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Many Local Restaurants Using Technology To Improve Customer Experience

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Many restaurants are embracing new technology to help the customer experience.

Many restaurants are embracing new technology to help the customer experience.

WBZ-TV's Paula Ebben Paula Ebben
Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 6PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) – We all deal with more technology at work and home these days, but how about when you go out to eat? Many restaurants are now serving a side order of electronics as well as their popular dishes.

At Temazcal on the Boston waterfront, they have 75 iPads. Every patron gets one instead of a traditional menu.

“You tap it and go to the full view so you can really get a good look at the dish you can see every ingredient very clearly. Then you can go down here to the preparation and it shows you the raw ingredients,” Chef and co-owner Todd Hall explained.

Hall believes the iPad investment is paying off.

WBZ-TV’s Paula Ebben reports.

“People see they can’t have it all, they see something, and they want to come back for it so our capture rate is phenomenal,” said Hall.

The Slaney family of Abington was impressed with the iPad’s visual presentation. They also liked easy access to nutritional information like allergens and calories.

“Given the electronic age, I could get used to it,” said Jane Slaney.

It’s no surprise restaurants are trying to take advantage of the fact people love their technology. The number of iPads sold, for instance, is supposed to quadruple over the next three years.

When you are waiting for a table, do you hate those vibrating discs which keep you tethered to the restaurant’s lobby? At Fire and Ice in the Back Bay, they will text you when your table is ready.

Textaurant of Brookline created this system which integrates crowd management with texting.

Josh Bob of Textaurant said a patron will get a few minutes notice so they are able to shop or take a walk in the neighborhood. If you opt in, you can also get promotional offers as well. Otherwise, your phone information is not shared with anyone.

Fire and Ice manager Matt Depaulo says their restaurant can be packed, particularly on the weekends. He believes the Textaurant system is improving customer service.

“Nobody wants to be quoted an hour and then have to wait two hours for their table to be ready, so it definitely helps us monitor the wait more effectively,” said Depaulo.

Some restaurants like Not Your Average Joe’s use the iPod Touch to get customer feedback.

Temazcal diner Gordon Slaney says if diners, regardless of their age, embrace all this technology, they will probably like it.

“I think that it is where it is going to go, so I think that you just need to be prepared to understand that and work with it, and if you work with it, you can find that it is quite interesting,” said Slaney.

You might think some of those iPads would have gone missing at Temazcal, but Hall says that has not been a problem.

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