provide a way to capitalize on the growth of online food ordering, which is expected to increase in revenue at a compound annual growth rate of 12.78% from 2023 to 2027. Mobile payment capabilities in an automated ordering system for restaurants can streamline delivery orders, as customers can use their mobile wallets or add their payment data online to pay for food delivery from your restaurant.

Implementing digital payment solutions

If you’re interested in digital payments for your restaurant, there are a few things to consider when choosing a POS and payment processing  provider.

First, assess your restaurant needs and goals to find the best POS system for restaurant services. Think about your target customers and what payment processing features would offer the most convenience to them.

You can also ask for a sales demonstration to see a POS system in action and envision it in your restaurant. Enlist your staff to participate, so they can provide feedback and offer suggestions for what would work for them.

Staff training and integration

Speaking of staff, it’s important to create a training program for your digital payment systems that ensures all your staff are comfortable and use the technology efficiently.

Maximizing your profits with the right restaurant POS system

Offering digital payment solutions can help you maximize restaurant profits. You’re able to:

  • Add convenient payment methods for both customers and staff
  • Capture customer data that informs your operations strategy
  • Expand your restaurant offerings to include delivery and pickup orders

Digital payments are in high demand throughout the dining industry. You can be a restaurant leader that stays ahead of the competition by offering this attractive payment solution.

Clover POS systems enable digital payment transactions and provide capabilities to streamline more of your business processes. With Clover, you can manage employees, take online orders, offer delivery and pickup options, and more.

Why wait? Get started with a Clover restaurant POS System today to elevate your business.

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