Shutterstock

New iPhone app Cover will team up with restaurants to put the ability to pay at any time right on the customer's phone.

Paying restaurants after a meal shouldn't be as difficult as it regularly is. The intricate and annoying dance of requesting the bill goes on, though: the strain to make waiter-customer eye contact, the universal in-air gesture of a signature, and the multiple trips back-and-forth for the tip.

But the days of yelling "Check, please!" just may be coming to end. The new iPhone app Cover is seeking to do just that by teaming up with restaurants to eliminate checks and put the ability to pay at any time right to the customer's phone. This should be good news for both customers and the business.

For customers it'll get rid of that awkward post-meal but pre-departure time, a sometimes-20-minute period that Newsweek recently called "a national crisis and disgrace." So, too, will ending the paper check cut down on wasting waiters' time, freeing them up to take care of other customers quicker. As smartphone ubiquity takes over most cities in the coming years, it's a wonder that the leather-jacketed bill still exists at all.

There are already specific iPhone apps that allow people to pay by phone, such as one by Pizza Express or Starbucks. But these are largely limited to that restaurant brand alone, while Cover hopes to work with any and all restaurants willing to participate. Though Cover has been in its beta phase of testing, the app is already being used at limited New York restaurants, including Carbone and Parm, and it rolled out its newest version on the App Store last week.

The app still has its issues, as it can only split the bill evenly rather than in different increments for each person. But when these smaller issues get fixed, it could be the end of going through the motions of getting the check. In our book, that deserves a check-plus.

Top image: auremar/Shutterstock.com

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An aerial photo of downtown Miami.
    Life

    The Fastest-Growing U.S. Cities Aren’t What You Think

    Looking at the population and job growth of large cities proper, rather than their metro areas, uncovers some surprises.

  2. Smoke from the fires hangs over Brazil.
    Environment

    Why the Amazon Is on Fire

    The rash of wildfires now consuming the Amazon rainforest can be blamed on a host of human factors, from climate change to deforestation to Brazilian politics.

  3. Maps

    The Children’s Book Map That Led Me Out of Depression

    As a child, I loved the fantastical lands from The Phantom Tollbooth. As a troubled college student, I used them as a roadmap to self-acceptance.

  4. Graduates react near the end of commencement exercises at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, U.S.
    Life

    Where Do College Grads Live? The Top and Bottom U.S. Cities

    Even though superstar hubs top the list of the most educated cities, other cities are growing their share at a much faster rate.

  5. a photo of a tiny house in Oregon
    Design

    How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

    Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

×