Tablets to soon replace menus in restaurants
Published: 13 June 2011
The next time you place an order at a restaurant, it may be with an Apple iPad instead of a waiter.
A number of companies are testing tablet-ordering systems with plans to roll out the devices before the end of the year. Most of the tests are being conducted in California, USA, because of the proximity of Silicon Valley where the systems are being developed.
Putting a restaurant's menu on a tablet allows for more detailed descriptions of the food and its preparation, eliminates order-taking errors and eventually will result in reduced labor costs because wait staff will be able to handle more tables, said Gary Mekikian of Silicon Valley Technologies, which developed Taggtogo, a three-part system that includes Web-based and mobile apps, as well as a tablet-ordering system.
DeNorma has developed a similar tablet system it hopes to expand to medical and retail uses that will not only take an order but also allow patrons to pay by swiping a credit card, reducing the role of the wait staff even further.
DeNorma said its smart menu can "increase the IQ of any service establishment" by handling reservations, tracking inventory, monitoring security and even detecting carbon monoxide.
"Changing the 'daily special,' - because it 'ran-out' - is simplified with this tablet," the Los Angeles-area company said in a release. "Even the bartender can benefit from bottle sensors synced to DeNorma that allows him to keep track and not give away too many free drinks."
Mekikian said the biggest advantage of tablet ordering may be its impact on errors and large groups.
"You have big problems when you have a group of more than four or five people," Mekikian said. "Servers find it a challenge - remembering what each person wants, the options, transcribing those accurately. What we're trying to do is address that problem. The restaurant can have a 3G- or WiFi-enabled device it can hand to the group. Each member will have the ability to peruse the menu … allow(ing) the consumer to go as deep as they want. As a person in the group places the order, they can pass it to the next person. After everybody has had a chance, it goes to the waiting station. Either the order can be printed out or automatically sent to the kitchen. It eliminates mistakes, puts a name next to the order and makes the process more entertaining."
The next phase of development will involve allowing orders to be placed with an iPhone.
Placing orders for pickup or in-house consumption through the Web has been around for a while, but those systems generally involve networks that take a percentage - as much as 50% of the tab.
Mekikian's company has developed a platform that allows restaurants to take orders directly from their own Web sites instead.
"Eighty percent (of business) is coming from repeat customers," Mekikian said. "Those customers just want the convenience and ease of interacting with the restaurant's own application and Web site."
Mekikian said his system adds a "backend" function that "optimizes the restaurant-to-consumer experience" by adding marketing and online communications.
The system's iPhone app - which is to be expanded to Google's Android and Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry systems later this year - incorporates a social networking function.
"If you're sitting in a restaurant, you have the option of checking yourself in and making yourself visible to other people in the restaurant," Mekikian said. "Say you're in a nightclub. As you're ordering, you can see others in the restaurant on an anonymous basis. It allows you to see people you may not know and you can interact with them online. You can order for them if you want to or if they allow you to."
But doesn't this make people more isolated, allowing them to hide behind their computers and phones like the characters in the Asimov book, 'The Naked Sun'?
"I remember back when I was in my early 20s and socializing and going out to a nightclub or restaurant ... to meet people you didn't know," Mekikian said. "It was stressful. If you have this instant social networking function built into your platform and are willing to participate and then make a decision based on this interaction, you have more socializing rather than less. …
Everybody has some type of mobile device and they want to interact with businesses through the Internet.
The restaurant industry is one of the last to adapt to this brave new world of Internet interaction and social media-based networking. The secret is to come up with a service that is extremely affordable and gives the restaurant a lot of control over their interactions with their customers, especially their regular customers."
UPI Tablet-ordering systems coming to restaurants
Published: June 12, 2011 at 4:25 AM
By MARCELLA S. KREITER
CHICAGO, June 12 (UPI) -- The next time you place an order at a restaurant, it may be with an iPad instead of a waiter.
Shades of Isaac Asimov's "The Naked Sun."
A number of companies are testing tablet-ordering systems with plans to roll out the devices nationwide before the end of the year. Most of the tests are being conducted in California because of the proximity of Silicon Valley where the systems are being developed.
Putting a restaurant's menu on a tablet allows for more detailed descriptions of the food and its preparation, eliminates order-taking errors and eventually will result in reduced labor costs because wait staff will be able to handle more tables, said Gary Mekikian of Silicon Valley Technologies, which developed Taggtogo.com, a three-part system that includes Web-based and mobile apps, as well as a tablet-ordering system.
DeNorma has developed a similar tablet system it hopes to expand to medical and retail uses that will not only take an order but also allow patrons to pay by swiping a credit card, reducing the role of the wait staff even further.
DeNorma said its smart menu can "increase the IQ of any service establishment" by handling reservations, tracking inventory, monitoring security and even detecting carbon monoxide.
