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An app for your appetizers? It's already out there

Apr 7, 2015

Many restaurants and coffee shops already use iPad application "Square" to take your order.
Credit Flickr user Nicolas Nova / Flickr

Technology invades the restaurant dining experience. No, not diners posting photos of their food to Facebook or Instagram, but restaurants in Michigan are replacing their old-school paper menus with iPads.

Chief wine and restaurant critic for Hour Detroit Magazine Chris Cook says, "I haven't seen too many around Southeast Michigan, but I think it's going to become a growing trend."

Cook says the iPad ordering system offers much more information than a paper menu ever could, including photographs of the food, a history of it, and full ingredient lists for dietary or allergy needs.

Including this technology could help to speed up the service. Many allow you to place your own order and pay your bill right at your table.

But they raise questions about how servers will be affected, and Cook says it's still hard to tell.

"Certainly it's going to interrupt a lot of what the server does now and what we're used to," he says, but he doesn't believe it will eliminate many server positions as they're still necessary to bring the food and provide assistance.

Cook predicts they will be used mostly for lower- to middle-dining experiences.

"I think it's something that's here to stay, definitely," he says.