iPad set to replace restaurant menus and reduce staff

Stacked Restaurant chain is going to use the iPad to enable customers to order their food at the table, reducing the need and cost of waitress service. The new restaurant chain is set to open their first restaurant in Southern California in May, with two more to follow.

An iPad will sit on each table within a metal framed stand and provide customers with the choice of what goes in their burgers, pizzas and salads. They can select the type of buns, meat, toppings etc by clicking and dragging icons on the touchscreen. The resultant menu choice will be viewable on the iPad screen when complete. Diners can also pay for their food via the iPad.

Co-founder Paul Motenko said, “We're not going to market it as an iPad restaurant." When Stacked founders first considered a concept with guests creating their own meals and ordering them on tabletop devices, the iPad didn't yet exist. iPads were the breakthrough.”

Should anyone wish to walk away with the iPad on their table, an alarm system will sound as soon as it is taken outside; similar to the system used in stores today.

The iPad is being used in many different situations, we have recently seen them it in the New York Plaza, offering a concierge experience as well as in Grand Central Terminal being used as a cash register. Not sure if Apple envisaged such uses for the iPad but it is only going to become more widespread.

Have you seen the iPad being used in any other stores or restaurants? Let us know in the comments!

[USA Today]

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iPad set to replace restaurant menus and reduce staff


I won't even touch menus, or ketchup bottles in restaurants... let alone a touch screen smeared by disgusting men who never wash in restrooms, and children who have who-knows-what on their fingers.

You sound like you could benefit from carrying a small bottle of Purrell. The solution to your anxiety costs 58 cents! If only all problems were that easily resolved!

I understand how you feel, but God knows if the waiter/waitress, and the people in the kitchen wash their hands and utensils with soap or if dropped or returned food goes into the trash or back onto your plate. Unless food is prepared in an open kitchen, I tend to eat at home. Perhaps a box of sanitary wipes should sit next to the iPod. Oh, and I also try to get away with as little holy water as possible in church.

Of course, we can't be SURE if servers wash or not, but at least there are laws requiring them to, and that they know they are SUPPOSED to.
Customers, however, are NOT required to wash. Theres nobody and no laws to MAKE them wash. And if you've observed as many people (men) exiting restrooms without washing, as I have, then you CAN BE SURE these screens will be filthy.
It's not about getting through a meal germ free. It's about avoiding those SURE THINGS that I KNOW, with for 100% certainty, are disgusting.

When I was a "waiter" at my local Pizza Hut one of the chefs in the back dropped a pizza top side down onto the DISGUSTING never EVER cleaned floor....what did he do next? He picked it up with his bare hands(never wore gloves) and molded it to make it look good then melted some more cheese on top and tried to get me to serve it. I took it and through it STRAIGHT into the trash. I also got written up for that total BS. SOOO.. yeah I'm much more worried about the sanitation of the employees and the kitchen than I am about a touchscreen. ALSO either way you look at it the plastic menus are just as filthy.

OHH! ALSO! There was this one time that the manager found a dead mouse under the prep table and just swept it into the trash. That was the worst job I ever had. I have TONS of stories about that place. Like underage drinking, drugs, sex, and other things that would of had that place quarantined.... and the stupid thing is that I reported ALL of it to our Corporate Liaison and nothing ever happened.... But it's all whatever now. Because I quit. OH! yeah one more thing. I quit but the bastard wrote that I had been fired and when I refused to sign they just sent it in as non compliant or some BS. So when I went to get an other job they thought I had been fired and didn't hire me. If I had been old enough I would have sued that place up their A**. :)

IPad got you down?
We've got an app for that!
It's called an iPhone.
You order from home and the delivery person with Hepatitis brings what your ordered to your front door.

Men who don't wash their hands?
I'm guessing all men use the restroom, and don't wash their hands, correct?
We don't bleed out of our genitals once a month.
Compare a woman's public bathroom to a men's anyday. How in the world do you women MISS the toilet? I'm guessing it's by hovering. And last I checked, men's stalls don't have the little used tampon depository stinking the stall up as rotten sausage.

