Sick of trying to catch the waiter’s eye? PizzaExpress has announced that its customers can now pay the bill using their iPhone. Download the new app and you’ll be able to pay without reaching for your wallet.
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ended up looking like a bit of an idiot making complicated hand signals across a busy restaurant to indicate I’d like the bill. Could PizzaExpress’s new app spell the end of all that fun? Maybe not.
The catch is that you’ll still have to get a bill from the waiter (to type in a code), making this not quite as revolutionary as it had first appeared.
PizzaExpress joins up with PayPal
Still, you’ll be able to ask for your bill at any time – from when you place your order, to during the meal or the more traditional end. As soon as you’ve got it, you can select the ‘Pay Your Bill’ option on the app and enter the 12-digit code supplied. You’ll receive confirmation that the payment’s gone through, as will the PizzaExpress till – then you’re free to go.
PizzaExpress says it understands that it might feel a bit funny leaving your table without interacting with a waiter, but it suggests ‘giving the guys at the till a quick wave as you leave’.
Payments are made through PayPal – the first time this online payments system has been used on the UK high street. PizzaExpress claims payments will take less than a minute if you have an existing PayPal account – handy for customers in a hurry. You can also pay by credit or debit card, though this option will mean keying in your card details.
The future of phone payments
So will this app actually save any time? Sure, you won’t have to wait to pay anymore, but you’ll still have to ask for the bill. Though I can see it being helpful in a busy restaurant.
More interestingly, where is this heading? Are we on our way to a fully automated restaurant experience, with no need to speak to anyone? An app to book a table, an app to order the food and an app to pay – all you’d need is a waiter to bring the food…