Restaurants want to offer their customers a variety of payment options. In addition to credit card terminals, restaurants can also accept mobile payments through tablet-based POS systems
that allow customers to scan their own cards.
The right payment processor can help restaurants save on fees and features. We recommend providers that offer lower rates than other processors for restaurants, especially those with high transaction volumes.
1. Countertop terminals
Countertop card terminals have limited mobility, meaning they’re best suited for businesses with a designated area for transaction processing. This includes retail stores with a checkout counter, restaurants, and salons. In addition, countertop terminals are usually equipped with PIN pads for debit transactions. They’re also hardwired, which makes them more secure than other types of machines.
GPRS credit card terminals offer mobile payment processing with a WTS roaming SIM, which makes them ideal for businesses on the move. These include food trucks, as well as businesses that sell at events or make house calls.
When choosing a card terminal, it’s important to consider the features you need and your budget. Machines with more advanced capabilities, such as those that support automatic reloading, tend to cost more than those without these features. You should also stay away from companies that push you to lease your equipment as this can be expensive over time. Purchasing a terminal upfront is a better option.
2. Mobile terminals
Restaurants on the move, like food trucks or farmers and flea markets, can benefit from mobile terminals that are wireless. These devices can range from a small, plug-in card reader to an entire mobile point of sale (POS) iPad system.
The downside to these types of devices is that they send payment information through an insecure connection, which could be intercepted by hackers. However, restaurants can help minimize risks by connecting to a private network and adhering to data security best practices.
As more and more customers turn away from cash payments, it’s important for restaurants to have the right technology on hand to serve them. Whether it’s traditional countertop terminals, mobile POS terminals, or self-payment devices, these tools make it easy for customers to get in and out quickly, while improving staff efficiency and customer satisfaction. They also help reduce the amount
of cash on hand, making restaurants less of a target for robbery and other incidents.
3. Standalone terminals
Standalone terminals are traditional card reader machines that are ideal for face-to-face, card-present transactions. They plug into a phone line or the internet to send transaction data to a credit card processor, which then transfers funds to a restaurant’s merchant account.
They’re also a great choice for restaurants that sell at events or market stalls, where customers may not always carry cash. Depending on the provider, standalone card terminals can be configured for mobile payments, including Apple Pay and Venmo.
As you shop around for a credit card processing service, it’s important to consider the whole picture—not just the lowest transaction fees. Look for a provider that offers competitive pricing, flexible hardware options, robust POS software and a variety of restaurant-specific features like check-splitting and table-tracking. The right restaurant payment processing service can help you grow your business while keeping your costs low.
4. Point-of-sale (POS) systems
A POS system is a network of terminals with touchscreens and an internal back office server that stores data. This system allows restaurants to split checks, modify food orders on the spot, and keep track of tabs without losing data or relying on physical cash registers. It can also help restaurants manage inventory and monitor customer feedback.
Choosing a POS system that offers the right features for your restaurant is important. You need to ensure that it will provide reliable service and generate reports that are easy to read. For example, you should look for a processor that offers detailed void and discount reporting. This can help you discover inconsistencies in your business and improve efficiency.
Depending on your needs, you can choose a POS system that integrates with a certain number of payment processors or one that has its own proprietary card reader. For example, Helcim is an excellent option for take-out restaurants because it offers inventory management tools that
make it easier to reduce waste and maximize profits.