As moms are usually the ones to take children to the bathroom, that is where the pee on the floor comes from (little men).

Well then you'd best stay home, because those same people touch doorknobs, elevator buttons, gas pumps and ATMs. Who knows who touched the product you're about to buy in a store? Paying for your groceries? Better not use the debit machine and just stick with cash... Oh wait, cash is incredibly germy too.
There a common items that multiple people touch every day. Dood is right. If you're that worried about germs, get some Purel. People all across the country touch common things all day long and don't die from it.

I agree with fastlane. I can't imagine how disgusting the screens will get, and how quickly they will become unusable.
I've been to at least two restaurants through the years that cut back on wait staff, and had customers use some kind of communication device from the table to place their order - typically a telephone. They were novelties and neither caught on, nor lasted. I see that with iPad ordering as well.

What's that saying? Nothing ventured, nothing gained? Enjoy the safety of a world sans-innovation!

Ok relax people more then likely people will order before they eat so there will not be piles of mean on the screen. Plus if you don't like the idea don't eat there. Just like the iPhone song "you don't like it don't buy it" lol

"Plus if you don’t like the idea don’t eat there"
Yeah, umm... well, that's sort of the plan. :roll:

I can see this taking place. No reason they can not replace the film over the screen with each use. They will raise up soft drinks .50 to offset the expense.
If it means paying less and better service, I'm for it.

At The Cosmopolitan resort in Las Vegas. At the reception desk, each check in location has an iPad framed in the marble countertop showing information about the hotel and all of its services. It was pretty cool to see..

I disagree with @fastlane & @Alli if u both fear that type of thing then ur not the type of ppl that eat of these types of places and that's cool but for the millions of others that do I'm sure this will be a homerun

I completely agree. If a true germaphob would know what happens behind the scenes at their favorite restaurant, they'd probably eat at home more. Ever take a close look at that menu that everyone touches as soon as they walk in the door or after they get out of the bathroom or blow their nose? No difference.

+1 for Corey for having common sense. Everybody touches a paper/plastic menu. Why is it so different to have everybody touch a glass/plastic menu? Just another desperate attempt to complain about change, I suppose.

Why does one have to be a "true" germaphobe? Touching things in public doesn't bother me. I just don't want to touch this thing before I eat food with my hands. It's really not that complicated. :roll:

...but you're whining...as if touching a paper menu with a glossy plastic cover is any LESS saturated with germs than an iPad would be.
An iPad in a mounting bracket would actually be cleaner by using your finger tips to order, I'd think. Rather than a menu that people pass around and grip full-handed.

So, you missed where i said I don't touch menus either? You really need to slow down and take a deep breath.

No I caught that (thanks). But you're responding as if this is somehow a worse idea than menus. I'm very slow. I'm borderline retarded, and even I get the point.

No, actually I wasn't responding that way. Sorry you're confused. It's not worth getting upset over, sonny. It's just a friendly conversation about the iPad in restaurants.

That doesn't make sense. You don't mind touching things in public, but you won't touch the iPad?

What doesn't make sense? That I touch other things when I'm not eating? Are you sure you're ready to be on tech blogs? :shock:

Probably will be cheaper just to keep a wait staff on.. Where I live the servers only get 2.83/hour.. So it's not like they're spending too much money on a wait staff. It would cost more to have the ipads in the restaurant obviously, say 50,000 dollars probably Plus i agree with @fastlane.

There's quite the stark difference in a one-time cost and paying the never ending wages of a waitstaff employee. As a business owner, I'd gladly pay a few thousand for a product that won't call-in sick, fight with me for a raise, give customers attitude, mix up orders...etc.
I'm not saying I'm swaying my vote either way. I'm just saying there's absolutely business motivated incentives and cost saving benefits to choosing this solution over a human.
Please don't retaliate with the "No machine can provide customer service like a hospitable human." Yes, I know that. I agree. But if a dining facility is going for the niche of "Order from an iPad!", they're going to generate business off that idea alone.

