Well that about wraps it up for waiters

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Well that about wraps it up for waiters

At least insofar as they do anything besides bringing stuff from the kitchen and returning plates to the kitchen.


I cannot say for sure that this will be The Future of your restaurant experience, but after talking with Suri, I'm convinced that some sort of automated ordering system will make its way into your dining experiences. And it's not because the technology is cool or whizbang or will draw customers. The real reasons are completely economic. 

"It costs about a dollar a day per table, it can even go lower depending on if you have sponsors involved because all the alcohol companies want to get involved," Suri says. "For that, they get about $6 a day per tablet in increased sales. That's extra desserts, appetizers, drinks. They get about another $5 in extra table turns. If you can fit in one more table per night, that's worth a lot of money. And some restaurants, though not Calafia, get about $45 extra because they choose to save labor."


Doesn't make complete sense to me.  First of all, one of the reasons I prefer wait staff is because I often want to substitute things, ask for more information about what is in something, or, if I have a health issue, ask for something that isn't listed on the menu.  Or sometimes, I like to ask for something on the side that isn't on the menu, like a grilled tomato or something.

I also know a number of people who have to ask for something that isn't on the menu but would be easy to make, due to having had surgery or health issues that make them unable to digest certain things that are ubiquitous in restaurant meals. 

And who brings the food to the table after you've ordered it?  Do you go and pick it up at the kitchen counter?  If I wanted to serve myself, I'd go to McDonald's - or stay home.

I think they'll find they still need servers.  ("Waiters" is old school...)  radiorahim and I went out for brunch yesterday to one of our favourite neighbourhood places.  Part of the charm is that we get the same nice guy every time who chats with us and makes our visit pleasant.  A tablet on the table couldn't replace that.