retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Fascinating story in Inc. about De Santos, a high-end Italian restaurant in New York’s Greenwich Village, which has become the first restaurant in the city to run completely on iPads.

According to the story, “The iPads can do everything associated with the day-to-day functions of the restaurant—namely, taking orders, sending them to the kitchen, and paying for the bill—but makes it simpler and much more time- and money-efficient. The customized POS system, which appears as an app on every server's iPad, can access the restaurant's table and seating chart, as well as a full visual menu from the kitchen and the bar ... With the entire menu in detail on the iPad, waiters simply choose each item from the library of menu options. Once the order is complete, it's sent wirelessly to the kitchen and bar, where the order is printed out and punched. For the waitstaff, this means no more extra trips to the terminal to repeat the full order; this technology frees up servers to see more tables, take more orders, serve more drinks, and chat with customers.”

And, “when it comes time to pay the bill, De Santos eliminates the back-and-forth exchange of credit cards and receipts by completing the purchase tableside ... All of these efficient tools mean faster customer service, fewer mistakes, happier customers, more sales, and more overall revenue. The cost of this new system is considerably cheaper, too.”

Receipts are emailed to customers if they so desire, though they can be printed out if necessary.

And, it gets even better:

“Thanks to the iPad's compatibility with Apple's other products, De Santos's owners now have more control over their restaurant than ever before. The owners...can all monitor the entire restaurant from anywhere in the world from an iPhone and receive real-time data about the restaurant's performance. Every transaction is immediately tabulated and analyzed.”

The while story can be found here.

This is intriguing stuff, mostly because it points to a new reality that is gaining momentum and could influence the way a lot of retailers come to market. And that’s an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: