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The U.S. restaurant industry has so far been cautious in adopting electronic payment technology for customer use, but a survey of 385 U.S. restaurant operators suggests that this is about to change. Nearly all of the respondents were aware of customer-facing payment technology (CFPT), such as mobile wallets, tabletop boxes, and remote payment mechanisms, and nearly half of them expected to install such equipment in the next year or two. At the time of this survey, however, only one-eighth of the respondents had installed such technology. Potential benefits from allowing customers to pay electronically include faster settlement, less wait-staff time needed, greater security, improved customer satisfaction, reduced labor costs, increased revenue, and access to better customer data. Ironically, security is also considered to be a potential barrier. Other barriers include infrastructure issues, the cost of CFPT devices, the cost of integrating CFPT with existing POS and payment systems, the impact of reduced customer contact, and the fact that the CFPT industry is still highly fragmented. Survey respondents believed they were saving money with the new technology, but they also cautioned that any payment mechanism must synchronize with the POS system.


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