Credit card users already are getting used to the ‘dip’ instead of the ‘swipe’ at most retailers. Soon, changes could come to your favorite sit-down restaurant, too.
Right now, you know the drill. You finish your meal, then a server comes by with a billfold. You insert your credit card, the server comes back again, takes it to somewhere unseen and swipes it. Then they drop it back off, you sign and add a tip. At the end of the night, the server goes through all their receipts and enters in tip amounts and totals up.
But a new technology aims to cut down much of that back and forth for both consumer and wait staff.
When Andrew Randall and his wife Shayna were putting together Mesa Tacos & Tequilla in Downtown Nampa, they wanted to find ways to take the experience to the next level.
“We’ve implemented things along the way – to make sure guests can get the very best experience,” Andrew said. “Being in Nampa, there’s this predisposed idea people have. They know what they are expecting as far as service and atmosphere. And we really wanted to break that.”
The small taco and tequila spot in Downtown Nampa is hot – with wait times of more than 90 minutes on weekend nights. Randall thinks the fast start is due to attention to detail.
“We’ve been slammed every single night,” he said. “We are seeing people drive from Eagle and Boise and all over the place to come.”
New tableside tech.
One of those details he is banking on is a technology called TableSafe. Mesa is the first restaurant in the area to try the technology, which cuts down on some of the end-of-the-meal back and forth. Different from the Ziosk or tablet devices that can be a distraction and take up table space, these devices are new to the market.
“As a guest, when I go to a restaurant, when you are like – ‘where is the damn check? I just want to go.’ This takes that away,” Randall said.
The product looks like a traditional black billfold. But instead of a paper receipt inside, there’s a screen and keypad inside. Customers will see their bill, and can add tip and swipe a card. Once the server drops it off, there is no more back and forth.
“It looks like a check presenter,” Craig Burden, sales manager with Boise POS said. “They already know what to do with this little folio-looking thing, it’s not a large step for them to figure out what to do with it”
It also cuts down on labor at the end of the night, Burden said. Servers don’t have to go through a manual process to cash out. Everything is done digitally.
For Randall, it is both a boost to customer experience, but can help increase the number of customers he can host in the small downtown Nampa space each night.
“This allows us to turn tables faster,” he said. “It’s just a one drop and you are done.”
The investment in the product was in the neighborhood of $10,000, Randall said.
High-tech meets low-tech at Mesa Tacos
Randall likes the way the technology camoflauges itself as something simpler. While talking about the Ziosk and other iPad-like devices, he said this actually helps them go lower-tech.
“We could have done something like (Ziosk),” he said. “
Parties with kids are provided a tablet – but one without batteries.