Wednesday, February 16, 2011
[USA Today] When the new chain Stacked: Food Well Built opens its first of three Southern California units in May — this one in Torrance — sitting atop each of the fast-casual chain's 60 tables will be an iPad that folks will use to design and order their meals. The two co-founders — who founded the BJ's Restaurant chain — plan to place 100 iPads in each restaurant. Diners will use them to look at meal options; design their own burgers, pizzas and salads; and, if they want, use the iPads to pay for the meals.
Am I the only one who thinks this idea will backfire in the long run? iPads are cool and all, but after you go to the restaurant once or twice, the novelty kind of wears off and you're not all yelling, "Oh snap! I can order food on this iPad??" And if you are, don't forget to take your mid 90's slang back to the DeLorean on your way out.
To me, part of the whole restaurant experience is being waited on, sifting through a menu, and making my girlfriend choose between two separate meals for me. If I wanted to push buttons on a screen, I would've just went to Wawa and ordered a meatball sandwich.
But none of that matters in "fast-casual" food you say? Ok, fine. I'll play your game John Q. Rhetorical… Can you imagine just how friggin' greasy that iPad is going to get over time? Sure the establishment will try to keep them clean and wiped down after each meal, but we all know that won't last. Every time I buy a pair of sneakers, I swear to myself that I won't allow any dirt smudges. For a while, those sneakers are pristine, but then laziness takes over and I’ve got dirty shoes. Before I stretch comparisons any further, here's your lesson for the day: Laziness wins all battles. People are slobs. And iPads used as a menus/payment method is asking for disaster. Big crusty disaster.
[pic via USA Today]