Print 95 comment(s) - last by Just Tom.. on Dec 6 at 1:28 PM

You can also play games on the tablets for about a dollar

Applebee's thinks waiting for the check at a restaurant is much like being held hostage, and it wants to change that by deploying tablets at every table. 

According to USA Today, casual dining chain Applebee's is planning to put tablets at each of its tables throughout all 1,865 locations nationally by the end of 2014. 

More specifically, Applebee's is rolling out 100,000 tablets total. The tablets will be provided by hardware and software provider E la Carte, and they will have 7-inch screens.

The idea behind the tablet deployment is to engage with customers in a way that's easy and convenient for them. For instance, if a customer wants to pay the bill and doesn't feel like waiting for the waiter/waitress, they can use the tablet to do so. 

"Who hasn't felt like they've been held hostage waiting for a check to arrive?" said Mike Archer, president of Applebee's.

The tablets can also be used to order additional food like appetizers and desserts. However, it won't be a full menu, and it won't replace existing menus. It will simply help with ordering any extras the customer might want while a waiter or waitress continues to take meal orders. 

In fact, Archer said that certain Applebee's restaurants that are testing the devices have seen increased appetizer and dessert sales. 

Applebee's is also looking to gain some tech cred with the younger generations by offering these tablets. In addition to ordering food and paying the bill, the tablets offer games customers can play for about a dollar.

The restaurant chain isn't too worried about tablet theft, either. Once these devices leave the restaurant, they're pretty much useless. 

Chili's, another casual dining chain, recently deployed tablets as well. It plans to cover 800 restaurants by the middle of next year.

Source: USA Today

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RE: The Future
By hughlle on 12/3/2013 11:21:58 AM , Rating: 1
America certainly is utterly F'ed up in that regard. I just don't understand the way americans feed an absolute obligation not just to tip, but to tip a certain percentage. So long as you continue tipping like this, no one is going to give two damns about changing the minimum wage. Business owners sure get it easy in the US compared to elsewhere, not many industries where the owner can get the customer to pay the staffs wages without the customer seeming to raise an eyebrow.

RE: The Future
By Labotomizer on 12/3/2013 11:31:28 AM , Rating: 2
I would happily have tips permeate more of society, not less. Instead of a guaranteed paycheck it means they have to excel at their job to make better money. Most companies give raises yearly or on promotion which, for a lot of people, isn't instant enough to put forth their best.

Perhaps it's absurd in a country where the government pays for everything you need if you don't feel like working. But the entire American Dream is built around hard work paying off. There are few industries that exemplify that motto more than the wait staff industry. Do a great job, make lots of money. Do a subpar job and you're lucky if you get minimum wage. Either way you earned what you got.

RE: The Future
By Spuke on 12/3/2013 1:09:34 PM , Rating: 3
But the entire American Dream is built around hard work paying off.
I know I get impatient with non-Americans on this topic but I have to realize that they simply don't understand our culture. What Labo said is the cornerstone of how/why we do things here.

RE: The Future
By hughlle on 12/3/2013 1:36:30 PM , Rating: 1
I don't really see where any of that fits in.

We work hard in the UK as well. Only we are sensible enough not to make the customer pay the salary. We have a suitable minimum wage, meaning the worker can just accept that and do as they have to do, or they can work their ass off and earn more through tips.

Staff in the UK work hard for tips just like they do in the US, only we're not foolish enough to think that it should be an obligation for the customer to tip so that their take home pay is anywhere near suitable. Why should we be made to feel guilty because your laws protect the employer from having to treat his staff fairly. If you can't live off your hourly or monthly salary without tips, then get another job, why do they feel that they have any right to a tip no matter how hard they work.

Tipping is a matter of courtesy, not obligation. If your laws are foolish enough to make it an "obligation" then clearly your "dream" needs amending because it's flawed.

RE: The Future
By ClownPuncher on 12/3/2013 1:45:30 PM , Rating: 1
That's not how it works in the US. Each state has different minimum wage laws, some much more "suitable" than others. Gratuity isn't usually compulsory (rarely is it), and a good server at a good restaurant can make $50-120k a year.

