Change of Payment Methods in Restaurants

Since the pandemic, restaurants and other businesses have adapted to many changes throughout the years, and this includes payment methods. The most common ways of paying are through cash, credit card, or debit. However, this has changed in recent years.

The pandemic caused many restaurant and fast-food owners to think of new ways to incorporate safety measures when coming in close contact with customers. Since then, different ways of paying have changed to contactless payments, paying through crypto, and more.

Although, the trend toward cashless payment has been a growing trend due to the number of people who now have smartphones. According to Statista, approximately 67 percent of the U.S. population currently owns a smartphone. This means that more consumers are more often paying with their phones than with cash or even their physical cards.1

Tapping Credit/Debit Cards

This is the most common way to pay for many people throughout the world. Now, many cards include a chip in which allows people to tap their cards on the screen of a pin pad instead of having to insert or swipe their card.

The method of tapping is quicker as well and is increasingly more popular today. By tapping a card, you don’t need to enter your pin or push any buttons on the keypad.

However, some smaller businesses have been charging their consumer credit card fees as well, or some of them require their customers to spend a certain amount for them to pay with their credit cards.

Depending on the POS system the business is using, this can be the main reason why these fees and restrictions exist. These are called surcharges. It is a way for businesses to have customers pay with their credit cards to cover the processing costs that will occur when accepting credit card transactions.

“By adding this additional fee to these credit card transactions, businesses are able to cover their expenses by passing them on to customers who choose credit cards as their payment method, as opposed to those who use different payment.”2

Surcharges are legal if the restaurant mentions them to the customer. However, some states have put a ban on credit card surcharges to protect the customer.


PayPal allows customers to pay with their smartphone or for online orders. PayPal is one of the oldest and most trusted online payment methods used worldwide. You can store several cards on PayPal and choose one that you prefer for most of your payments.

Starbucks’ mobile app allows users to pay with PayPal instead of their Starbucks rewards card or their physical credit and debit cards. This makes it a lot easier for customers who do not always have the time to reload their cards or just want a safer way of paying.

Apple Pay/Google Pay

Apple Pay and Google Pay are ever-increasing throughout the world. These two payment methods have completely changed the way of paying in recent years. Apple Pay works for iOS users. This means that they can pay through their iPhones or Apple Watches.

This is also an example of a contactless payment method. Apple currently accepts most major credit cards and banks. Apple Pay uses facial recognition, PIN, or fingerprint to identify the user using Apple Pay.

Google Pay was also known as Google Wallet. Google Pay is available for Android systems, but is also available for iOS, even if it’s not commonly used amongst iOS users. Like Apple Pay, consumers can use Google Pay through their Android-operated watches and smartphones.

App Payment

App payments are another example of contactless payment methods. Some restaurants have developed their own payment applications. This makes it easier for frequent customers to use because they do not need to re-enter their payment details and personal information.

Restaurants can also use app payments as a way to start a loyalty program, as mentioned in our last blog. For example, most fast-casual and fast-food restaurants have their own app in which customers can use to order and pay.

App payments can be used in many ways. For some restaurants, it’s convenient for customers to be able to open the app and the cashiers scan their bar code or QR Code to pay for their order. This increases productivity time at restaurants as well because it’s quick and easy.


Pay-in-4 have been making their debut in some restaurants. Some pay-in-4 companies being used in some businesses currently are AfterPay, Zip, Klarna, and QuadPay. Consumers can log in to one of these apps and enter the amount of their purchase of the specific store or restaurant they are in. They will use their card that is on that app to make the first purchase and then their card will be charged every two weeks until the fourth payment is paid off.

What payment method should you use?

The payment method your restaurant chooses to use is based on your POS system and the demographics of your consumers. Younger generations like to use contactless payments and their own devices to pay for their orders. Older generations may still use cash or physical credit and debit cards.

However, it is important for restaurants to keep up with the changes in trends and technology. Therefore, having one of each is the best option to keep your restaurant successful and innovative amongst people in each generation.

Goliath Consulting Group is a restaurant consultancy group based in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information on our services visit or email us at

Published by Linda Springer

Hi! My name is Linda Springer, and I am the Digital Marketing Manager at Goliath Consulting Group. During my free time, I enjoy reading fantasy novels to escape from my everyday life and traveling to countries with rich histories and cultures.

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