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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 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.

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