How payments help prepare for the holiday restaurant rush.

Written by Ryan on

A restaurant rush will reveal inefficient processes – show your clients how payment technologies can help improve operations.

As fall approaches, Sales Partners shift focus to help retailers get ready for the holiday rush. However, restaurants also typically experience more traffic as the holidays draw near. And while busy is good for a service industry still recovering from pandemic shutdowns, many operators need assistance to manage the holiday season restaurant rush efficiently. 

Even as summer faded and the delta variant was spreading, restaurants saw a rise in visits and a recovery from 2020 declines. The NPD Group reports a 5% increase in restaurant traffic in August, both online and in-person, over the 10% decline one year prior. According to NPD, off-premises visits represented 73% of restaurant visits in August, including delivery, carry-out, and drive-thru. Delivery now represents 10 percent of off-premises traffic, while carry-out visits hold a 49% share of off-premises sales. Drive-thru visits also saw an 11% increase in August.

Challenges restaurants face during the holidays.

A holiday restaurant rush will serve up its share of challenges for operators as demand exceeds capacity. These challenges can lead to additional frustrations for customers and staff alike due to:

  • Rushing in order to meet demand.
  • Making errors or mistakes in reservations, ordering, and other services.
  • Struggling to provide good customer experiences.

This year may also pose added challenges as the service industry faces widespread labor shortages. “Now Hiring” signs are posted outside most establishments — local, chain, franchise —  and sign-on bonuses and increased hourly wages are being offered to sweeten the hiring pot. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 10.4 million job openings across all industries at the close of August. Of those open jobs, 1.4 million were in accommodations and food services, with 1 million hires reported by BLS. However, the BLS also reported 1 million separations — quits, layoffs, and discharges. 

How payment technology helps restaurants make the most of the holidays.

With the holiday restaurant rush on the horizon and managers struggling with staffing and services, it makes sense for restaurants to expand payment capabilities to save time, reduce errors, and provide better customer experiences.

You can provide restaurants with the solutions they need, including: 

  • Online payments: Holiday shoppers (as well as consumers year-round) want the option to order and pick up dinner before heading home. 
  • QR code payments: Restaurant staff can print QR codes on receipts that take customers to a payments page where they can settle their checks quickly and without using a shared payment device. 
  • Contactless payments: Restaurant guests will be more comfortable with contactless payment options — tapping or waving a card or mobile wallet near a payment device rather than keying in information.  

Additionally, most ecommerce now occurs on mobile devices, and ecommerce dollars comprise 10% of all retail revenue. Considering that 77% of Americans own a smartphone, and of those, 79% have used their smartphones to complete an online purchase over the last six months, expanding mobile payment solutions makes sense. Furthermore, statistics show that 40% of mobile users will head to the competition after a bad mobile experience, and 84% have reported difficulty completing mobile transactions. 

Seize the opportunity.  

In the midst of a holiday rush, restaurants probably aren’t open to changing payment technology. However, the holidays are a good time for ISO agents to take note of the challenges that restaurants face and to plan for discussions in January about starting the New Year right.

Take the role of trusted business advisor and show restaurants how they can operate more efficiently and successfully by leveraging the latest payment solutions!