How To Determine If Your Restaurant Needs Pay-At-Table Technology

pay-at-table technology graphic

Positive customer experiences help restaurants thrive and succeed. This includes a myriad of aspects such as food quality, ambiance, service, location, and reasonable pricing. But when it comes to service, the front staff primarily focuses only on making the ordering process and serving the process smooth. 

The most crucial thing to remember about great customer service is that their experience begins right from the moment they step into your restaurant and ends only when they leave. Transaction plays a crucial role in your customer’s restaurant experience and is highly likely to leave a mark as they leave. 

The modern customer wants to be able to pay through the popular methods in restaurant transactions today. This article will help you determine if your restaurant needs pay-at-table technology to enhance your customer experience and also streamline an essential process in running a restaurant business. 

Traditional Restaurant Payment Process

Before we dive into the reasons why your restaurant needs pay-at-table technology, let’s look at the traditional process of payments. 

Step 1 – The server takes the final bill to the customer’s table

Step 2 – The server walks away after handing over the bill 

Step 3 – The customer reviews the bill and places the cash or their card in the billfold

Step 4 – Customer waits for the server to return 

Step 5 – The server takes away the billfold to process the payment

Step 6 – Customers wait for the server to return with the receipt 

Step 7 – Customer signs the receipt and shares tip, then leaves

Step 8 – The server goes back to process the tip payment 

In our head, it looks like a simple procedure that has been going on for a long time in the restaurant business. But the constant back and forth and waiting period for the customers is not an ideal experience when it can be improved with easy-to-use technology and a slight change in the current process. 

Why Should Your Restaurant Opt for Pay-at-Table Technology?

Pay-at-table technology is on the rise because they are more secure and faster than traditional restaurant payment methods. The majority of consumers now use credit or debit cards to make payments, and using cash is a rarity. By investing in technology that will help your customers pay right at the table, your establishment can witness three quick benefits – 

– Let’s the customer easily view the bill 

– Pay or split the bill as per their choice 

– Lesser time and more interaction with the server who can guide them through the process

But let’s dive deeper into why these pay-at-table transactions are essential to your restaurant customers. 

  • Faster Service 

Once your guests have finished eating, they want to leave quickly. Similarly, you don’t want customers who are done lingering over an empty table where you could have seated other guests. To avoid this gap of time, it would be super helpful if you could quicken the speed of checkout. Instead of following the traditional payment model, if you opt for the pay-at-table technology, your customers will be able to make payments right from their seats after they are done. Thus reducing any opportunity for unnecessary delays with the back and forth, increasing table turn speed, and simultaneously increasing the tips of the servers. 

  • Greater Customer Engagement

With pay-at-table technology, servers get more face time with their customers. Instead of constantly walking back and forth to the POS system, the staff can stay at the table throughout the entire transaction. 

This time can also act as a great opportunity to collect some valuable feedback and complete a brief survey about your customers’ experiences. With this, you can build your customer database, attend to any feedback that isn’t satisfactory right at the moment, and increase customer interaction. 

  • Save Paper & Reduce Paperwork 

If you want to keep your restaurant staff happy and provide them with a proper work-life balance, investing in smart technology will be your best way forward. A POS system with all the required amenities to help your restaurant function – right from recording and analyzing your sales data to calculating receipts, will be an added advantage of adopting the pay-at-table technology.  

This will reduce additional manual work so that your staff doesn’t have to sweat over financial reports anymore, advanced devices will work on error-free calculations, and digitizing your traditional process that involves lots of paper, will make it a win for you, and the planet.

  • Reducing Fraud

Pay-at-table technology involving EMV, swipe, mobile pay, and near-field communication payments is significantly safe and secure. The more you opt for advanced technology, the more capable the security systems are. It is best to let your customers deal with their own cards than let your servers take them away for payments. 

This reduces both intentional and unintentional fraud. Sometimes, there is a case of simple human error. Giving your customers a chance to be a part of the whole transaction process will reduce any such risks of fraudulence and encourage more transparency in the process. 

  • Happier Staff

The most significant ingredient of a successful workplace and happy culture is happy employees. Pay-at-table technology increases the number of tips that your servers receive and makes it easier to calculate. 

The easier it is to tip your servers, the more your customers will tip, given the smooth and simple process of a simple tap. Keeping all the above points in mind, an overall better customer experience also boosts the chances of your customers tipping better. Higher table turn times with reduced waiting time will inevitably lead to more customers, more checks, and more tips collected overall. 


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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


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