Restaurants taking too long to process customer payments is one of the biggest bugbears among diners, new research has found.
A survey from card payment processing provider Streamline found that more than half (51%) of customers said that bars and restaurants needed to improve when it came to speeding up payment.
According to the poll, which questioned 2,000 consumers, 42% of diners have complained about the length of time it has taken to pay, with 41% saying they have reduced or withheld a tip due to slow payment and 24% have simply left.
When asked whether or not waiting to pay would impact their decision to return an establishment, nearly two-thirds (65%) said they would not go back, while 86% said they would leave straight away if they saw a queue to pay.
Commenting on the research, Donna Dawson, a psychologist and consumer behaviour expert, said restaurants dealing speedily with payment was still an essential part of good customer service.
"Customers today have no time to wait around once their meal is over - we are witnessing the death of the British queue, as ‘time is money' for everyone in the present economy," she said. "If left kicking their heels, customers will simply vote with their feet and not return. Consequently, bars and restaurants need to be doing all they can to process payments as quickly as possible."
By Kerstin Kühn
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