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Buffalo Wild Wings testing Apple's iPad for quicker customer ordering

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings is expanding a pilot program in which customers place orders for food and drinks via Apple's iPad right from their table.

The iPads are protected in rugged cases from Hubworks, and have already been tested at a Toronto location, but are now moving in to a Minneapolis restaurant. Tim Murphy, director of international business for Buffalo Wild Wings, confirmed the details to Computerworld.

"Ultimately we are trying to use the technology to enhance the customer experience," Murphy said. "People are familiar with iPads, iPhones and Android tablets, so this would enhance that."

In addition to being able to order food and drinks, the iPads also enable customers to check their Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as play games. Buffalo Wild Wings has a total of 830 locations worldwide.

The chain hopes to determine through testing whether the iPads would be better used for entertainment or for purchases. If entertainment becomes one of the primary uses, the restaurant could begin selling advertising to display on the iPads.




By allowing customers to order directly from an iPad, it will free up the restaurant staff to do other tasks like promote food or drinks, or interact with more guests. The case from Hubworks has a charger built into its protective case, giving the iPad 12 to 15 hours of battery life, and it also features a credit card reader for authorizing transactions.

Buffalo Wild Wings isn't the first to use the iPad as a high-tech menu. In another high-profile usage case, last year Royal Caribbean's Splendour of the Seas ship was outfitted to give access to vacationers to an iPad in their cabin, allowing them to use it for a variety of functions around the ship, including room service and restaurant menus.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 24
Great. Just what the average family needs at a restaurant.. A device for the kids to get more entrenched in instead of talking to each other. I refuse to let let my kids take there iphones or ipods into the restaurant for this exact reason. That wing sauce will look really awesome on these. The time they are going to spend cleaning these things is going to be high.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toughbook View Post

Great. Just what the average family needs at a restaurant.. A device for the kids to get more entrenched in instead of talking to each other. I refuse to let let my kids take there iphones or ipods into the restaurant for this exact reason. That wing sauce will look really awesome on these. The time they are going to spend cleaning these things is going to be high.

Couldn't agree more, Toughbook. At what point does it become too much where we can't even have a normal conversation with family anymore? Side note: Duck and cover, Toughbook. Haterade shower coming for the both of us from these readers.
post #4 of 24
Good idea until somebody spill their Coke on the device.
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-Daddy View Post

Couldn't agree more, Toughbook. At what point does it become too much where we can't even have a normal conversation with family anymore? Side note: Duck and cover, Toughbook. Haterade shower coming for the both of us from these readers.

Have you guys ever been to wild wings? Theyve had games and poker for years now. This isn't anything different except you can order food from it. If you don't like it don't go lol

This isn't any different then people being on their phones at the dinner table. My kids won't do it, but others will. No way is the right way. Each to their own.

Heck my whole family sat around drinking wine and playing dice with buddies for hours on our iPhones. It was the most fun we've had in a while!
post #6 of 24
I'll all for it except for the Facebook and Twitter part. Though it would be fun to get to a table and see if the previous guest left themselves logged in to either of those. The fun you could have.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkingman View Post

Good idea until somebody spill their Coke on the device.

Ever seen the iPads at the Apple Stores that demonstrate iPhones and computers? They are under some sort of conductive plastic and I'm sure they can be cleaned easily.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkingman View Post

Good idea until somebody spill their Coke on the device.

Do you... get to keep your menu at any restaurant once you've ordered? This is completely a non-issue.

Originally Posted by helia

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Originally Posted by helia

I can break your arm if I apply enough force, but in normal handshaking this won't happen ever.
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post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenG4 View Post

Ever seen the iPads at the Apple Stores that demonstrate iPhones and computers? They are under some sort of conductive plastic and I'm sure they can be cleaned easily.

Maybe they'll develop a new "grease-e-o-phobic" polymer that repels barbecue and variations of wing sauce. I can't wait to see, though I wouldn't want to touch one!

- Scotty
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toughbook View Post

Great. Just what the average family needs at a restaurant.. A device for the kids to get more entrenched in instead of talking to each other. I refuse to let let my kids take there iphones or ipods into the restaurant for this exact reason. That wing sauce will look really awesome on these. The time they are going to spend cleaning these things is going to be high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-Daddy View Post

Couldn't agree more, Toughbook. At what point does it become too much where we can't even have a normal conversation with family anymore? Side note: Duck and cover, Toughbook. Haterade shower coming for the both of us from these readers.

I don't intend on hating on either of you. I only have two points to make. First, I don't subscribe to the idea that technology drifts people apart nor brings them closer together. It's simply a tool. If your kids are both drawing on a piece of paper at the restaurant and not talking to each other as they do, how is that any better or worse than an iPad or an iPod? Would it be better if they were both drawing on the same sheet, or perhaps sharing what they drew with one another afterwards? If they're playing a game together, where they are exercising critical thinking, strategy, problem solving and enjoying friendly competition with each other, is that a good or bad thing? Is that better or worse if the game is played on an iPad?

I keep in touch with family and friends through Facebook. Many of them I haven't seen in person or spoken with verbally in years. Yet, I'm glad I get to spend a few moments every week keeping up with their lives, contributing to the photos, thoughts and opinions they share, and staying connected with them when I otherwise would have no idea what they've been up to. When I finally do get to see them, I spend less time "catching up" and more time enjoying their company in that moment.

