Ever gotten frustrated trying to get a waiter’s attention so you could pay for your meal and continue with your busy day? Things are about to change in the U.K.
Pay-At-Table, a new app feature launched this week (June 8) by restaurant booking service Bookatable.co.uk, which will enable customers to pay for meals with their smartphone, thanks to MyCheck and PayPal payment technology. The app – a U.K. first – will initially be available in London-based Busaba Eathai (Thai) restaurants, among others, and will expand to more than 200 sites by the end of June and more than 500 sites by the end of summer.
According to Big Hospitality, Bookatable currently works with 12,000 restaurants, generating 2 million bookings a month. In its quest to attract more tech savvy customers into competing dining places, the Pay-At-Table technology will enable users to find restaurants just by hitting the “Pay-At-Table” button. Customers will also have the option of paying for the entire bill amount or splitting it with others via PayPal or a registered card on a MyCheck account. And the receipt will be delivered via email.
Rob Harper, Director of Mobile Commerce, PayPal U.K. added: “We introduced our first pay-at-table experience in 2011, and have developed the service with additional features over the past few years. PayPal’s aim is to make life easier for people by using technology to solve the frustrations of traditional ways to pay. Customers love being able to pay the bill at their table without having to attract a waiter’s attention and wait for a card machine. Why wait for the bill when you can pay at the table on your smartphone?"
In the U.S., dining-focused payment apps have already proved their worth to both customers and restaurant owners. Since June 2014, Chili’s has enabled American Express card members to pay on menu tablets. Same with OpenTable, part of The Priceline Group, which launched a mobile payments option in the D.C. metropolitan area last year, allowing diners to add a credit card on in the OpenTable iPhone app and pay with one easy click. And now all eyes are on TabbedOut, a restaurant/dining payment app, which announced last week that it secured $21.5 million in Series C funding (with now a total of $39 million raised). Its next features will include automated loyalty and rewards programs and offering integrations with additional mobile services.