This tablet at your table is the wave of the restaurant future

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At more than 150 Chili’s restaurants, diners are able to order beverages and dessert and pay their bill while sitting at their table.

That’s because of the Ziosk tablet.

It has worked so well that Chili’s will make them available for more than half of their 1,200 restaurants by mid-2014.

If you’re working at a restaurant, have no fear. It’s not about reducing staff. In fact, what has happened is the average bills of the diners have gone up.

Bloomberg has put together a list of the reasons why the bills are going up.

1. Leaving bigger tips by default. Despite being less reliant on waiters, diners end up tipping about 15 percent more on average, according to data from Ziosk. At Chili’s, for instance, the default suggestion on the tablet is set at 20 percent—a generosity-enhancing strategy that has also proven effective in New York City taxis, which are now equipped with back seat monitors. 

2. A bigger appetite for appetizers. By eliminating the wait for a menu, tablet can boost impulse orders at the start of the meal—especially when photos of appetizers are streaming across monitors. Ziosk says tablets have increased starters sales by 20 percent at restaurants that offer them.

3. Overcoming resistance to dessert. Those table-top tablet screens are a constant temptation. Dessert sales are up about 20 percent as a result, the company said, and customers are ordering more coffee, too.

4. Paying to keep the kids busy. Chili’s offers unlimited games on the tablets for $0.99, and the chain shares this revenue with Ziosk. The restaurant says about customers at one in 10 tables pay to play during the meal.

5. Despite the extra eating and entertainment, diners get out faster. Ziosk estimates that its system can shave up to five minutes off the meal since diners don’t have to ask for the bill or wait for change.

Read the rest of the story here. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-09-17/that-digital-tablet-on-the-restaurant-table-will-make-you-spend-more