The online restaurant reservation service, OpenTable, has launched a trial of mobile payment services that will enable diners to pay for their meal on their smartphones.
It is hoped the use of the payment technology, which is available through its iPhone application, will make the dining experience quicker and more convenient.
Diners can leave the restaurant without paying and do it later in the day, solving the problem of waiting for a member of staff to bring a cheque.
The initial trial is being carried out at a number of restaurants in San Francisco, where OpenTable is based, but the company is planning to include further eateries in the coming weeks.
OpenTable began testing the service in July 2013 following the acquisition of mobile payments company JustChalo, although this trial is the first time it is being used by members of the public.
The payments are being handled using existing OpenTable reservation and guest management systems.
By Tony Aynsley