Pay at the Table stops 2 out of 4 Dine and Dash guests

A Dine and Dash Csutomer is a guest that comes to eat at a restaurant then leaves with out paying their bill. If you have worked at a restaurant this will boil your blood more than the obnoxious drunk guest. What goes through the mind of a Dine and Dash person? How could they have the nerve to do such a thing? To clarify we don't actually know what goes through their mind because we have never committed this heinous crime however we have done some reading, research and interviewed a ton of people and restaurants to report our findings. Why do we do this? One of the first questions we get in introducing pay at the table, specifically self checkout pay at the table, is won't this increase dine and dash customers? In this article we will first understand four types of customers that dine and dash then we will look at what other restaurants have been doing since 2014. Is this concern legitimate?

Four types of guests that Dine and Dash?

1.The evil villain

This is the guest every restaurant employee assumes a dine and dash guest is. Pure evil, wants to take from others and is the scum of the earth. Unfortunately these guests do exist and they always will. It is easy to assume this is what everyone is like that dine and dashes however there are several more people you need to consider.

2.The unorganized scatterbrain

This is the guest that came and ate but realized they forgot their wallet at work or at home after they ate. The right thing to do would be to tell the restaurant and make a trip to go get the wallet and come back. From the guest perspective this can be really embarrasing and they may fear being stuck on dish duty or worse yet, what if you make a big deal about it and call the police? Maybe this guest drove a couple hours that day and getting back home to their wallet isn't even an option. They freeze up, and in the heat of the moment they become a Dine and Dash guest.

3.The Air Head

We got the chance to meet someone who actually admitted to being a Dine and Dash guest. After we gave them a look of horror they proceeded to tell us why. Aparently she went to meet up with an old college friend and they ate for a couple of hours as they caught up. She got so caught up in the conversation that they both walked out without paying. When she got home, for some reason she realized her mistake and was struck with the dilemna, do I go back and admit this or just not go there any more? She decided to go back and pay but she told us it is one of the most embarrassing things she has ever done and she felt bad becaus the server that helped her was already gone for the day, so he didn't get her tip. Fortunately this guest had a strong sense of ethics that superseded her embarrassment. If this guest felt admitting this fault was too embarrassing she would have truly been a Dine and Dash guest.

4.They angry Scrooge

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and received terrible service? Your drink was never refilled, you wanted ketchup for your fries but the server was no where to be found so you ate what they gave you. Then at the end of your meal you started looking for your server to bring the check. You placed your wallet on the table to hopefully catch their attention when they come by and finally when you see the server you make eye contact. If that doesn't work you wave your credit card in the air and still NOTHING!!! At this point you are fuming and if you need to get to work or a basket ball game you have two options. 1) you can walk up to your server interupt the table they are serving and say "if you want my money take my card because I am leaving" or 2) Dine and Dash. This Dine and Dash customer is a believer in quality service and they feel entitled by the poor experience they had. They fail to look around at the things that likely lead to it, for example if another server misses their shift the staff that did show up get stretched pretty thin.

Having a pay at the table solution that is mobile friendly and truly self checkout would actually solve two of these Dine and Dash guests that your restaurant gets today. They didn't come to your restaurant to Dine and Dash but due to circumstances and the lack of options they did. Guest number 2 forgot their wallet, however barely anyone leaves the house without their smartphone! Mobile wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay can now store your credit card in the mobile application and become a way to pay even if you forget your wallet. It is important that your restaurant supports an application, like Taby, that enables mobile walltet payments on each table. Guest number 4 had a terrible experience at your restaurant for one reason or another. As a restaurant employee we like to think that our service is better than everyone else but we all have had a guest complain or ask us to bring their check at some time. No one has the mind reading capability that is able to know when to bring the check at the exact time without being pushy. Having a pay at the table option that is truly self checkout like Taby allows this customer to pay when they choose to leave without the guess work. Another way to look at this might be through asking yourself this question: Have you ever had a better experience by someone forcing you to do things by their timing and not giving you freedom of choice?

What are other restaurants doing?

The ability to pay your meal and leave a full service restaurant has been around now since 2014. Among some of the larger chains that have rolled out tablets in all of their restaurants are Olive Garden, Chili's, Red Robin, and Uno Pizzeria. Together there are thousands of locations all accross the United States that have had tablets for years. Most of these restaurants started roll outs in 2014 and saw massive impact to their profit margins by rolling these out so they continued to roll them out to more restaurants. Today Darden, the parent of Olive Garden, has rolled out tablets to some of their other brands like Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen. Jack Baum, Ziosk chairman and chief executive, said that they are seeing about 92% of all transactions going through Ziosk. [1] These restaurants are publicly owned or answer to private equity firms where their financial statements need to be clearly explained. Having pay at the table has been a clear revenue generator for all of these restaurants.

The reality is if you are the "evil" Dine and Dash guest mentioned above there are so many places you can get "free" food today. Take a look at how online ordering has changed for so many restaurants. If I order food online from Chipotle, Panera, PotBelly or virtually any Quick Service deli I walk into the restaurant to pick up my food off of a shelf. I don't talk to anyone and nobody asks to verify that I paid for my order. Take a look at how retail has evolved in the last five years. Almost any grocer now has a self checkout option that allows guests to check out on the honors system. Most have someone supervising these kiosks however there are too many people to watch to deter theft and they frequently get pulled away to help answer a question. What they are finding is that the profits far outweigh the increase in business that convenience and experience bring to that business.

In conclusion the "evil" person has been there and always will be but having a technology in your restaurant does not attract or change the integrity of your guests. Inegrity is part of who you are as a person. Would you be more likely to Dine and Dash from a restaurant that has a pay at the table option like Ziosk or Taby? If you are reading this article then we already know the answer is No because you care about people who do the right thing and that won't change due to technology. Why do you expect other people to behave differently from you? The data is clear restaurants are moving in big steps towards making the guest experience more convenient and that includes massive roll outs of technologies like Taby. Keep in mind that not all Dine and Dash customers are "evil" and giving them options means you get paid.