A new Toronto-based mobile payment app is making quite a name for itself amongst diners at some of the city's top restaurants. Known simply as Tab, the homegrown app is only a year old and has already been adopted by more than 60 of the city's most popular dining establishments, not to mention countless thousands of diners across the city who've signed up for the service.
But Tab is much more than just another mobile payment app. In fact, the big draw is its ability to cut out the often-frustrating wait for the bill when the meal's over. And that's not all. Tab's elegant mobile payment solution also takes the guesswork (and hassle) out of having to split the bill when dining with friends. Instead, bills are split automatically, making for a smooth, hassle free dining experience not just for diners, but also for the restaurants themselves.
"Waiting for the bills in restaurants is a pain," says Adam Epstein, Tab's Toronto born and bred Co-founder and CEO. "Splitting bills with friends is even worse. What Tab does is eliminate cards and wireless terminals so that you can enjoy your meal, and your company, without interruption. Sure, it may sound counterintuitive, but Tab actually gets technology out of the way."
How Does it Work?
Available for both Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms, using Tab is about as easy as it gets. After downloading the app from the app store, creating a user profile and providing your credit card details (safely and securely), you're ready to go.
So, how do you use it? Well, let's pretend for a moment you're visiting Cafe Bar Pasta, a popular Tab restaurant located on Dundas Street West. Once seated, simply tell your server you're paying with Tab and you'll be invited (via your mobile device) to create a tab or, if you're splitting the bill with others, to join a tab. Then, once you're done dining, simply adjust your tip accordingly (if you haven't already done so)... and get up and go. No bill, no waiting, no embarrassing having to work out who's paying what. And for those needing to keep a track on expenses, an itemised receipt is automatically emailed to you for your records. It really is that simple.
Personalizing the Dining Experience
Another benefit of using Tab is the surprisingly high degree of personalization the system allows.
"Tab really does add a layer of personalization to the whole dining experience," says Epstein. "Not only do diners have the ability to see the name and face of their server on their phone or device, but conversely, servers are able to personalize their service by knowing the name and face of all paying customers."
Epstein's also quick to point out that the Tab system also offers a number of benefits to its restaurants, too. These include:
- Enhanced efficiency in operations
- A higher level of hospitality
- Improved customer experience
- Added marketing channels.
Picking up on the theme of hospitality and higher levels of service, Epstein adds: "While companies such as Square and PayPal provide mobile payments en masse, Tab has found a niche in restaurants within the smartphone-as-a-wallet paradigm."
Pay a visit to the Tab hit the "Restaurants" link and you'll see exactly what Epstein means by "niche". Listed amongst the more than 60 Toronto restaurants are such iconic names as The Chase, O&B Café Grill, The Windsor Arms Hotel and Valdez, along with trendy locations like Portland Variety, Terroni and Thoroughbred Food & Drink.
New Reservation System
Tab is also launching a new reservation system, too – a smart move given the often too-busy-to-get-a-table popularity of some of Toronto's top restaurants. Now available at some 25 of Toronto's best restaurants including Marben, Chantecler and Zucca, the new Tab reservation system currently exists as a "premium" layer on top of a restaurant's existing reservation service. While guests will have to accept a no show fee of $30 and a late cancellation fee of $10, Epstein knows the additional level of service the reservation system offers will only help create many new fans.
"Guests will receive an elevated level of service and access to tables that would typically be hard to come by, if not impossible," says Epstein, adding, "some places, like Gusto and Nervosa, don't even typically take reservations."
And thanks to Tab's unique payment and reservation system, a whole new world of dining opportunities, experiences and first-rate service are now not only available in Toronto, but in Montreal, too. Download the app and try Tab for yourself.