Technology has revolutionized the way business works. This is especially true in the restaurant industry, where it’s become the norm to rely on one software solution to manage inventory, schedule employees, and track revenue. In this week’s blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the transactions that make the biggest impact on your restaurant’s bottom line: accepting payments from guests.

 

1. Cash

Did you know that the cash register was invented in 1879? That’s the same year the light bulb was first patented. This outdated tech has paved the way for Point of Sale systems everywhere. Without these important technological advances, cash would be the only item on this list…and you’d be reading this article by candlelight.

Cash is a relatively simple, tried-and-true payment method. The major benefit is that it encourages guests to tip in cash, which boosts staff morale. In addition, it can be beneficial to have some cash on hand at all times, in case any issues arise during a shift. If your deli runs out of lettuce during the lunch rush, you can give the busser a $20 and send her to the grocery store, instead of handing over your company credit card.

 

2. Credit

Credit and debit cards are an increasingly popular way for guests to pay. In this world of online shopping (and online ordering from restaurants!), many hungry diners don’t carry cash, and rely on you to accept plastic instead. This payment method improves convenience, and encourages guests to come in any time they like, without needing to plan around a trip to the ATM.

Confusing and expensive fees are the biggest issue most restaurateurs face with credit processing. The right Point of Sale system can remedy this issue. Look for technology with simple, easy-to-understand policies. For example, CAKE offers an industry-low 2.5% flat rate for credit card processing. Whatever technology you choose, make sure it puts the majority of profits in your pocket.

 

3. Gift Cards

Gift cards are a great way to increase the foot traffic to your restaurant. Consider offering a deal on gift cards around popular gift-giving holidays, such as the winter holidays or Mother’s Day. This encourages your most loyal fans to invite their loved ones into your restaurant – and when those loved ones come back again, they might even bring more friends. Your restaurant becomes the site of a special family memory, and they’ll come back to celebrate again and again.

Processing gift cards can be complicated, and often requires special training for servers and hosts. Choose a solution that can be swiped just like a credit card, and you’ll save time while boosting profits and keeping your guests engaged.

Great service means giving your guests what they want. When you choose which types of payment to accept, keep in mind your target demographic. For example, the dining hall on a college campus probably has no need for holiday gift cards. A brunch restaurant across the street from a senior center, on the other hand, would do well to run a Mother’s Day special. There is no one right answer, just the best answer for your unique restaurant.