A tablet for two, please

Oct 04, 2012, 01:03 IST | Dhara Vora

Several big-ticket restaurants in the city are ditching the age-old printed menu and embracing the electronic, tablet format instead

It might seem like a tiny step but several big-ticket restaurants in Mumbai are looking at ways and means to stand apart from the rest with innovative ideas to wow the customer. In this case, the very first cue about a space’s food is its menu, and many have gone ahead and launched tablet menus as a nifty, new-age replacement.

Customers using a tablet menu at Peninsula Restaurant. Pic/Sameer Markande.

Lakhan Jethani, owner of IBAR in Bandra, a lounge which was one of the first eateries to introduce the concept a year back, says, “We have the photograph of what the dish would actually look like; it also suggests a drink that one could order along with the dish apart from a host of other features like the amount of ice you want in your drink.

A menu created by Titbit Interactive Systems

The menu directly registers your order into a device, but we do have staff if you need some assistance. It is very easy and interactive to use and our regular customers directly ask for it and place an order without assistance.” With the success of the tablet menu, Jethani plans to introduce a jukebox application through the tablet, where customers can select a song from the available track list. He feels that the human interaction, which is important, is still there as a person brings the food to the table. He adds that people also want to read and understand more about what they are eating today, where the space of a tablet menu acts as a plus point.

Titbit Interactive Systems, a city-based company that creates such tablet menus has seen a rise for the E-menu, with clients from all over the world. “These menus work well for the restaurant as they are dynamic and if the restaurant runs out of a dish, you can erase it from the menu. Also, through a good platform, one can log on to a social networking site and ‘like’ the dish they would recommend and also check with their friends’ choices too,” says Ameya Hete, the company’s founder-CEO. Titbit has created menus for restaurants including Mainland China (Andheri branch), Westin and Radisson in Pune and is in talks with several other spaces.

Santosh Shetty, Captain at Peninsula Restaurant in Andheri, where the tablet menu was introduced a month back says, “Initially, we key in the table number and the number of people on the table. Once this is done, we haven’t had any queries or difficulties with customers as far as the usability of the menu is concerned. Also, if one needs to cancel an order, we can do it within five to seven minutes of placing the order.”

Not everyone is happy with the tech touch instead of the real deal: “I like the concept of the written word; it’s more charming. So, I don’t like a tablet menu unless it goes with the ambience,” reasons advertising professional Bhavna Kher, who used a tablet menu at a newly opened restaurant, recently.

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