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GoReds
04-18-2005, 11:17 AM
A bad restaurant experience and a rather geeky lifestyle lead me to an idea this weekend.

Sometimes I hate eating out because the wait staff is usually inattentive, distracted or just simply beyond their level of human existence. We've been to and walked out of places that had us waiting for 30 minutes before coming to ask for our order.

So, I have an alternative. Place an interactive 9" LCD screen on the table. This screen would normally carry advertisements about the store, but also have a menu button. From the menu, you could select an item, view it, look at the nutritional values and order it, if necessary. Options would be included that would allow you to split the check, etc. In other words, all of the ordering would take place from your table, by you.

If this is not what you want, then you can press the "Waiter/Waitress" button and have an actually live person take your order.

While waiting for your food, the screen could act as a personal entertainment center, allowing games such as trivial pursuit or other possibilities.

Once the meal is over, then you'd have the option to pay at the table if using a credit or check card. No need to wait on anyone to bring you the bill - it appears right there, on screen.

IMO, this would make dining a much more satisfying experience without having to be so time consuming. I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I'd like to hear opinions.

StillFunkyB
04-18-2005, 11:23 AM
A bad restaurant experience and a rather geeky lifestyle lead me to an idea this weekend.

Sometimes I hate eating out because the wait staff is usually inattentive, distracted or just simply beyond their level of human existence. We've been to and walked out of places that had us waiting for 30 minutes before coming to ask for our order.

So, I have an alternative. Place an interactive 9" LCD screen on the table. This screen would normally carry advertisements about the store, but also have a menu button. From the menu, you could select an item, view it, look at the nutritional values and order it, if necessary. Options would be included that would allow you to split the check, etc. In other words, all of the ordering would take place from your table, by you.

If this is not what you want, then you can press the "Waiter/Waitress" button and have an actually live person take your order.

While waiting for your food, the screen could act as a personal entertainment center, allowing games such as trivial pursuit or other possibilities.

Once the meal is over, then you'd have the option to pay at the table if using a credit or check card. No need to wait on anyone to bring you the bill - it appears right there, on screen.

IMO, this would make dining a much more satisfying experience without having to be so time consuming. I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I'd like to hear opinions.

Sounds like a good idea. I would add that this place would need to charge the tip to the final bill. A place like this would be hard for the servers, as there would be lots of people that would feel they didn't need to tip being that they ordered and paid themselves.

People don't realize that you should tip at places like Golden Corral etc...

WVRed
04-18-2005, 01:16 PM
While waiting for your food, the screen could act as a personal entertainment center, allowing games such as trivial pursuit or other possibilities.

Make it a TV and im sold on it.

RedFanAlways1966
04-18-2005, 02:26 PM
A very interesting idea, GoR.

I wonder if the maintenance on the electronics would be cheaper than the cost of fringe benefits for human employees? I do know that computers would not call-in sick or need vacations. But a "sick day" on their part would cause a table to be shut down. There would be costs associated with each table b/c each table would have to have its own monitor screen (hardware, fix-its, etc.). Whereas those costs for a table are actually spread out amongst one human server (if a waiter covers say 6 tables on a shift). On the bright side a monitor would not falsely report tip amounts earned. But then again the monitor would not receive tips, so Uncle Sam would get zilch.

I don't know how I feel about this idea. I guess I kind of like having a human server. I have had my share of bad ones, but I mostly get what I'd call good servers. We'd still have to rely on a human to bring the food or wait for a human if we needed something else (e.g. ketchup after the food has arrived, etc).

All the same... a very interesting subject. :thumbup:

REDREAD
04-18-2005, 02:55 PM
The problem is that the bottleneck is often in the kitchen. It might still take 45 minutes for them to cook your food on a night where they are swamped. And also, you're either going to need a human to bring you your food, or you'd need some kind of claim ticket to go up to the counter to get your order..

Not to mention, how would the computer deal with people complaining about only getting 35 shrimp in their "36 shrimp dinner"? And all the other crap that waiters have to deal with. And then you have to worry about drinks/food getting spilled on the electronics and vandalism, etc.

If you still have a human bringing the food, refilling drinks, etc.. I'm not sure how it would save much on labor. Really, if you want to save on labor, you have to go to the restuarant model where you wait in line, carry your tray back, get your own drinks, etc.

Not trying to be argumentive :) , just don't think it would work