Article | July 18, 2019

Why Have Pay-At-The-Table Solutions Failed To Meet The Needs Of U.S. Restaurants?

By Sean Berg, Shift4

Social Media At Restaurant

Restaurants outside of the U.S. adopted pay-at-the-table solutions years ago. Throughout the U.S., providers of this technology failed to implement a viable solution and all its inherent benefits. However, a paradigm shift for pay-at-the-table solutions is on the horizon, and resellers need to become educated to take advantage of the opportunity.

At a glance, it is obvious to see why pay-at-the-table technology has been in demand recently. These systems provide many benefits for both the business owner and the consumer, including:

  • Increased profitability — Since guests can immediately pay for products at the table, their time spent in the restaurant decreases, increasing the number of tables that can be turned.
  • Improved guest satisfaction — Guests can pay immediately, no longer having to wait for the server to return their credit cards. This gives guests control of their time.
  • Enhanced efficiency — Servers no longer fall victim to POS traffic jams.
  • Increased security — In a typical POS transaction, credit cards and other payment forms leave the guest’s hands, creating the opportunity for identity theft and card skimming. Pay-at-the-table technology eliminates those risks.
  • Better service for less labor — Guests receive more one-on-one interactions with their server, and servers can be assigned more tables without conceding service.

What is Preventing Pay-At-The-Table Technology from Being Commonplace?

Despite the benefits for U.S. restaurant owners, the idea of implementing table-side payments requires a complimentary technology solution. First, purchasing all the necessary devices, installing them table-side, and integrating with a restaurant’s existing POS technology has been expensive and cumbersome. In fact, the cost of most pay-at-the-table solutions was so high that marketing materials included this as an obstacle.

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