Some customer responses to new iPad technology used in restaurants for mobile ordering highlight that we sometimes overlook the simple things.
By Phil Talbot – go to guy | Mobile Ordering | saavi
The ‘yucky’ iPad
There’s no question about it, the iPad can get right down dirty, thanks to dirty fingers. Having clean fingers will keep iPad screens cleaner longer. But what if you don’t have control on who uses your iPad? Like, iPads used as menus in restaurants?
Down at the MacRumors forum back in February, cries of ‘unsanitary’ and ‘disgusting’ met Buffalo Wild Wing’s pilot program of using iPads for in-house ordering.
Although some forum replies pointed out these reactions might just be too paranoid and that there are standard procedures to prevent the in-restaurant ordering iPads from becoming filthy, there’s no cleaning up people’s minds.
Mobile ordering apps to the rescue
Thankfully mobile ordering apps are available. They can be used as an alternative to ordering food inside restaurants without having to worry about touching ‘the iPad that everyone else has touched’. By using their own iPhone or Android phone or Blackberrry, restaurant patrons need not go through ordering from the restaurant-provided iPads (no matter how clean these iPads may be compared to their smartphones).
Now customers (if you own a restaurant) will be grateful for the choice and the peace of mind that mobile ordering apps bring.
And, in contrast to in-restaurant iPads, your customers can order from you from the comfort of their own homes, getting only to your nearest branch to pick up their orders.
Why not go iPadless?
Even if you don’t provide iPads for customers as the other restaurants are doing, it can still be to your advantage. For one, think of the costs saved. Mobile ordering apps allow you to save on the cost of providing iPads and avoid the risks involved. You don’t need to worry about the menu iPads being stolen, or broken (accidentally or intentionally) by users. No iPad to clean as well.
All in all . . .
Mobile ordering apps need not replace restaurant ordering through iPads. They can live side by side with iPads in restaurants and similar businesses because (by just Googling ‘iPad for restaurants’) the iPad craze appears here to stay for a while longer. Ultimately businesses will find the balance between providing iPads in their premises and utilizing smartphone apps for other purposes. Here’s a good list on the many ways the iPad can be used to your restaurant’s (or cafe’s or bar’s) advantage. The ‘In the Front of House’ section is where the ickiness for some people commence.
But, at the end of the day, it’s the customers’ comfort level at ordering that’s important. Mobile ordering apps make restaurant ordering democratic. And they tend to obtain orders beyond the restaurant’s door. And, for a restaurant that’s seeking to add more customers, that’s a good thing.
About Author -Phil Talbot is founder of Saavi.com.au – the mobile ordering specialists and the resident expert in mobile ordering systems. You can follow Saavi on Facebook .