Over the past couple of years, Cover has focused almost entirely on the in-restaurant experience, whether it be through Apple Pay integration or the ability to split the bill via SMS with folks who don’t even have the app. But Cover’s product lead Frank Harris explained to TechCrunch that the dining experience starts way before a patron arrives at the restaurant.
“When we started out with just a few restaurants on the platform, we didn’t focus as much around discovery of restaurants,” said Harris. “But as we’ve scaled out — we have more than 300 restaurants on the platform now, and 200 in New York alone — we realized we need to change the way the app helps people choose a restaurant.”
The new, redesigned Cover discovery experience includes curated lists of restaurants, filters for food style and cuisine, with results displayed either in a list view or a map view, with the help of the foursquare API. The app also includes a menu summary for each restaurant, with dedicated restaurant pages for access to the venue’s website, hours of operation, phone number, etc.
But Cover 2.0 also improves the in-restaurant experience, as well. Through the use of beacons, Cover knows when you and your friends have checked in to the same restaurant and automatically offers the opportunity to split the bill.
The revamped app also offers a brand new feature, called meal history, that lets you view each meal you’ve had at every restaurant you’ve checked in to with Cover, with an option to view the receipt, as well.
Cover is available in New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, with the company recently signing a new deal with NYC Dinex group, adding six new restaurants to the platform (Daniel, Bar Boulud, Boulud Sud, DB Bistro, DBGB, Cafe Boulud).