6 Mobile Payment Solutions for Restaurants and Bars

restaurantWhen it comes to mobile payment processing, the restaurant industry is in a league of its own. Mobile platforms that are designed for a wide cross-section of businesses don’t always have the features that restaurants need, like menu integrations and add-on tipping tools. As restaurant owners look for ways to streamline the payment process and improve table turnover rates, an increasing number are utilizing mobile payment solutions built specifically for their industry.

Vendors are using hyperlocal technology to speed up the process of tallying checks and collecting on tabs. The apps that these vendors are creating allow diners to split bills, calculate tips, and in some cases, even place orders and settle their tabs without waiting for a server’s assistance. This results in faster turnovers, larger tips and more repeat customers.

Here are six mobile payment solutions built for restaurants.

1. TabbedOut: Let customers settle tabs with their smartphones.
TabbedOut offers a free mobile payment app that customers are encouraged to download before dining at participating establishments. When the time comes to pay, diners send encrypted payments from their smartphones to the restaurant’s POS system. Servers are guaranteed at least a minimum gratuity from TabbedOut customers. The platform also gives businesses access to their customers’ order histories, preferences, and feedback. Restaurants can respond to feedback through the platform, resolving complaints before the customer has time to post on Facebook. Merchant costs vary depending on the size of the business, the location, and contract terms.

2. Dash: Quickly collect payments from diners in a hurry.
Dash is a platform that’s built for speed. Customers who download the company’s mobile app can settle their restaurant and bar tabs, even before they’ve been handed a check. Customers “open a tab” when they arrive at the business, and they can pay with their phones whenever they’re “ready to dash.” In addition to collecting faster payments, restaurants get access to analytics based on the data captured through Dash. In the coming months, Dash will be able to split bills and store gift card information. Bar and restaurant managers can contact Dash for specific pricing information.

3. MyCheck: Offer mobile payments without changing your existing POS system.
MyCheck is a mobile checkout app that diners can use to view their bills and pay their checks from their smartphones. Diners “check in” with MyCheck when they arrive at a participating restaurant, and they show a four-digital code on their smartphone screens 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 checks. Restaurants get paid within 24 to 48 hours via ACH credit. Restaurants aren’t charged any monthly fees or setup costs.

4. Elacarte: Give diners their own tablets to pay with.
Not every diner carries a smartphone or wants to download a mobile app to pay for his meal. Elacarte offers a solution that allows restaurants to collect mobile payments using special tablets (called Prestos) placed at each diner’s table. Customers use their tablets to order, flipping through a menu with large photos of each item. When it comes time to pay, customers swipe their credit cards through the tabletop Presto tablet. Elacarte says this results in table turnaround times that are seven minutes faster than industry averages. The company charges restaurants no upfront costs, with payment plans that vary based on the size of the business.

5. Storific: Let customers order ahead and pay before they arrive.
Since partnering with PayPal, Storific has developed a way for diners to locate, order, and pay for food — all before they’ve picked it up or eaten at the establishment. Consumers can look at menus and place their orders through Storific. When it comes time to pay, they can pay with a PayPal wallet. Storific sends a notification to diners when their orders are ready to be picked up. Participating restaurants also have the option to “pause” orders through Storific when they’re too busy to keep up. Storific says it only charges “the PayPal fee.”

6. Cover: Speed up table turnover with a smartphone app.
Focused primarily on restaurants in New York City, Cover has developed a mobile app that diners can use to pay their checks without waiting for a server. Diners who use the app can “create a table” when they arrive at participating restaurants and notify their servers that they’re paying with Cover. Users can set default tip amounts, to avoid doing calculations on the fly. Cover will also split users’ bills, which is something that some competing apps don’t offer. Restaurant owners can contact Cover for an estimate of the costs involved in participating.

Know of other tools that restaurants can use to accept mobile payments? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

  1. Steve Szewczyk
    December 11, 2013

    Tampa based MenuPad Inc. has a product line of iPad applications designed around the insight that businesses and consumers have various levels of comfort and understanding with technology.

