TableSafe is upping its most recent funding round as it continues to spread its restaurant payments device around the country and eye new industries.
TableSafe raised $5 million late last year and is upping the target to $8 million, citing greater demand from investors, the company’s CEO Gordon Gardiner said in an interview with GeekWire. The growing Kirkland, Wash.-company makes a device that allows customers to self-swipe credit cards at the table, and do things such as easily calculate how bills should be split and email receipts directly to themselves.
TableSafe’s goals are to protect customer credit information and make waiters’ and servers’ jobs easier. The waiter brings the device, known as the RAIL, to the table at the end of the meal, allowing the customer to pay right there. The waiter never touches the card, reducing the potential for fraud, and customers’ unprotected credit card information isn’t sitting in the restaurant’s system.
“When you swipe the card at the table or put a chip card into the device, it immediately encrypts your credit card information, so the restaurant never has that information in the POS system, and the customer maintains control of their credit card and never gives the credit card information away to the restaurant,” Gardiner said. “So If the restaurant gets hacked, there’s no credit card information to steal.”
Though TableSafe wants to speed up the bill-paying process, it is not seeking to automate the entire sit-down restaurant experience. In removing the trips back and forth to the table, TableSafe is looking to free up waiters to focus on customer service. That allows waiters to function as the “chief revenue officer” for the restaurant, Gardiner says, helping customers have a better experience which might make them spend more money and time there.
Gardner said the 50-person company has signed up more than 30 restaurant groups around the country to use the RAIL device. The device is available both from the company directly and through re-sellers that provide point-of-sale systems for restaurants. Working with POS partners makes it easier to get its device into smaller, non-chain restaurants.
Gardiner also sees opportunities to break into the hospitality industry, getting the RAIL in hotels and resorts. Those conversations are just beginning, and for now the company will continue to try to get the device into as many restaurants as possible.
RAIL devices are showing up in all varieties of restaurants, from mid-level chains to high-end locations like the Metropolitan Grill in downtown Seattle.
“If it works in that very high quality environment it will work across any restaurant environment in the United States,” Gardiner said.