The iOS app that wants to make paying your bar tab as easy as ordering Seamless food delivery is adding new features and expanding to more restaurants. Dash on Wednesday launched a Dashboard to help out servers and bartenders while also making the diner's experience better.
Dash launched in November as a way for you to settle your check at a bar or restaurant using an app, similar to the way you pay for Seamless delivery or an Uber ride. The app stores your credit card information so all you have to do is tap to pay once your server closes out the check. The new Dashboard hooks up to a restaurant's point-of-sale system using an iPod to make it super simple for wait staff to tally up your check and send it your way.
If you have Dash installed on your phone, the Bluetooth-enabled Dashboard pushes you an alert when you walk into a venue where you can use the app to pay. Those venues are still few and far between, concentrated in New York City, but the roster now includes high-profile joints like City Crab, Dukes, and Circo NYC in addition to early adopters Clinton Street Baking Co., The Royal, and Barramundi. Jonathan Segal, owner of well-known steakhouse STK, is an investor in the app, so Dash has potential to spread to restaurants across the country.
The app eliminates the delay between closing out the tab and leaving the restaurant, because you can pay the bill and tip straight from the app, which should help busy restaurants turn over tables more quickly. The new Dashboard also gives restaurants some information about you as a customer, like whether you're a regular, what you order, and how old you are, that can help them plan ahead.
Dash cofounder Jeff McGregor has made it clear that the app is designed to help restaurants, not automate them. Dashboard is the company's attempt to sweeten the deal with easier integration and customer data. If you're already used to mobile payments in other parts of your life, like cabs and food delivery, Dash is a no-brainer next step--and if it encourages cash-only establishments to transition to the 21st century, I'm all for it.
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