Saturday, 5 June 2010

Out with the old, in with the new

An interesting article from (below) details how some Sydney restaurants have already embraced the new iPad, and totally done away with menus, and the now mega-old fashioned order pads and pens.......

Hospitality early adopters ride iPad hype

3 June 2010 by Rosemary Ryan

The new Apple iPad has only just arrived in Australia but already some early adopter hospitality operators are cashing in on the hype and incorporating the new technology into their businesses.

The Rydges Hotel in North Sydney yesterday launched the new tablet computers as a replacement to its paper menus in its 50-seat Mundo Global Tapas restaurant and in the hotel’s bar.

The iPads are handed to diners as they are seated and the custom made application allows them to browse the online menu including tasting notes and pictures of the dishes, and then place their order which goes straight through to the kitchen.

At the same time, the Pizza Capers restaurant chain has also announced that staff across its 75 stores will soon be wielding iPads to take customer orders at the counter, in the queue, and in the dining area.

Rydges North Sydney food and beverage manager Fareid Taheri said the introduction of the iPads was the idea of the hotel’s general manager Craig Simpson. He said several months of work had gone into testing the application to ensure that it worked seamlessly for guests.
“It’s been a couple of months project for Craig and the IT team and we worked closely with them over the last couple of weeks,” he said. “There was a lot of mock serving to play with it and test every possibility.”

“We now don’t have any more printed menus, we’ve taken them out of the restaurant and we are now completely digital. The waiters just hand the iPads to the customers.
“It’s all very user-friendly. Basically it’s set up so anyone from a child to an older aged person can use it.”

Taheri said the move had been well received by diners. “People seem to know already how to use this technology—touch screen is pretty common now. They put items in and scroll to the last page and there is a submit order button that will show you what you’ve ordered. You can either take items off or add them on and then submit it and it goes through to a printer in the back of house.”

The application is also capable of making suggestions for the best wines to team with dishes and can help keep track of stock levels so that if certain dishes sell out they automatically disappear off the menu.

Meanwhile, at Pizza Capers co-founder Scott Geiszler said the newly released iPads had many advantages over traditional cash registers, including their mobility and potential to eliminate double handling by staff, saving time and keeping costs down.

“The new iPads can be used as a point-of-sale terminal but staff can also bring them out from behind the counter to take orders from customers in the queue or in the dining area, making them super convenient,” Geizler said.

“These iPads are shaping up as a real bonus for us because of their portability, reliability, and because they are a real talking piece among our customers.”

Geiszler said the use of the iPad would save time when taking dine-in orders as they would go directly to the pizza chefs in the kitchen without needing to be re-entered into the order system.

As a further step in bringing the benefits of the iPad to customers, the company is developing an application for iPad and iPhone that will let them “jump the queue” by placing orders directly instead of lining up.
Posted on by Rita


Anonomouse said...

I'm not sure I like this. I love the feel of a book. I love how it fits snugly in your hand and you get that old book smell. I love the noise they make when you change the page and how on some well read books you get a little thumb mark where you have changed the page. I love dog ears and creases. This is why I hate Kindles. Is a dog eared Kindle one with a crack in the screen?

The same goes with menus now. It's just so impersonal. Why not have that nice folder that you open up to the treasure that is the menu inside? Why not have that sound of turning a page? Why not have that personal feeling that you get with your own little menu? Why have that piece of electronic equipment that is shining brightly into your eyes in a dark room, plasticky while everyone is staring at you because it is so new? It's nice been able to take your time to look through a wine list that is not unlike a world tour of wine regions. Why use that heavy piece of equipment that they aren't likely to have many of? Why not spend the money elsewhere on things that matter? What's the point of having menus on an iPad when after having an extraordinary meal you want to take the menu home. Sometimes to frame just like me.

sir grumpy said...

At last, someone else who understands ``crispy bacon''!
Well done (no pun intended) the Sorell mob.
Soggy-bacon types just don't get it, oh the crunch....

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymouse ...

I would not visit a restaurant with electronic menus as I like paper ones!

Geek said...

See the menu in action here.

Rita said...

Thanks Geek. I just checked it out. That was really informative.