"Changing the 'daily special,' -- because it 'ran-out' -- is simplified with this tablet," the Los Angeles-area company said in a release. "Even the bartender can benefit from bottle sensors synced to DeNorma that allows him to keep track and not give away too many free drinks."
“Before taggtogo.com and fóntagg feast, my customers would go to my web site, click on the Online Ordering button, which would then direct them to the third party provider’s web site where they could easily order from my competitors, ” said Ray Palomino, owner of Papa Pilo’s restaurant in Anaheim, California. “My iPhone app and web site have embedded online ordering capabilities, which keep my customers on my site and in my app. I do my own social media marketing, and my sales are up, my online ordering costs are significantly down, any my customers love my new branding. My web site is now working for me, and I don’t have to wait for my online order payments until the end of the month.”
Mekikian said the biggest advantage of tablet ordering may be its impact on errors and large groups.
"You have big problems when you have a group of more than four or five people," Mekikian said. "Servers find it a challenge -- remembering what each person wants, the options, transcribing those accurately. What we're trying to do is address that problem.
"The restaurant can have a 3G- or WiFi-enabled device it can hand to the group. Each member will have the ability to peruse the menu … allow(ing) the consumer to go as deep as they want. As a person in the group places the order, they can pass it to the next person. After everybody has had a chance, it goes to the waiting station. Either the order can be printed out or automatically sent to the kitchen.
"It eliminates mistakes, puts a name next to the order and makes the process more entertaining."
The next phase of development will involve allowing orders to be placed with an iPhone.
Placing orders for pickup or in-house consumption through the Web has been around for a while, but those systems generally involve networks that take a percentage -- as much as 50 percent of the tab. Mekikian's company has developed a platform that allows restaurants to take orders directly from their own Web sites instead.
"Eighty percent (of business) is coming from repeat customers," Mekikian said. "Those customers just want the convenience and ease of interacting with the restaurant's own application and Web site."
Mekikian said his system adds a "backend" function that "optimizes the restaurant-to-consumer experience" by adding marketing and online communications.
The system's iPhone app -- which is to be expanded to Android and BlackBerry systems later this year -- incorporates a social networking function.
"If you're sitting in a restaurant, you have the option of checking yourself in and making yourself visible to other people in the restaurant," Mekikian said.
"Say you're in a nightclub. As you're ordering, you can see others in the restaurant on an anonymous basis. It allows you to see people you may not know and you can interact with them online. You can order for them if you want to or if they allow you to."
But doesn't this make people more isolated, allowing them to hide behind their computers and phones like the characters in the Asimov book?
"I remember back when I was in my early 20s and socializing and going out to a nightclub or restaurant ... to meet people you didn't know," Mekikian said. "It was stressful. If you have this instant social networking function built into your platform and are willing to participate and then make a decision based on this interaction, you have more socializing rather than less. …
"Everybody has some type of mobile device and they want to interact with businesses through the Internet. The restaurant industry is one of the last to adapt to this brave new world of Internet interaction and social media-based networking. The secret is to come up with a service that is extremely affordable and gives the restaurant a lot of control over their interactions with their customers, especially their regular customers."
National Restaurant Association Show 2011
Chicago, IL
May 21, 2011
New Web and In-Restaurant Ordering System and iPhone/iPad app Increases Takeout Delivery Orders and Reduces Ordering Costs by 70%.
Silicon Valley Technologies announces taggtogo.com web ordering capability, and fóntagg feast, a customizable iPhone and iPad application platform for the restaurant industry. Restaurants can now have their own, custom branded online ordering site and custom iPhone application for a low monthly fee. They no longer have to send their customers to expensive, third party web and mobile ordering sites, where their customers can easily order from their competitors.
Stanford, CA – May 21, 2011 – Silicon Valley Technologies, a provider of customizable online and mobile menu and ordering systems for restaurants and clubs, announced the availability of taggtogo.com and fóntagg feast at the NRA Show 2011, in Chicago, IL, bringing web and iPhone ordering capabilities to the restaurant industry, in a software-as-a-service model. Restaurants need not purchase or develop any software.
A key feature of taggtogo.com is its fully automated capability to be customized with the restaurant’s logo, brand colors, and user interface within minutes of signing up. The fully functional ordering site can then be quickly embedded in the restaurant’s own web site. This embedding capability allows restaurants to keep their customers on their web site to complete online orders, while reducing the cost of taking online orders up to 70%, as compared to using third party ordering services, who often charge upwards of 15% of the total online order amount.
fóntagg feast, a newly released, fully customizable iPhone app platform, works in conjunction with taggtogo.com web ordering software to project the restaurant’s brand, as well as menu and ordering capability to millions of iPhone users. The iPad version of the app allows in-restaurant menu browsing and ordering, facilitating customer service for large groups and parties. Waiters simply pass a fóntagg feast powered tablet computer to the group, and each person then navigates the menu and enters her order under her name, making the ordering process fun and simple.
