Electronic menu cards that will let customers order food without waiters, play games, and even "like" items on Facebook has been introduced by some restaurants in California and New York.
"Touch me!" it screams at diners with big white letters that look like they came out of a Hollywood Western, "Don't just sit there! Touch me!"
AdvertisementWhen you touch the screen, it shows you close-up pictures of things you might be interested in eating, and asks if you'd like to play a game. When it's time to leave, it splits the bill for you and your friends - equally, or by item - and automatically adds a 20 percent tip, CSMonitor.com reported.
The electronic menu - an innovation that some restaurateurs hope will soon become more ubiquitous than the drive thru (and easier to understand, too).
At some restaurants, it is a special device that lets customers order, pay, play, and even like their favorite local omelette on Facebook - all without having to resort to semaphore to flag down a waiter. At others, the menu is simply loaded onto an iPad or tablet provided at every table.
The e-menu at the Kinsale is a device called Presto and was developed by a company started by an MIT dropout who once had some trouble figuring out how to split a restaurant bill with friends.
Now the company, E la Carte, supplies its menus to about 300 restaurants across the United States - and is slowly making its way from California to the East Coast.
"You can actually order food and play games from your table without waiting. And it has a credit card reader built in," Rajat Suri, the company's CEO said.
In April, the first electronic menus started appearing at restaurants in New York City - kosher restaurants - because Bernard Samet, the businessman who is selling them is affiliated with an Israeli company that makes e-menus.
The New York version allows customers to "like" their favorite dishes on Facebook and to view the menu in their preferred language - English or Hebrew.
According to Samet, digital menus encourage people to spend more by showing them appetizing photos and by suggesting other items that go well with their order.