Waiting on Waiters

There are three ways to take a customer’s order at a restaurant.

Let’s start with the best experience.

  1. Memorize the order.
  2. Write the order down to remember it later.
  3. Type the orders in on an iPad, or push the menu buttons, etc.

After sitting in a new restaurant last night, I can tell you that the third option needs a lot of work.

Everyone wants to be like the Apple Store and take orders and checkout with their iPads. But it feels awkward in a restaurant.

The waiter spends more time entering your order into the tablet and never looking up than he/she does look at you and the rest of the table.

Even worse, the waiter continues to stare down into the screen between servicing you and other tables. The experience is bizarre, one where customer service clashes with popular technology.

Newness is cool but it still has to produce a good customer experience.

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