The Applebee’s restaurant chain has announced plans to install tablet computers at all tables by the end of 2014, but don’t look for the computers just yet in the Erie area.
The tablets will be available to play games, order appetizers or dessert and to pay the bill with the swipe of a credit card.
“Customers have told us ‘I don’t like to wait for the check,’” Julia Stewart, chief executive of DineEquity, the restaurant’s parent company, told CNBC.
“Looking out over the next decade, it will become fairly routine for consumers in table service restaurants to use tablets to view menus, place orders and pay bills,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research at the National Restaurant Association, told USA Today.
And while the tablets are being tested, they aren’t yet being tested in Erie, said Nick Scott Jr., vice president of Scott Enterprises, which owns three Applebee’s restaurants in Erie County and one near Meadville.
Scott said he’s heard concerns that tablets could make the dining experience less personal. But he’s also heard some customers like controlling the amount of time they spend waiting, while others like that they can hold on to their credit cards.
So far, Scott said, most of the reviews have been good.
He’s not sure yet when testing could begin locally.
– Jim Martin