The moment when the check arrives on the table can be an awkward one for diners, especially if the cost needs splitting fairly or one party is footing the bill. The E la Carte system has already attempted to make payments easier through its tablet-based ordering service, and now Cover is doing away with that element of dining altogether, enabling customers to eat and leave while their payment is sorted digitally.
Users of the app first choose to store a debit or credit card on their account that will be used every time they book a reservation through Cover. Initially serving New York City, the startup passes the details on to restaurants once a table has been booked. At the end of the meal, the total amount is automatically charged to the card meaning diners don’t have to wait to get the check, waiters don’t have to spend time handling cash or dealing with card machines, and restaurants can fit in more covers each evening. The downside is that consumers will have to wait and check their bank statement to determine the damage, although it appears that Cover will launch as a high-end service aimed at those wanting to make the process of paying more discrete.
Cover have not made it clear how customers can pay gratuity to restaurant personnel, but the startup is demonstrating its service around eateries in NYC in the run-up to its launch. Could this kind of system work for other industries?