This restaurant chain is now asking tablets to do the waiter's job

by Doug Drinkwater

September 19 2013

The Ziosk tablet apparently cuts meal time while improving dessert and starter sales
The Ziosk tablet apparently cuts meal time while improving dessert and starter sales

U.S restaurant chain Chili’s Chill & Bar has seen the benefit of tablets after just six months. The company has been using Android tablets on dining tables so that diners can place orders for foods, drinks and deserts, pay for bills and even play games.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports that the tablets have been installed across 180 dining establishments but says that the chain now hopes to roll-out to "most" of its 1,266 U.S. restaurants by the first half of 2014.

The tablet in question is not Apple’s iPad but instead a 7-inch Android model that comes from Dallas company Ziosk. The tablet, which is apparently found in some Applebee and Uno Chicago Grill restaurants, also offers unlimited games for children for just $0.99, which sees it draw some comparisons with E La Carte's own restaurant tablet.

Chili’s marketing folk have insisted that the deployment is not an attempt to replace waiting staff or cut down on labor costs, even though a quick view of Ziosk data suggests that the tablet can improve sales.

The company claims that restaurants with the tablet see diners tip 15% more on average, as well as starter and dessert sales increase by 20% and 30% respectively. Furthermore, the firm adds that the tablets can help reduce the meal time by five minutes, with diners not having to hang around for the bill.

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