If you haven't been to Applebee's in awhile, you should stop in and order the steak fajitas (tell Jessica "Hi" for me if you happen to be in the Portage, MI area when you decide to go) -- they're delicious. As a fan of technology, I'll soon have another reason to stop by my local Applebee's restaurant. DineEquity, franchisor of Applebee's and IHOP, announced plans to install 100,000 Intel
Atom-powered E la Carte Presto tablets on every table and multiple bar positions at more than 1,800 Applebee's restaurants in the U.S. by the end of next year.
Applebee's has been testing the use of tablets for almost two years now. The initiative is designed, in part, to speed up checkout by allowing patrons to pay for their bill without having to wait for their check.
"What we learned after nearly two years of testing is we can provide much more," said Applebee's President Mike Archer. "The Presto tablet will deliver our guests a robust slate of offerings for not only transactions, but entertainment, social interaction and more, moving forward."
The Atom-powered Presto tablet features all-day battery life, NFC support, Bluetooth connectivity, webcam, and more. At rollout, Applebee's patrons will be able to use it to pay at their table and add additional items like drinks and deserts. There will also be a selection of games. Over the next 18 months, more features will be added, such as video streaming, music, more games, social interaction, gift card sales, and more.
One thing I find interesting about this is that it represents a different attitude towards technology and social trends than some other restaurants. For example, some New York restaurants have banned the practice of food photography
, effectively preventing patrons from posting pics of their meal to Twitter or Facebook. On the other side of the nation, some Los Angeles establishments offer discounts
if patrons put away their mobile phones.