Mastercard Bar Tab makes ordering drinks easier than ever

Paying your bar tab is about to get quicker and easier than ever before, thanks to a new launch from Mastercard.

The card payment provider has announced a partnership with restaurant chain TGI Fridays for a technology-friendly way to pay for your drinks.

Instead of needing to leave your card behind the bar, and worry about it being lost, stolen, or hit with hidden charges, customers can now order drinks and pay their tab using the new 'Bar Tab' service in Mastercard's Qkr mobile app.

The free app, which can be used with both Mastercard and Visa cards, allows users to track down applicable restaurants nearby, and then set up and manage their tab using a four-digit PIN. When ordering new drinks or paying their bill, customers simply have to show this PIN to their server, who can link it to their tab using the TGI Fridays till system.

“Nobody wants to hand over their card to a bartender. Your card should be with you at all times, so it’s natural for people to leave a pub without having closed their tab," says Betty DeVita, chief commercial officer for Mastercard Labs. "This is a common problem we wanted to solve through Qkr. For bar staff themselves we have removed the headache of card storage and admin."

Mastercard is also teaming up with Oracle to integrate the Bar Tab application into the company's Hospitality’s restaurant management platform, as well as its own Masterpass digital payment service.

“Oracle Hospitality’s restaurant management platform allows the food and beverage industry to innovate by creating a single view of operations,” said Dale Grant, senior vice president food and beverage, at Oracle Hospitality. “With Oracle Hospitality solutions at the core, restaurants and bars can easily integrate additional solutions like Mastercard’s Qkr payments platform to reinvent their customer experience. By implementing Bar Tab, TGI Fridays can now offer its customers a quicker, more convenient experience that empowers staff to provide more welcoming bar experiences while reducing the number of unpaid tabs at the end of the night.”

Bar Tab is currently being debuted at the TGI Fridays branch in London's Leicester Square, before the chain hopes to roll it our to 80 further branches across the UK.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve the unique Fridays experience for our guests,” said Jeremy Dunderdale, head of business solutions, TGI Fridays UK. 

“With Bar Tab, we’re able to offer our diners the freedom to settle their bills on-demand, with this quicker and more convenient payment platform. Enabling self-service payments also allows our team members to focus on engaging guests in more meaningful ways – which is what we’re all about at Fridays.”