How to take card payments in a restaurant

The Norman Knight Card Machine

How to take card payments in a restaurant

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If you run a restaurant you’ll know all too well there’s no such thing as a single payment point. Sometimes customers come to the till, others you go to their table. Sometimes they sit inside, others outside. Sometimes they pay by card, others by cash. 

It varies from customer-to-customer and day-to-day.

So, given all that variety, you need a solution that ticks all the boxes - because any customer turned away is one too many.

The stats speak for themselves

Cash payments are on a downward trajectory and there’s no sign of that changing - now or in the future. In 2008 they made up 60% of all payments, by 2018 that number plummeted to 28% and by 2028, cash is set to account for just 9% of all payments.

That’s nine out of every 10 customers potentially walking away if you’ve not got a cash-free alternative.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, there are plenty of options available to you and in this article, we’ll be answering some of the most commonly asked questions.

Which payment solution is right for me?

It depends on your exact requirements really, but, here at takepayments, we have three different solutions: a portable card machine, or EPOS till system

Don’t worry, we send one of our payment consultants out to meet you before you make a decision to make sure it’s the right fit from the get-go.

What’s a portable card machine?

It’s exactly what it says on the tin really; a type of card machine you can carry around your restaurant. 

It doesn’t have cables and it doesn’t need to be plugged in 24/7, it just uses wireless Bluetooth technology and lets you take payments at the bar, in the dining area or out in the beer garden.

Here are just a handful of their pros, they:

  • Work as far as 50m away from the base,
  • Are incredibly lightweight and compact,
  • Are easy to set-up and ready to use on the same day, and
  • Have a long battery life so you don’t run out mid-shift.

What’s a mobile EPOS system?

As with a portable card machine, thanks to their detachable tablet, mobile EPOS systems can move around your restaurant with you - but they also do a whole lot more.

  • Dashboards. You can create your own customised dashboard and monitor things like sales, products and employee performance.
  • Easy access. At any time, from anywhere in the world, and on any device (providing it can connect to the internet)
  • Boost sales. By running promotions through your EPOS system and, if you own more than one restaurant, tailoring them to each location.
  • Stay one step ahead. You won’t ever have to worry about running out of stock or counting each can of Pepsi again, it does it all for you.
  • Stay organised. Track your team’s shift hours to make sure no-one’s being over or under-paid.
  • Know your numbers. Manual reporting will be a thing of the past and your weekly, monthly or yearly reports will automatically land in your account.

What’s an EPOS till system?

EPOS till systems come with all the same benefits we just listed for mobile EPOS systems, the main difference is it comes with a physical till to take cash payments and the screen itself isn’t detachable. 

That said, you can easily link it to other devices, like a portable card machine, to get the best of both worlds; cash and card payments.

Here are a few things to know about our EPOS till systems:

  1. All screens are touch-screen,
  2. We provide one-to-one remote training to help you get set-up, and
  3. They require Ethernet or WiFi connection.

How much does it cost to accept card payments?

It all depends on which option you go for. Because till EPOS systems require the actual till and screen they’ll probably be more expensive than the other two, outside of the outlay for the actual device though, the cost depends on your restaurant.

Why? Because, generally, the more you turn over each month the less you’ll be charged per transaction.

Because of this, unlike some of the other card payment providers out there, we don’t believe in giving out a blanket price. We always meet our customers face-to-face to understand their circumstances and then we create a pricing package based on what we learned.

Want to know more? Book an appointment with one of our payment consultants on 0808 274 2017.

What equipment will I need?

Again, the option you pick will answer this. Here are a few things to think about though:

  1. How many terminals do you need? If more than one member of staff’s likely to need a terminal at the same time, it might be a worthwhile investment to buy a couple.
  2. What have you already got in place? If you’ve already got a till with a secure cash drawer you might only need a card machine - just make sure it’s compatible with your existing system first, though.
  3. What payments do you take? If you are or plan to be a cash-free joint, you won’t need a till and all you’ll need is a portable machine or mobile EPOS.

Where do I get it all from? Here at takepayments, we provide you with everything you need to get going. All that’s left for you to do is follow the set-up instructions and start accepting cards.

Will I be able to take contactless payments too?

Absolutely. All our card payment solutions come with contactless built-in so your customers can start tapping right away.

If you’re ready to make the move over to card payments then you couldn’t have landed in a better place. Whether it’s a portable machine or complete EPOS till system you’re swaying towards, we’ve got the tools, expertise and price tags you’re after.

Get in touch with the team on 0808 274 2017 to chat about the next steps.

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce


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