The Increasing Popularity of Tablets in Bars and Restaurants
U.S. consumers love gadgets, their smart phones, iPads, and everything in between. Many people would even argue they’re addicted to them! Pew Internet research as of May 2013 reports that 91 percent of Americans have cell phones, 56 percent have smart phones, and 34 percent own a tablet computer.
To keep up with this trend, more and more U.S. bars and restaurants are catering to their tech-savvy customers with tablets at the table and bar that enhance the customer experience. According to the National Restaurant Association, 40 percent of adults said they would be likely to utilize a smartphone app if it were offered by a quick-service restaurant and 32 percent of adults said they would use a mobile or wireless payment option if it was offered by a full-service restaurant.
Here’s a look at how some successful bars and restaurants are using tablets to appeal to their guests.
To view menus:
From fast-food restaurants and burger spots, to full-service casual dining chains, and even upscale restaurants, tablet devices are replacing paper menus with digital menus served-up on a tablet. One example is Atlanta’s fine-dining steakhouse, Bone’s, allows guests to view its extensive wine list all on an iPad and then drill-in further for details.
To place orders:
More and more restaurants using iPads that allow customers to place their orders believe the technology improves customer satisfaction by making the ordering process more efficient and convenient. For instance, Stacked, an American eatery with locations throughout Southern California lets customers build their own milkshakes, pizzas, burgers, and more, all at the touch of an iPad screen.
To pay their tab:
Look no further than Applebee’s. The popular casual restaurant chain began using tablet devices in 2012. One of the biggest things restaurant consumers complain about is the wait time to pay their bill. In a Forbes.com article, “How Restaurants are Using Technology to Deliver Better Customer Service,” one company offering tabletop self-checkout solutions estimates it cuts seven minutes off the average diner’s stay, not to mention it also prevents credit card fraud as a server doesn’t have to take the card away and run it up at the register .
To stay entertained while dining:
These interactive devices, table-side, also give customers fun ways to stay entertained and engaged throughout their dining experience, which helps increase the time they stay at your bar or restaurant. Buffalo Wild Wings is a great example of this. The major restaurant chain uses BEOND from NTN Buzztime to engage with and entertain customers with fun games, live trivia and poker events.
To give feedback:
We can also be on the lookout for restaurants replacing their guest cards with tablets to provide valuable feedback, while dining. Long Range Systems (LRS) is one such technology tool for capturing real-time guest experience feedback. It consists of an Android tablet loaded with a custom survey and a custom-fitted case with a credit card and check slip holder. The system transfers guest responses over Wi-Fi for immediate access to survey data. The survey then provides immediate feedback to a manager’s mobile device with a text message, giving them the opportunity to react to comments before the guest leaves.
How is your bar or restaurant using customer-interfacing technology? We’d love to hear about your experience.