The idea behind the new App is to make life easier for diners who are in a rush. No longer will you have to wait around for the check after a meal you can simply pay with your iPhone App and leave as soon as you are ready.
The Pizza Express App is free to download and is supported by PayPal, meaning it is incredibly simple to use when paying. To help make sure it actually works, and is faster than traditional payment methods, Pizza Express have also announced the roll out of free Wi-Fi in their restaurants and new electronic point of sale facilities for this payment method.
It all sounds great and super high-tech but will people actually use it? Part of the point of eating out is to be waited on and part of this is having the bill brought to you and sorted by the waiter. Going to a payment point and taking care of it yourself has an almost McDonalds feel about it.
Also, this payment system could take away from the interaction with the waiting staff, which again is part of the fun of eating out. Will people still give a tip if they have gone to a payment point and sorted in themselves via an iPhone App? And will the waiters even receive tips through this payment method?
The other thing to consider is the security of this new process. With the restaurants using free, public Wi-Fi to aid the App people may be dubious about using their payment details on it. Pizza Express will have to make sure there is sufficient security in place to make sure payment details are not hacked and that their restaurant insurance does cover anyone who loses money this way.
This could end up being the norm in all restaurants or could just be a short lived novelty! What do you think?