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 lagomorpha on 12/3/2013 2:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
There are already plenty of restaurants where the food is brought by a train or conveyor and have been for decades. Usually they're either train themed burger joints or sushi bars though.

RE: The Future
By retrospooty on 12/3/2013 2:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
True, but you still have to order through a person. My goal is to not have to deal with idiots any longer. Of course not all wait staff are idiots, but alot are, and alot of others just dont give a crap... So if I can go out to eat, not have to order through an idiot and not have to rely on the same idiot to bring the food out I am happy. Now hopefully they can take some of that money saved by not paying idiots to be idiots and spend it in the kitchen to hire a better level of non-idiots to do the cooking.

RE: The Future
By lagomorpha on 12/3/2013 5:58:30 PM , Rating: 2
No you don't order through a person, the sushi comes by on colored plates and you pick up whatever plates look good. Your bill is based on the number and color of the plates you picked up and stacked. This is a problem that was solved 55 years ago.

"Conveyor belt sushi was invented by Yoshiaki Shiraishi (1914–2001), who had problems staffing his small sushi restaurant and had difficulties managing the restaurant by himself. He got the idea of a conveyor belt sushi after watching beer bottles on a conveyor belt in an Asahi brewery. After five years of development, including the design of the conveyor belt and the speed of operations, Shiraishi opened the first conveyor belt sushi Mawaru Genroku Sushi in Osaka in 1958,"

RE: The Future
By retrospooty on 12/3/2013 7:11:12 PM , Rating: 2
That's right... Its been a while, most Sushi near me is normal waited tables. Now hungry, want no interface Sushi!!!

RE: The Future
By lagomorpha on 12/4/2013 1:41:35 PM , Rating: 2
The conveyor is still broken at my favorite local sushi place :/

Somehow I don't think this solution will work for much American food though there may be some exceptions. I have a feeling that for certain bar food this could result in increased sales.

To many people on their 3rd beer a plate of fried mozzarella sticks or cheese fries floating in front of them across a conveyor might be more temptation than they can handle.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher
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