Your crooked tooth condescension is noted, however.

RE: The Future
By Labotomizer on 12/3/2013 5:10:01 PM , Rating: 3
How about our laws aren't foolish? I am not obligated to leave a tip, although I generally will. A poor tip is a better sign of dissatisfaction than no tip. No tip could be written off as me being cheap, a poor tip is usually a good indicator of service.

I get that you disagree. We also likely disagree on how much of our money should go to taxes and what the government's role in our daily lives should be. A difference of opinion doesn't make you an idiot but your attitude that yours is the only way that's "right" does.

You can discount the American dream all you'd like. The only problem it has today are the entitled bastards who think that government or someone else owes them that life. It's never been about that. It's about being able to work hard, no matter where you started, and be successful without the government or church to impede that. It's as simple as that. Our government's problem is that it's trying to be too much like you because so many want thing handed to them.

RE: The Future
By Spuke on 12/3/2013 5:51:04 PM , Rating: 3
Again Labo is right on point. You may still think we're silly but I'm a bit more open minded on this. That said, I might disagree with how you do some things in your country but foolish is not a word I'd use. It is what it is.

RE: The Future
By Strunf on 12/4/2013 8:54:46 AM , Rating: 2
It's all fun and well until you get sick and then no tips = no money...

I don't see how you compare the waitress to the American dream, elsewhere in the world we also tip the waitresses, it's called courtesy and the tip is just a sign that waitress is doing a good job, so in the end regardless where the waitress is working the best one will always have a better pay at the end of the month.

Another thing you also seem to think that it's always the waitress fault, what if food takes too long to come ? will you live no tip to the waitress when she's probably not even the one to blame, what if the food ain't good either? the fact is that the tip depends on many factors that the waitress can't even control.

RE: The Future
By Labotomizer on 12/4/2013 11:04:03 AM , Rating: 2
Speed does not equate to service. I'm sure some people think it does.

Also, how much would you tip for exceptional service at a high end place? 5%? 10%? Even if people made a reasonable minimum wage, let's say $15/hour, that's a total of $30,000/year for 40 hours/week. And since employers don't like paying overtime suddenly working extra as a waitress dries up because they don't want to pay you $22.50/hour when they could fill in with another person. So let's say an exceptional waiter is making that and gets 5% for being exceptional across all tables. They just took a MASSIVE pay cut.

Sure, it would be great for the average person. But these types of laws don't benefit the exceptional, they benefit the lowest common denominator. THAT is why it equates the American Dream. This country was not built based on the lowest common denominator, it was built around focusing on the best. I get that it has moved away from that and is moving away from that every day. But I don't have to like it and raising the minimum wage is just another way of forcing that to happen.

When I was 16 I didn't make minimum wage due to my work ethic. The people who did really didn't deserve more money. So the government dictating what they should get because of a lack of motivation is absurd.

RE: The Future
By Strunf on 12/4/2013 12:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
hmm why do you speak of the law? the salary of the waitress isn't defined in the law, it's the owner that sets it and the better the waitresses the better their salary (and better tips), plus since tips aren't part of your salary there are no Taxes on them, so ya if you're an exceptional waitress you'll be well rewarded regardless where you work. To be honest I wonder if the size of the tip isn't related to the looks of the waitress more so than anything else.

I don't know how it is in the US but here without a salary you can't even rent an apartment or ask for a loan.

Anyways even if you're an exceptional waitress you're not living the American dream, no one achieved economical independence by being waitress.

RE: The Future
By Just Tom on 12/6/2013 1:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
Tips are taxable in the US. As they are in the UK.

RE: The Future
By ebakke on 12/4/2013 8:23:56 AM , Rating: 2
Business owners sure get it easy in the US compared to elsewhere, not many industries where the owner can get the customer to pay the staffs wages without the customer seeming to raise an eyebrow.
[facepalm] Customer's always pay the staff wages. What differs is whether or not the employer (and appropriate taxing authorities) serve as a middle man.

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