This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
Contxto – Peruvian Mesa 24/7 is launching a new feature. Through its restaurant booking application, this startup wants to offer diners the option of paying for their meal, before actually reaching a restaurant.
The reasoning behind this move is that it makes for a more automated payment process. So diners can focus on the meal and not be interrupted by everything else that comes with eating out.
The startup can currently be found improving the reservation process for restaurants in Chile, Colombia, and Peru.
A seamless dining experience?
Specifically, the startup’s latest feature allows diners to reserve a table, order their meal, and pay on the app. Then, they just show up to the restaurant and their meal is ready with no waiters involved in the process.
Through Mesa 24/7, a user doesn’t have to wait around for the check or struggle to scrape up the cash after all has been said, done, and eaten.
Mesa 24/7’s Founder, Pedro Calligros, hopes to extend this feature to 50 percent of their partnering restaurants this year. And as it currently stands, the startup works with around 350 restaurants in booking and managing their reservations.
Efficiency versus tradition
This “pay before you eat” feature does sound useful in instances where people are in a hurry or waiters are slow in bringing the check or change. However, as it’s been pointed out, in Latin America, there’s a common practice called la sobremesa. And it’s basically a custom of holding long after-meal conversations.
In this cultural ritual, consumers are unwelcoming towards the pressure of hurrying to pay the check and leave. Moreover, it kills the spontaneity of being in the moment and ordering what you want then and there.
Perhaps Mesa 24/7’s target market for its latest feature are businessmen and women who want a pleasant, quick meal. But if you have time on your hands, and you’re the sort to enjoy the entire process of arriving, ordering, and waiting, then it may not be for you.