4 Ways Restaurants Can Use Their Payment Solution As A Competitive Advantage

Follow these steps to delight your guests and help reduce cart abandonment.

With to-do lists peaking during the holiday season, your guests are looking for quick ways to check items off their list. Anyone planning to host friends and family knows one of the most time-consuming parts is cooking holiday meals. That’s why Americans who gave up cooking and ordered in for Thanksgiving saved an average of 7 hours otherwise spent on meal prep. With additional holidays on the horizon, we expect families to alleviate the stress of preparing big meals by ordering from their favorite restaurants. 

Managing the influx of traffic to your direct ordering site during this busy time is essential to help maximize sales, but there is another way to help improve digital conversion rates. According to a Baymar study, 69% of consumers abandon their cart after adding items to their basket. Knowing there are several reasons this may occur, like faulty discount codes or difficulty entering personal information, restaurants need to make sure their checkout process is simple and doesn’t make ordering more complicated. Alongside site improvements, the right payment tech stack can be a key competitive advantage.

Take these steps to delight your guests and help reduce cart abandonment this holiday season: 

  1. Make the checkout process simple. Remove any friction from the checkout process to increase basket conversion rates. Identify potential roadblocks by taking test runs through the checkout process and running speed tests. In addition, review your menu to make sure it is easy to navigate. A simple ordering interface will help guests quickly build a basket and checkout in less time. 
  2. Offer digital wallet support. Let’s face it, the most tedious part of paying for items online is entering your credit card information continuously. Guests expect a fast and frictionless checkout process. It’s no surprise that a growing number of US consumers prefer to use digital wallets to save time. If your restaurants don’t already offer this feature, adding Apple Pay and Google Pay support may help increase conversion rates.


[Enabling new payment options is the top business driver impacting POS upgrades for 64% of restaurants, according to HT's 2022 POS Software Trends report]

  1. Let guests pay with cards on file. By eliminating the need to continually re-enter payment information, you’re enabling guests to quickly and easily reorder no matter which restaurant location they visit.


  1. Improve authorization rates for valid transactions. Seal the deal by selecting a payment stack that has been optimized with authorization rates in mind. Authorization, or the process of sending transactions to be verified, ensures you're not rejecting payments from legitimate guests. Rates of authorization vary widely by payment processor and are an important part of the payment stack to consider.

While there are a range of payment processors out there, few take a restaurant-centric approach to address common pain points. There are solutions that are purpose-built to add value beyond simply moving money from one party to another. Leveraging a payment solution that helps drive sales and provides brands with new features can reduce the overhead work for operators and improve the digital ordering experiences for guests.

About the Author

Tor Opedal is the Vice President & General Manager of Payments at Olo, an on-demand commerce platform powering the restaurant industry’s digital transformation. Olo recently launched Olo Pay, a modern payments solution designed to help restaurants grow and protect their digital business. With over 20 years of experience in fintech (Mastercard) and hospitality (Arby’s), Opedal has a deep passion for technology, restaurants, and developing synergies between them. Throughout his career, his insights, strategies, and expertise have consistently fostered innovation and helped brands enhance their payment solutions.