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Restaurants 'should provide a faster payment service'

29 | 07 | 13

As the UK economy continues to struggle, the eating out industry is keen to find any advantage that can help it encourage more people to visit restaurants and spend on food and drink.

One way in which companies could do this is by offering a faster service, as new research by payment processing organisation WorldPay has revealed this is increasingly important to modern consumers.

Poor performance

According to a survey by the company, a third of people in the UK are irritated by how long it takes to pay for things. Cafes and restaurants are rated as the worst performing in this regard, with only six per cent of respondents claiming payment at eating out venues is fast.

Supermarkets were viewed as providing the best service, with just under a third (32 per cent) of consumers saying paying for goods at these stores is of a suitable speed. Surprisingly, fast food outlets were not seen as being particularly quick, with only 11 per cent of respondents satisfied with their payment process.

Speed is clearly a key concern for the modern consumer and if resturants can improve the way they collect payments, they may see an increase in trade and customer satisfaction.

Indeed, people are now so obsessed with speed that 20 per cent of the individuals surveyed told WorldPay they are concerned about the time it takes to print receipts, while 23 per cent see taking cash out of their wallet as 'too time consuming'.

A preference for tech

A desire for the fastest service possible is seeing many people choose to pay for their goods using technology rather than through human contact. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents said they prefer self-service machines as this means they don't have to talk to another person. Online shopping is popular for the same reason.

Younger people tend to opt for technological forms of payment, with those under 45 twice as likely to use a self-service machine than older consumers. Human contact remains an essential part of the payment process in the restaurant industry and it will be interesting to see if that changes as a result of this growing preference for self service.

Ron Kalifa, deputy chairman at WorldPay, commented: "Technology has transformed the way we communicate but also generated expectations around the speed of interactions. Consumers are thinking in seconds rather than minutes and as our research showed, a fast shopper is a happy shopper."

He claimed businesses should consider adapting all aspects of their customer interaction processes in light of the survey's findings, including the role of staff.

"Unshackled from purchasing payments, they could provide value to customers through other means such as greater expertise on the product or service offering or getting customers more engaged with the brand," Mr Kalifa stated.

Future developments

WorldPay also asked people what type of payment technologies they would like to see become more prominent. The most interest was in PIN-based smartphones, with 30 per cent of respondents saying they are keen to pay this way.

A quarter of people claimed they would like to use online wallets, while 23 per cent and 12 per cent are interested in paying through text message and social media respectively.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801617893-ADNFCR

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