Chili's Server Says Chain Is Getting Portable Payment Devices

It’s always a tense moment when you hand off a credit card to your waiter. There are so many potential pitfalls: Your card could slip out of the folder, an unscrupulous employee may skim your data or inflate your tip, and you could forget your card at the table.

A portable table-side card reader solves all these problems, and Adam reports Chili’s is bringing the technology to all its restaurants.

He writes:

I just got home from dinner at my local Chili’s in [redacted], MD. After our check arrived, I put my AMEX in the folio and tried to give it to the server. She said, “Wait, I have to get ‘the machine’,” and returned to the table with a wireless payment device.

The server told me it was a trial at that restaurant and once they get the kinks worked out, all Chili’s would have them.

All I can say is, FINALLY! I’ve experienced similar machines in just about every other country I’ve traveled to in Europe, Asia and Australasia but never in the US. Now, when you pay with credit or debit your card never leaves your sight, and you enter the tip into the machine yourself so there are no errors or unauthorized modifications to gratuities.

Has anyone else seen these at American restaurants?