Restaurants are using more gadgets as well as the Internet to help them retain and satisfy their customers. Quite a number of restaurants are using handheld devices that contain wine lists wiith applications that customers can use to choose the best wine for their meal and price range. You can find waiters/waitresses at Denny’s in Tokyo taking orders using a Palm-like handheld. In fact, there’s a company in Columbia, MD that makes such a device and have been since, get this, 1992! Apparently, over 200 restaurants use the latest version of the device, named the Mobile Micro. OpenTable.com is a site that I ran across many years ago, and which I thought never caught it, but apparently it did, at least with the more upscale restaurants. OpenTable allows you to make reservations as well as remember your dining preferences. These preferences are also seen by the restaurants themselves, which allows them to customize the experience for you, without having to rely on a waiter or maitre d’s memory.
Although the food industry has been slow to adopt the latest in gadgetry, they are slowly learning that they can make judicious choices, while still retaining that human element. Here’s to more adoption and more gadgetry in restaurants!