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. Transportation

    A Horrifying Glimpse Into Your Dystopian Future Transit Commute

    A comic artist’s take on what the future of transportation might really feel like.

  2. a photo of the Maryland Renaissance Festival
    Life

    The Utopian Vision That Explains Renaissance Fairs

    What’s behind the enduring popularity of all these medieval-themed living-history fairs?

  3. A cyclist rides on the bike lane in the Mid Market neighborhood during Bike to Work Day in San Francisco,
    Perspective

    Why We Need to Dream Bigger Than Bike Lanes

    In the 1930s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized.

  4. Two men look over city plans at a desk in an office.
    Equity

    The Doomed 1970s Plan to Desegregate New York’s Suburbs

    Ed Logue was a powerful agent of urban renewal in New Haven, Boston, and New York City. But his plan to build low-income housing in suburbia came to nought.

  5. An old apartment building and empty lot and new modern construction
    Equity

    Will Presidential Candidates’ Plans to Address Redlining Work?

    Housing plans by Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg intend redress for racist redlining housing practices, but who will actually benefit?

×