Self-Service Technology in Restaurants

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Self-Service Technology

The foodservice industry is continually making conscious attempts to improve customer satisfaction. One way is though touch screen, wireless ordering from a screen at guest tables. This trend derived from the capable technology of online ordering and the recent iPhone applications such as CityMint or GrubHub. Restaurant owners interested in this future trend have three choices in how advanced they want their technological restaurant to be.

The first kind involves using technology to its maximum and an extremely small amount of customer-employee interaction. This kind of technology was first established by Michael Mack in his new-idea gourmet, fast-food restaurant, S’ Baggars, located in Nuremburg, Germany. One critic states that the restaurant basically looks like an indoor roller coaster. Each table is equipped with a touch-screen enhanced technology system that allows customers to order their food/beverages, play games, search the web. Basically, the entire restaurant is networked via computer. Items are delivered to each table by a set of 15-foot steel, spiral rails that intertwine throughout the entire restaurant. They arrive to the table at ease with the works of gravity. The kitchen is featured above the restaurant dining area for the purpose of sliding down specialty-shaped dishes. The system also calculates the likely delivery times for drinks and meals at every table and keeps customers informed. Mack’s gravity feed rail system is in the process for protection of the invention internationally so that he can license it to restaurants abroad.

Another type of ordering system is not as advanced as Mack’s, but still creates an exciting, new restaurant. One example comes from the sophisticated Asian restaurant, inamo, located in London. The entire table is a large touch screen computer that allows customers to order their food on their own, set the mood of the table with different backgrounds and placemats, play virtual...
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