Casual-dining restaurants are trying to keep diners entertained and make it easier for them to order and pay by offering touch screens at their tables, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Restaurants such as Applebee’s, Chili’s Grill & Bar, and Chevys Fresh Mex are experimenting with small, interactive computer screens at the table for ordering, check-paying, or entertainment. Some devices even offer videogames, movie trailers, and news articles.
One advantage is the diner does not have to wait for the check. “When you are ready, that five minutes waiting for the credit-card transaction feels like 20,” Jay Johns, vice president of strategy implementation at Applebee’s, told the Journal.
Applebee’s has tested three types of screens at 13 restaurants across the U.S. that allow diners to swipe their credit card at the table and email themselves a receipt or print a receipt, the Journal reported.
The technology might be more lucrative for waiters too. Restaurants say that paying at the table via computer screen means better tips as the systems are designed to suggest a tip amount and let users adjust up or down.
“Restaurants are faced with either being outside of that communication and just allowing it all to take place on guests’ phones or they can be part of that,” Austen Mulinder, president and chief executive of TableTop Media, told the Journal.
The company makes the Ziosk, a device that 100 Chili’s restaurants are using that lets diners order, pay, and play games.
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