Red Lobster, Olive Garden, look to tablets to speed ordering, improve access to analytics

by David Needle

October 15 2012

The company that owns Red Lobster is evaluating whether to add tablets for servers or provide them for customers to place their own orders.
The company that owns Red Lobster is evaluating whether to add tablets for servers or provide them for customers to place their own orders.

Darden Restaurants, the company behind eight restaurant chains including Red Lobster and Olive Garden, is evaluating using tablets to take orders or possibly provide one to customers to place their own.

Chris Chang, senior VP of technology strategy, innovation and planning at Darden told the Wall Street Journal his company is looking into a tablet that servers could use to take orders and accept payment. Another option under review is a tablet that would let customers place their orders and pay.

The latter option sounds a lot like the Presto tablet from E la Carte that TabTimes profiled back in May.

Darden is also considering letting customers pay their bills from  their smartphones.

The rollout of a new analytics system and mobile technologies at Darden restaurants is planned for about mid-2013. “The volume and velocity of data is ever increasing and we know that as we start collecting specific guest information we need to be able quickly analyze that to drive actions,” Darden CIO Patti Reilly-White told the WSJ’s CIO Journal.

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