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Chili’s Restaurants Experimenting with Tabletop Computers Where Customers Can Place Orders, Pay and Play Video Games


It was only a matter of time before restaurants started going to tabletop computer screens for customers to place orders and pay their bill at the end of the meal. Sounds kind of futuristic, but Chili’s restaurants are experimenting with that very technology and expect to have the screens in all of their restaurants by early 2014. What is happening to good ole’ fashioned human interaction anymore? My wife¬† and I really enjoy going to Chili’s on the East Side and the personal interaction is part of the appeal for us. We spend enough time with computers at work all day as it is. Going out to eat almost forces you to have human interaction.

These new screens will eventually allow customers to place full orders and pay their bill when they are ready to leave without waiting for the check. The screens feature pictures of menu items, especially dessert items and coffee during your meal. The machines will also allow you or the kids to play video games while waiting for your food at a cost of 99-cents.

Kids spend too much time with video games anyway and the last thing I want is to have my boys pick up a game controller when we are supposed to be having family time at the restaurant.

I also can’t help but think this might lead to a reduced workforce, thus cutting the overhead of some restaurants, but that’s just my opinion. I mean someone is going to have to deliver the food to the table, right? So you can’t cut the server out entirely.

The concept is very interesting and we will see it on a much wider scale in the very near future. I’m just wondering if that kind of technology is helpful or just makes the problem worse.

Have you tried calling your bank or utility provider lately? It takes FOREVER to finally speak with a human being and sometimes all you want or need is to have a real person answer a very simple question. What do you think?


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