If you’ve ever had a great dinner ruined by the awkwardness of splitting (or not splitting) a check, you might want to check out Cover, a new app launching today in New York City.
Here’s how Cover works: you enter your credit card information into the app, walk into a participating restaurant, check in, set the tip percentage, the number of diners and then let your server know you’re using it.
When you’re done eating, you just walk out and Cover processes the bill. Simple as that.
“The end of the meal is totally different,” said Andrew Cove, Cover’s co-founder. “Instead of having a business transaction when you’re done, you just go.”
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Cove said the idea for Cover came to him on a Thanksgiving visit with family. He and his family trekked out to a local diner and, while the meal was nice, the 20 minute wait for the check was not. Cove figured he should be able to solve the problem with tech and set out to build the solution.
Cover — which raised $1.5 million dollars earlier this year in a round led by Bryce Roberts of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures — is live in over 20 New York City restaurants and has its sights set on expanding further. For now, it will stay only in New York City.
Success won’t come easy for Cover, which will have to convince wary local business owners to sign up for yet another app. Many have spent the past few years bombarded with pitches from startups and are feeling fatigued, even burned. “Many businesses are just starting to say no to all startups,” said Mark Egerman, who founded the app along with Cove.
Egerman ran into another issue when using Cover too, albeit a less drastic one. “I have to remind myself not to walk out of other restaurants,” he said, noting that after using Cover, it only feels like the natural thing to do. If the company has its way though, that’s exactly what it will become.