You would agree that when it comes to restaurants suddenly we become a little more impatient. We can’t wait in queue, can’t wait to get our food and finally when we finish eating (and talking) we can’t wait to get the check and pay the bill. The whole bill delivery, check, and tip process takes a minimum of 2 and sometime 3-4 trips of the waitress/waiter. It puts a lot of pressure on the overall functioning of the restaurant. To address this pain point, a number of apps have been launched over the last couple of years targeting Bars and Restaurants specifically.
Some of the popular payment apps for bars and restaurants have been described here:
PayPal announced a major update to its iOS and android apps on 5th September 2013, revealing features designed to make it more convenient for customers to pay restaurant bills and take advantage of deals based on location. Some functions of the app, such as accessing and managing PayPal account and transferring money to a friend, remain the same.
With this update, the PayPal pre order feature which was made possible through its partnership with Eat24 is available at more than 1000 restaurants. When in action, nearby restaurants and shops offering its coupons and services are displayed on the phone. The app leads the customer to the full menu where the consumer can customize his order. Once the order has been placed, the customer does not have to wait in queue at the restaurant and can directly pick up his food or drink. After transaction is complete the receipt is sent to the customer via e-mail.
PayPal’s partners for in store payment include – Advance Auto Parts, Abercrombie & Fitch, Aéropostale, Barnes & Noble, American Eagle Outfitters, Foot Locker, the Home Depot, Guitar Center, JC Penney, Jamba Juice, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers, Office Depot, Nine West, Tiger Direct, Toys “R” Us and Rooms To Go among others.
Cover lets you pay at restaurants without waiting for the check. It’s your house account, everywhere. Cover gives restaurants data to personalize service. Servers save time and turn tables faster. The result is better service and a better experience for everyone. Cover is also meant to solve the problem of splitting the bill. The usual conundrum who pays what, who doesn’t pay for what and so on. So its pretty neat in that sense as well. Cover app can be downloaded for free through iTunes here. Cover was founded by Mark Egerman and Andrew Cove. The company has received a total funding of $1.6 Mn.
Cover was founded by Mark Egerman and Andrew Cove. Mark is the payments and legal expert while Andrew drives the tech and fundraising. The company has received a total funding of $1.6 Mn from OATV and other investors.
Tabbedout was co-founded in 2009 by Rick Orr (CEO) and David Lemley (CTO). The Texas based company has acquired a total of $13.5 Mn in funding till date. The free Tabbedout app for iPhone and Android enables consumers to open a tab with their mobile phone, view their tab in real-time and pay the tab anytime, anywhere. Users can even split the check paying just their portion directly from the app.
Tabbedout says that its mobile payment solution integrates directly with the merchant’s point-of-sale (POS) system without the need of additional hardware. This enables Tabbedout merchants’ to serve more people and turn more tables, especially during peak hours. Tabbedout also provides validated payment information when a tab is first opened. Tabbedout is available at more than 1,000 locations nationwide. The free smartphone app is available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
MyCheck was launced In March 2011 in Israel. The company has received a total funding of $6.1 Mn through investors Werthaimer family, Saban Capital Group and Eli Elroy How does it work? When they arrive at a participating restaurant, consumers can “check in” with MyCheck. A four-digital code on their smartphone screens is then shown to their servers. Once a server enters this code into the restaurant’s POS system, customers are able to view, split, and pay for their restaurant bill. Restaurants get paid within 24 to 48 hours via ACH credit. Restaurants are charged no setup costs or monthly fees.
MyCheck says that it has over 100,000 direct subscribers and 1,000,000 indirect users in Israel. It is accepted by around 400 merchants including the largest full service café chain (at 120 locations) and 2nd largest gas station chain (215 locations). MyCheck counts 20 persons in Israel, 5 in London and 9 in Manhattan, as employees.
Dash is a mobile payments platform that enables users to pay the bill with their smartphone without having to wait for the check at restaurants, clubs and bars. Restaurant also gets reports, analytics and insights into customer behavior. The company was founded in January 2011 and has received a total funding of $700K through investors New York Angels, Brooklyn Incubator and Caerus Ventures.
Dash enables users to open, view, and pay their restaurant or bar tab directly on their iPhone at some of the popular venues. Apart from being able to collect faster payments, restaurants get access to analytics based on the data captured through Dash. Dash will also be able to split bills and store gift card information in the coming months, according to the company. Dash users can even suggest new venues to be added to the application by making use of a feature called “Request Venue”. This will ping bars and restaurants to inform them that their customers are requesting them to enable payments via Dash.
E La Carte:
E La Carte is a French term which means ‘menu’. E La Carte was founded by a group of MIT engineers. The CEO of the company is Rajat Suri and launched its first Presto tablet in 2011. E La Carte developed the tablet for restaurant and related hospitality industries. The company provides tablets on restaurants tables so guests can order food whenever they want to, children can play games, and even they can pay their bills while seated through credit/debit cards as the tablet is designed in such a way that it recognizes plastic money.
The tablet is of 7 inches and helps people visit the restaurant’s menu via photos and detailed descriptions using a touch screen interface. This digital menu may save time and frustration amongst restaurants’ impatient guests. The tablet also has a section for payments and games including drawing apps. Its chain partners include Genghis Grill, global restaurateur, HMSHost, and Evergreen Restaurant group, a franchise of Outback Steakhouse. E La Carte has secured US $ 13.5 Mn in Series B funding led by Intel Capital in participation with Romulus Capital and other investors. This deal was completed on June 24th, 2013.
Some of the other apps operating in this space include ChowNow, Diner Connection, Uncorkd, GoPago (Recently acquired by Amazon) and Belly.
According to estimates from research analyst firm Double Diamond Group, the market for hospitality mobile payments is 650,000 locations worldwide. The de facto restaurant-payment experience is the worst payment experience according to Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group. He also says that “There’s nothing worse than … having the server go back and forth multiple times to take your check, type it in, come back with the final bill, go back with your credit card, bring it back for signing.” Apps such as PayPal, Cover, Tabbedout, Dash, Elacarte and MyCheck simplify and improve the experience. They solve a real problem that utilizes the technology that everyone already has now.
Chiraag Patel is a Senior Reporting Analyst and the Editor of Bitcoin and Virtual Currency channels at Lets Talk Payments. He is an engineer with deep interest in MMORPG, Virtual Banking, Game Currency and Virtual Cash. Chiraag enjoys Reading & Blogging with focus on New Innovation, Technology & Startups in the Payments Space.
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