Although it is not quite an eWallet solution yet, the new service on the Pizzaexpress App to pay your restaurant bill using PayPal on the app is a move in the right direction when it comes to customer service through apps.
While we wait for the first NFC iPhone (possibly iPhone 5) to really turn your iPhone into a wallet for payment, it is good to see current technology being adopted to make life easier for restaurant goers, as is the case with the latest PizzaExpress App.
In the new app you can find your closets PizzaExpress restaurant and book a table if you want to, you can scroll through their menus, you can store your discount vouchers, and you can now also pay using PayPal, which of course will require you to sign up for a PayPal account if you don’t already have one.
So how do you pay your restaurant bill with the app you ask. First of all you have to let your waiter know that you plan to pay using the iPhone app so that you get a bill with your individual bill code, which again will tell the systems behind the scene that you should get a receipt and the PizzaExpress till that you have settled your bill and should not be chased down the street for doing a runner.
Secondly, you will of course have to download the app to your iPhone and have an active PayPal account. Without either you will just have to wait for the waiter to come take your payment as normal, which at a busy restaurant can take a bit of time.
Although a step in the right direction, there is still more that could have been done to make the app even more user friendly. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Being able to order your food and drinks from the app itself, using your table number
- Pre-order meal as well as automatically being able to order your last meal (remembering what you ordered last)
- Menu with integrated social recommendations
- Integration with location based services for automatic discounts
A few pet hates that PizzaExpress could have avoided are included as well, such as having to sign-up for alerts, news etc. when you register on the app (should have been optional), and the terms and conditions associated with the facebook and twitter login integration, giving them access to your accounts.
Will this app make me eat more often at Pizza Express? Probably not, but good effort for actually trying to make things easier for your customers.
You can download the pizzaexpress app for free at the App Store.