Running a restaurant is often considered one of the most challenging jobs in the whole world. Yet, the restaurant billing system is made in a way that also makes it one of the highest-earning industries. In 2019 alone, the U.S. restaurant sector projected a record sales amount of $863 billion. This detail goes on to show that there’s plenty of money to be made here. It would be best if you found the right balance between smart decisions, favorable circumstances, and efficient support to earn your fair share of profits.
One way to ensure your restaurant’s success is by modernizing its billing system. Cutting out inefficiencies, improving processes, and adopting the right features are all part of this approach. When done right with an integrated payment platform, it can help you scale your business.
Why Improve Your Restaurant Billing System
In today’s era, cash payments are becoming a thing of the past. Whether taking a cab or paying rent, covering medical costs, or shopping for groceries, most of us have chosen to go cashless in our day-to-day transactions.
Convenience in making payments is a big draw for any customers, and restaurants that take care of this easily stand apart from their competitors. This is a huge reason why you need to modernize your billing system, but this is far from the only reason.
With modern payment solutions, you can also adopt more efficient processes for your restaurant. This improvement helps you in delivering faster services at scale with minimal slips in your quality, all while also cutting costs.
How to Update to a Modern System
With the widespread access to modern payment features, updating your billing system is now easier than ever. It is all a matter of knowing what to do to improve your billing systems and take your operations to the next level.
Assess Your Current Billing System
The first step towards improving your billing system is by understanding its current capabilities and shortcomings. Pay attention to how your system allows you to manage your payments, and if it automates data entry or not.
By taking a look at your current payment methods, your accepted modes of payment, and your costs, you can know exactly what works and what doesn’t. Further, you will be able to take the required steps to improve your restaurant billing system accordingly.
Review Customer Payment Methods
If your current billing system doesn’t go beyond accepting cash and maybe a type or two of credit cards, then looking into additional solutions that will allow you to accept more payment types will be an improvement.
As a result, customers will have a greater chance of making a payment since they will be able to have the convenience of choosing the best way for them to cover their expenses. Here are a few modern solutions that you can consider when evaluating the various payment methods you can make available to your customers.
Mobile Merchant Payment Solutions
These mobile payment solutions can process your payment through mobile POS devices. You can also use mobile card readers to use your mobile phone as a POS device. They are most suitable for restaurants that perform deliveries or do popups.
Virtual Terminals for Payment Card Processing
You can use these solutions to process contactless card payments. These payments can be taken over the register or the phone by taking your customers’ payment card details. They are suitable for traditional restaurants that may also do deliveries. Since they do not need conventional POS, they are also quite helpful for mobile restaurants.
Online Payment Gateways
These gateways help your customers process payments online for their orders. These are most suitable for restaurants that make deliveries. This fact also includes virtual restaurants that don’t have a physical address.
Keep in mind that regardless of your preferred mode of payment, having access to various credit card networks such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover is essential to a holistic payment platform. Make sure that your updated billing system supports more than one of these popular payment processors.
Tickets or Invoices, Now or Later?
Modernizing your restaurant billing system is more than just adding increased flexibility in payments. It is also about how you ticket or invoice your customers, depending on the service you want to provide.
As your restaurant expands and grows it is important to take a look at your billing formats based on the addition of new or modern-day services. This is true whether it’s a request submitted online or how you plan on charging a patron tableside.
This also goes with the time in which you are looking to have the customer pay, especially when you are selling additional services, whether it’s catering or even an online store selling products unique to your restaurant. If you’re a quick-serve restaurant, do you need them to pay immediately at a register? Do you want the customers to pay before or after a to-go order has been picked?
Find solutions that allow you to expand beyond just requiring an in-house payment at the moment of the transaction. That is why when looking to modernize billing, you also need to make sure that you are able to easily manage and monitor each billing avenue from both front-of-house and back-of-house services. An example of this is adding a virtual terminal in addition to your traditional terminals, and having them both integrated into a unified payments platform such as Stax.
Streamline Inventory Management
Even more so, it is about how you can track your inventory items. Restaurant billing systems can now help with your inventory process and many come integrated with your existing POS programs. However, not all software automatically syncs information from your accounting software to your inventory. This is especially common with traditional POS systems.
These innovations matter because they help with costs and inventory control, especially as accounting software and inventory management often have common transactions such as sales orders, purchase orders, bills, and invoices. The system is then better able to provide accurate billing costs and assist in managing stock levels in real-time as you bill your customers.
As you scale, having a system that allows you to efficiently manage inventory helps reduce growing pains (for example running out of a popular menu item due to an increase in restaurant traffic). It also allows you to quickly respond to changes in your customer’s behaviors.
Effective management systems communicate with other technologies and tools to simplify your life. Billing systems are no different. They need to enable the ability to work with various tools such as customer relationship management tools, rewards programs, and other applications that may add significant value to optimizing your business.
Choosing Your Modern Solution
No matter the type of payment methods you choose for your restaurant billing system, it is vital that you compare the costs between different providers before selecting one for your restaurant.
Equipment fees, transaction fees, and service fees all have a significant influence on your restaurant’s revenue. These costs apply whether you choose mobile merchant payment solutions or systems that use virtual terminals for payment card processing. Keeping this in mind, make sure that you maintain your vigilance in this aspect.
Remember to make sure that the payment provider you end up selecting offers state-of-the-art security mechanisms. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is essential for all providers that process card payments through any means. Ensure that your chosen provider has full compliance with this standard to protect your customers from any mishaps.
Consider an Integrated Solution
An integrated payment platform helps you consolidate your payment solutions and improve efficiencies through automation. It lets you automate your financial bookkeeping. And it even improves your customer experience by detailed insights into your transactions. In simpler words, it is a one-stop-shop for everything related to your billing and payments.
Through its features, this modernized payment solution can help you cut costs, optimize processes, and reduce errors. That is why you must consider using an integrated solution as your billing system.
Discuss Your Needs With a Provider
To make sure that you are not only updating the payment methods in your billing system but also using modern mechanisms such as an integrated payment platform, make it a point to discuss your needs with your chosen provider. Whether you need support for mobile payment solutions or online payments, be open with what you want.
Remember not to bargain on features that you need the most, even if you have to look at a different provider to meet your needs. This improvement ensures that you are not making any compromises with your requirements, and genuinely updating to a modernized billing system that will stand the test of time.
Stax’ customizable payment solutions have helped restaurant businesses of all scales and sizes. Whether you run an edgy popup or a traditional steakhouse, we can help you cost-effectively modernize your restaurant billing system in no time.