The ubiquity of mobile devices allows new platforms to take hold across industries – technologies that would not be possible to implement otherwise. It is a demonstration of the ability for one innovation to lead to another – certainly, smart phones and tablets allow inventors and designers to dream up innovative devices.

Payment platforms are one of the latest standards to be challenged through the power of mobile technology. Companies like Apple would love to do away with the wallet altogether by offering Apple Pay – a method through which consumers can leverage a phone-based reader to pay in the store straight from their iPhones. Not every company has rushed to adopt this new system, as there are credit card companies and existing infrastructure to deal with. But more organizations are rolling it out, especially within the food industry.

More businesses join Apple Pay
Several more restaurants and food providers signed up with Apple Pay in the last few weeks, The New York Times reported. Companies like McDonald's and Whole Foods were early adopters and their success has spurred more organizations to join the trend. Recently, the Amway Center – home to NBA team Orlando Magic – made Apple Pay available at its concession stands.

"One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get from our fans is that the food and beverage lines are too long," Alex Martins, chief executive of the Magic, told The New York Times. "It keeps them from going to the concession stand because they don't want to miss the action. This, and technologies like Apple Pay, will speed up our service."

It isn't just in-store payment capabilities that have digital potential. An increasing number of companies offer online delivery apps that allow consumers to order and pay for a meal entirely through their phones, according to PYMNTS. GrubHub, Seamless and Foodler are all successful startups that have found their niche by connecting restaurants with customers via a reliable middle-man delivery service.

Small restaurants and food suppliers that adopt the platform would be displaying the willingness to adapt and embrace new technology that many consumers value. Additionally, as smart phones become ever more widespread, more consumers are likely to turn to Apply Pay and other mobile payment options to facilitate easy transactions.

Delhi-based company offers payment app
Apple Pay and delivery companies are not the only ones to embrace phone payments. Zomato, a restaurant listing service out of Delhi, India plans to roll out an app that will give users the ability to pay at a restaurant and even talk to the owner, reported FirstBiz

"The idea here is to enable cashless payments for restaurants," Pankaj Chaddah, co-founder of Zomato, told FirstBiz. "We will soon pilot this in Dubai and roll it out in other geographies over the course of the next two quarters."

Zomato's app is more than just a payment service, though. It is the kind of all-in-one service that might be the next generation of business apps. Restaurant owners will be able to respond to reviews directly, post menus or images and keep their restaurant listings up to date. Mobile technology is still relatively fresh – no one is certain exactly what will happen next. But what is fairly predictable is that it will continue to grow exponentially and the companies that latch on to new platforms early will have a better chance of success.

Hospitality and restaurant industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, leaders in food service equipment financing. Marlin is a nationwide provider of equipment financing solutions supporting equipment suppliers and manufacturers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.