Just in time for Restaurant Week, restaurateur Ethan Stowell is going to be testing out a new program that eliminates paper receipts in order to make paying at the table much more efficient. Stowell says he doesn't want customers to feel dissuaded by the new payment protocol, perhaps thinking that it's too impersonal. He says not only are paperless receipts the wave of the dining future, but it's ultimately more secure and cuts down on the possibility of staff members falsifying tips. "The encryption codes are more secure than any POS (point of sale) system," says Stowell, who is going to be testing the system at both Bar Cotto and Rione XIII sometime early next week.
The way it works is that your server, instead of giving you a paper receipt at the end of your meal, will instead hand you a leather-bound device (pictured) where you will be asked to 'approve' your total, leave a tip, and provide the email address you'd like your receipt to be sent to. Then, you're on your merry way; no waiting around for your credit card to be returned or a server forgetting to bring you your itemized copy. It also makes tipping anonymous. If you've ever shopped at a major department store or ridden in a taxi, you've likely already experienced this type of payment process.
What do you think of a restaurant implementing this paperless plan? Shout your thoughts in the comments.
UPDATE: The Stowell camp says tipping will not be anonymous. Servers, however, will not be able to decipher individual tipping amounts if more than one diner is involved.