(WDVM) — The COVID-19 pandemic changed how life operates for everyone, and as businesses of all kinds shifted their operations, one Northern Virginia-based ordering platform called Go Tab helped to ease the change in restaurants.

Prior to the pandemic, a typical dining experience included tangible menus and multiple interactions with servers, but that has changed with ordering straight from a mobile device. Go Tab started working with QR code ordering and payment years before it was a need in communities.

Gerard Hampton, Vice President of Operations for Go Tab, explained, “You scan the QR code. You order from your phone. You don’t have to download an app and you don’t have to enter any information.”

Many people have become accustomed to the process, though Go Tab takes it a step further, by automatically linking to any Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay settings on your device. Though QR codes are not a new invention, using them to order food and drinks is relatively new.

Hampton said, “We shifted to the ordering piece in early 2018 and started working with bars, breweries, restaurants and it kind of took off.”

Hampton said Go Tab thought they were going to go out of business as the pandemic started, and then as the need for a safe, easy way to order became the next challenge, Go Tab grew from under 50 customers primarily in the District of Columbia to over 500 businesses using the platform.

The company now has clients across the country and in Canada.

Hampton said, “It’s very gratifying to see blood, sweat and tears go into something now that hundreds of thousands of people are using across the country and the world now.”

The platform has helped customers feel safer while dining, but has also kept the restaurant business afloat.

Keem Hughley, a Partner with Maketto, said, “Go Tab has completely transformed our system. It’s more efficient, more streamlined and it just gives our customers options.”

Hughley said not only has the system increased the profit formula and allowed the restaurant to cut labor, but also get customers their orders faster.

“A lot of times when you were ordering before, say for instance you want to order another drink but your server is doing something else, it could be a 10-15 process and you might not want that drink anymore, well now you can order through Go Tabs and order whenever they’d like,” Hughley explained.

The system is also customizable for each business partner. Hughley added, “It’s not one blanket system that each restaurant has to use, you can talk to the Go Tab rep and come up with a system and customize it for what’s best for you.”

The Go Tab system has changed the dining experience in about 150 restaurants in the D.C. metro area.