Time-strapped Brits call for restaurants to speed up service and let them pay quicker

Picture of man looking wide eyed at a bill

“Slow service is enough to put consumers off their dinner.”

QUICK service in restaurants is the most important aspect when eating out. It is more important than menu choice, according to 59 per cent of the 2001 people surveyed by Barclaycard.

Consumers also become dissatisfied when extra charges are added to their bill, including tips, service charges and items which appeared to be complimentary, such as bread and water.

Around 85 per cent also lose their patience when trying to pay at the end of a group meal, with difficulty dividing the bill being their biggest gripe.

Diners said they often ended up frustrated when eating out with friends or family, citing paying for more than they ate  or alcohol they didn’t drink and having to figure out how much each individual spent as their key concerns.

Barclaycard believes new technology holds the key to keeping up with demands – as diners call for bill-splitting apps and ways to make paying quicker and easier.


Once reserved for a special occasion, busy lifestyles have caused a surge in the number of Brits who eat out regularly, with more than a quarter now opting for a restaurant over cooking at home at least once a week. Convenience  is the driving factor for almost a third.


In response to the impatient, convenience-driven diner, Brits are calling for restaurants to introduce technology to speed up the payment process. One in six consumers are now more likely to choose venues which allow them to pre-order and pay for their food in advance – meaning they can leave as soon as they’ve finished eating.

A further 15 per cent also opt for restaurants where they can pay by contactless or via a mobile device at the table.

Barclaycard urged restaurants to offer a range of payment options including increasing their usage of contactless cards and devices whilst a further 10 per cent expect to pay using an app more often.

One in five restaurant-goers would like to see the introduction of bill-splitting apps or tools for large groups, and over a quarter would like to get a separate bill for alcohol when dining with a crowd.

Sharon Manikon, Customer Solutions Director at Barclaycard said: “Time is of the essence for today’s busy Brits and this ‘need for speed’ now seems to be translating to the dining experience. Restaurants need to respond with technology to improve the service and experience they provide.”

Top 10 frustrations when eating out in restaurants:

  1. Being kept waiting too long for food (59%)
  2. Tips added to the bill automatically (54%)
  3. Added service charges (50%)
  4. Being kept waiting too long when for the bill (49%)
  5. Extra charges for items assumed to be complimentary (e.g. bread, water) (44%)
  6. Having to wait too long for a table to become available (40%)
  7. Overly attentive waiting staff (28%)
  8. Not being able to pay by credit or debit card (27%)
  9. Allocated dining time slot, e.g. a two hour table turnaround (18%)
  10. Not being able to book in advance (15%)


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