Skip to main content

Applebee’s plans to install 7-inch tablets at every table

applebees rolls plan install tablets every table presto main menu
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Detailed by Forbes earlier today, national restaurant chain Applebee’s has just cut a deal to install 100,000 tablets at dining room tables within at least 1,800 locations. While Chili’s announced a similar move three months ago, this is one of the largest, public tablet deployments within a U.S. company. Applebee’s plans to complete the roll out at all U.S. locations by the end of 2014 and Applebee’s parent company DineEquity is considering launching similar tablets at IHOP locations as well. The tablets will have 7-inch screens, basically the same size as a Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet, and operate on a custom version of Android. 

During initial testing, Applebee’s management discovered that the tablets encourage more orders of appetizers and deserts during a typical meal. The tablets also allow customers to pay for their meal at any time, ideal for anyone in a rush at lunch or perhaps trying to catch a movie after dinner. For families, the tablets will include a variety of video games that can be accessed through a modest fee. A trivia game, for instance, would likely cost $1 to play, fairly identical to microtransactions on consumer owned smartphones and tablets. Conceptually, Mom and Dad can keep the kids entertained with the tablet while waiting for their meals to arrive.

presto-applebees-order-menu
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Speaking to USA Today about the addition of tablets at Applebee’s locations, National Restaurant Association senior vice president Hudson Riehle said “Looking out over the next decade, it will become fairly routine for consumers in table service restaurants to use tablets to view menus, place orders and pay bills.” He also mentioned that this transition is targeted directly at attracting more Millennials into Applebee’s, the majority of which expect restaurants to offer advanced forms of technology to customers.

When it comes to durability, there could be concerns about the cleanliness of the tablets, especially if the previous party at the table had small children. It’s likely that servers will have to remove food from the tablets on a regular basis as well as wipe off smudges and fingerprints from the touchscreen display.

Presto-tablet-at-Applebees
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Regarding theft of the tablets, company representatives don’t believe it will be an issue since the tablets are useless if removed from the restaurant. The tablets also won’t replace the traditional menu that guests typically receive when sitting down at the table, but it’s likely that the tablet’s software will include more information about dishes prepared at the restaurant.

When it comes to the existing staff, Applebee’s management claims that staff levels won’t be altered after the tablets are installed. However, it’s likely that waiters and waitresses will have less work to do since customers can order drinks, deserts and appetizers through the tablets. Interestingly, the tablet software will also include a”Call Server” button similar to call buttons on planes for flight attendants. Assuming good service is provided, the tablets could also work in favor of the waitstaff and result in higher tips, mostly since customers will be able to leave promptly at the end of the meal rather than having to wait around for a check.

Topics
Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra vs. Galaxy Watch 7: closer than you think
Samsung Galaxy Watch Ultra vs. Galaxy Watch 7.

For the first time, Samsung has released a Galaxy Watch Ultra. It is strikingly similar to the Apple Watch Ultra 2 and shares many features with the newly introduced Galaxy Watch 7.

However, there are several differences between the two wearables. This article compares the Galaxy Watch Ultra to the Galaxy Watch 7 -- and helps you decide which one to buy.
Galaxy Watch Ultra vs. Galaxy Watch 7: specs

Read more
Best Prime Day tablet deals in 2024: iPad, Samsung Galaxy, more
Best Prime Day Deals

It's Day Two of Prime Day, so it could be your last chance to grab a cheap tablet. Several retailers have rolled out the red carpet with excellent Prime Day deals featuring huge discounts on products from Amazon and its competitors. Tablets are a great way to play with apps or spend a lazy day on the couch watching shows from the Prime Day streaming service deal that you might pick up as well. Just be sure to wear headphones from one of these Prime Day headphones deals so you don't annoy your family while jamming out. In any event, the following Prime Day tablet deals come from a variety of brands, including Android tablets from Samsung and Lenovo, but we've also noted a shocking number of Apple Prime Day deals for Prime Day iPad deals this year as well, so you can get a great iPad on the cheap. Here are our top picks.
Today's best tablet deals

We've rounded up our favorite tablet deals below, which includes Apple's iPads and Android tablets by brands such as Samsung and Amazon. You have to hurry if you want to take advantage of any of these offers though, as Prime Day is almost over.

Read more
Best Prime Day Apple deals in 2024: AirPods, MacBooks, iPads
Best Prime Day Deals

Prime Day 2024 is almost over. If you've been holding off buying an Apple product until some great Prime Day deals, then you'll be happy to know that this is your sign, and now is the time. Even better, it seems that Apple and other retailers are pulling out the stops when it comes to Apple's products, as we're seeing quite a few great deals across the board. We've collected some of our favorite deals below, but if you'd like to check out a few more options, be sure to check out these Prime Day MacBook deals, Prime Day smartwatch deals, and Prime Day headphones deals.
Today's best Apple deals

Amazon Prime Day 2024 is scheduled for July 16 and 17. We've rounded up our favorite Apple deals that are still available, but you're going to have to hurry with your purchase because we're not sure how much time is remaining on these offers. There is no guarantee they will last until midnight on Wednesday.

Read more