BY PASHA FARMANARA | Paying for items with our cell phones is a new revolution that has taken over the app store. One new mobile payment app to hit the app store, Cover, is a big game changer for the restaurant business.
Cover allows users to pay for their restaurant tabs with their smartphones instead of cash or a credit card. The app does not replace the cards, because it requires users to enter in their credit card information to pay for their meals.
Cover was designed in New York City, and as of now, can only be used at select New York City restaurants. Among the first to use the app was Swine, at 531 Hudson St.
“We were one of the early beta restaurants, so it’s been over a year for us. We started way before the public launch,” said public relations director Cris Criswell, “The only issue is teaching new servers about it. But after five minutes they get how it works.”
With Cover, diners can leave a restaurant whenever they please, without having to wait for a check.
Cover is beneficial for the restaurants, too. Servers no longer have to spend time bringing the check to and from the table, giving them more time to wait on other tables.
The mobile payment movement began with car service app Uber, which allows users to hail a car and then pay for their ride, all by using their smartphones.
Deciding to test the app, I downloaded Cover onto my phone, and went to El Toro Blanco, at 257 Sixth Ave., which is now accepting Cover.
After the meal was finished and it was time to go, I stood up and left. Walking out without paying a check felt uncomfortable. As Criswell put it, “Everyone feels like they are dining and dashing!”
But after using Cover dining at other restaurants that don’t except it, asking for the check felt like using a typewriter or listening to a cassette tape.
For now, Cover is only available through the Apple App Store, but will soon be available for all android devices.
For a list of area restaurants that currently accept Cover and more information on the app, go to paywithcover.com.