Each restaurant can now have its own custom iPhone and iPad application, with sophisticated mobile marketing capabilities that allow the restaurant to take from customers and send marketing messages to its customers, and take orders from them from anywhere, any time, including while their customers are in the restaurant or club. To encourage customers to keep coming to the restaurant’s iPhone app, fóntagg feast features a capability to connect patrons in the restaurant or club in an instant social network. At the restaurant or club, patrons can look through pictures and profiles of other patrons, chat with each other, and play simple games like Tic Tac Toe, now, and more sophisticated person-to-person games in future releases.
“Restaurants and clubs can increase their sales by as much as 50%, by offering web and iPhone menu and ordering capabilities to their customers, coupled with fóntagg feast's fun features such as instant social networking,” said taggtogo’s Tigran Mekikian. “Those restaurants who are using third party services to offer this critical capability, are potentially driving their customers into the hands of their competitors, while overpaying for online orders by as much as 70%.”
“Before taggtogo.com and fóntagg feast, my customers would go to my web site, click on the Online Ordering button, which would then direct them to the third party provider’s web site where they could easily order from my competitors, ” said Ray Palomino, owner of Papa Pilo’s restaurant in Anaheim, California. “My iPhone app and web site have embedded online ordering capabilities, which keep my customers on my site and in my app. I do my own social media marketing, and my sales are up, my online ordering costs are significantly down, any my customers love my new branding. My web site is now working for me, and I don’t have to wait for my online order payments until the end of the month.”
Since taggtogo.com’s menu implementation and customization is quick and easy, Silicon Valley Technologies expects restaurant and club owners and managers worldwide to use its no-risk, free evaluation offer to consider its custom, embedded online ordering and iPhone app, before sending their business to third party online ordering providers. Those restaurants that are already using third party services are encouraged to implement taggtogo.com’s embedded ordering at no cost, to evaluate the effectiveness and cost of taggtogo.com as compared to their existing service provider.
Key fóntagg feast features: Simple iPhone app Branding: Restaurant’s customers can now download the app from the restaurant’s web site and Apple’s App Store, enter the restaurant’s phone number, and presto, the app configures itself with the restaurant’s logo, working hours, pictures, menu, and ordering functions, ready to send orders. taggtogo.com is used to customized the iPhone app completely.
Instant Social Networking: To keep the customers coming back to the restaurant’s iPhone app, we’ve incorporated instant social networking features, which allow the customers to interact with others in the restaurant, including chatting and gaming.
In Restaurant Ordering: Servicing large groups in restaurants can be very challenging. Using an iPad or other Wi-Fi capable tablet computers, large groups can now make their selections on fóntagg feast, making the group ordering process fun, simple, and fast.
Groupon and Living Social Coupons: Customers can enter their Groupon and Living Social coupons, as well as coupons offered by the restaurant, to receive discounts on their online orders.
Key taggtogo.com features: Upselling: The system allows owners to tag items for the system to upsell. For example, if the customer adds pizza to her order and tries to place the order, taggtogo.com automatically offers drinks, wings, and desert before allowing the customer to place the order.
Web Marketing: Restaurants can create coupons to encourage their customers to place online orders, which reduces phone-handling costs and increases order ticket size. Groupon and Living Social coupons are also easily registered and recognized by the system.
Mobile Marketing: Restaurants can send messages to their iPhone customers, prompting them to place online orders for limited time discounts, or stop by the restaurant for a free drink with a meal order. This feature allows restaurants to increase traffic during off-peak hours.
Fax, Mail, Phone Call Notification of Orders: The system can be configured to fax, email, and provide phone call notifications of all online orders, eliminating the chances of missed orders during peak hours. No more lost business due to jammed phone lines.
How to sign-up Signing up is free, and as simple as using a 3-step online wizard at www.taggtogo.com. Managers use the wizard to find their restaurant, select the service level, and sign-in. taggtogo.com’s staff will then compose the menu, and work with the restaurant to customize the iPhone app and embed the ordering pages in the restaurant’s web site.
About taggtogo.com taggtogo.com is a Silicon Valley Technologies company, founded in Stanford, California, with a mission to harness the power of software-as-a-service and far advanced iPhone and tablet technologies to bring online transactions and instant social networking to the restaurant and hospitality industries. taggtogo.com and fóntagg feast's capabilities are targeted at small to medium size multi-store operators who lack the resources of multi-national corporations, but nonetheless need to offer sophisticated online and mobile services to stay competitive.
taggtogo.com, fóntagg social, fóntagg feast, and instant social networking are trademarks and service marks of Silicon Valley Technologies. Any other trademarks mentioned in this press release are the intellectual property of the respective owners.
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