America’s Restaurants Should Upgrade the Technology

Sara Thopson - Apr 29, 2013
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When you go into a restaurant and have your meal, doesn’t it annoy you to when you have to wait long time for the bill? It annoys many people in the United States. Only few of them however know that it doesn't have to be that way.

Most people in the United States who enjoy eating out don't know that there could be a better way to pay for their meals. There are other countries, even in Polynesia, that have made the paying process much simpler and more efficient so that their guests are able to wine, dine, and leave for home or wherever else they want to go.

Most American's typically wait up to 20 minutes once they have requested the check before they are able to leave the restaurant and go home to relax or wherever else they want to go. This is due to the fact they have to ask for the check, wait to get it, wait for the waiter to return to pick it up and then wait even longer for the waiter to bring back their change or return their card.

In other parts of the world, this is not the way it works. Polynesia, Istanbul, London, etc. have all figured out a better way to do it. The restaurant guests ask for their check and the waiter pulls out a handheld device, totals the check and then swipes the person's credit card. The waiter rings it up at the table, hands over the receipt and the guest is free to get up and leave. The total process takes about a minute.

Rumor has it that Americans are always on the move and in a hurry to go. Other countries are more laid back supposedly than American people, yet they make the checkout process so much faster. This is a major contradiction in some people's eyes who feel that America should have the same ability to speed up the check out.

If you ask the National Restaurant Association, they claim the reason Americans can't use this technology is due to the fact that American and European credit cards are different. Then they may go a step further and tell you about how credit cards in America are more susceptible to fraud and this makes that technology not suitable for the American people. However, it is clear this isn't the real reason restaurants make their patrons wait.

The true fact of the matter is that money is the main issue. No American restaurant wants to invest in the new technology because it costs approximately $500 for each of the devices. Since Americans aren't demanding this new technology, restaurants are not forced to invest in it. However, the restaurant association has asked via a poll, if it was an option, 52% of American's would use the electronic payment system at their table. Of the 48% that wouldn't use it, they are typically the older generations.

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