Smartphone App Lets Diners Pay without the Check

December 3, 2013, Written By Justin Hefner

Ever get tired of waiting in a restaurant for the check to arrive? Wouldn’t it be great if you could dine and dash, yet still pay your restaurant bill? Now you can with the smartphone app called Cover.

Cover is an app designed to let users pay for their meals without having to give money or a credit card to their servers. To use the app, you check into the restaurant on your phone when you arrive. You alert the waiter that you are using Cover, and he finds you in the system. Then, you eat your meal and leave whenever you want. The restaurant will charge you for the bill and add in a tip after you are gone.

If you are dining with a group, the diners tell the waiter they are paying with Cover and then create or join a “table” found on the app. The merchant then splits the bill among the diners.

The app has been in beta testing in New York City.

Cover is one of many smartphone apps that are trying to get rid of the middle man. PayPal recently launched an app that allows you to order and pay for items in advance at select restaurants. Chili’s has employed the use of tablets at the table to allow people to view menu items, pay for their meals, and even play video games while dining.

We’re in the middle of a revolution, where technology replaces the need for human workers. Even with apps like Cover, there is still the need for human interaction in order to serve the meal, but who knows how long that will last. In the coming years, we may get to a point where our entire restaurant experience is built on the use of technology.

The question is–is that a good thing?

The only downside to Cover’s system is the fact that you do not get an itemized copy of your bill. You only receive an emailed receipt listing the charge, including a minimum tip of 18%.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of December 3, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Justin Hefner

Justin Hefner is in the education field and has written about a number of financial issues. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University and a Masters in Education from Texas State University.
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