A new method using so-called QR codes is being adopted by some Czech restaurants, with cash increasingly regarded as a slow and outdated payment method. Especially popular in parts of Asia, QR enables guests to scan a code on the table, then order and pay for their food via smartphone. However, some QR experts say the future of restaurant service actually lies in other payment methods.
Around 40 restaurants in Prague and the wider Czech Republic have recently started implementing the new payment method, data from the Czech Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts shows.
All that is required is that potential users download an app which asks for their name, email and card details. Once the app is downloaded, guests can skip the waiter, ordering and paying through their the phone.
The innovative method gives customers the ability to pay quickly when they are in a hurry. Meanwhile, restaurant staff can check on their tablets whether the table has already paid.
Eva Svobodová from the Czech Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts says that Czech consumers belong among those most open to innovations in Europe. This in contrast to gastronomic businesses, which she says are more conservative.
Petr Dvořák, who founded QR Platba, the Czech national standard for QR code payments, says that while the payment method may have caught up in China, there are already other more modern methods in the Czech Republic.
Fellow QR specialist Aleš Dynda agrees. He says that card, or mobile phone payments are a much more prospective method of paying in restaurants.
However, both men agree that it is just a question of time when the practice of paying in cash at a restaurant will dissapear.
While this may make life easier for customers, i tis not very good news for restaurant staff, who are likely to miss out on tips as customers are less likely to add extra when not paying in cash. What is more, contactless payments are autamtically subject to value added tax.
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