Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Electronic payment methods are gaining acceptance at restaurants

Over 50% of adults are willing to use a Pay-at-Table option. At least that was the figure in 2012. The percentage is surely higher now after the advent of Apple Pay in 2014 and other comparable products. 

In 2012 the National Restaurant Association conducted a survey to look into the perception and acceptance of Pay-at-Table options. At that time 52% of diners said they would use an electronic payment system at the table. 50% said that they would use a smartphone app to make reservations, check menus, and order take-out or delivery. 

Meanwhile the NRA also discovered that "More than 50% of full service restaurant operators plan to spend a bigger share of their budgets this year on customer-facing technology such as Wi-Fi, iPads/tablets, and smartphone apps." Restaurants are aware of the trend and are making efforts to budget and purchase such technologies. 

Last year, 2014, Cornell University's Center for Hospitality Research looked into the acceptance level of diners in regards to customer facing payment technologies such as Pay-at-Table options. They focused on seven aspects: accuracy, control of service pace, convenience, efficiency, the experience itself, privacy, and customers’ overall satisfaction. In all seven categories the traditional method of payment (receiving the bill, handing payment to server to go and process and then return with change/receipt) was rated significantly lower than electronic methods of paying via smartphone or a tablet device at the table. 

The Cornell paper concluded "that customers are excited about the possibilities of using tablets or smartphones to pay for their transactions" and that "For restaurant operators who have not yet installed payment technology, the implication of this study is that it’s time to start seriously thinking about how you might use customer facing payment technology."

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