The Perfect Combo: Restaurant Tech and Payment Options for Food Service Management


Recent times sparked innovative methods for a one-stop shop for managed food service and payment solutions.

Innovation has never been more critical than it is now. In 2020, we saw a global change that dramatically affected the food service industry. Now in 2021, industry leaders are adopting new methods for safer, quicker, and more effective transactions. 

Let’s review the details...

The Rundown

Like quick service restaurants, the managed food service industry endured a tough 2020. The new innovation trends are all about convenience and a sense of safety. Managed food service companies have a dedicated client base and conduct numerous transactions each day. 

Not only are these providers trying to improve speed, accuracy and quality in terms of serving guests and preparing food but also addressing trying to do more with less, in light of staffing shortages.

The pandemic also introduced a preference for less human-to-human and human-to-surface contact.

If an order and payment can be accepted online or in an app, it’s going to expedite ordering and payment for that guest and for other guests in line. Plus, it’s a win for the food service provider because it removes the repetitive transactional steps from a crew member’s duties and gets that customer in and out quickly.

If you look at mobile apps or even mobile payment devices, you start to think about all the ways these can be used to speed up service and avoid contact with surfaces like a payment device or even a kiosk. Maybe the guest orders while they are in line, or in the parking lot or the lobby, and they don’t even need to join the queue waiting to order at the counter.

All things need to be considered, as innovation is happening at a breakneck pace right now. We’re doing a lot to help brands boost speed of service, ease of payment, and the security that’s all wrapped around it.

Changes in Consumer Behavior

Guests had no choice but to adopt innovations to keep them safer during the pandemic. This included touchless payment options. Through research, we are seeing that these trends are endlessly growing and here to stay. 

Things like digital wallets are popular and make a lot of sense for everyone. But it’s not necessarily easy, and not all food service companies or their partners are prepared to accept these kinds of payment methods. This will be a trend that we’ll continue to see in the managed food service industry throughout the next few years. 

New Ways of Paying Are Becoming the New Norm

The experiences of Covid that accelerated adoption of mobile wallets, tap-to-pay, order-ahead and pay online/in-app as well as QR code-based touchless payments also pointed out the fact that the ‘old’ ways of paying really were that: old, and we didn’t need them. This has prompted people to continue to adopt and use the newer frictionless payment methods as a matter of habit.

Frictionless experiences are the new gold standard. Payment (and payments) should not get in the way. 

When consumers start going digital in their dining experiences, they are entering a realm that they have some semblance of familiarity with, from their online / ecommerce retail experiences.

As guests start to connect a digital experience with the classic brick and mortar physical presence, they recognize how smooth these experiences can be.

What opportunities can we help our customers pursue? What’s the next thing brands should be thinking about?

It’s important to not just get pulled by customers but be ready to lean into what’s next by being prepared.

  • There’s a lot of data in your payments transactions. Be sure to mine it!
  • Look for a frictionless and flexible payments solutions/system
  • Look for systems that work cohesively across all ordering and payment methods and channels: EMV, Wallets, Tap to Pay, Online/In-app, Pay with QR code. Having something that ‘plays nice’ across the board can eliminate disparate systems and the associated costs, while driving insights back to the business
  • Remember the importance of understanding guests and delivering those insights to the business
  • Ongoing change is a sure thing, and new payments and transaction methods will emerge, so work with partners that integrate with your current systems and offer solutions that are future-ready by design

NEXTEP Offers Payments Innovations

Many payment systems have higher transaction fees, meaning precious revenue is down the drain for using a system that is different from the payment products. Adopting a full hardware suite along with a payment system from the same company can save thousands of dollars each year. On top of that, working with a single provider can help avoid finger pointing when issues arise, and simplify life for the Managed Food Service provider by providing a single point of contact for both technology and payments.

While no two dining experiences are the same, all great dining experiences share certain things in common. NEXTEP Managed Food Services provides all of the solutions managed food service operations need to deliver experiences that satisfy guests, build lasting loyalty, and grow sales.

From mobile, to badges, and everything in between, NEXTEP payments provides support for all of your guests’ favorite ways to pay.