My second point is this...... why would you want people with fingers covered in hot wing sauce touching an iPad's screen? I must be missing something here =D.
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post #11 of 24
I wouldnt be worried so much about the mess. The main thing is to keep the seam clean. The screen is glass and would be easy to wipte off. As long as they provide a water proof case for the thing it should be ok. I would be more worried about the security risks involved in signing in to your facebook or twitter accounts or whatever else. You login, finish eating, and leave forgetting to log out. It would be cool to provide an order app on the app market so people with an ios device can order something when they get to the restaurant. It would also be cool to put your name on the list/queue in the app when you get there, and have it vibrate/notify you when its time to go to your seat.

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post #12 of 24
They should spend some $ on improving the quality of their wings, not on iPad ordering. I went to BWW once. Once. You can find better wings almost anywhere. I certainly won't go back just because they add iPads, but might consider it if i heard they started serving wings larger than a USB thumb drive.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings is expanding a pilot program in which customers place orders for food and drinks via Apple's iPad right from their table.


They might also consider a pilot program of supplying wet-naps at each table.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

By allowing customers to order directly from an iPad, it will free up the restaurant staff to do other tasks like promote food or drinks, or interact with more guests.

No, it's so they can reduce headcount.

In a few years, the food will be prepared by iChefs and delivered by iServers, and the "restaurants" will be completely unmanned.

Like eating in a factory.
post #15 of 24
Los Toros Restaurant in Chatsworth CA uses an iPad for table management. When your table is ready, they send you a text message - no more vibrating slabs of plastic!
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toughbook View Post

Great. Just what the average family needs at a restaurant.. A device for the kids to get more entrenched in instead of talking to each other. I refuse to let let my kids take there iphones or ipods into the restaurant for this exact reason. That wing sauce will look really awesome on these. The time they are going to spend cleaning these things is going to be high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac-Daddy View Post

Couldn't agree more, Toughbook. At what point does it become too much where we can't even have a normal conversation with family anymore? Side note: Duck and cover, Toughbook. Haterade shower coming for the both of us from these readers.

Agreed with both of you. I don't go to BWW to flip out my iPhone or iPad; I go to converse with friends, eat a crapload of wings, and drink beer. Are people that starved for attention from technology that they can't spend an hour or so just piggin' out with family and friends?

And the last thing I want to do while I'm eating is pass around some germ-ridden' iPad. They should spend the money getting better quality wings than spending it on gimmicks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dandyrandy View Post

Los Toros Restaurant in Chatsworth CA uses an iPad for table management. When your table is ready, they send you a text message - no more vibrating slabs of plastic!

Now they have your phone number... yay spam!
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post

I don't intend on hating on either of you. I only have two points to make. First, I don't subscribe to the idea that technology drifts people apart nor brings them closer together. It's simply a tool. If your kids are both drawing on a piece of paper at the restaurant and not talking to each other as they do, how is that any better or worse than an iPad or an iPod? Would it be better if they were both drawing on the same sheet, or perhaps sharing what they drew with one another afterwards? If they're playing a game together, where they are exercising critical thinking, strategy, problem solving and enjoying friendly competition with each other, is that a good or bad thing? Is that better or worse if the game is played on an iPad?

I keep in touch with family and friends through Facebook. Many of them I haven't seen in person or spoken with verbally in years. Yet, I'm glad I get to spend a few moments every week keeping up with their lives, contributing to the photos, thoughts and opinions they share, and staying connected with them when I otherwise would have no idea what they've been up to. When I finally do get to see them, I spend less time "catching up" and more time enjoying their company in that moment.

My second point is this...... why would you want people with fingers covered in hot wing sauce touching an iPad's screen? I must be missing something here =D.

So having an iPad is different than having the game pad things that are in BW3's now? So they get dirty, everything does, and if you have been to a BW3 then you know there is no family conversation happening. The music is always pretty loud. I have been to quite a few and they are all like that. If you dont like it, go somewhere else.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by railstop View Post

So having an iPad is different than having the game pad things that are in BW3's now? So they get dirty, everything does, and if you have been to a BW3 then you know there is no family conversation happening. The music is always pretty loud. I have been to quite a few and they are all like that. If you dont like it, go somewhere else.

The ones around here only have live music on certain nights. Also, no gamepads, just a crapload of big screen TVs.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toughbook View Post

Great. Just what the average family needs at a restaurant.. A device for the kids to get more entrenched in instead of talking to each other. I refuse to let let my kids take there iphones or ipods into the restaurant for this exact reason. That wing sauce will look really awesome on these. The time they are going to spend cleaning these things is going to be high.

From what I understand there will not be tied to the table. So you place your order and when the guy comes with your drinks you make him take it away.

Problem solved

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post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenG4 View Post

Ever seen the iPads at the Apple Stores that demonstrate iPhones and computers? They are under some sort of conductive plastic

No they aren't. They are just the same as what comes out of the box.

The staff goes around and wipes them down constantly. Or at least are supposed to

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #21 of 24
Now if they actually had anything that tasted good I'd think about going there.
post #22 of 24
Specialty Foods in conjunction with Peets Coffee uses them already. The IPads are at the ordering counter, not at the tables. It works out pretty well.
post #23 of 24
So, is there an restaurant menuing app on the App Store that BWW has installed on their iPads and customized for their purposes? If so, that is fricken awesome, and I wish I had thought of it first.

It's not like they could install software on the iPad for this purpose otherwise, right?
post #24 of 24
Buffalo Wild Wings ...the worst wings I've ever had. They all taste like water with a splash of Tabasco, all 30 or whatever flavors. Lol.
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