A recent study published in the American Journal of Consumer Research found that customers tend to order high-calorie food when placing an order orally, gravitating to a more healthy option when manually ordering from the iPad
Titled "The Effect of Preference Expression Modality on Self-Control," the study showed that customers frequently ordered healthier alternatives when using a visual medium, such as a food ordering app on the iPad:
Respondents were offered a choice between unhealthy (high-calorie) or healthy (low-calorie) food in various settings, including a restaurant. They had to communicate their preference orally or manually (writing, taking or button pressing). All experiments showed that, if a choice was communicated orally, respondents preferred the hedonically temptation option (i.e., the high-calorie snack or dessert). When respondents expressed their preference manually, the healthier option won out. With one exception, though: when the preference had to be expressed in a foreign language, respondents opted more frequently for healthy than for unhealthy food.
In fact, restaurants that have introduced innovative ways to take orders, e.g., by means of iPads, might implicitly influence their clients' choices, stimulating them to select healthier meals.
Source: Medical Xpress