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3 Key Features for Pay-at-the-Table Devices

  • March 3, 2020

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What to know before you buy

Pay-at-the-table devices have become a sought-after solution for many restaurateurs. Security, speed, and efficiency all work to enhance your guests’ dining experience, all while boosting your team’s productivity and thereby increasing revenue. The wireless handheld devices can be a boost to any traditional dining operation, allowing for speedier and more accurate service, as well as quick, secure payments – all without leaving the table.

When executed properly, full-service dining operations, stadiums, and other venues where payment is traditionally processed at a central location would benefit from pay-at-the-table features. But what should you look for in an ideal pay-at-the-table solution? It is important that the solution be easy to use – by guests and waitstaff – while keeping personal and financial data secure and giving your team a boost in productivity.

Customer-friendly Interface

Since both guests and servers will use the devices, it’s important for a pay-at-the-table solution to have a customer-friendly interface, which includes easy to read instructions and multiple payment options, such as pay in full or split the check. An ideal solution also offers suggested gratuity amounts and gives guests the opportunity to rate the service.

A user-friendly interface lets servers easily move between menu screens and payment screens, thereby increasing their ability to have a higher table turn rate and increased sales revenues. By offering suggested gratuities, customers don’t feel the pressure to quickly perform tip calculations. Instead, they can simply choose the option that best suits their experience, enter payment, and go.

For the restaurant manager, getting immediate feedback from guests gives the opportunity to address a less-than-stellar experience to ward off unwanted negative reviews. Most guests understand that minor issues can occur, but when the management is able to quickly address such concerns the restaurant’s reputation stays intact.

POS Integration

Mobile devices should make your waitstaff’s job easier, not more difficult. When connected to your POS system, they provide your business with a high level of efficiency. Pay-at-the-table devices should connect wirelessly to the POS system by way of WiFi, Bluetooth, or a cellular connection, allowing servers the functionality of a traditional POS in the palm of their hands.

An efficient pay-at-the-table solution will allow servers to open new guest checks, modify menu items, collect payment, and so much more. These solutions help to reduce the amount of time servers spend running back and forth to a POS terminal, allowing them to provide guests with more meaningful interaction and on-the-spot service.

Pay-at-the-table devices allow waitstaff to work more efficiently without sacrificing their ability to deliver impeccable customer service.

Secure Payments

Payments performed table-side provide guests with peace of mind that their transaction is secure. Many pay-at-the-table solutions are equipped to process EMV transactions as well as contactless payments and digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Android Pay.

The prevalence of EMV payments has become more commonplace among restaurants and other businesses, and the technology has continued to improve. EMV-capable devices use the same chip technology as stationary card readers to create a unique cryptogram for every transaction. This helps to reduce card fraud, as well as the risk and cost of dealing with charge-backs.

If you’ve ever visited a popular coffee shop chain, you’ve likely seen another guest pay for their order without ever swiping a card or handing cash to the cashier. This is what is known as a contactless payment, and it’s a popular practice that continues to grow. More and more consumers are choosing to use contactless payment as their preferred method to make purchases, so it is only natural that restaurant technology would also adapt to grow in line with this trend.

And with the popularity of contactless payments on the rise, devices that include near-field communication (NFC) provide guests with the added convenience of “tap and go” capability. Tap and go technology allows customers to pay for their purchases without the use of traditional card swiping or the use of cash. Instead, finely honed radio frequency identification (RFID) technology sends information from a device, most likely a cell phone, to a payment device that is equipped to receive these signals.

Efficiency and greater customer and staff experience are the name of the game when it comes to comprehensive pay-at-the-table solutions. Gone are the days that customers need to carry cash or even cards to make purchases. Learn how this technology can impact your business for the better.


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