“When was the last time you had an amazing checkout experience at a restaurant?”
That’s the question Moritz Heininger, founder and CEO of Berlin-based FinTech DIDIT, asked PYMNTS in an interview.
Admittedly, leaving a restaurant can be a tricky process for customers. It’s one thing if the bill is split evenly, but if individual customers want to pay different amounts, things get complicated quickly.
For restaurant staff, closing tables can be time consuming, not to mention having to manage large groups of diners who may each want to pay different amounts using different methods – a process that can take up to 20% wait staff time, Heininger explained. .
For restaurants and their customers, QR code-based payments can solve many of these problems, he said, adding that the technology can “make the payment experience fun” and even create new opportunities for businesses.
Continue reading: Consumers want a choice of menu payments when eating out
In many Asian countries, this payment method has been growing in popularity for years, Heininger noted, citing the example of China’s Alipay, which introduced the feature to its mobile wallet in 2011. By 2016, the addition had catapulted Business-to-business mobile payments account for 71% of all transactions processed.
However, the technology has not gained the same popularity in Europe, and for many people their first experience of reading a QR code was only during the pandemic, when it was widely rolled out to boost contact tracing and helped reduce the need for physical proximity. .
Learn more: In-Depth Analysis: Exploring Different QR Code Adoption Rates Around the World
Maintain the human touch
In the restaurant industry, QR codes in their most basic form are used to simply direct diners to an online menu. While this has some benefits for restaurants, it lacks the interactivity of more sophisticated solutions such as “self-ordering” where customers can place an order using interactive menus.
Self-service checkout, another use case for QR codes in restaurants, allows diners to scan a code to make payments, reducing the need for wait staff to come to the table, which at in turn leads to a smoother checkout experience in most cases.
Overall, there’s less demand for self-ordering than self-paying, Heininger said, although the company plans to introduce the service by the end of this year.
He added that while restaurants with fast customer turnover have the most to gain by removing wait staff from the ordering process — and “personal contact doesn’t matter so much” — many restaurants prefer retaining the human touch that comes with ordering in person. .
More on this: Restaurants seek to balance full-service with digital ease
Highlighting this point, he added that some of the restaurants DIDIT works with have expressed interest in QR-based ordering, in which the first order is always taken by a wait staff while a QR code is also provided on the table for customers to order. extras like drinks throughout their meal.
QR payments unlock brand value
In addition to helping provide a smoother experience for customers paying their bills, Heininger said mobile self-checkout has other benefits for restaurants that DIDIT is looking to capitalize on.
First, he noted that when restaurants introduced the system, they saw an increase in the amount of tips. In fact, while there are options to customize the tip amount added to a bill on the DIDIT web app, people have stuck with the default option of 10%, which is standard in Germany. Counter this with other payment methods, where the tendency is to round up for convenience and results in lower value tips for staff.
Another area in which DIDIT has sought to optimize the payment process for restaurants is the integration of a review system. As Heininger explained, during the self-checkout process, customers are prompted to leave a review. If they select three stars or less, the review stays internal, but if they select four or five, then they have the option of posting the review on Google Maps.
Finally, he added that because customers have the option of receiving their receipts via email, self-checkout technology is a powerful tool for building customer loyalty and a useful way for restaurant brands to grow their businesses. mailing lists, which can be difficult otherwise.
See more : QR codes keep Gen Z customers coming back
Basically, the more detailed customer information can be gathered through the review system and email address collection, the more restaurants using DIDIT can boast of “marketing capabilities that only e-commerce stores would normally have.” “.
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