iPads Instead of Waiters? Yes Please!

ipadWhen you think about a burger joint, you think fries, ketchup, and grease, but soon you'll have to add iPad to the list. Stacked: Food Well Built, a chain of three restaurants opening in Southern California serving burgers, pizza, and salad, will have iPads on each of their 60 tables.

On the iPad, which will be affixed in a steel frame on a pedestal three inches above the table, you'll be able to create your own specialty burger and watch the ingredients pile on to the virtual bun. Same with the pizzas and salads. Best part is that once you're done, you can pay using the iPad then skedaddle. No waiting for the waiters to bring your check, which is a total pet peeve of mine.

Less human interaction at a restaurant? Now this is an idea I can get behind.


I hate dealing with waitstaff. It just seems so ... unnecessary. I've thought for a long time about electronic menus and credit card swipers at the table, so I'm super happy to see the iPads being used this way.

Soon there will be a generation going to restaurants that hasn't lived in a world without the iPad, so eateries have some catching up to do. I want to rub my greasy mustard-stained fingertips all over a screen and place my order myself and pay for it when I want. And I don't think I'm alone in that dream.

I don't know what this means for the service industry in terms of computers replacing jobs. We'll still need busboys and waiters to bring us the food (unless we get up ourselves?) so a 20% tip may seem a little high for someone not doing much more work than we, the customers.

Maybe restaurants with iPads will attract more people, thereby making more money, and able to pay their staff higher than the $2.30 an hour (am I dating myself there? that's what it was when I was a waitress). But as technology takes over, there will be more demands for jobs in that industry. Instead of waitressing during your summers in college, you can assemble touch pads.

All I can say is yes yes yes to iPads in restaurants. Next stop, schools!

What's your take?

Photo via Ben Atkin/Flickr

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