Sorry servers: It looks tablets are the future of the restaurant service industry. According to CBS, more and more "leading chain eateries" such as Chili’s and Panera have started using tablet technology to "speed up" ordering and payment processes because customers hate waiting for servers to "take their order or bring them their bill." Tablets cut table turn times down by about five minutes.
Sandwich chain Panera has installed "digital kiosk device[s]" at 14 of its locations across the country and has plans to add the technology to 100 stores by the end of the year. Customers can order their meals via the kiosk, and the food is then delivered to their tables. Chili’s has also embraced the technology: The chain installed Ziosk tablets in many of its outlets and plans to add the device to nearly all of its locations by this Fall. Not only can customers use Ziosk to order drinks, desserts, and pay their tab, but children can use the tablet to play games while they wait for their food. CBS writes that other chains, such as Applebee’s and IHOP, also have plans to introduce similar tablets.
Tablets can do a lot to boost the bottom lines for restaurant operators. Having touchscreen tablets on tables has been reported "to meaningfully increase customer ordering and spending." Since installing the Ziosk tablets, appetizer and dessert sales at Chili’s have increased by 20 percent.