Self serve and technology for the future…
On my way to Greece, Scotland, and New York, I noticed a trend in American Airports. Order-yourself restaurants are popping up all through the terminals. Tables are lined with i pads for each guest. I sat and order everything I liked, selected a gratuity–before ever seeing a server– and had the option to pay by credit card or use airline miles! This sounds cool, but I wondered about our older generation. They still travel but are not always up on advancing technology. Who will help them to turn on the menu?
My experience was that you order, there is a one time beverage drop off, followed shortly by food. I did get a refill on my drink when flagging someone down, but no one ever asked how the meal was or checked on our table. Why should they…they already have their tip! These cafes look cool, chic, fast, but if I want to wait on myself, I would rather eat at Mc Donald’s.
Chili’s has been doing the i pad order and check out for years, but still has attentive, friendly staff to assist. Groceries offer self-checkout in most stores, and I fear it may be the wave of the future to select our food before even seeing a table.
New York city is full of bustling cafes and diners. You hustle in, place your order at a bar, slide down to pick it up at the end of the counter, take a table and hope you have everything you need without having to return to the counter ten times. The amazing thing is we still tip! I’m a generous tipper, but the time may come, where I expect to be waited on for the gratuity to continue. It was a novel experience, but I will look for an i pad-less table in the future.