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The way people pay for meals has changed dramatically in the past few years. Modern payment processing methods have introduced more convenience and flexibility, giving customers the freedom to choose the option that best meets their needs. This trend is here to stay — customers have come to expect a fast, customizable transaction each time they eat out. To meet these demands, your restaurant must offer a variety of ways to pay.

Your payment processing system has a big impact on the customer experience. By choosing a solution that streamlines operations and makes life easier for your employees and guests, you can stay competitive in the challenging restaurant industry. 

Why is it crucial to have reliable payment processing for your restaurant?

Payment processing is a core function of every restaurant business. Reliability is critical, especially when it comes to credit card processing; in 2022, customers paid for 62% of all fast food orders using a credit card or debit card. A system that can run card payments quickly, consistently, and accurately helps you reduce transaction time and keep customers happy.

It’s not enough to offer chip readers and card swipers — you also need contactless payment options. The world is quickly moving to a mostly cashless system; there were 50.8 million American Apple Pay users in 2022, and by 2026, experts expect the sector to grow to 67 million users. To meet changing consumer needs, your payment processor should allow customers to tap a card or a digital wallet. Some restaurants also enable guests to process orders in an app using saved payment methods.

As you choose a payment processing partner and set up a merchant account, look for providers with a future-oriented philosophy. The right system should streamline your business operations, reduce costs, and improve cash flow.

The need for modern restaurant payment processing solutions

There’s no question: Switching to a new restaurant credit card processing system can be challenging. It takes both time and money, especially if you need to train many employees to manage a new transaction workflow. As you weigh the pros and cons, it’s important to consider how an outdated system could be harming your business. Older payment processing solutions can present a number of problems:

  • Security. Older systems are more vulnerable to hacking, which increases the likelihood of your customers’ credit card information being exposed. This is especially true if the provider stops offering support and updates for your device or operating system. An updated credit card processing system is usually safer; modern payment processing solutions come with the latest data security technology. While there’s always a certain level of vulnerability with online and mobile payments, newer processors have a lower risk for fraud and cybersecurity threats.
  • Efficiency. Older credit card processing systems aren’t always designed for scalability, which means they may struggle with a high volume of orders. A modern payment solution can help you adapt to changes in demand, all while maintaining a fast transaction time.
  • Regulations and compliance. Laws regarding restaurant payment processing change regularly, especially amid growing data security concerns. Older systems aren’t always compliant.
  • Limited acceptance. If you’re working with an older credit card processor, you may be limited to specific payment types. For example, many outdated systems don’t come with tap to pay, which means customers can only use chip cards, gift cards, or credit and debit cards with a magnetic stripe.

Given the risks associated with outdated credit card processing systems, a modern payment processing solution is a must. It can help you adapt to shifting consumer behaviors and set your restaurant up for success in an increasingly competitive landscape.

Choosing a modern restaurant payment processing system

Not all restaurant credit card processing solutions are created equal; the right option for your business depends on a variety of elements, including your restaurant’s transaction volume and customers’ preferred payment options. As you evaluate different payment processing providers and merchant accounts, keep these factors in mind:

  • Processing fees. Most credit card processing companies charge transaction fees for each sale; the amount may vary by payment type. For example, credit card processing fees are often higher than debit card fees; if customers use a rewards card, you may be charged steep interchange fees. Do you accept online payments? It’s safe to expect higher credit card fees compared to in-person transactions. Before you sign up for a merchant account, compare the card processing fees to your sales data to estimate the impact on your profits and menu pricing.
  • Accepted payment types. Look for payment processing providers that accept a variety of payment methods. For example, Payment Depot is compatible with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, Apple Pay and Google Pay. Make sure to choose a Europay, Mastercard, and Visa (EMV) system that accepts contactless and chip and PIN payments.
  • POS compatibility. Your restaurant credit card processing solution should work with your existing POS. If you’re choosing a POS system and a credit card processor at the same time, select providers that offer seamless integration out of the box. In many cases, this compatibility is worth a higher POS system price.
  • Customer payment options. Some credit card processing systems include flexible solutions for tipping and splitting bills. These features make life easier for customers, which can encourage repeat business for your restaurant.
  • Customer support. If you run a small business, a malfunctioning credit card processor can eat into revenue. Choose a provider with reliable around-the-clock support to ensure you can get assistance as needed.
  • Built-in reporting. Modern payment processors often come with integrated reporting, so it’s easier to analyze your sales data. With insights about payment type, transaction type, and order value, you can make better decisions for the business.

Before you switch to a new payment processor, talk to your guests; they may have valuable input about preferred payment methods. It’s always a good idea to improve the customer experience by listening to consumer feedback.

Grubhub’s payment processing services

No matter what type of restaurant you run, efficient credit card processing is within reach. The secret? Choosing the right provider, especially when it comes to delivery. Grubhub is the ideal partner — Grubhub integrates with existing POS systems, so you can simplify payment processing for takeout and delivery. With the built-in technology integrations, it’s easy to streamline menu updates and reduce training time.

Plus, Grubhub makes the payment process easier for your diners. Grubhub diners value a streamlined ordering experience, and Grubhub+ diners enjoy unlimited $0 delivery on eligible orders.

By keeping your orders and processing solution in one place, you can minimize errors and deliver a better guest experience. To see how it works, try Grubhub today.