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Customer Knows Best: Restaurant Listens to Demands for Mobile Pay and Sees ROI

In the service industry, one rule reigns supreme – the customer is always right. As the manager of The Dogwood, a bar located on Austin’s popular West 6th street and expanding to Houston in February 2013, it’s my responsibility to always have a pulse on what our customers are saying and to stay current on their likes and dislikes. Last summer when several  regulars came in requesting a mobile payment solution, management decided it was worth exploring further.
It is obvious that mobile  payment is booming right now and there are several options available for merchants. We explored the available solutions to determine what made the most sense for us. One factor that went into consideration was cost – The Dogwood did not want a solution that required costly hardware like readers or scanners.
Tabbedout emerged as a potential solution and the company was even based in The Dogwood’s hometown. Tabbedoutoffers a mobile payment solution that lets consumers open, view and pay tabs from their phones. Tabbedout integrates directly with our POS system, which makes it easy to install. Because the solution is software-based, we had it up and running within minutes. There is also little disruption to the ordering layout on the POS, which means minimal training for our staff (which Tabbedout provides). Customers can close their tab at any time and our staff can spend more time focusing on the customer’s experience and selling more drinks, rather than running checks.
Convenience yields immediate and apparent ROI
We originally selected to use the technology solely based on customer demand – but now we are advocates as well. The staff has more time to focus on customersand tips are averaging more than 20 percent on closed tabs. We have also seen more sales come in from new customers who have heard about the app. I would say that on our busy nights, almost 40 to 50 percent of bills are Tabbedout tabs, with the most consistent usage seen during happy hour. Customers really appreciate the convenience aspect.
Tabbedout also provides a level of security for customers by never displaying payment information and encrypting data when communicating with the POS systems. Our customers can track what’s on their tab and never have to hand their credit card to a complete stranger.
As smartphones are working their way into more hands, customers will continue to demand more technology that makes their lives easier, including when they are out at a bar or restaurant. By providing a service like Tabbedout, we are ensuring that they are staying longer and ordering more.
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