Can iPads replace traditional menus and service

Can iPads replace traditional menus and service

Applying new technologies in hospitality is a subject that brings about a lot of discussion. Using an iPad or another tablet instead of traditional menus causes just such discussions. What are the pros and cons? What do we gain and what do we loose by using this little device is certainly worth getting informed about.

IPad is a tablet, approximately the size of a menu, but what makes it superior is a possibility of presenting more information than a traditional menu can fit. Nice visual presentation of dishes with the number of calories they contain, proposed wine combinations as well as real time ordering are only some of the options we get by using a tablet. According to the latest statistics in the wine world, with the use of tablet wine lists wine sales have increased by 20% in the last six months. This is a big step forward in a segment of hospitality and must not be ignored.

But what are the clearly developed opposing attitudes towards this subject by users?
Pros and cons of introducing tablets instead of traditional menus are the following:

CONS

  • Traditional communication between a server and a customer is lost, as well as the sense of excitement when ordering;
  • Customers don’t want to feel “sterile” by working on computers as in an office;
  • It is very easy to steal a tablet which is not so cheap;
  • Repairs are much more expensive than replacing paper;
  • Concern about battery replacement or battery dying in the middle of an order is an additional burden;
  • How to know who ordered what is tablets are not designated to tables and get mixed up;
  • Servers with their originality are no longer needed. Servers become carriers of food ordered via tablet;
  • Playing games on tablets is not appropriate in restaurants;
  • A restaurant looses its basic character of hospitality and communication when it uses new technologies as this one.

PROS

  • Possibility of ordering a dish by the number of calories or types of ingredients with just one click;
  • If a tablet can be as thin as a menu then it is certainly fine;
  • Dishes and wines sold out during the day automatically become unavailable;
  • It is possible to combine dishes and drinks based on the amount of money the customer wishes to spend;
  • If a customer is allergic, an alternative is offered;
  • Using tablets is cheaper than hiring traditional servers;
  • Customers can receive discounts via advertisements;
  • Playing games while waiting for an order;
  • Real time ordering and paying;
  • Mistakes and misunderstands between a server and a customer are in the past;
  • An ideal solution when in a hurry.

Check put what different applications for tablets look like on following links http://www.tabletopmedia.com/, http://www.elacarte.com/

It is very difficult to pronounce a winner in this argument. Realistically, there is no winner. New times bring new views and solutions. Is the technology with its calculations, optimal solutions and robotics going to push out flawed humanity remains to be seen? In time, we will see whether tablets will or should replace traditional menus and service.

How to you view the future with tablets in hospitality and what are your own pros and cons?