Restaurant owners face some unique challenges. Profit margins can be tight, part-time employees are common, and seasonal business cycles can disrupt cash flow. Making vendor payments is complicated because the frequency of deliveries and amounts owed can change quickly. However, the right technology—like an online bill payment platform—can help you manage all of these variables.
What is a bill payment platform?
A bill payment platform is a tool that can help you manage the bill pay process. Ideally, you’ll want a system that can track incoming invoices, send out payments when they’re due, and integrate with your business checking account so you can track cash inflows and outflows for budgeting and accounting purposes.
How online bill payments help you save time
Anyone who’s worked the line in the kitchen or at the register knows that time is a resource you can’t afford to waste. Restaurant owners often fill those employee roles themselves, so administrative tasks need to be managed carefully. Automating bills and payments is a simple way to do that. It’s faster and more secure than writing paper checks.
You can spend hours manually sorting invoices and payment records, or you can use a bill payment system to keep it all organized for you in one central location. The latter method puts everything at your fingertips, including the frequency of deliveries and amounts you’re paying for food and supplies. Having that information on hand can save time when you negotiate new vendor contracts.
Another time-saving advantage of using a bill payment platform is the ability to empower other team members to submit vendor payments for your approval. There’s little chance of redundancy because all your invoices are tracked in the same system. This can be particularly helpful for restaurants that receive deliveries on different days and at different times of the day.
How to use online bill payments to grow your business
The data insights and analytics provided by a bill payment platform can be used to track sales, compare prices on a monthly or seasonal basis, and make inventory management more efficient. Each of those data points can be used to cut costs, increase revenue, and grow your business. It’s worth the time investment to figure out exactly how that works, so you can save time on your day-to-day tasks in the long run.
The right bill pay tool can help your restaurant make payments faster, plus it eliminates the risk of human error because you won’t need to manually enter bill information into the system. That combination makes accounting simpler and more accurate. Lenders and potential investors find that appealing, which can pave the way to success if your path to growth involves borrowing money or taking on a partner.
Why doesn’t every restaurant use a bill payment platform?
The most common reasons restaurant owners don’t use an online bill pay tool usually center around costs, security concerns, or integrating the system with their employees. Here’s a breakdown of each of these:
- Upfront cost: It’s important to do a complete cost-benefit analysis of using a bill payment tool because the upfront costs may be minimal when you consider the long-term impact on profits.
- Security concerns: It’s understandable to have some misgivings about online bill payment options, but payment tools are more secure than paper.
- Operations integration: Your employees can learn how to use the software, plus some payment tools integrate with accounting software you’re already using, making life even easier for you and your team.
What to look for when choosing a bill payment platform
The bill payment platform that works for you should be one that helps you keep all your bills in one place. You’ll want to be able to sync with your accounting software so you can track cash inflows and outflows. Fees, security, and ease of use should be important, too. You can compare different platforms by checking their websites and online user reviews. Now that you know what to look for, it should be easy to find the right bill pay tool for your restaurant.