January 12, 2022
Restaurants that go digital first are the ones designed to be successful, according to a new report.
Consumers are looking for mobile payments in restaurants and ordering QR codes, according to new research from Paytronix Systems and PYMNTS, as reported by Yahoo! Finance. This in-store technology is particularly appealing to the same demographic of customers – typically higher-income millennials – who use cross-platform restaurant aggregators to order food. The time saving of such digital solutions appears to be the major attraction, and it works as a loyalty-building.
QR code menus became common in restaurants during the first waves of the pandemic, when experts had yet to determine that COVID-19 was not commonly spread through surface contamination.
Pay-at-the-table solutions are also gaining ground. A separate report prepared by Paytronix in collaboration with PYMNTS, called Restaurant Readiness Index, found that 28% of top-performing restaurants allow customers to pay with QR codes.
An article on QSRWeb touts pay-to-table technology, including one that uses QR codes, as an industry poised to expand throughout 2022. The technology’s purported benefits include the ability for customers to interact directly with a loyalty program, increased security compared to card payment, faster processing and allowing restaurant staff to focus on customer service instead of shuttling between cards and tables and processing payments .
However, not all restaurant diners are excited about digital solutions like QR codes.
Opponents of QR code menus complain about technology forcing diners to use smartphones at the table, interrupting conversations, The Philadelphia Investigator reports. Some further say that when customers scroll through menus on their individual smartphones, it destroys the common aspect of navigating together in a print menu. And some find the process cumbersome, rather than time consuming.
Pay-to-table technology also has some potential drawbacks, according to Grill. In addition to the significant upfront costs of replacing a point of sale system, the new process may make restaurant customers feel rushed and less likely to linger, as the decision to pay is entirely in their hands. instead of being reported when a server deposits a check.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think QR code-based menu and payment solutions, and pay-at-the-table technology, are what customers are looking for in restaurants? What do you think is the most useful technology used by restaurants today?
“Technology should be a supporting role of a meal, not the primary focus. Technology that eases friction and makes the overall dining experience more enjoyable is key.”