Generation of science and technology: “Tablets defining restaurant experiences”

It’s 2014, and technology is obviously as advanced as ever. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad mini and I love my Nook, but when I go to a restaurant, I don’t want to have to depend on like devices to get my order into the kitchen. Some restaurants, like select Red Robins have converted over to having tablet devices be the main method of customers ordering their dinner. Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t like that. Sometimes, human interaction is better than technological advances.

Word on the street is that bigger chain restaurants such as Chili’s will be switching over to tablet ordering this year. As well as the tablets being the driving force for ordering and alerting an employee that you need assistance with something, the tablets will also have games for children. What happened to getting three crayons and a fun double-sided color page? Honestly. We are already so heavily in the generation of technology that even going to dinner means that kids will be glued to a screen.

Personally, when I go out to dinner, I don’t exactly enjoy making small talk with my waiter/waitress because I’m awkward and it’s sort of just a nightmare for me, but I like knowing that someone is hearing what I’m saying and is taking down exactly what my order is. I feel like there could be a lot of misconceptions and mistakes with pure tablet ordering.

In addition to there being a lot of mistakes, what happens when the tablets stop working? First off, how much extra money is that going to cost to get a new one or fix the device? I guess that isn’t really a concern to the customer, but still. But, if the tablets do stop working, and the restaurant isn’t staffed for such a dilemma to occur, all hell would break lose. Waiters and waitresses wouldn’t actually have to earn their money, talk to people, make small talk and make sure that orders are right. Plus, kids won’t be able to play mind-numbing games as they wait for their food, which would certainly be tragic for both parents and children.

Maybe I’m overreacting, maybe I’m actually an 80 year old in a 20 year old’s body, but I just don’t like the idea of tablet ordering. It’s so impersonal, it’s so strange, and it’s just downright lazy. Who knows, maybe in a few years, I’ll have to stick to hole in the wall restaurants in order to actually receive personalized customer service.