Hospitality Order and Payment Apps

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Easy to use hospitality order and payment apps

Finding a suitable app for taking orders and payments in restaurants, bars and hotels has become increasingly important since the recent COVID pandemic. Hospitality businesses are using apps to adjust and enable them to trade as normal as possible, during very uncertain times for the sector.

Ordinarily these apps were more common within large restaurant chains, however smaller businesses such as golf clubs and cafes are now following suit by allowing the customer a contactless service to ensure they keep up with those huge hospitality brands. Here, we look at what to expect when processing payments via an app and how to find the best app for your individual requirements

Benefits of app ordering and payments services

Finding the best payment app for your bar and restaurant can be tricky – there are so many on the market and in recent months tech companies have adapted EPOS systems to integrate a customer facing element. Before we look at the specific requirements of hospitality businesses, let’s explore the benefits of using an app ordering service;


  • Ease for the customer – ordering and paying through an app streamlines the customer experience, often resulting in increased sales and longer periods of time spent on site. The diner can keep track of how and when the order is being processed and order additional items with ease. In busy times this can be beneficial not just for the customer but for the staff too.
  • Contactless transactions – given the heightened concerns around the cleanliness of cash and social distancing guidelines, apps allow for a completely contactless service from point of ordering to payment. Customers will not have to leave their table, avoiding the risk associated with staff contact and chip and pin machines.
  • Efficiency – removing some of the personal elements of the dining experience reduces the time customers are waiting, ideal for lunch time café orders or fast food and takeaway
  • Remote ordering apps – orders are no longer limited to the grounds of a hotel bar or restaurant, ordering facilities and payment apps can be used in remote locations such as golf clubs or even ordering cocktails from a sunbed on the beach.
  • Promotions – apps are not only used for taking orders in bars and cafes, often businesses tailor promotions which are visible through the app – enticing new customers to dine.

Finding the best ordering app for hospitality businesses

While searching for the most suited app for your requirements it’s important to consider the following;


  • Your existing EPOS systems and kitchen communication software – ideally, you’d like the two to work together without having to renew the entire system. Ordering and payment apps work either as a stand-alone system or alongside other catering elements.
  • Tech support – who will offer ongoing support to your business, often outside of office hours?
  • Cost – for a small business you may which to use an out of the box solution, however larger chains may require bespoke development which can be accompanied by a hefty price tag.
  • Takeaway service – some apps work with both physical orders onsite and takeaway options.
  • Merchant accounts – often apps will carry an integration to one or two providers, check out these costs before deciding which system to go with. Expect to pay a small percentage per transaction as well as authorisation costs, to find out more about merchant fees CLICK HERE

How to find the best ordering and payment app for a small business

The small business app market is one which is set to boom in coming years, COVID undoubtedly speeding up its progression.  Most small businesses will focus on costings over functionality, our tip when searching for an order or payment app for cafes and restaurants is to stick to current requirements and choose an option which is scalable if needed.


Bespoke ordering and payment app for restaurants, hotels and chains

Larger chains and boutique hotels may require an ordering and payment app which is tailored to suit their specific requirements. App providers can often offer specific tweaks to accommodate needs and integrations to custom built systems, such as booking software.


Development work is normally charged on a daily rate, alongside the system license fee.

How much does an app ordering and payment system cost?

The cost of an ordering system will vary between providers, ‘off the shelf’ solutions are cheaper than those that are custom built. Expect to pay a set-up fee and license cost on an annual or monthly basis, some providers will charge a percentage fee based on the expected turnover through the app.


How Merchant Advice Service can help

Merchant Advice Service have teamed up with app providers to offer a range of solutions for businesses, both large and small. Speak to our experts today to find out how app ordering and payment solutions can assist your hospitality business.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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