Gone are the times where I could sit in a restaurant for hours, enjoying a meal and in no rush to settle the bill and fly out of the door.
These days, if I don’t want the table turned into a den, the seats smeared in goo and two small hurricanes whipping their way around the surrounding chairs I need to make sure we go somewhere where we can make a quick exit once ‘food saturation point’ has been reached.
And inevitably, that point usually coincides with a sudden tumbleweed filled wasteland known as ‘no staff member in sight’.
Prezzo claim to have addressed this issue (and to have made the whole eating out experience from start to finish far more user friendly in general) by bringing out their new app; which offers the ability to find a restaurant, book a table, keep tabs on your bill and then pay it – all with a few clicks on your smartphone.
We were offered the chance to give it a try. So try it we did.
Once I had downloaded the app – I just searched for ‘Prezzo’ on the Play Store (the app is available for iOS or android platforms) – I set about trying to register myself on it. This was a little bit more tricky than I anticipated, as it wasn’t initially obvious how to go about it. I had to pretend I was already in a restaurant, click on ‘pay my bill’ and enter my details and then I was in – registered and ready to go. I can see why it’s been done this way, but I like to be prepared before I go out so I do think it would be useful to have an initial registration option that is a bit more obvious!
Booking a table was much more intuitive – I simply clicked on the ‘Find and book my nearest Prezzo’ option from the main screen, then found it, and booked it! The app sent me an email to my registered email account to confirm the booking, so I was secure in the knowledge it had all gone through successfully.
Next step, turn up and eat! I’m not going to talk about the food except to say it was the usual excellent Prezzo quality – lots of options to choose from and enjoy (I had risotto and profiteroles, mmm….). One of the things that I really like about Prezzo is that they do a ‘Tiny Tots’ menu too for under 5’s which is perfect for the kids – it offers smaller portions of the main children’s menu that are just right for them and three courses and a drink for £3.50 means it’s a very affordable option with no leftover food for them to start flinging about when they’ve had enough!
At the start of our visit, I logged into the app and chose our restaurant, which gave me a four digit code to pass on to our waitress. This was logged into the till, the app registered a connection, and then throughout the meal as I added an extra drink, side order or dessert I could view my bill and check over the order and total. Very helpful if you’ve got a budget to stick to or even just to keep tabs on what you expect to arrive on the table (I’ve got a brain like a sieve at the moment!).
When the eating was over, I just clicked ‘pay my bill’ and was taken to the review screen which has a summary of the order, the total, a sliding scale for adding a tip if you wish to, and payment options (credit or debit card, paypal or gift card – when you first register the app payment details are stored so you only need to do it once).
So I pressed pay, and that was it!
I did feel a bit strange just picking up our bits and pieces and wandering out – a bit like someone was going to jump on me and bowl me over at any point and escort me back inside but of course we HAD paid, and the staff member at the door said ‘thank you’ and ‘goodbye’ with a smile so it obviously did register on their tills as well as my phone!
And the receipt? Well, that was emailed to me. Much easier than a wallet full of little bits of paper too!
Overall, using the app was an easy, stress free experience and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it again. The screens do sometimes take a little while to load (that may be down to my phone reception and of course it’s worth noting that you do need a phone with reception and enough battery for it to work!) but aside from my initial registration confusion, everything worked really efficiently and intuitively.
Enjoyable eating, easy payment and not a table den or knocked over chair in sight!