iPad for dinner?

On: October 31, 2011
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About Jesse Oyegbesan


The iPad is an all purpose tool. It is ideal to surf on the Internet, play games or other entertainment purposes. However, Apple’s Tablet PC is also capturing more and more restaurants all over the world as an interactive menu. The introduction of interactive menus seems to be a profitable business for gastronomes – but how do customers benefit?

The trend of the interactive menu is spreading rapidly especially in the United States. The iPad has replaced the classic menu in many restaurants. Gastronomes invest a lot of money for a dozen or even more iPads – however, this seems to be a good investment. Satisfied customers are increasing gastronome’s turnover as they go to such restaurants more often and even spend more money.

Especially in high-class restaurants the profits increase through the sale of wine. With the help of the virtual wine menu it is possible to display wine in different categories like year, price and flavor. Google Maps also gives customers the chance to look up the vineyard in order to convince themselves before making a decision. A well-known restaurant Chicago Cut in Chicago is equipped with more than 40 iPads for their wine menu. All of the devices run an app, in which all of their 750 wines are included. A 3D special feature of this app also let users also flip the bottle to the back in order to read the label.

But also the number of fast-food restaurants and ordinary restaurants offering iPads as menus is increasing steadily. This trend is accepted by most of the customers but laminated paper menus are always available for people who try to resist the technological advance or just are not used to handle with such touch display devices, says Jay Clerk, who developed the app for the Chicago Cut restaurant.

“The human has to feel comfortable with the technology”

A downside is that gastronomes have to maintain the these devices. Furthermore they have to be protected by staff members to avoid theft. Additional localization software on iPads is also a common method to locate stolen iPads. Above mentioned points bring about high costs and extra costs.

It remains to be seen if this trend becomes accepted in future or if the gastronomes fall back to their classical paper menus.



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