or wait 15 seconds


Restaurants can serve more diners with pay-at-the-table tech

As the country goes into recovery mode from the pandemic, options like QR codes can help lure safety-conscious consumers back inside to dine indoors. Dirk Izzo, NCR Hospitality president and general manager, shares his thoughts with ATM Marketplace why restaurants should use this tech.

Restaurants can serve more diners with pay-at-the-table techImage courtesy of iStock

| by Dirk Izzo

When it comes to ordering, paying and tipping, modern point-of-sale technology has taken a welcome seat at the table, allowing restaurants to queue up contactless options.

Today's diners are eager to dive back into on-premise dining, but understandably, are also calling for newer safety measures before doing so. Next-generation payment preferences like pay-at-the-table tech continue to gain steam as consumers gain willingness and confidence to dine inside restaurants' four walls.

Dirk Izzo, president, GM, NCR Hospitality

Payment methods open doors to in-house dining

Pent-up demand for in-restaurant dining is high among most adults. And many of the safety measures enacted during the pandemic will continue, including contactless payment options.

Technology makes it easier than ever for restaurants to address two critical customer pain-points: queuing and waiting to pay. Pre-ordering services and pay-at-table are becoming increasingly mainstream. Payment methods evolve continuously, and your diners' preferences will constantly change as well. It's critical to keep up. Contactless transactions will grow in importance. This includes innovative pay-at-the-table solutions, which have resurrected legacy tech like QR codes.

QR Codes are Back

QR barcodes have finally found their place amid the coronavirus pandemic as they minimize and/or eliminate human contact that includes ordering, paying and tipping from the convenience of diners' phone screens.

Restaurants offer QR codes in many ways that include making them available at hostess stands, tableside or outside the door – allowing patrons to scan them with their smartphones to access the menu, order their favorite dishes and pay. Reduced contact with menus, servers and receipts equates to comfort, safety and satisfaction – all of which customers demand nowadays.

Interestingly, QR codes were invented in 1994 but failed to pick up steam until 2011 when paying with smartphones gained traction. At the time, however, few restauranteurs gave QR codes and other pay-at-the-table options a second glance.

Today, the benefits are simply too great to dismiss and include: ordering and paying from the table, quickly splitting checks and adding tips and emailing receipts – a touchless trifecta eliminating direct server-to-customer contact while enabling on-premise dining to continue.

Next generation restaurant tech

Clearly, technology enabling touchless transactions will transform traditional aspects of the full-service dining room as diners crave convenient, COVID-protocol-friendly experiences.

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry report, 40% of restaurant operators surveyed say they added a contactless mobile payment option since last March to minimize person-to-person contact. Further, since that time, half of full-service operators have added digital menus accessed by scanning a QR code.

Even when the pandemic is behind us, contactless options like pay-at-the-table technologies will be heavily leveraged by restaurants because of benefits like:
• Greater operational efficiency.
• Increased table turns.
• Higher gratuities.
• Improved payment security.
• Better customer engagement.

Restaurants aren't the only ones reaping the rewards of tableside payments. It also helps deliver exceptional customer experience by increasing payment security, performing better customer service and dining service, delivering food and receipts quicker and splitting checks easily.

Tech will enable in-restaurant experiences to resume

Although many restaurants have suffered last year, 2021 provides ample opportunity for growth and pre-COVID-19-like revenues to return. Restaurant technology is the key, so embrace it and diners are much more likely to embrace coming back inside your four walls.

Dirk Izzo

Dirk Izzo serves as Senior Vice President of NCR Hospitality. He is a seasoned leader with experience in building and marketing innovative cloud-based solutions to help clients optimize their business performance.

Connect with Dirk:  

Keep up with what's happening in the restaurant industry

Subscribe now to the Restaurant Operator Daily, which brings you the top stories from Fast Casual, Pizza Marketplace, and QSR Web.

Privacy Policy

Already a member? Sign in below.

  or register now

Forgot your password?

You may sign into this site using your login credentials
from any of these Networld Media Group sites: