Restaurants and Tablets: A Trend to Watch

Social media and mobile is changing the traditional marketing game for all businesses, restaurants included. But what’s the next trend that you should jump on the bandwagon for? Prediction: Restaurants that use tablets for dining will be killing it (USA Today article on iPads at restaurants) Scroll down to find out why or view this video from USA Today

USA Today Tablet Restaurants

Tablets (iPad, Xoom, Kindle Fire etc.) allow for users to…

The Eating

Order drinks

What if I could request my martini shaken, not stirred? Or what if your waitress can’t remember your list of single-malt scotches? Think an interactive drink menu where I can specialize how I want my drink by dragging and dropping. Interested in the amount of calories? Find that out as well. Do you need a refill on water, hit that button as well.

Order Meals

I hate it when a waitress asks me to repeat my order because she didn’t write it down. Or worse, the wrong meal is brought over. Having my order sent to the kitchen remedies this problem.

Order from the Dessert Menu

There should be no more waiting 20 minutes to receive a Dessert Menu because my waiter is too busy. Instead, I should be able to put my order in and receive the molten volcano cholesterol plate within two minutes

Request Assistance

Maybe someone at the table has a birthday party and we can’t slip away to tell the server. What if we could send a message saying that Kristen in the red is turning 30? Or maybe we spilled (hopefully not on the tablet) and we need some paper towels.

The Technical

Log In

Do you come by the restaurant a lot? Maybe you would like to order something the way you had it last time, or five times ago. By logging in and creating a user name, you can track your favorites and rate the meals. Maybe return customers receive a discount. Maybe you can provide advice for future users. Or a business can direct you to a plate you may like. Check on gift certificate balances or order one for others.

Rate a Dish

Maybe there was too much garlic. Why not allow for your customers to rate their meal and comment on what is good and bad? The only way to make a dining experience better is to hear from your customers.

Connect Online and Rate

Provide links to Yelp, Facebook and Twitter to allow for customers to rate and discuss your food. Plus, this is an easy way to get some new “friends” or “likes”.

Pay the Bill

Everything is going mobile these days. How about being able to pay my bill without needing to ask for it? I can swipe my card and sign on the screen. For large tables, people can break up who buys what (and the tip is right there on the screen!). There is no more “I paid $5 more than him, but he ordered more”.

Use Cash

Hit a button requesting change. Since they will not be swiping your card, change will be much easier to get.

Damage Control:

Keep Their Kids Busy

What is more annoying than children asking “Mom, can we leave yet?” What if you could keep them entertained with a tablet and headphones so they can watch their favorite kid oriented material? Plus, other customers won’t give you and your children the evil eye (or maybe you need to send an email).  

Speak to the Manager

We all occasionally get so upset with our service or food that we think paying should not be an option. Maybe our well-done steak was too cooked or there is actual hair in our angel hair pasta. Regardless, we are going to tell the world how upset we are.  Instead of attacking a waiter/waitress, why not allow for the manager to help quell tensions and save a relationship with a customer? In the long term, providing a free meal is worth it more than allowing a customer to storm out and broadcast their disgust with the business


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