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3 ways to get more repeat business for your restaurant

Arguably the most important factor to a restaurant's bottom line is its customers. Diners are a critical factor in a growing food service business, which is why owners must focus on driving more patrons through their front doors. There are a number of ways restaurant owners can improve recurring business.

Here are three ways a restaurant can improve its repeat business:

Offer secure, alternative payment options

Technology has significantly benefited payment processing. Customers are driving new payment methods like Apple Pay® and Google Wallet®. And, these payment options are being designed with security in mind, meaning restaurants can breathe easier when it comes to protecting sensitive customer information. Security is a primary talking point in the payments industry nowadays, and it can be used as a selling point for local restaurants. A recent study conducted by Gemalto® and Kelon Research® found 69 and 62 percent of consumers were concerned about security when using mobile and contactless card payments, respectively (1). However, two-thirds would consider using the same type of payments more often if they were proven to be secure, BankTech® reported.

Provide gift cards and loyalty programs

Customers may need an extra incentive to come back to a given restaurant. That reason can come in the form of a gift card or a loyalty program. According to Forrester® research, 59 percent of consumers stated digital coupons and coupon codes are most likely to influence their purchase decision when compared to other digital promotions (3). Similarly, consumers are more likely to return to a restaurant if they know they're going to be rewarded for their purchase. The recompense for their repeat business will likely come in the form of a discounted or free food product, or at least some type of value-added award due to their continued loyalty.

Add convenience to the dining experience

Cutting-edge payment technology has come in the form of mobile and fixed tablet point-of-sale systems. Chili's® has experimented with placing tablet POS solutions on each table to streamline the ordering and payment experience. Businessweek reported the testing went so well that the national chain plans to roll out these devices in the majority of its more than 1,260 stores nationwide (3). A fixed point-of-sale system on the table can positively impact a number of things in a restaurant, including:

  • Higher tips: According to separate data from Ziosk®, patrons end up tipping roughly 15 percent higher on average since the restaurant can preemptively program a suggested or default tip amount on the device, Businessweek added(4).
  • Feed larger appetites: Diners can eliminate time waiting for a server to take their order and place a request at their own leisure. In doing so, restaurants can boost impulse orders or even make suggestions to the consumer based on what they've already ordered. With an ordering system at their disposal, customers may be more likely to indulge in dessert or more appetizers than they initially desired.

Customer retention techniques come in various shapes, forms and sizes, but if planned properly, a restaurant can drastically improve recurring business through rewards programs and cutting-edge payment processing technology.

1. Gemalto and Kelon Research, 2014

2. BankTech, Nov. 17, 2014

3. Forrester Consulting, August 2014

4. Businessweek, Sept. 17, 2013


Gemalto™, Kelon Research™, BankTech™, Forrester Consulting™, BusinessWeek™, Ziosk™, Chili’s®, Apple Pay® and Google Wallet® are registered or unregistered marks belonging to their respective owners who are unaffiliated with and do not endorse or sponsor Vantiv Integrated Payments, LLC.


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