You Won’t Need to Tip at This Restaurant

inamo restaurant soho londonA new "interactive" Asian restaurant in London called Inamo is on the cutting-edge of dining out. They not only allow their patrons to order via touchpads at their tables, but they also project the image of any dish onto the customer's plate instead of using a conventional menu. Yes, VIRTUAL food -- ya know, just so you can see if that sushi appetizer is fried or not, or if the sashimi presentation is up to par. Wow.

Alright, truthfully, sometimes I curse technology like this. For instance, when it's supposed to make our lives faster and easier, and it does the exact opposite. Like the express self-checkout at the drugstore that constantly needs an employee to type in some code so that it works properly. Or the computer for buying your movie tickets at the theater, which is so overused and abused that it spits out perfectly good credit cards after 30 seconds?


Those are instances when I would rather have a real person helping me.

But when it comes to enjoying a meal sans having to tip an annoying waiter with a bad attitude who makes me feel like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally for making a couple of itsy-bitsy requests (usually just dressing on the side or no cheese), I'll gladly take the technology Inamo's employed. I'm not saying all waiters make eating out a misery, but every now and then, I'll encounter one who embodies why my boyfriend and I like to try to cook at home six nights out of seven. (Aside from the fact that it's cheaper, of course.)

It seems like this kind of dining out technology would also facilitate socializing at the table, because hey, it's a conversation starter in itself, and also, you're not being interrupted as often by visits from the waiter. This is a restaurant where you could easily have an important conversation -- be that a business meeting or romantic tête-à-tête!

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to live in a world where human interaction is minimized by too much technology, but if it can actually maximize our experience -- such as when dining out -- I say let's go for it!

What do you think about touchpad ordering and "virtual food" projections?


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