Have you ever gone to a restaurant for lunch or dinner only to become frustrated when the waiter or waitress takes ages to come and take your order? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just sit down, order immediately and enjoy your meal? Embedded touchscreen menus are a new technology that could make doing just that an everyday reality.
Embedded touchscreen menus bring the process of ordering your food bang into the 21st Century. The menu is placed underneath the surface of the table (like one of those early table-top arcade games) and offers the same choice as the regular menu but with added interactivity and information. For example, you could read about the nutritional value of your chosen meal – try getting that information from a busy waiter!
With today’s hectic lifestyles people don’t want to wait for anything if they can avoid it, so this should strike a chord with many diners. Touchscreen menus make meal ordering more efficient and customers have the option to visualize full meals from quality photos and comprehensive descriptions of each item before they can decide what to order. Touchscreen menus can even provide the option for customers to choose the service language before they even begin to interact with the menu – great for tourists.
While e-ordering is the primary service provided by touchscreen menus, other services include email checking, chat, music, video and games to keep customers busy before the order is finally delivered. These added entertainment options could be very welcome if you have hungry kids driving you mad. And, if you realize you missed something off your order, you can just top it up via the screen without having to wave frantically to get someone’s attention.
What happens if you place a cup or a plate over the menu, will the system order accidentally? Will you end up with a mushroom risotto when you had your heart set on a burger and fries? Apparently not – the embedded touchscreen menu will only respond to finger touches and not plates, cups, cutlery or any other objects placed on the table.
For the restaurant the screens offer other benefits (in addition to being able to fire half their staff) such as the ability to ask their customers to complete satisfaction surveys or provide offers for repeat visits. While servers often forget items or make mistakes when taking orders (how do they understand that weird scribble anyway?) the e-menu will have the memory of an elephant. Similarly, upsells can be offered at key points in the process, to increase order values – the digital equivalent of a bored teenager asking if you’d “like fries with that?”
We’re not sure if this is offered yet, but presumably you’ll soon be able to settle your bill via the screen too so can keep human contact to an absolute minimum – ideal for more misanthropic diners. Although if you really wanted to avoid other members of the species it would make more sense to stay home and have your shopping delivered. Apparently you can do that on the Internet now too!
About the Author – Michaela Jones https://plus.google.com/u/0/117812623309253954749 is an aspiring blogger and lover of technology and how it impacts on our day-to-day lives. She is currently the Marketing Manager at http://www.netignition.com – a premium VPN company.