As far as I'm concerned, splitting the check is the worst possible way to end a meal. It could be the absolute best, most flavorful food I've ever tasted, and I could be sharing it with dearly beloved friends and family members. That won't stop me from wanting to ram forks into my eye sockets after five minutes of passing the bill back and forth and arguing about how much of a tip would be "fair" for each person if Sarah spent $12 on a milkshake and everyone else just got water. So if you told me that there was an invention that not only calculated tips for me, but also allowed me to swipe my own credit card, split my own bill, and get me signed, sealed, and out the door in less time than it would normally take me to say "Check please," I might just explode with joy.
Okay, that was an exaggeration. No explosions happened when I discovered the RAIL, a handy gadget developed by Washington-based startup Viableware, but there was definitely a gasp. And maybe an obscenity or two. The RAIL allows customers to pay their own bill without waiting for the server to bring their check, and it contains handy features that let you do all of the necessary number crunching with no muss, no fuss, and no eyeball stabbing. That's a pretty big deal for the mathematically challenged among us. The devices are roughly $200 apiece, which makes them pricey but probably worth it for restaurants looking to maximize customer satisfaction. And hey, minimal calculation-induced frustration probably means bigger tips for servers. Success all around!