14 July 2015

How to overcome the splitting headache

Fine dining restaurants, bars and cafés with table service often face the same dilemma — customers who ordered together on the same table want to pay individually with their card and request a receipt.

While the law and good customer service requires businesses to comply with these demands, it can cause a splitting headache for owners, customers and staff.

The time it takes staff to divide a bill on a large table and enter it to the terminal and point of sale system (POS) can easily take as long as serving the food and drinks. The standard payment process usually involves these steps:

  1. The customer asks for the bill.
  2. Staff member goes to the POS to print the bill.
  3. Staff member returns to the table to present the bill.
  4. The customers or the wait staff have to split the bill and optionally add a tip
  5. Staff collect the cards for payment, manually calculates the split bill and processes it on the EFTPOS terminal.
  6. Finally, the staff member has to re-key everything into the POS system.

As time is of the essence and card payments continue to rise, this can create a substantial drag for small business owners.

“It’s not a pleasant experience when customers have to wait for all these steps to happen, they just want to pay and leave,” Tyro co-founder Andrew Rothwell said.

“This complexity in paying along with potential miscalculations and errors when staff are re-entering the total amount into the POS are common and can spoil the entire dining experience. That’s why we asked leading point of sale businesses, restaurant owners and wait staff to work with us to find the simplest and most elegant solution.”

Simplifying the process

As a result, Tyro’s portable and POS integrated EFTPOS solution pay@table has been designed to simplify the payment process significantly.

“What Pay@Table users love most, is how fast and simple it is,” Tyro Hospitality Manager Nathan Cause said.

“When the wait staff returns to present the bill, each customer can enter the amount they have to pay individually into the terminal which transfers it straight into the POS system.

“This way, staff members need only one trip to the point of sale to print the bill and they don’t have to calculate or re-enter the total amount.