July 17, 2016
Next time, you are at a restaurant, I want you notice how long it takes you from finishing your meal and everyone deciding it’s time to go to actually leaving the restaurant. It might not seem like a ton of time. But, make an observation about it. You don’t have to get your stop watch out, just watch the process.
I was just at a restaurant last week. The service was lovely and the whole experience was great. But, then we went to leave. We had to flag down a member of the staff because we wanted the check. Then we had to wait to get our credit card back. We left a tip on the little slip and we were good to go.
This is a process that has irked me. We have many card-free transactions now with Android and Apple Pay. We even have the Starbucks app, which is one of the largest active mobile payment systems.
I have been thinking of ways we could solve this problem. This is one of those things that is so highly inefficient, but is still something that people haven’t come close to solving.
Now, we have a ton of payment options. I can send friends money in a number of ways using PayPal, Google Wallet, Square Cash, and Vimeo just to name a few.
But, in the real world, this is a much less common practice. Square Cash does have business accounts, but I don’t know where they are being used. Also, PayPal has business setup in Home Depot, but those things haven’t taken off as much as they could.
These systems could plug into existing POS systems. But, this is a topic that I know nothing about.
Just image for a moment that you are sitting in a restaurant and you get your bill on the Square app. You can pay with using an Apple ID and, with just a simple button, add a tip and a note.
A lot of restaurants are very small business and hardware costs are going to be the problem. The solution will have to be something that they can integrate quickly and cheaply.
Written by John Siwicki who lives and works building interesting things. You should follow him on Twitter