Restaurant Payment Options: 6 Customer Payments To Consider

Nicole Georgiev
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    Every year there are more and more restaurant payment options that grow popular amongst consumers. These include contactless payments, integrated payments, mobile payments, and EMV payment

    As a result, customers are requesting to have different options for payment at each restaurant. This is not only for convenience, but also to help prevent the risk of credit card fraud

    Providing customers with different restaurant payment options will help your restaurant business establish a more loyal client base. However, what are the options you should consider incorporating into your business?

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    6 Restaurant Payment Options

    It’s normal for businesses to accept cash and credit card payments. However, limiting your business to only accepting these payment methods can cause you to lose out on a certain niche of customers. It can also hurt your relationship with existing customers. 

    It’s important to keep up with current restaurant payment options, trends, and innovations. These include having an mPOS system, a customer facing display, and modern POS software

    Here are six popular restaurant payment options that you should consider: 

    1. Cash

    Cash transactions are a standard and one of the simplest ways to pay at a brick and mortar restaurant. With cash, there’s not much that a restaurant manager has to worry about as long as there is accurate restaurant bookkeeping practices in place. 

    In terms of restaurants with online ordering, it’s also possible to offer cash payment options upon pick up or delivery. This caters to customers who are hesitant to use online payment methods. 

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    2. Credit and Debit Cards

    With credit and debit cards, customers are paying using plastic payments that are linked to their bank accounts. It’s possible to transfer card and bank information with restaurant payment technology to the acquiring bank by swiping, inserting, or tapping the card. 

    Plastic payments require verification in order to approve each transaction. Common verification methods include the card number, expiration date, or PIN. 

    When paying with a debit card, money is taken directly from a customer’s bank account. This requires them to have enough money to cover the transaction at the time of sale. 

    With credit card payments, customers don’t necessarily need to have the money in the bank. This is because they offer a certain amount of debt to the customers each month and require them to pay it back at the end of each month.

    Modern POS systems allow for contactless payments which is how newer credit and debit cards work. They allow for tapping the card on the POS system rather than inserting or swiping it. This is possible thanks to near-field communication technology or NFC. 

    Key Takeaway: Offering multiple restaurant payment options at your establishment is convenient for customers, and it shows that you value their preferred payment methods.

    3. Check or eCheck

    While it’s a bit outdated, there are customers that still choose to use check and eCheck payments. This payment method is similar to cash because it doesn’t require payment processors or merchant fees. 

    Merchant fees or transaction fees are common with plastic payment options such as debit and credit cards. These fees mean that establishments don’t get to keep 100% of the sale price since it goes to the merchant. However, with most check payments, the business owner will be able to keep all the payments.

    An eCheck is a digital form of a paper check. They are also known as Automated Clearing House payments or ACH payment. Similar to debit cards, this payment method takes money directly out of the customer’s account and deposits it in the merchant's account. 

    Since eChecks operate similarly to direct bank funds transfers, there are some fees associated with them. However, the fees are quite low compared to debit and credit card fees. 

    4. Mobile Payment

    Another one of the more popular restaurant payment options these days is mobile and smartphone payments. They are a type of contactless payment and include Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. 

    Mobile payments are convenient, fast, and secure. They’re similar to credit and debit card payments, and it’s also possible to connect your bank account to them. 

    With these restaurant payment options, businesses can track customer data. This data includes how often they dine with you, their average spend amount and commonly purchased items.

    Restaurants can use this data to tailor their restaurant marketing strategies and loyalty program to their niche market. This includes offering special promotions, discounts, or special menu items to improve the customer experience. 

    5. PayPal

    PayPal has been around since 1998 and is known to be one of the most secure and trusted online payment methods for customers worldwide. Customers connect their bank accounts or credit cards to their PayPal accounts in order to make secure payments online.

    It’s also possible to use PayPal as one of your restaurant payment options. This is convenient for customers to use because they don’t need to carry their debit or credit card with them. It’s also ideal for online menu ordering.

    6. Gift Cards

    While not as common as it once was, gift card and store credit payment options are still used by customers these days. Store credit payment options are one of the solid customer retention strategies for restaurants. 

    On the other hand, gift cards are a great way to introduce new people to your restaurant, and it’s low risk. This is because they don’t have to pay using their own money. 

    From a business perspective, gift cards and store credit restaurant payment options encourage customers to spend money. This is due to the refund they receive from the gift or store credit. 

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Payment

    Providing customers with different restaurant payment options is convenient for you as a business owner and them. It shows that you’re willing to be flexible and provide good customer service. Here are commonly asked questions about restaurant payment methods.

    What Are the Benefits of Offering Multiple Restaurant Payment Options?

    The benefits of offering multiple restaurant payment options include: 

    1. Attracting new customers
    2. Retaining existing customers
    3. Lower overhead expenses
    4. Increase cash flow

    When you accept different restaurant payment options, businesses have a better chance of meeting customers’ preferred payment choices. This shows that the business values its customers and is convenient.

    What Are Six Common Payment Methods?

    Six common payment methods include: 

    1. Cash
    2. Check
    3. Plastic payment, such as credit or debit card
    4. Mobile payment
    5. Gift card
    6. PayPal 

    What Kind of POS Hardware Do You Need To Accept Different Restaurant Payment Options?

    The hardware you need to accept different restaurant payment options includes: 

    • Cash register or drawer. This is where you will securely store cash when people pay for their orders.
    • POS terminal. Restaurant POS systems use POS software to operate. It’s possible to install mobile POS software onto mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets that have an internet connection.
    • Credit and debit card reader. With this reader, you will be able to accept credit and debit card payments. The hardware allows customers to swipe, insert, or tap their cards in order to make a purchase.
    • Barcode scanner. Using a barcode scanner will allow you to scan a SKU number or UPC code from the products during the checkout process. 
    • Receipt printer. If a customer wants a paper receipt instead of an emailed one, it’s ideal to have a receipt printer on hand.
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