While it may not be a high-level priority for independent and emerging-chain restaurants, having a branded app can be a nice touch for large, multi-unit operators. In the case of TabbedOut, a mobile-payment app available nationwide, CEO Alex Broeker reached out to Mozido, a successful company on the quick-service level—with Dunkin’ Donuts and Dairy Queen apps to date—to further the process in the full-service sector.
Broeker says the partnership between the companies won’t change the core focus of TabbedOut, but will simply allow certain units to have a customized version, from the visual features to the more specific, feedback, and customer-experience driven ones.
Being able to meet that demand from the larger chains, such as TGI Fridays, is another step for the company, which has been around since 2010. At the heart of the operation, though, remains the ability to allow consumers to pay from their mobile phones, resulting in table turns “eight to 10 minutes” faster per hour, as well as other benefits.
JT Smith, the director of operations at Doc’s Bar & Grill, which has four units in Texas, has been using TabbedOut since January and says he’s re-trained his staff to mention the app to incoming guests.
“TabbedOut has sped up both our [front of house] and [back of house] operations because it allows our serving staff to do more in less time,” he says. “Since the servers don’t have to return receipts and credit card slips back to the guest, it allows them to get to other guests faster and put their orders in for other tables much quicker.”
TabbedOut, without the need for additional hardware, integrates with an operator’s point of sale system, allowing for payments to be accepted via mobile transaction. There’s also Periscope—a customer integration tool—that tracks a diner’s experiences, from order preferences to frequency, and allows for direct feedback. Smith tabs that ability as a difference maker. When a customer responds, a manager can reply with a reward, smoothing over a bad experience, or simply offering more incentive for loyal customers to return. Offers can also be scheduled and sent out to TabbedOut users.
“You can track who your top guests are, how much they spend, and if they were satisfied or not,” he says. “It also allows you to interact with a guest if they have a question or if you want to inquire about a negative experience they may have had, and turn it around. It’s great.”
On the other side, TabbedOut provides a secure way to pay the bill, and do so at a guest’s own leisure. Meals and drinks can be ordered from the table, and points can be redeemed and earned.
Broeker says the efficiency of TabbedOut is easy to see. “You don’t want your bartenders closing tabs, you want them pouring more drinks,” he says. “Closing tabs is a very inefficient part of the process for any bar or restaurant.”
He also says operators enjoy being able to use one settlement account on their purchases. TabbedOut transactions process in the same stream as credit cards, and don’t require a separate merchant account.