Mobile Trends for Restaurants

Editor’s Note: This blog entry was originally published on May 25, 2016, and was updated on June 4, 2020.

As the payment processing landscape continues to evolve, ISVs need to continue to provide innovative payment options, such as mobile payments, for their customers. ISVs who provide restaurant management software particularly need to continue innovating, as the restaurant industry seeks to take advantage of the benefits offered by mobile payments. Here are five trends we can expect for mobile payments in the food service industry.

Contactless Payments

Data from Adobe Analytics shows that, across industries, buy-online-pickup-in-store orders, which includes curbside, jumped 87% year over year between late February and March 29, 2020.

With curbside pickup and no-contact delivery increasing in popularity, many restaurants are making use of contactless payment technology to process payments. Digital wallets such as Apple Pay®, Google PayTM, and Samsung Pay® allow for quick and easy payments. A December 2018 study found that, at the time, 20% of full-service restaurants were already set up to accept all three of the aforementioned digital wallets.

Restaurant Mobile Apps

Many restaurants have learned that mobile apps are a means to add convenience and depth to the food service experience. Restaurant-branded apps can provide customers with reservations, menus, ordering ahead features, contactless payment, paperless receipts, loyalty programs, and more. By adding a layer of convenience to the service experience, restaurant apps can help convert sporadic customers into loyal, repeat diners.

Mobile Promotional Campaigns

As more and more restaurants have started creating their own apps, they have seen the opportunities for mobile promotional campaigns. Offering exclusive app-only coupons or deals can help attract customers and drive app adoption.

Another type of mobile promotional campaign is “beacon technology.” This technology allows restaurants to send messages and promotions to a customer’s mobile device when the customer is in proximity to the restaurant, allowing another marketing avenue to restaurateurs and targeting customers at the optimal time.

Digital/Mobile Gift Cards

Recent research shows that digital gift card redemptions have continued to show strong growth, increasing from 30% in 2018 to 45% in 2019. Mobile phones can serve as both a means to promote gift card sales and the vehicle for gift card delivery. Gift cards, delivered to and stored on mobile devices, provide convenience for both the gift-giver and the receiver alike.

Customer Data

Mobile apps can capture customer demographics, which are vital to a company’s marketing campaigns. While most apps require only an email to signup, a restaurant could also require a mobile phone number as well.

The average open rate for email is about 25 percent, with click-through rates averaging only three percent. In contrast, text messages receive a 98 percent read rate, and up to a 36 percent click-thru rate. Gathering customers’ cell phone numbers provides an additional marketing avenue for restaurants to use to reach their customers.

In addition, Customer Engagement Suite from Global Payments Integrated provides a full offering of customer-centric solutions designed to power a seamless, consistent experience across all channels of communication. These API-driven tools give businesses the opportunity to make decisions about their customers. Giving the opportunity for customers to pay at every touch point of the journey also results in reduced friction, increased consumer spend and loyal customers.


There are many new mobile payment technology trends for restaurants to implement. We can help you integrate the latest payment processing technology directly within the restaurant management software you provide to your clients. In addition, we also offer analytics tools to provide additional value to your software. To learn more, contact us today.


Apple Pay® is a trademark of Apple, Inc. All trademarks contained herein are the sole and exclusive property of their respective owners.

Google PayTM is a trademark of Google, Inc.  All trademarks contained herein are the sole and exclusive property of their respective owners. Any such use of those marks without the express written permission of their owner is prohibited.

Samsung Pay® is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.