It is a great business technique, and the restaurants will defintely will benefit from it. I'm a college student, working part time as a waitress at a high-end restaurant, I NEED this job right now to pay my rent though, so hopefully the restaurant where I work won't see this in the next few years :P

I like this idea. I would love to go into a restaurant and have the option to order when I'm ready and not have to wait on rude waiter/waitress that probably doest care about their job. I kind of wish I thougt of this first since my family owns 2 restaurants.

A chain of Sushi restaurants serves up their fare via a conveyor belt from the kitchen that snakes around the restaurant, past your seat and back to the kitchen. See a plate you like? Take it off the belt. Glass above the conveyor belt keeps the food sanitary and sitting as close as possible to the kitchen gets you first dibs.
At the end of your meal, someone adds up the number of plates you've pulled off the conveyor belt and hands you the bill. Choosing bigger sized plates for bigger fare will cost a little more. Specials are custom cooked and brought to you, but if you are on a short lunch break, nothing could be faster.

The tech side of me has a lil wow to say.
The humanitarian in me is stricken with grief that more people are going to lose their job and nobody cares...

...with more of a demand for technology, there are opportunities for new jobs and professions every day. People complain about machines and automation taking their jobs...but there will always be jobs to create or maintain those machines and automation processes.
If you're great at something, no machine will ever replace you at it. But if you're too lazy to compete and live in the 21st century, you're bound to be left behind.

I'm quite familiar with it actually. I've even dabbled in trying to make the population grow a little myself (if you're picking up what I'm putting down). You just can't grasp how to stay relevant in a changing world. You're the grandfather on the porch that yells at the neighborhood kids. You're the grouchy elder that is angry at rock n roll music.
Stay relevant. It's not hard. Well..not for most of us.

Gee... and all this time I've been wasting my time as a rock and roll guitarist for 32 years, and being a techie web developer for 12. :lol:

For a "techie web developer" that hates to touch menus, you must have an awful time with a computer keyboard.
Emoticons are for people who lack souls.

I'd totally utilize this. Sure, they'll need to be sanitized after each customer (a simple antibacterial wipe would accomplish this), but it's a great idea. Plus, the menu flexibility is bar none.

For all you people that are freaking out about touching this and ordering your food, you do realize that everything you touch in a restaurant is wiped down with a dirty rag dipped in dirty bleach water, right? I'm sure they will wipe down the iPad in just the same way as your "clean" menus or tables...

I can't wait to see that iPad hop off the table and go grab the food that a waitress would usually bring back to you.
I'm kidding, I understand some establishments have runners and such but not ALL do. So in the end (as of now) they'll still need a person running orders to tables, and i'm pretty sure it's not going to be just ONE lonely employee running for the whole restaurant.

Wait till the over the hill crowd walks in. This is how our government works. It looks good on paper. Soon they will have to hire extra help to just order the food on the iPad for the customer. Of course this will create more positions to manage the extra people. Due to this the burger that cost 5 bucks, will now cost 12 bucks to pay for the extra help. you get the idea.

haha...i was thinking that.....they will ppl that doesnt know how those digital menu work and require extra assistant to order their food.

Sooooo, in a nutshell, this is one more so-called innovation to cut back more on the workforce of America which is already hurting from most American companies outsourcing their work to other countries. Wow, thats innovative alright. Way to contribute. Personally, after working in front of computers all damned day, the last thing I would really want to do is go out somewhere and have to use them again just to eat. So will these things still charge me the 15% going tip rate a waier or waitress would be getting? If they break, who will wait on my table if theres no waitresses? Can I at least watch a movie and hog up the table unnecessarily for two hours?

