There's no more need to flag down a bartender to open a tab, only to retrieve your bill at the end of the night and see a much larger balance than what you expected.
In more than 5,000 bars and restaurants, you can now use an app called TabbedOut to open and close your bar tab. Simply select your location, order from the menu and the app transmits that information to the point-of-sale payment system the server is using. That way, you can track your bill (and the number of drinks you've had) in real-time. If your drinking buddy also has TabbedOut, you can even split the bill.
You can also select the tip using the "tip slider," which is usually set to 20%. This encourages higher tips: TabbedOut says merchants in its network receive an average tip of nearly 24% -- higher than the nationwide average of around 18%.
In January, a new feature called Periscope will allow bars and restaurants to create profiles of customers and see theirorder history. This will allow merchants to offer targeted savings to customers, like 20% off their next meal or $3 off their favorite drink.
TabbedOut launched in 2009 and its app been downloaded more than 1 million times. -- B.E.