Interactive Dining Tables – Have we taken it too far?

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Behold, the IRT Table…

The Interactive Dining Table is used at malls, restaurants and airports to offer customers a flawless ordering experience, a collaborative entertainment suite, and more importantly, a new way to communicate with people sitting right beside you at the table.

Yes, there are aspects of this technology that may provide benefits to those who incorporate it into their management as shown below:

  1. Increase every bill by up to 32%
  2. Up-selling features
  3. Thematic slide shows personalized to the customer.
  4. Create the ‘buzz’
  5. Make social marketing accessible for all
  6. Improve service speed and accuracy
  7. Cut down on staff, while adding half of the overall tips back to the company
  8. No more paper: Green initiative to reduce paper and engage with an IRT menu
  9. Effective customer feedback service
  10. One central command center
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However, when you strip back all the fancy specs, you begin to see that the world has become slightly tech mad…

What ever happened to enjoying a nice meal, with loved ones where you talk face to face about past, present and future events?

Why do we feel the need to play on digital apps to cure our anticipated boredom when out for dinner?

Some may believe phones are the main issue when it comes to bad table etiquette, causing arguments between spouse, phone bans on children, and rules like the phone tower where friends will place their phones in the middle of the table, threatening anyone that touches. However, this new system has gone above and beyond to ensure that every guest is given ongoing, and uncontrollable digital exposure, woohoo!!!

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So, what is the big issue?

First, we are removing jobs from staff who may rely on a steady income. Second, we are providing guests with the ability to communicate through a chat room at the dining table rather than in person. Finally, we are forgetting the basis of why we go out and eat together; to enjoy a meal and talk.

We need to start acting more like humans and less like robots, before the digital world sucks every bit of reality out of face to face communication.

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Over to you:

  1. Do you think we have taken it too far or do you see this innovation to be beneficial to our future?
  2. How can we stay ahead of the times without removing our human traits?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Interesting post! This topic is a really intriguing one that has gradually changed the modern day “dine-out” experience. I agree that this concept is utterly ridiculous and seems to take away from the actual task at hand – eating. Why does technology have to be integrated into everything?! Just seems so bizarre… I agree that technology can enhance a dining experience e.g. POS systems or innovations that aid the wait staff to enhance the consumer experience. However, I don’t agree that these people should be replaced with robots. Eventually, it seems that a “niche” restaurant will be one where you have a human wait staff to serve you for the night! How crazy…

    Like

    1. emilyevans8 says:

      You are speaking my language!! I think companies have taken it that bit too far with the interactive dining table technology. I do agree as you mentioned, that POS systems are a great addition to the hospitality industry as they provide exceptional service and management tools, however I think we need to draw the line at anything more.

      Like

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