iPad Menus?

While it would be very cool if you could order from an iPad at a restaurant and pass it around the table separating checks if necessary, they were not iPads….

Lighted Menus

After a trip to the bookstore on Thursday night, we were looking for a new place to try.  Passing by all of the recognizable chains or restaurants apparently celebrating someones 10th birthday, we were intrigued by a strange glow coming from “The American Taproom.”  Okay, so the gas flames on the sign outside were a nice touch too.  I thought they were iPads at first, but then realized that would be quite a theft risk unless they were tethered to the tables.

The hostess seated us and gave us the menus and wine list which indeed lit up as soon as you opened them.  I was intrigued and needed to find out how they work.  I saw the small charging hole and figured that the menus were basically an LED version of a hospital room x-ray viewer.

After opening and closing the menu a few times, I was able to decide on dinner  🙂

The lighting continues

When the check arrived, you guessed it, it was back lit as well.  Not sure that was necessary, it was not that dark in the restaurant.

If I embark on a restaurant venture again….

I will definitely provide an Ipad at the bar for guests to order food and pay for drinks.  Instead of having one per spot at bar, I would have users swipe their credit / debit, or restaurant tab card to activate the menu.  This would make it easy to generate separate checks.

Okay..so maybe that would be a little impersonal and probably should just stick with the iPhone sized devices to give to wait staff to keep track of orders, but I think it would be cool if you could order from an iPad.  Perhaps this would work best at a busy sports bar to ensure that drink and food orders are correctly entered quickly and seem to just arrive at  your table.  One per table would be enough and could double as a multi user interactive game console to play along with those trivia games.  You could also use it to provide guests with a way to browse the web or checkup on their email.

With the price of the iPad dropping to $399, $349 refurbished, who knows where you will see iPads being used 🙂

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