Waitlisting App Nowait Introduces Bill Pay Feature

The App Nowait, which allows guests to add their name to digital waitlists at restaurants that do not take traditional reservations, is now leveraging those partnerships to introduce a mobile payment option as well. Nowait has been steadily growing for the past few years to incorporate a suite of software for restaurants and guests, including tools to manage seating and server rotation as well as reservations and waitlists. They already have  close to 4,000 restaurants on the platform, running the gamut from Chili’s to the Clinton St. Baking Company here in New York. Nowait has been downloaded by diners over 3 million times.

With the new mobile payment option (currently being tested in the company’s hometown of Pittsburg), guests can quickly pay their check at the end of the meal without flagging down a server. The app works with three of the largest POS systems (Micros, NCR, POSitouch), which covers around 85% of their targeted fast-casual market. Nowait claims that there are benefits all around – restaurants are seeing faster turnaround, and servers have seen higher tips. The latter may be due to the apps customizable suggested tip amount, which is now standard in POS systems like Square.

As more aspects of the dining experience go digital (and mobile), this market will get more crowded. Nowait has partnerships on it’s side, but they’ll have to make the experience seamless as well.

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Mixology Moves Outside of Alcohol, and Vice Versa

1653847_10152889012450820_2052556431145819038_n.jpgIt’s getting a lot harder than it used to be to walk down a grocery store aisle and tell what will give you a buzz – at least at first glance. For starters, there’s the growing proliferation of alcoholic versions of sodas from childhood, like Not Your Father’s Root Beer, or Crabbie’s Ginger Beer. But the trend also moves the other direction, as more and more foods and beverages without alcohol draw on the flavor profiles of beer, liquor and cocktails.

The Republic of Tea, for example, now offers The Sonoma Teas Collection, which is inspired by Sonoma County and includes flavors like red wine with orange and currant. The teas are free of caffeine and alcohol, but contain grape skins for the antioxidants. Cuvee coffee now offers a beer-flavored coffee in a can, reminiscent of dark coffee stouts. Even Starbucks tested a Dark Barrel Latte last year.

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