It’s been a tumultuous time for the UK’s hospitality sector as pubs, restaurants, and cafes have navigated the problems of COVID-19 and multiple lockdowns.
Even now, as the sector’s economy is open, hospitality businesses face a massive challenge.
Staff shortages mean they’re struggling to meet increasing demand as customers dine out again.
Taking payments is one of the most overlooked problems in restaurants and other similar hospitality businesses, and it’s not always as straightforward as you might think.
Especially when you’re dealing with cash payments.
Making customers wait while you total their bill, take payment and then count change is a sure way to ruin what could have been – up to that point – a positive experience.
Card payments, and contactless card payments, in particular, can streamline the entire payment process so your staff can take payments faster and not waste time with cash.
In this quick guide, we’ll explain the main benefits you can expect from using a card machine for your restaurant.
1 – Take payments quicker
When your staff are running around taking orders, delivering food and tidying up, you need them to be able to move from table to table quickly.
Taking payments is the thing most likely to slow them down, but with a contactless card machine, you won’t have to worry about this.
With a contactless machine, instead of waiting for customers to hand over cash so staff can walk it over to the till, count the change out and return to the table, they can simply take a card machine to the customer and have them tap their card to pay.
The entire process takes a few seconds and means you don’t have to worry about wasted time.
2 – Make payments more secure
In a busy environment it can be easy to fall for a scam involving cash or even to innocently miscount change or lose you money.
With a card machine, you never need to worry about this.
Using a card machine, a payment will only be authorised if the customer has the funds in their account. If they don’t, the payment won’t go through.
And once the payment has been authorised there’s no way for the customer to stop the payment, so you won’t have to worry about losing money on card payments.
3 – Contactless payments are more hygienic
COVID-19 highlighted how unhygienic cash can be, and one of the steps people were urged to take during the pandemic was to switch to contactless card payments to avoid handling cash and passing on germs.
In the hospitality sector, hygiene is already a huge issue and when your staff are handling customers’ food, the last thing you need is them touching notes and old coins in between.
To maintain hygiene they’d need to wash their hands after every transaction, and they’d spend a lot of time doing that during a busy service when they should be serving customers.
A contactless card machine solves this problem because the only device your employee needs to handle would be the card machine – which can be easily cleaned and your employees don’t need to worry about customers touching it.
The customer simply taps their card against the machine, and everything is completed in an instant.
4 – Add flexibility to your payments
A portable contactless card machine makes it easy for employees to take payments directly to customers and avoid lengthy queues at the counter when it’s time to pay.
But many restaurants now accept takeaway orders and you might not want customers coming in for a takeaway standing around waiting while diners are trying to find their seats.
With a card machine you can set up a separate payment area for these types of orders and split your inhouse diners from takeaway orders to avoid queues.
5 – Future proof your payments
As well as using your card machine to take payments using debit and credit cards, most modern card machines also accept digital payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
A growing number of customers are now making payments in this way so it’s important you’re able to adapt to the ways your customers want to pay.
6 – Adapt to taking phone orders (and online)
Many restaurants, and even pubs, now accept phone orders for collection and if you’ve got people ordering over the phone, it follows that they should be able to pay over the phone too.
Expecting customers to order on the phone and then pay cash on arrival risks them standing around while your staff try to find their order and then take payments.
It would be much easier if they could pay before arriving and then simply collect their food and leave.
If you’re planning to offer a delivery service you could even use the same technology your card machine has to take payments inhouse to take orders and payments online.
Improve your restaurant’s payment system with a card machine from Handepay
A restaurant’s payment process can make or break the dining experience.
Even the best meals can be soured by being forced to wait a long time to pay the bill at the end of the evening.
With a secure, contactless payment system that’s convenient for customers, you can ensure people leave your restaurant satisfied with your customer service and eager to return in the future.