Many owners in the food and beverage industry have been in this horrible customer service scenario. The server presents a seated party of five seated with their bill. After 15 minutes of math and discussion among those in the party, instructions are given to the waitress: one of the five is paying in cash and needs change. Everyone else is throwing in a credit card, and all four shout out how much goes into their own respective card. Could a pay at table device have smoothed this over?
This all hands on deck moment occurred on a busy Friday night. With the staff running around asking diners and those seated at the bar to check their cards, there was no one left to serve or fulfill orders. This placed the restaurant further behind than it already was, further causing delays to customers that were already uncomfortably shifting in their seats. Add to this mix the knowledge that the wait staff mistakenly handed credit cards to the wrong people, the once calm dining atmosphere has now turned into a bastion of anxiety. What do you suppose this did to the reputation of this restaurant?
Advanced POS Technology Makes the Pay at Table Option Beneficial
Avoiding scenarios such as this can be thankfully achieved by utilizing some of the great technology gains made in the world of POS. Introducing a pay at table transaction process into your bar, cafe, or restaurant is an effective way to blend these emerging POS technologies into your internal business processes. The most effective of these technologies that will best suit you today is the adoption of mobile POS devices, especially the implementation of a tablet-based POS system.
The benefits that can be gained within your walls go beyond the customer’s table; it takes your processes and kicks them into a higher gear of efficiency. Understanding if adopting a pay at table device can provide you with clear boosts in productivity and revenue is important. It is easier to operate if the technology you lean on is meeting customer expectations, and if it presents you and your staff with opportunities to build deeper customer relationships by personalizing the dining experience.
How the Pay at Table Option Affects Customer Interactions
It should be noted that the primary purpose for moving to a pay at table process model is entirely for the benefit of the customer. Accepting table side payments allows your staff to be more focused on the customer. This enables your waitstaff more time to guide customers through specials, menu explanations, to offer recommendations based on customer tastes, and to discover any if any dietary restrictions. Your wait staff will be given more time to present potential meal add-ons that may have normally been missed.
Customer satisfaction will rise, thanks to the ability of many tablet-based POS solutions ability to connect to a kitchen display system (KDS) in the back. Orders can be instantly delivered without the need for staff to walk away. Last minute order changes can easily be communicated to the kitchen without worrying about order accuracy. Customers will steadily grow more confident in your ability to perform at a high level at all times and will marvel at your ability to stay up to date with technology trends.
Adding Efficiency to the Customer Payment Process
The most noticeable item that the customer will see a pay at table device is how easy and safe your new POS solution makes the checkout process. The typical restaurant requires its wait staff to run through ten to twelve steps in order to process the customer’s bill. When a pay at table methodology is in place, these steps are cut in half to the five or six range. The most notable of these steps revolve around the customer wait times. With a server standing at tableside, the customer does not have to wait for them to return for the payment, leave to process the payment, before finally returning with a pen and their card.
Increased security is accomplished in a few ways. First, the customer never loses sight of their credit card, and since it never leaves floor the likelihood for credit card skimming is greatly reduced. With the opportunity for identity theft largely eliminated, both by the physical presence of the customer’s card and the modern encryption used during the transmission and storage of the transaction data, your customers can feel assured that you have protected their data as much as possible.
Contributing to the heightened security that tableside payment acceptance brings is the ability to accept the most recent advances in payment options. Accepting EMV chip cards, the upward trending tap cards, or taking eWallet payments are all within reach when you deploy mPOS devices as part of your pay at table strategy. These can be either handheld devices or tablets, though it is worth noting that you will get more of a cool factor reaction with a tablet.
This all works to increase the feeling with the customer that they are not only valued but that you care enough about them to personalize their dining experience nearly without restriction. The potential improvements you may see in guest satisfaction is long-lasting and helps you to realize a fast ROI, thanks to the rise in your restaurant’s reputation. It also provides your staff with time-saving and production boosting tools that make it possible to give service with a personalized touch but in much less time.
What Can This Do to Enhance Staff Efficiency?
A wonderful side effect of taking payments at the table is the positive impact it will make on staff production. Without the need to run back and forth between the tables and the bar or kitchen, wait staff can accommodate more tables. They can do so with an increase in servicing speed and ordering accuracy, thanks to orders being clearly communicated to bar and kitchen staff. These, in turn, can notify the staff on the floor when an order is ready for pickup, which gives them more time to build relationships with diners.
The increased facetime with the customer generates opportunities for your servers to earn more in tips. Training them to properly use and manage the nuances that a mobile POS solution provides will help them to create a unique, targeted dining experience for each customer they encounter. The responsive of staff increases thanks to a reduction in traffic jams at ordering or payment terminals, as well as at order pickup counters. This reduces the flurry of staff activity, allowing you to present a calmer and more peaceful dining experience to all.
Determining if the Pay at Table Device Trend Fits You
The benefits of implementing a pay at table transaction philosophy will rely heavily on technology. Odds are, you will need to perform an upgrade to your POS solution or replace it with a modern POS software platform that can support a tablet-based POS infrastructure. Getting this right can provide you with increased traffic through an improved reputation and quicker turning tables. It can also provide wider profit margins, and increased reputation rates among your customers and your staff.
Enlisting the help of an expert is crucial for determining if your restaurant is ready to move into the world of mPOS and pay at table models. Evaluating each aspect of your operations and industry is where talech stands ready to jump in and help you to make this crucial choice. With a wide range of customizable software and payment features and flexible hardware options to choose from, you can feel confident knowing the system you’re implementing gives you the results you desire. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your valued POS partner.