Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 2015

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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are faring and what the future may hold for the industry. Kiosks, Tablets Change the Service Game Guests' interaction with digital menus and ordering systems can occur before they set foot in the establishment. For example, some mall and offce-building locations for Wow Bao, a Chicago-based chain that features flled steamed Asian buns, provide digital ordering kiosks outside the restaurant's entrance. Stand- ing 3½ to 4 feet tall, each tablet-enabled kiosk is "a billboard for the restaurant," says Geoff Alexander, executive vice presi- dent and managing partner, Wow Bao. Free-standing kiosks are one option for electronic ordering stations. Another format is to build the devices into walls. John Sofo, president of Built Inc., a design-build frm based in Los Angeles, notes that a client recently unveiled a space with ordering tablets embedded into stylized walls on two sides of the entrance lobby. The quick-service restaurant has no countertop or POS station for ordering, Sofo says. Ordering and payment occur electronically. Guests take a receipt from the tablet with an order number and pick up their food and beverage inside. Some full-service establishments provide guests with tablets as they take their seats. Carmel Kitchen & Wine Bar, with multiple locations in Florida and Pennsylvania, allots at least one tablet for every two guests. These "menu pads" contain the full food and beverage menus with enlargeable photos for each item. The devices provide the capability to change menu items frequently without bearing printing costs. A wine-pairing feature provides suggestions to go with each entrée. Ordering integrates with the POS system that matches each ticket with the corresponding table number and transmits the information to kitchen monitors. Tech-savvy guests can place orders themselves, while technophobes can ask their server for help. "It's more effcient than pen and paper, whether guests order for themselves or have a server do it for them," says Brian Waggoner, oper- ating partner, at Carmel Kitchen's Winter Park, Fla., location. Waggoner says there is about a 50/50 split between do-it- yourselfers and those who ask for help. Servers love the menu pads because they make their jobs easier, Waggoner adds. For instance, guests can add items to their order after the original order is placed without having to fag down a server. A "call server" button on the tablets allows guests to easily attract their server's attention when needed. "Our goal isn't to use the technology to | 931-456-3136 Our large format porcelain panels are larger, leaner and stronger. Knowing that a single tile of Laminam ® by Crossville ® is 1m X 3m, and it can skin from your ceiling down to the floor—at just 3 to 5.6mm thick, you can be courageous and think bigger about your next project.

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