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Skip the Waitress: Popular Wings Restaurant Could Soon Employ iPad Ordering


"...we are trying to use the technology to enhance the customer experience."

Asian Zing, Spicy Garlic or Blazin'? No matter your spice preference at Buffalo Wild Wings, if you're a fan of the popular chicken wing chain, you know that running out of wings and finding a server for a refill your plate on wing Tuesday or boneless wing Thursday can be tough.

Don't you wish you could have some sort of virtual waitress at your booth to place an order the moment you think of it without flagging one down? Wish no more. The wing joint has a pilot program in the works that could put an iPad menu with instant ordering power into your hands sometime in the future.

ComputerWorld reports that Buffalo Wild Wings has entered phase two of its test in Minneapolis -- the first phase was completed in Toronto:

"Ultimately, we are trying to use the technology to enhance the customer experience," [Tim Murphy, director of international business for the chain] said in an interview. "People are familiar with iPads, iPhones and Android tablets, so this would enhance that."

The chain hasn't decided whether to combine purchasing from the device with purely entertainment uses, something it hopes to measure in its tests, Murphy said.

If the chain decides the device can be used for entertainment, it might sell advertising on the tablets, license popular games or even design custom-built games suited to its audience and brand, he said.

B-dubs, as it's often called by fans, is working with Hubworks, a company that turns iPads into ordering platforms, in this pilot program. According to its website, Hubworks lets guests not only order menu items and play games but they can also pay with a credit card when it's time to wrap up. The cost of each unit, including the iPad, is $750.

Here's an example of how it works:

Murphy said to ComputerWorld that they have a lot to work out before you will be using this method to order on wing night. But if it actually helps cut costs and improve restaurant efficiency, the odds favorable that you could see iPads at Buffalo Wild Wings at some point. Murphy also said that they are not intending to replace servers in general with this technology.

[H/T SlashGear]

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