Business Law (19)
Customer Service (12)
Family Business (4)
Human Resources (27)
A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
Technology Could Make Waitresses Obsolete
Within the past ten years, most restaurants have installed touch-screens at the server work stations, for the servers to enter in the order for their tables. Now, technology has taken things one step further by recently giving restauranteurs the opportunity to put touch-screen ordering terminals at the table, replacing waiters and waitresses all together.
uWink Media Bistro, which opened in a Los Angeles area mall in October 2006, is the first of it’s kind. The restaurant was founded by Nolan Bushnell, who also founded Atari and Chuck E. Cheese’s, and he hopes to begin franchising this year.
Diners order on a touch-screen terminal at their table, and runners bring the food when it’s ready. In the interim, the terminal doubles as a video-game console to pass the time. If you need a refill on your drink, you simply touch “refill,” and 30 seconds later you have a full glass in front of you.
Lets weigh the pros and cons, shall we:
• A faster dining experience during lunch and dinner rushes or if you have small children.
• You won’t have to deal with incompetent wait staff (let’s face it, there are some out there).
• Cut in labor costs for the restaurant industry.
• Can pay for your meal at the table, without waiting for your bill.
• You don’t get the personalized attention that a server provides, including recommendations.
• If you’re anything like Meg Ryan’s character on When Harry Met Sally (everything on the side, please), you may not get your food the exact way you want it.
• Job loss for a number of people who are putting themselves through college, single moms supporting their kids, etc.
• You would have to deal with advertisements on the touch-screen when it’s not being used.
Alas, the passage of time means change and with the way technology is running full speed ahead, change is all around. Sometimes we just have to learn to adjust to the small things.
Related Small Business Buzz Posts:
Preparing for a Health Inspection
A Bad Customer Service Experience
Taking Time Off
Ways to Save on Technology in 2008
What to Expect from Technology in 2007