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How restaurants are leveraging payments to improve customer experience

Paysafe’s new partnership with Applova brings order-ahead solutions and frictionless payment processing to restaurants across the U.S., creating an elevated customer experience.

The restaurant experience has changed over the past few years, and in many ways, the pandemic has been a catalyst for businesses to re-evaluate how they’re responding to increased consumer demand for more options when dining out – from how they order and pay, to how and where their meal is delivered. Whether choosing to offer customers the option to tap-to-pay or implementing a fully contactless system, restaurant operators are leveraging modern payment solutions to provide patrons with a positive and customer-friendly experience.

Throughout this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how payments technology is transforming the dining experience and ultimately serving as an important ally for restaurants to drive revenue while meeting consumer expectations all year-long.

Modern payments that create value beyond the checkout

Restaurants that have an integrated point-of-sale (POS) solution are accepting payments more than any other function, but many also use their POS for accounting services, inventory management, gift cards, mobile loyalty programs, and even leveraging customer data to drive marketing campaigns. Efficiency and maintaining greater control over the business are the two benefits that many operators cite most frequently when asked how an integrated POS helps their business build an improved customer experience.

A recent Paysafe study, which surveyed over 200 U.S. brick-and-mortar businesses, found that 70% of merchants, including restaurant operators, plan to incorporate new payments technology within the next 12 months. In the same study, we learned that the most sought-after enhancements ranged from payment terminals that enable contactless payments, or tap to pay, via a mobile device or contactless chip card to the availability of actionable customer insights.

This year, Paysafe has partnered with Applova, an order-ahead technology provider that specializes in cutting-edge self-service technologies for the restaurant industry, to provide end-to-end digital ordering solutions and payment processing that drives value for independently owned and small chain businesses. The collaborative partnership between Applova and Paysafe connects eateries, bistros, and diners of every scale to enhanced payment processing designed to streamline transactions across all designated sales channels.

Applova and Paysafe will work together to empower restaurants to start, run and scale their business by offering simple and modern approaches that help create a positive and quick payment experience for customers. Building on a shared commitment of driving inclusive access to digital payment solutions that foster growth, merchants will also benefit from Applova and Paysafe’s comprehensive suite of value-added services tailored to serve a growing community of independent restaurant owners and franchised establishments.

Leveraging self-ordering kiosks as a competitive differentiator

The self-service trend, which saw notable growth in the grocery and retail space prior to the pandemic, is making a significant impact on the restaurant industry as consumers prioritize convenience in lieu of traditional in-store solutions. Self-ordering kiosks, which Applova specializes in, have become one of the most effective technologies introduced to the industry, particularly among quick-service establishments. Not only does it empower customers to complete their order and transact on their own time, but it also creates opportunities to explore other menu items that may drive up the ticket value.

Another consideration worth noting is the positive impact that self-service technology has on employee morale as many restaurants and food service establishments have struggled with staff shortages in recent years. Self-service kiosks can be used as a time-effective solution for restaurant operators to help streamline operations for their service staff. By implementing solutions that simplify their workload without sacrificing the quality of service, employees will be more satisfied, which will ultimately lead to higher rates of retention.

QR code ordering for an elevated dining experience

With the expansion of self-service technology, consumers have grown accustomed to solutions that make it more convenient for them to dine in, order ahead, and grab a bite to eat on the go. Through the simply scan of a QR code, diners can simply use their smart phone device menu to view food and beverage offerings and initiate an order.

For customers that are pressed for time, QR codes also provide access to an online checkout where they can pay and tip at the table without prompting the server, which saves many from the inconvenience of having to wait for the check at the end. And when offered an online checkout instead, the customer is given the flexibility of selecting their preferred payment method all while being treated to a more seamless payment experience.

The streamlined customer experience obtained with mobile-enabled solutions also ensures that diners are more likely to leave larger tips. There is far less friction around paying and tipping when a customer only needs to click a button as opposed to doing the math to leave the desired tip amount. Paysafe’s study on U.S. in-store trends validates this theory, having found that 75% of merchants agree that the pre-suggested tip system increases the amount received in gratuities, and 84% of businesses found that suggesting tips helps motivate their personnel.

Overall, as restaurants look to modernize and evolve; the customer experience must do so as well. By establishing a balance between technological innovation and personalization, merchants can focus on creating an enhanced customer experience while driving value for the business.  If you’re a small or medium-sized business in the restaurant space, learn more about Paysafe’s Small Business Program