HFHM 345 Section 05
The Promising Future for E-Tablet Restaurant Menus
With technology encompassing nearly every aspect of our daily lives, it is no surprise that the rise of smart devices are easing their way into the foodservice industry. In today’s hyper competitive marketplace diners constantly desire for a new and exciting dining experience that include such elements like ambiance, innovation, overall theme, and most importantly menu. The restaurant industry has turned to “front-facing technology” or “guest-facing technology,” where devices are used to interact with the consumer rather than traditional methods. Chain eateries like Stacked and Chili’s are stepping into the future using smart devices to increase efficiency and profitability. While it may seem like an obvious solution to remain relative to the times, some argue that this shift may render ...view middle of the document...
al, 2014). Technology has the potential to provide restaurateurs with limitless opportunities to improve their menu’s appeal. It can provide their customers with the ability to customize their own meals and provide them with more detailed information like nutrient content, method of preparation, and ingredient list; all factors that can increase customer satisfaction. In a recent study conducted by Yepes, there was a significant positive correlation between a tablet menu’s nutrient content graphics and the consumer’s ability to choose healthier options. E-tablet menus can also increase the establishment’s table turnover, thus increasing profitability. Chili’s is one of the first to implement kiosks equipped with Android tablets that have a built-in scanner that can read coupons, accept payment for meals, leave tip, and get their receipt– all without any interaction with a waiter (Gigoam, 2014). While it seem ideal for the establishment and customer satisfaction, this trend seems to have forgotten the ones that work the hardest in the foodservice industry: the wait staff.
While the advantages of the use of tablet menus are obvious, big restaurateurs across the country may catch on in order to remain competitive in this fast-paced industry. However, if this trend happens to catch on, the rise of new technology may render waiters almost completely obsolete (Gigoam, 2014). The major discrepancy with e-tablets is whether or not consumers believe that this enhances their dining experience. One may argue that the interaction with friendly staff enriches the appeal of an establishment, and that the kind words or personality of the wait staff can make or break an experience that can keep consumers coming back for more.
Beldona, S., Buchanan, N. , & Miller, B. (2014). Exploring the promise of e-tablet restaurant menus. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26(3), 367-382.
Gigaom: Chili's replaces its menus with tablets. (2014). Newstex Trade & Industry Blogs.
Yepes, M. (2015). Mobile tablet menus: Attractiveness and impact of nutrition labeling formats on millennials’ food choices. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 56(1), 58-67.