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New Mobile App Payment Method In Restaurants: The Waiting Game Might Soon Be Over

There’s good news for people in a hurry to leave after a good meal – TabbedOut app is now being launched to some restaurants in the U.S., and is expected to develop this year.

Getting the bill is normally the endgame of our restaurant meals.  It’s the final stage of our dining experience in the restaurant, and more often than not, we wait a long time for the check.  And when the check presenter finally comes out, we wait some more for the release of the change or the credit card receipt.   The Baltimore Sun reported in its March 16, 2011 publication that a Maryland company aims to solve this.

MICROS Systems Inc., headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, has partnered with a Texas company to develop the use of a functional smart-phone application called TabbedOut. MICROS Systems Inc. produces and sells computer hardware, software and services for restaurants and hotels.  Their products mainly include touch screen computers for the wait staff to place orders, which are, in turn, sent to kitchen and bar printers for preparation.  They are also responsible for the roll-out of digital menus on iPads in some restaurants in Maryland.  Now, they plan to let customers reconcile their checks when they’re all set to leave, reducing waiting time. This also helps merchants in reducing their table turnaround time, which translates to higher revenue for their establishment.

TabbedOut claims to be the “cure for forgotten credit cards.”  It allows users to have a good time even without the plastics.  This iPhone and Android application allow users to open a tab with their phone, check over their tab in real-time and settle their tab anytime, anywhere.  Merchants benefit from it too, as its mobile payment solution incorporates directly with the business’ point-of-sale (POS) system.

The app is now being launched in Houlihan’s in Columbia, one of two restaurants which are set to use the application.  With MICROS currently endorsing the service to its numerous clientele –  they’re aiming to present the application to 50 to 100 restaurants a month- usage of this application is predicted to expand by the end of this year.

Other than automatic payments, TabbedOut app permits its users to announce their restaurant choices to social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, which means free advertisement for the restaurants.

This goal to revolutionize the restaurant experience is expected to watch a significant culture change in the market.  A similar application called NFC (near-field communication) is also anticipated to ramp up this year.  New chips are installed to smart-phones that allow consumers’ credit cards to be automatically charged by simply waving their phones in front of an NFC wireless reader.

The goal is clearly to make people utilize their smart-phones as mobile wallets. Experts in the field, however, wonder how quickly consumers will adapt to this revolutionary idea.