Although it hasn’t hit the United States in full force just yet, the international restaurant industry is entering an age that makes eating out a completely high-tech experience. Check out what some of these restaurants are doing, both here and abroad, to make a splash when it comes to gizmos and gadgets. Are your projects ready for this technology?
Clo Wine Bar, New York City
The goal of this bar was to present wine in an entirely new dimension – and it definitely does. Here, style and sophistication meet interactive technology. A 24-foot Corian communal bar top features interactive projection, presenting the bar’s wine selection. If you “select” a bottle on the bar top, you’ll find essential information being displayed about the wine, along with tasting notes. Working like an iPod Touch, gestures move the virtual array of bottles back and forth on the bar top. Once the patron has made his or her decision about the beverage of choice, a machine installed around the bar’s perimeter dispenses the wine after patrons swipe a debit-style Clo Card. In addition to the bar top, there are also three touchscreens for patrons to search or browse Clo’s wine offerings.
A chip card ordering system at Vapiano has all but replaced waiters. This pizza and pasta chain gives patrons a chip card when they enter the restaurant. As the patrons choose their salads, pizzas, and pastas from the various stations at the restaurant, they swipe their card at each station as they go. The meal is totaled up based on what has been swiped onto the card, and customers pay on their way out.
Here, ordering is easy – it works like a computer. A Flash-based interactive ordering system uses a Bluetooth trackpad in the table, which allows customers to look through a menu that’s being projected down onto the table from above. Customers have a mouse at the table, and they use it to double-click on what they want to order. A Chef Cam also lets patrons see what’s going on in the kitchen area. Visitors can change their “virtual tablecloths” if they so choose, and view their bill on their tabletop, too (the interactive menu is linked to a system that conveys what the customers have ordered and the associated costs).
Launceston Place, London
Streaming live action from the kitchen of this restaurant is shown on a giant plasma screen in the dining area. Guests can dine in their own private dining room, which is next to the working kitchen and linked up with the plasma screen. Via this screen, guests have exclusive access to one of London’s most talked-about kitchens, and have direct contact with the head chef and his brigade.
Adour Wine Bar, New York City
The wine list at Adour is activated by touching the bar top. This interactive menu allows patrons to browse the bar’s wine list on the bar top. Its wine director manages the wine list using a custom-designed content management system – it’s easy for him to update the info on the interactive wine menu as needed. The wine information is presented on the bar top in a way that encourages patrons to share information with each other, promoting socialization.
‘s Baggers, Nurnberg
This restaurant offers state-of-the-art information technology. Before diners place their orders via touchscreen, they can read about the restaurant’s selected suppliers. The software also allows guests to see what others in the restaurant have ordered. After dinner, the touchscreens give diners a chance to evaluate the meal they just ate, rate the service of staff members or the ambience of the restaurant, or recommend the restaurant to others via e-mail or text.
uWink, Los Angeles
This restaurant’s technology puts the power to order and pay at its guests’ fingertips. The goal? To reduce frustrating wait times, increase average checks, and speed up table turns. In addition to ordering via touchscreens, restaurant customers can also send virtual game challenges to anyone in the restaurant. If the challenge is accepted, customers can compete against one another.