    MenuPad Premium puts consumers in total control their dining experience, allowing them to order and pay when they want. ServerPad provides the wait staff similar efficiencies and is designed for restaurants that want to retain control. PayPad is a bill pay solution that keeps the credit card at the table and allows restaurants to collect feedback at the end of the meal.

    The full product line is available at the company’s web site. Also check out the case study Apple did on them.

    1. T
      July 12, 2014

      Compel Mobile is a complete mobile based solution which includes a staff interface (historically called POS), for both consumers and the restaurant that includes mobile payment abilities along with ordering abilities all in a single platform that is available in a browser instantly.

  2. Kyle Richards
    December 11, 2013

    Boppl in the UK is genius as well.

    Going to suss these out when I’m back home.

  3. John Craig
    December 11, 2013

    There are three additional mobile payment POS solutions
    already in use at many restaurants around the US – pcAmerica, Menusoft Systems
    and Future POS. All are powered by Paydiant.

    pcAmerica has integrated the Paydiant software into its Cash
    Register Express™ and Restaurant Pro Express™ point-of-sale (POS)

    Menusoft’s Digital Dining
    restaurant management and point-of-sale (POS) software system, and Future POS’s
    hospitality point-of-sale (POS) system are also integrated with the Paydiant software

    Paydiant’s white-label mobile payment and offer platform
    allows both restaurants and POS solution providers to deploy mobile wallet
    capabilities into their own iPhone® and Android™ applications. With these
    solutions in place, restaurateurs can accept Paydiant-powered mobile payments
    and offers using their existing POS infrastructure, and consumers can
    install a mobile wallet on their existing iPhone and Android smartphones.

    These solutions enable pay-at-the-table, pay-at-the-counter,
    and pay-at-the-tablet/handheld, along with a broad set of mobile wallet
    capabilities including pay online; targeted offer and coupon creation,
    selection and redemption in store and online; loyalty program; mobile ordering
    and pre-pay; and digital receipts and refunds. A restaurant can choose to
    integrate any of their own platforms – gift, loyalty, offers, etc. – or customize
    Paydiant’s through their mature. Paydiant’s
    highly mature APIs and SDKs make both
    approaches easy. The Paydiant solution
    also enables restaurants to benefit from tender steering to their lower cost
    payment instruments (like gift, debit, ACH), and distribution of offers to
    drive more frequent customer visits and higher average ticket size. Paydiant’s platform is highly secure – no
    card credentials flow thru the POS and no credentials are stored in the phone –
    and this leads to less card fraud and fewer charge backs.

  4. Venture Advisor
    December 11, 2013

    GiftRocker has perfected their mobile payments service around their HQ of Arlington, VA and is now growing with leading restaurants across the U.S. 100 restaurants live, 599,900 to go…

  5. Gamma Point
    January 17, 2016

    In todays mobile world, it is getting important that restaurants can reach where their customers are. For this they need custom mobile apps. One such platform that provides custom apps for small to mid size restaurants is coolmunch.Coolmunch islaunching in Feb and for initial launch they are waiving the setup fee. Check us out at http://www.coolmunch.com/.

  6. July 5, 2016

    I actually agree with for top mobile payment solutions, mswipe is an additional mobile payments pos solution.

  7. October 12, 2016

    Tipping has always been a part of every country’s culture. I do travel a
    lot and travelling to other places definitely requires staying at
    hotels and I had faced the problem of tipping, where I had only debit
    cards to exchange money and the person who suffers from that would be,
    say, the room keeper or the server at the restaurant. This led me to
    initiate GratZeez,
    to show gratitude to the person who deserves a tip. Never leave a place
    without giving gratuity if you have received a good service from them
    as it is the way of appreciation.”https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9305a6448262397417837625da5c048391ba4372455ac47d10be556fd897f440.png

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