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Mobile Payment is Coming, and the Time to Update Your Menus is Now

One of the most important innovations in the world of near field communication technology could be coming sooner than you think. Near field communication companies are already working overtime to get ready, and most near field communication devices are already prepared for what could be a major shift in how commerce is done. Break out your Quick Response code generator, because I’m talking about near field communication payments. That’s the mobile payment system that could turn your phone into a permanent replacement for your wallet — and it has been a long time in coming, but it could be here before you know it.

Take this headline from the Australian edition of ZDNet: BPAY to Make QR Codes Useful. Like so many other commentators, the folks behind the mobile payment plans at BPAY are talking tough about those who have been “abusing QR codes by poorly using the technology.” But making QR codes into financial tools instead of advertisements is a step in the right direction … and it’s one that companies in the United States are taking as well. Just a few months back, Bank of America tested a QR payment service, and initial reactions are positive. If one of America’s largest banks gets behind the process, could the others be far behind? Answer: No.

What Does All This Mean for Restaurants? What’s This About My Menu?

As a restaurateur, you already know that your menu is one of your most powerful advertising tools. When people sit down but they don’t know what they want, your menu is what facilitates that tough decision. Hopefully, you already have your menu available in a user-friendly and enticing format online so that diners can browse your offerings from the comfort of their own home, too. But even with all that, your menu could still do more for you … especially when it comes time to accept near field communication payments.

Unless you own a buffet, you won’t be scaling back your staff any time soon over mobile payments. However, Quick Response could soon improve your menu, sending orders to the kitchen just as quickly as your patrons make a decision. Scanning the right QR code could start a table’s tab, split the check, and much more, making the things that your staff absolutely must do quicker and easier to handle. Although your food should speak for itself when you have potential customers sitting in your restaurant, there’s also the opportunity to use video and multimedia to help your visitors really engage with your restaurant.

Any changes you make to your menu are bound to impact your bottom line, so it’s a good idea to plan in advance. Future mobile payment technology will probably require something similar to Quick Response codes along with the items, so consider where they might be placed. It’s not a bad idea to revise your menu every now and then, in any case. Have you been using enough color? Maybe it’s time for enticing photos of your house specials? And maybe, just maybe, it’s time to introduce a buffet? There’s no telling when mobile payments will become more widely available in the U.S., but get started on the logistics now and reap the benefits … soon!

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