A receipt’s just a receipt, right?


It may well have been a standard element of the restaurant dining experience for decades, but these little slips of paper can do an awful lot more for your business.

Anyone who works in the restaurant sector and, indeed, those who enjoy it as punters, will know that it remains one of the most pleasingly traditional industries in the digital age.

That doesn’t make it staid or old-fashioned, either – quite the opposite. Restaurants are wonderfully unique, energetic and full of personality.

With this in mind, it’s time to supercharge one of the most overlooked elements of your restaurant business.

Here’s a few ways you can unleash the hidden power of receipts:

Include your social media handles

There’s no getting away from it – we now live in a consumer-driven society where the people paying the bills hold all of the power.

Once they’ve spent time at your restaurant, the modern guest may be inclined to head to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to detail their experience. To the entire world.

You can’t stop this, but you can encourage it by including clear notes of your social media ‘handles’ (i.e. usernames) on receipts.

This will result in a mix of positive and negative reviews that everyone can see, but they will all offer an opportunity for you to engage with past customers and raise the profile of your business online.

Plug a promo

This trick is as old as the hills, but it’s still used today by hospitality and retail businesses across the world, because it’s so effective.

Most people will look at their receipts. They may do so there and then, during the car journey home or a week later when they’re clearing out their wallet.

Rather than simply seeing confirmation of what they ordered and how much it cost, by inserting a note of a tempting offer either in the header or footer of the receipt, you might just tempt them to revisit.

A free starter, 10% discount or some other promotion that represents genuine value for them will catch their eye – trust us.

Encourage feedback

We’ve already covered social media, but what about more traditional feedback?

Receipts are the perfect vehicle for spreading the word about customer satisfaction surveys. Offer people a 10% discount on a future meal if they follow a weblink and answer a few questions, and you should start to see the feedback coming in (and people returning!).

If you have a review platform on your website, or value your TripAdvisor listing, why not point them there, too? It demonstrates that you value their opinion and aren’t afraid to hear what they have to say about your restaurant.

Build loyalty

If you’re running a loyalty scheme, make sure you’re using an effective POS system to do the leg work for you.

Your tills should be capable of capturing and processing all loyalty points and rewards. In turn, this should result in receipts that include a breakdown of the rewards redeemed and any points that remain.

Remember – people will check their receipts, and that’s particularly the case if they have some form of loyalty (literally) to the business in question.

And finally: plan the switch to digital

We had to mention this, because there’s no escaping the fact that digital receipts are becoming more commonplace in retail.

They might have their place in the restaurant industry, too, and they will indeed save your business a significant investment in paper and printers. But don’t get ahead of yourself just yet…

Speak to your POS system provider to find out if this is either an option now or on the horizon. Our advice is to plan for this rather than jump wholeheartedly into it, because paper receipts aren’t quite finished just yet in this sector.

However, as contactless payment methods continue to proliferate, you’ll want to at least be ready to make a partial switch to digital if customers begin demanding it.

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