Sounds like you're bitter. Life is about change and technology is convenient for the customer and saves money for the business.

Opening new restaurants cuts back on the workforce?
Besides - it never said eliminates wait staff, just reduces I.E. Fewer people needed to serve the same number of customers.

There are so much cheaper and better suited touchscreen options for this venture. Using an iPad for replacing a menu and server for ordering food service is such expensive overkill it's not even funny. Unless, as the one person said, they plan to offer streaming services on them such as movies or TV.

wait staff only cost 2.83/hour, but they also do more for the restaurant than an iPad. for instance, will the iPad be doing "side work" such as rolling silverware, sweeping the floor, wiping down the bar, bussing the tables? no, so in addition to buying the iPads, youll have to hire someone to do all the stuff that they don't do. plus, most of the time, it's nice to have a little eye candy while you're waiting for your meal

SOOOOO...all you guys complaining about the screen being with germs?!?! are you serious? lol what about the menus you already touch?

For those talking about touching the iPad at a restaurant, have you ever touched the menu at a restaurant? Do you know where those were previously? How do you know they won't clean the iPad as they clean the table? (Although based on an earlier comment, we might prefer they not clean it)

Already addressed in the article.
"Should anyone wish to walk away with the iPad on their table, an alarm system will sound as soon as it is taken outside; similar to the system used in stores today."

Did you also consider the fact that this will reduce whatever restaurant it is to a fast food joint? No special orders though - this is not Burger King, cause there is a programmed menu.

Someone else didn't read the article: They can select the type of buns, meat, toppings etc by clicking and dragging icons on the touchscreen

Alli, for the sake of all things valuable, please stop assuming the worst in every situation. You believe this will reduce any dining facility into a fast food venue? Doesn't the rely entirely on the atmosphere and (mostly) the chef?
So you're saying a fine dining restaurant with iPads for menus, that serves only exquisitely prepared seafood dishes and organic locally grown vegetables - you're saying it would be a "fast food restaurant"? I mean, do you think before you talk? Ever?

Microsoft Table does the job. Not the iPad. Anyways when I go to a restaurant I like the interactions with the waiters. They take care of everything you need. Why would I want to use a computer screen? I can do that at home nowadays. It's called takeout. Why would I go dinning than. It's not going to be successful. I would not go there.

This trend will last until people start stealing the iPads or playing friesbie with them
Or some hacker feeds porn to them and the restaurant gets sued.
I'm fine with it, but its not going to fly for long.

That's silly.
I think I'm a true germ freak about washing my hands, etc... You idiots bring it to a whole new level if that's what you're talking about.
Simply wash your hands before you eat. I don't think your grandparents or even your parents for that matter had a FAiLpad to order their food on.
Get a life. iPads are for f4gs... And this is coming from a gay man himself.
Order your food on your pads, iQueens. I'll go to a real restaurant and eat in the real world.

They should also make an app so that customers can use their own iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch to order. Would alleviate the hygiene issue.

There's a great iPad menu application by a company called conceptic.
you can see it here: http://www.emenu-international.com/iPadMenu
though better seen in action..
they actually have an alternative version for all-in-one computers.
anyway, i cant understand the claims for filth..
how is it any different from using a paper menu which been used by dozens of customers? (and btw, cant be cleaned like a screen)

Alon I saw it working at a restaurant called Sushido in Tel Aviv.
But in eMenu is very popular Israel it is very popular and it is common that you get in a restaurant ad see the eMenus. You did mentioned the IPad menu solution but there is also the more popular solution : www.emenu-international.com

do dat burger look nasty or wat im all off subject hehehehehehehehe but follow me or dnt hataz but uu r any waii

We develop a web site where customers can place orders using their own smartphones / ipads from the restaurant tables. Restaurants can register and start receiving customer orders in minutes.

Restaurant only need to have a iPad, print qr codes on our website, place them on the tables, and start receiving orders.