Guest management platform Paytronix Systems today announced its version of the contactless dining kit for restaurants, simply called Paytronix Contactless Dining. With it, restaurants can offer guests touch-free ways to browse menus, order, and pay for meals while in the restaurant dining room, according to a press release sent to The Spoon.
While the motivation behind Paytronix’ new offering is similar to other contactless dining kits out there — minimize human-to-human contact in the restaurant — the tech itself offers some features we haven’t yet seen on other platforms.
Most notably, Paytronix’ system allows guests to keep their virtual “tab” — that is, ticket — throughout the entire meal.
Right now with most mobile apps, a customer has to order and pay to complete the transaction and get that order sent to the restaurant kitchen. That works fine for takeout or delivery orders, which are inherently meant to be one-off transactions. For dine-in service, however, a customer might want to order a second drink partway through their meal. Or they may decide at last minute to get dessert. For each of those extra items, a new transaction, or “tab,” would have to be made, which means more transaction fees for restaurants that they may or may not pass on to the customer via higher menu prices. It’s also just a messy scenario to have to pay multiple transactions for each course at a single meal.
That mess and expense is what Paytronix is trying to eliminate with this Contactless Dining kit. The platform connects directly to the restaurant’s POS system. Customers then use their mobile devices to browse the menu, order items, and make a single payment (the virtual equivalent of “closing the tab”) at the end of the meal.
Tim Ridgely, head of development for Contactless Dining, got to the heart of the matter when he noted in today’s press release that, “When it comes to on-premises dining, guests want the freedom to peruse a menu, order what they want when they want it, open tabs, and ultimately, pay for that experience at the end.”
Offering more flexibility in terms of this open tab feature also means restaurants could potentially sell more per ticket, whether that’s a second martini or a slice of cake at the end of the meal. That boost in sales will be much needed for most restaurants, since dining rooms across the U.S. are still operating at reduced capacity and, depending on how the pandemic wave falls, will be doing so for quite some time.
Of course, to make the most of Paytronix new system, restaurants will actually need a lot of customers. As we learned recently, the general population remains pretty divided about going out to eat. Some refuse to set foot in restaurants. Others were ready weeks before they reopened. Between those two extremes is a swath of folks who, while wary, are slowly but surely becoming open to the idea of going out to eat once more. Restaurant tech companies that can help sway more people towards that idea will be the ones businesses find most valuable going forward.