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Restaurants' Switch To Tablets Is Trouble
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jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 1:21:48 PM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
>jgherbert not sure if you were joking here or not, but I think the check-out at a grocery store--or any store is the last place a shopper is going to stop to get a recipe or check out a website. : )

@soozyg:I'm not entirely serious. However, most people with a smart phone have (or can easily get) a QR code reading app. Then when you see Kumquat, rather than searching the web for it, you can simply scan the QR code and get curated information and recipes (featuring the store's own brand products, most likely ;-). Ok, you don't need to have that QR code grown in the skin for that to work, but what about when you're at home thinking "Hmm, what can I do to make this banana more interesting?" you could look then.

In fact, with the right app you could scan bar codes of all that fruit, veg and meat in your fridge and get recipes featuring those ingredients. Having bar codes on fruit and veg would make that rather sad process easier. Not to mention the attempts at automatic fridge stock tracking / shopping list creators.

 
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
6/12/2014 | 12:40:54 PM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
@David Ok maybe "ambiance" was the wrong word. I was equating ambiance with the sophisticated aura of a high-end restaurant. But you're right, every place has ambiance -- even fast food restaurants need a look and feel and sense of place. But the service staff at low- and mid-tier places are not needed so much if technology is better at serving customers. At a more refined restaurant, the menu is elaborate with specials that may need explaining. Also, you're spending more money and dining there is usually a special night out. So you want that human connection as part of the experience. I don't really need that connection when grabbing lunch at Chili's if a kiosk is more efficient.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 11:40:17 AM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
@soozyg- There is an option on the Chili's one to signal waitstaff. I assume that will be standard on all of these moving forward but I'm sure each is proprietary. 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 11:39:22 AM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
@vnewman- I would have thought so. But perhaps service has never been one of those things. I have to say, I get more bad service than good service at mid-tier restaurants. Maybe the restaurants are just tired of the mediocrity. Maybe if they, you know, paid them, instead of relying on them getting tips, they'd get better service folks.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 11:38:49 AM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
We'll always need people there to answer the non-obvious questions like "is this cooked on a grill with meat" or similar though. 

Is there an option on the screen to signal waitstaff? That would be an interesting feature.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 11:35:33 AM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
 if you're not sure how to prepare or eat the item, just scan it and you can get taken to a web site with recipes and advice!

jgherbert not sure if you were joking here or not, but I think the check-out at a grocery store--or any store is the last place a shopper is going to stop to get a recipe or check out a website. : )
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 11:32:49 AM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
but if they keep my soda refilled and keep the plates from piling up, they deserve a tip.

Yes! Just like any good waitstaff they should always be attentive and would theoretically earn tips this way.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
6/12/2014 | 4:02:40 AM
Touch scrrens on table
"Casual dining restaurants, including Chili's and Applebee's, will be rolling out new self-service kiosks using tablets in the next few months. The tablets will allow customers to order food, call their servers, and pay their checks without needing to interact with a human"

David, pizza hut already has similar facility. From your serving table (touch screen) you can order the required items and can make the payment. It also has the option to save your order for reuse on next visit.
vnewman2
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vnewman2,
User Rank: Moderator
6/11/2014 | 8:11:34 PM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
@David - I think this brings up a great point.  Don't most restaurants feel they have more to offer than just the food?  I'm guessing if you ask them, not many would put themselves in the "you just come here to eat" category even if that's the reality.

I personally would embrace this in even a Michelin star restaurant, but I'm that person who doesn't mind not having a live person.  There are plenty of people who feel the opposite.
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
6/11/2014 | 6:04:53 PM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
You don't go to these places for the ambience or social interaction. You're there to eat. And the exchange is rarely complicated enough that human interaction is needed -- unless maybe when little kids are involved. 


@Shane- Allow me to play devil's advocate. If ambiance and service don't matter at mid-tier restaurants why are they hiring all the perky coolege kids who dance or sing or wear clever buttons or look good in barely anything? If the ambiance doesn't matter, why are they buying all those antiques or theming to music or movies or sports?

It seems like for many mid-tier restaurants that is ALL that matters. Maybe they've been making mistakes all along and it doesn't matter.
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