There is a whole wave of apps that want to streamline the experience of going out. From grabbing a table, to pre-ordering and paying, to backend systems that optimize the in-restaurant experience. Add to that list Radtab, a small startup that uses your phone to open up and automatically close out your bar tab, even if you just walk out.
Closing out your tab can often be the most time-consuming part of going out for drinks– both for the consumer and the bartender. You have to get the bartender’s attention, have them find your name, run the check, figure out the tip, etc.. This is time bar staff could be selling more drinks, and more time you could be spending with your friends.
Enter Radtab. Download the iOS app and set up your credit card information. Then open up the map in the app to choose a Radtab-participating bars in the area and tap to open up a tab at that establishment. When you order a drink, a tab has already been set up with your name in the bar’s point of sale (POS) system. When you’re done, close out the tab via the app or just leave the bar. Once you’re 50 to 100 feet away, Radtab automatically closes out your tab and adds a tip.
The app launched this past October, and only works at 8 bars in Charleston, South Carolina, where the company is located. The app plugs into existing POS software such as Aloha in bars and charges the consumer a flat rate of $1.50 per transaction. It also sets a minimum tip at 18 percent, though people can choose to add more.
Co-Founder Nathan Adamson said that the app has had a little over 500 downloads, and that a core base of users use it 3 – 4 times a week. Radtab will also monetize the user data it’s collecting, charging $100 per month for access to a dashboard that beverage companies could use to run promotions through the app (such as Budweiser rewarding Radtab users who drank their product).
Radtab is family funded right now, and was a part of the sixth cohort at the Harbor Entrepreneurs Center incubator in Charleston. Adamson said that the company is taking its time to build out features such as adding Apple Pay in January, instead of growth right now, and is looking at outside fundraising towards the end of Q1 next year.
Bars are a perfect place for this type of payment efficiency given how manual the closing out process can be as well as the, ummmmm, state of mind of some bargoers at the end of the evening.
Which is why Radtab isn’t the only company looking to make it easier. Over in Austin there’s TabbedOut, and there’s Tally and Tabu. And that doesn’t even count the restaurant apps vying for the same thing.
With all the contenders innovating in this space, pretty soon we’ll all be walking out on our tabs.