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

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: The Future
By Argon18 on 12/3/2013 2:34:04 PM , Rating: 1
"That issue though is already a ridiculous anachronism. The law needs to change and society too, to give waitstaff real-world wages and eliminate tipping."

Wrong. In any industry where the service is as important, or more so, than the product, there has to be an incentive for the service worker to give good service. Look at government employees for example, a bunch of fat and lazy do-nothings. If waitstaff in a restaurant had guaranteed pay, they have no incentive whatsoever to give you good tableservice - they get paid the same either way.

I would assert that we need more service jobs in the US to move away from the salary model, and into the tip model. Service sucks these days at so many places. Restaurants are one of the few places nowadays where you can get consistently good service.

If only government workers received most of their wages via tips. Maybe then a visit to the DMV wouldn't be so painful, and you'd have smiling workers eager to help, rather than angry i-dont-give-a-crap-about-you attitudes like we have today.

RE: The Future
By Labotomizer on 12/3/2013 5:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T support comes to mind as well? Oh, your PRI is down at this location? Well, guess what, we don't care. We'll assign someone to test a circuit with 99.8% uptime in, oh, 8 hours.

I remember dealing with a client's outage with ATT once and it took them 3 days to fix a PRI. They promised 60 minute updates, not once did they call in 60 minutes. Twice they said they showed up onsite and I was waiting and no one ever came.

At the end I asked if they had a survey. They said no. Simply put their service is almost always so bad that a survey would get people in trouble and they would be accountable. If I could tip for great service I would LOVE it!

RE: The Future
By ven1ger on 12/3/2013 6:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
Tipping has become so over the top that it is really getting out of hand. I don't appreciate the tip jars at food places where you order and get your food and sit down. Tips were generally regulated to restaurants, taxis and certain other service oriented vocations.

If I feel I have to tip someone to get good service, isn't that sort of extortion or bribery? If I want to get good service from the mailman, do I have to tip them? If I want to get good service from the cashier or the person bagging my grocery, do I have to tip them? It's getting silly to expect that good service requires a tip, I understand that you can show your appreciation if someone goes out of their way to do something any tip them but tipping for expected good service is getting really out of hand.

Any job/career that one does, there is an expectation of good service, it's called professionalism. Taking pride in how one does one job should be the expectation and not requiring tipping. Tipping or requiring the customer to make up this lack of good pay to get the expectation of good service is kind of pathetic.

Btw, I used to wait tables at a fine restaurant in my college days and while tips were good, I've always felt that the tips should not be a reflection on how I did my job, I did my job professionally, and not with the expectation that I'd be getting more tips. Restaurant used to have a lot of reservations for weddings/banquets/etc, I used to work most of those, slower times would wait tables.

RE: The Future
By ritualm on 12/3/2013 8:56:05 PM , Rating: 2
In any industry where the service is as important, or more so, than the product, there has to be an incentive for the service worker to give good service.

Tipping is not an incentive. Look at Japan. Tipping is not required at all in restaurants, in fact it is already included along with consumption taxes on the final bills you pay. So what really is the incentive?

The correct answer is repeat business.

It costs more to attract a new customer than it costs to retain an existing one. The staff should work hard because they're not doing it for the big fat tips you leave on the table. They should because they want you to keep coming back. 10% tipping from loyal customers is more than acceptable when the other alternative is "they're never coming back" - the latter is what generally kills a business in the long-term.

Some people believe they are entitled to 20%+ tipping regardless of the quality of actual service rendered. They make the entire idea of tipping look bad. If the waitstaff in any restaurant pulls such an act on me, it won't matter how good everything else is, because I AM NOT COMING BACK FOREVER.

Get a hint, son.

"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki