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Tablet Dining on the Rise

Tables are now being set with forks, knives, and iPads

There was a time way back in ancient history when dining out was a social experience, and the speed of one’s meal order was the last thing on a patron’s mind. But times have changed, and so too has technology. Increasingly, tech-savvy restaurants are beginning to hand customers a tablet as they walk through the door, and in some cases, these devices have replaced menus altogether. Some of the largest restaurants in America have begun adopting tablet dining, including 800 Chili’s locations, and soon, nearly 2,000 Applebee’s.

The concept is simple. Using a touchscreen, you can select exactly what you want to eat via tablet, and rather than relying on a server who might mess up your order, your request heads straight for the kitchen. Which begs the question: why tip your server at all? Something tells me that this can’t ultimately be good for waiters and waitresses, as it’s yet another example of removing the “human” element from an interaction that’s as old as restaurants themselves. Yet, similar criticism was leveled at internet dating when it first began, and Match.com is now a cottage industry. It would appear that the more time we can spend burying our noses in the latest techno-toy or concept, the happier we are. On average, when asked, customers seem to love the idea, and families who have children are even more gung-ho about it. Read more here.

What do you think? Are we becoming too digital for our own good? Or was this always where we were headed? Post your thoughts below, as you order some lobster shooters for the table.


Matt Fox

Senior Editor

Fox has history in broadcasting that spans two decades. From his early days as an FM host and club DJ in the mid-90′s to his later experiences in political talk radio, he has always had a knack for combining topical news with his love for popular culture. Those experiences culminated in his position as executive producer for several radio shows featured in the TALKERS Heavy 100. Originally from New York, Fox has made the great pilgrimage down to sunny south Florida.

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