The unveiling of the iPad earlier this month left a lot of people wondering what all the hype was all about. For many, the mini-notebook looks and feels like an oversized iPhone without the ringtones. But as the iPad hits the market and continues to sell well, more and more people have started to consider how to use the iPad in new ways.
Some tech savvy restaurateurs were among the first to see the potential effect of the iPad on their business. Already some restaurants have explored the possibilities of replacing menus with iPads, turning a laundry list of entrees into an interactive experience for guests.
These iPad menus could feature entire albums of pictures spotlighting each entrée from many angles, the ingredients before they go in, and even video of the dish being prepared. And after a guest has explored all of this digital eye candy to their heart’s content, they could even order directly from their iPad menu with a simple touch of the screen.
For now the cost of the iPad makes it a pretty expensive menu, but the time is not very far off where a handheld device similar to today’s iPad could be affordable enough to make it a very compelling option for restaurants. Like most technology, high-end establishments will probably be the first adopters, followed by the rest of the industry as price points fall.
An interactive digital menu has many intriguing effects on the operation of a restaurant, effectively digitizing the marketing of entrees and automating the ordering process. This could free servers to focus on achieving top-notch customer service for every guest – and make their experience in your restaurant truly unique.