Innovation That Matters

Restaurant tablet lets diners order, pay and play games from their table

Publishing & Media

Regular readers of Springwise may remember our article about the iPads recently installed at New York’s JFK and LaGuardia airports, which enabled users to remotely place food orders from participating airport restaurants. In a similar vein, we recently came across E la Carte’s interactive restaurant tablet. The tablet — designed to be stationed on a restaurant table — has four key functions: to serve as a menu, provide games, offer payment options, and enable feedback. To begin, diners enter key details about their table, such as how many people will be eating. They may then view the menu, which can be browsed by categories such as starters, mains and desserts, and features full color images of the meals available. E la Carte claim that by using images to advertise the dishes, diners can be upsold by as much as ten percent per bill. Once the order has been placed from the tablet, it is automatically printed out in the kitchen, along with any notes the diners have made specifying amendments they would like to be made — such as “no mayonnaise”, for example. Whilst the kitchen prepares the meals, the diners can then play games on the tablet, including trivia quizzes which can offer discounts off courses as prizes. The tablet can also be loaded with information on the local area, events taking place locally that evening, and information on the restaurant itself. Once the meals have been consumed, diners can then complete payment using the tablet’s built in card reader and tip calculator. Lastly, before leaving, it is possible for feedback to be submitted using the tablet. If diners are unhappy with the service they have received, the restaurant manager will automatically receive a text, and can respond by visiting the table of the disgruntled diners before they leave. The tablets are not — according to the E la Carte website — designed to replace human waiting staff, but rather compliment a pre-existing service. With the possibility of adding in allergy advice and nutritional information in the future, how long will it be before these are a “must have” for those involved in the catering industry?. (Related: Restaurant’s iPhone app lets users order and pay for food.) Spotted by: Florent Lesauvage



Download PDF