Mobile Payments and Prix Fixe: A New Taste Sensation?

January 25, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

Prix fixe—literally “fixed price” in French—has long been associated with upscale dining at its very best. A fixed-price menu offers a certain dish, or set of dishes, for one price. Yet the concept has never really been applied to lower-priced cuisine as well. That may be about to change thanks to firms like TwentyTables, who are bringing the prix fixe concept to the mobile order-ahead market.

TwentyTables set up a mobile marketplace by reaching out to area restaurants, in this case, in the Washington DC area. Users of the app, in turn, can buy tickets for $6, with one ticket redeemable for lunch, and two for dinner. The tickets don’t guarantee a meal, though; the restaurant can accept or reject tickets based on current capacity, though it’s a safe bet the tickets can be used another time.

Consumers then can pick up their ordered meal later, and the restaurants get a big new slug of business they can engage in during the slower periods. It’s geared mainly toward the brown-bag set, giving them access to convenience, and possibly better taste, for about the same price as packing their own. College students and even shoestring tourists could get in on this action too.

Just to round it out, there’s an altruistic part of this as well; for every 20 meals TwentyTables serves, it donates five through its various partners to give those less fortunate a shot at a good meal as well.

There are an increasing number of apps out there designed to not only give shoppers access to less-expensive dining options, but also give restaurants a chance to connect with new markets during slower periods of the day, further giving them access to new revenue streams. A system like this could prove welcome, especially for busy workers who crave the cost-effectiveness of a brown-bag lunch, but quickly grow stale on sandwiches and chips. Plus, this might well win future customers; offering a quality entry-level meal might well prompt some to wonder just what else is served at that particular restaurant.

Connecting it all to mobile payments, meanwhile, provides one more useful option in a growing sea of same. With restaurants eager to pull in business, tools like TwentyTables may be just the ticket.