It’s important for restaurant owners to have efficient and accurate invoicing systems in place, so they get paid for the work they do and the items they sell. Here, we’ll offer a few steps to develop a strong restaurant invoicing process.
Set the Terms
Clear billing terms help restaurant owners avoid costly surprises, maintain good relationships with customers, and get paid quickly. Think about the ways customers pay and the consequences of missed payments when creating invoices for your restaurant. Outline expectations before entering a contract—and stick to them. Restaurants need cash flow, and the only way to get it is to be paid in a timely fashion.
Know the Customer
To increase the chances of timely payment, restaurant owners should get to know their customers. Once a relationship is established, decide how to bill customers, whether it’s by cash, card, or contactless payment, and how long you’ll wait. By establishing important details early on, restaurant owners can avoid costly setbacks in the future.
Go Into Detail
Include necessary details on invoices while keeping them readable and clear. Label them as receipts or invoices, preferably near the top, and include the restaurant’s contact information. List the cost of items as clearly as possible, as well as any taxes, discounts, and automatic gratuities. The easier it is for customers to understand the information they receive, the more likely it is that they’ll pay fast.
Create a Paper Trail
Even though most diners prefer printed receipts, ask if they’d like electronic copies. It creates a paper trail to which workers can refer if there’s a billing dispute. Send invoices as email attachments, so they’re easy to read and less likely to be overlooked by customers.
Make Bill Splitting Easy
Many restaurants cater to diverse clientele—from families with young children to colleagues holding celebratory dinners. In such cases, diners may want to pay the bill by splitting it. Ensure that the restaurant’s invoicing/point of sale system includes a bill splitting option so wait staff can split checks on various cards.
Offer Gentle Reminders
While diners don’t like to feel rushed, especially when they’ve just enjoyed a delicious meal, it’s reasonable to send gentle payment reminders. Ask customers if they’d like the check to be brought to the table, and once they’re ready to pay, take their card info or contactless payment promptly.
Why Seamless Restaurant Checkout is Important
According to a recent study, the average restaurant order value is increasing. If a slow checkout process scares away just a few customers each week, it leaves a lot of money on the table.
When guests are dissatisfied—whether it’s the service or the checkout time that’s causing the problem—they’re more likely to leave bad reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other sites. Not only does a poor checkout process decrease revenue, but it can also harm a restaurant’s reputation. Focusing on improving the invoice payment process is worthwhile, especially when potential revenue gains are considered.
Keep Customers Coming Back
Ideally, every diner should have a relaxing and satisfying experience. Serving delicious food and keeping the front of house moving smoothly are musts in a successful restaurant. By following these tips, restaurant owners will streamline the invoice payment process, increase revenue, generate good word of mouth, and keep guests coming back.