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5 Reasons To Use Pay-at-the-Table Technology in Your Restaurant

July 11th, 2023

Pay-at-the-table - table of customers and server using PATT technology - SkyTab - Shift4

Over the past decade, restaurants have been making significant changes to keep up with technology's transformation in the hospitality industry. As a result, more and more restaurant owners are adopting new technologies to improve their day-to-day operations and customer experiences.

According to FSR Magazine, technology can enhance the dining experience for consumers that are short on time but crave personalization. Among these different types of technologies, pay-at-the-table devices are on the rise because they benefit both the customer and the business owner.

Let's dive deeper into pay-at-the-table (or PATT for short) technology and see if it's the right move for your restaurant.

What is Pay-at-the-Table?

Before getting into the benefits and capabilities, let's ensure we're all on the same page and understand what this technology is. Pay-at-the-table is a simple and straightforward system that allows customers to pay their bills directly at the table without needing the server to go back and forth to the stationary Point of Sale (POS) system.

Benefits of Pay-at-the-Table

Tableside payments can be highly beneficial for restaurants and customers alike. Here are just a few benefits this type of feature can offer.

1. Increase Operational Efficiency

Pay-at-the-table technology allows you to integrate with your POS software seamlessly. By enabling this technology to take care of customers more quickly, you can increase the number of table turns. Turning tables faster is a great way to reduce customer wait time and boost revenue coming into your business. Here are some of the great features that PATT technology can offer you.

  • Full mobility with Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity
  • Reorder items directly from the table
  • Quickly split checks and add tips
  • Send e-receipts or paper receipts with built-in printer

2. Improve Customer Experience

Tableside payment solutions allow for overall improvement in a customer’s experience with your business.

Most customers love to interact with technology, so incorporating it into their dining experience helps keep them engaged. This improvement in customer experience will create a lasting impression, thus improving the likelihood of them returning.

Additionally, PATT technology makes dining convenient and easy for customers. With the ability to pay and go, customers no longer have to wait for their servers to return with their receipts.

3. Increase Customer Satisfaction

Pay-at-the-table solutions like SkyTab offer more than just payment technology. They also allow you to keep a close watch on customer satisfaction. By prompting customers to rate their experience before leaving your establishment, you avoid poor Yelp reviews or other detrimental online reputational damage. In addition, technology like SkyTab can be great for management because it allows you to receive real-time alerts when a customer is dissatisfied with the service they were provided.

4. Build Your Marketing Database

Are you getting familiar with pay-at-the-table yet? It's also an excellent way to gather customer information during checkout without any hassle. You can use the information to notify your customers about any sales or promotions at your business. Plus, it allows you to market more efficiently to your customers in the future using the valuable data provided by your PATT solution. Here are some ways PATT can assist you in developing your marketing database.

  • Collect customer email addresses to build a database
  • Develop customer profiles, including their menu preferences
  • Create intelligent & effective marketing campaigns/promos

5. Increased Payment Security

Switching to an EMV-capable terminal can not only benefit your overall security, but it can also reduce chargebacks. Chargebacks have been a big problem for restaurants since the Liability Shift in 2015. That’s why you need a payment solution that provides card authorization, capture, and effective anti-fraud tools.

Solutions like SkyTab can accept EMV, NFC, and swiped card payments, with the added benefit of Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE) and Tokenization for maximum security.

What To Look For in a Pay-at-the-Table Solution

Pay-at-the-table_one customer and server using PATT technology.png As you consider your options for a PATT solution, keep in mind the key features that are absolutely essential. Let's explore these crucial components.

Connection Type

Choosing the right connection type for your tableside payment solution is vital. Does your business need Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities? Will you be processing orders exclusively on-site, or will you also have off-site deliveries? These are the things you need to take into consideration. Although both options are great, each comes with benefits and drawbacks. Choosing which connection type that's right for you is based on several factors.


This connection type is excellent for smaller-scale businesses such as coffee shops and cafes. The great thing about Bluetooth is that it’s also immediately ready to use upon implementation. Bluetooth terminals allow you to communicate wirelessly with a wired internet-connected base station up to 300 feet.


With a Wi-Fi option, your pay-at-the-table solution operates solely off your business's Wi-Fi. Usually, larger companies use this connection type because Wi-Fi terminals support larger surface areas better. This is all thanks to these terminals being able to roam across multiple access points and using wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) already in place.


This connection type is excellent for large and small businesses. Your mobile POS device will work anywhere your cell phone works so that you can make payments anywhere. This type of mobility benefits restaurants that offer delivery, outside dining, or catering services.

EMV and NFC Transactions

Ensuring your device can process EMV and NFC transactions is vital in today's evolving landscape. A recent survey conducted by NerdWallet found that 78% of respondents are pleased with EMV cards. Of the 2,000 U.S. adults surveyed, 47% believe the cards boost the security of transactions, and nearly half said it's their preferred payment method.

Pay-at-the-table technology is needed more than ever with the increasing problem of personal data breaches. Ultimately, customers like to know that their personal information is protected. This is why tableside payments are a no-brainer for any small business owner. Putting the customer in control of their payment security gives them confidence in dining at your establishment.

Simple Order & Reorder Functionality

PATT technology allows your customers to dine with ease. Thanks to this new technology, servers can easily and quickly order food and drinks, providing customers quicker service. And, if they want to reorder anything, they can easily do that with PATT tech as well. Making it easy for customers to order and reorder their items with a pay-at-the-table solution will keep your customers happy and bring in more revenue.

Split Check Functionality

Whenever multiple parties gather at a restaurant, they'll often want to split the check. Whether by total or by items, you'll need this functionality from your tableside payment solution. Splitting checks at the table makes it easier for the servers. In addition, it ensures accuracy for customers because both parties can communicate in real-time to separate the bill.

Gratuity Suggestions

Many PATT solutions now allow customers to tip directly through the system. Some even give customers the exact amounts to tip based on different percentage rates. These suggestive tipping rates have shown an increase in customers tipping their servers. Taking out the hassle of customers figuring out how much to tip their waiter makes a difference. Restaurants can expect higher tipping rates due to the speedy customer service and persuasive tip prompt screen within this technology. This type of feature is not only monumental for business, but it's also great for your employees. Satisfied employees lead to higher productivity rates.

Hardware Warranty

Making sure your pay-at-the-table device has a warranty should be a top priority. Things happen in high-volume environments, so preparing for the worst is always best. Preferably, you want to ensure a lifetime warranty on your POS hardware. A lifetime warranty guarantees that things like water damage, poor maintenance, or software glitches are all covered if they occur.

Supercharge Your Restaurant With the Latest Tech

Every point-of-sale system has strengths and weaknesses, but tableside payment technology gives you way more than you bargained for. About 80% of restaurant owners in the U.S. say that technology would help to increase sales, make their restaurants more productive, and give their business a competitive edge. You can expect a rise in revenue, and your customers and employees will thank you for making the change. So, what are you waiting for? Discover what pay-at-the-table can do for your business.