Restaurants' Switch To Tablets Is Trouble - InformationWeek

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Restaurants' Switch To Tablets Is Trouble
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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 1:43:40 PM
Moving toward a self-service world
@Dave: You've captured both the benefits and drawbacks of retail attempts at self-service. I always hated checking out my own groceries because the system was just awful. I like the idea of menus on tablets, especially if nutrition information and ingredients are easily accessible.

What I'm curious to know, though, is how you see this extending into the internal operations of an enterprise. For example, I know many IT organizations are looking to move toward a self-service model for things like buying and provisioning laptops and smartphones, and Intel even has vending machines in its offices where employees can use their ID cards to "purchase" USB sticks, cords, earbuds and other accessories.

Waht is the future of self-service for the IT organization? Will meeting employees' hardware needs ever become as simple as ordering  Chili Cheese Fries from a tablet app?
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 1:38:23 PM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
@Shane: Whiel I agree with this in theory, I am concerned about it in reality. quick-service and fast-casual restaurantes are a big source of employment for people, they tend to be larger than the more sophisticated dining establishments, and employ far  more waitstaff. What will happen to these jobs if our ordering process becomes as simple as getting cash out of an ATM machine, with no human intervention required?

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
6/12/2014 | 1:35:25 PM
Re: Love paying this way, hate ordering
@JGherbert: Is that a barcode on your banana, or...?

(sorry, couldn't resist the lame attempt at a joke)

In all seriousness, I'm signed up right now with this program to receive a box of locally grown farm-fresh produce every two weeks delivered to my door. I never know what is going to be in the box, and there have been veggies in there that I have never met before. I often find myself googling not only to identify the things but also to find recipes to make use of them. So, I think your idea is a great one for home use--would definitely save me a few steps if there were a QR code included on the bands that hold the produce for example. (don't think i'd like to see such a thing imprinted on the actual produce itself, though).

 
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.
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