Restaurant Menus on Tablets

Tablet Menu

A tablet menu from “E la Carte”.

Welcome back to my blog. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about a restaurant that put its menu on Instagram. My friend recently told me about a restaurant she went to that had replaced its paper menus with a tablet. It turns out that this is a growing trend in the restaurant industry.

I found an article from Forbes about a company called “E la Carte” that designed a tablet menu program. This platform, Presto, promises durability and longer battery life. The article writer describes using the app while at dinner in Silicon Valley. He used the app to access a menu that included descriptions of each dish and an image and then ordered drinks, his meal, and dessert. It sounds like the restaurant left the tablet at his table because he was able to play a few social games while he waited for his food to arrive. After finishing the meal, he used the tablet to pay by credit card and leave a tip. Also, he noted that the app allows you to split the bill, rate your server, request a receipt via email, and sign up for the restaurant’s promotional email list. The full Forbes article is available here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomtaulli/2012/01/13/will-tablets-kill-the-traditional-menu/

A more recent article on tnooz looks at whether tablet menus are too problematic to catch on. They suggest that customers will be worried about whether their credit card details are truly secure and believe that others will find the new technology too stressful to use. The article even says that someone people go to restaurants to escape technology, yet whenever I go out to eat I always see people on their phones instead of talking to each other. I do agree, though, that it will be tough to get rid of waiters/waitresses completely. It not only looks bad because of the people who will lose their jobs but I can think of many times when I went to a restaurant and the server affected my overall experience. Here are some of the other arguments tnooz makes for/against tablet menus: http://www.tnooz.com/Tablets-replacing-paper-menus-in-restaurants-Is-this-trend-going-to-work-or-backfire

What do you think? Would you use a tablet menu? Have you had the chance to try one already?

Thanks for reading,

Annie Koehlinger

Learn more about me by connecting with me on Viadeo or ask me a question on Quora: http://www.quora.com/Annie-Koehlinger

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