lisa 1.3.14_10The Ziosk… it’s a new way to pay your check at the table while dining out. Chili’s Bar & Grill has installed this new tablet at over 100 of its restaurants, along with Applebee’s and Uno’s in Chicago. I have had the pleasure of patronizing one of these restaurants with this tablet, which is located right on the table where the condiments sit.

While the waitress attended our table, she pointed out the Ziosk and explained how convenient this would be for us, as we could order our desert on it, pay our bill without her assistance and even order games for our entertainment for .99 cents. I was simply amazed; I’d never seen anything like it. So it made me think, “Are we going to do without wait staff in the future?” But after researching the subject, it’s clear that there is a specific reason for using the tablet… it increases the paycheck for the restaurant. Oh, don’t get me wrong, as there are some benefits, especially when it comes to wait times during lunch and dinner hours, but mostly… it’s all about increasing revenue.

The waitress took our order and then scrolled the tablet to deserts so we could look at the pictures… as I’m sure she was hoping we would become more tempted. Having a visual desert menu surely will tempt some into ordering, increasing the bill of course. Then we scrolled through some games, discussing the point because many parents these days use this as a distraction in order to keep their children busy. So no doubt there will be usage when it comes to this little purchase, but remember… it all adds up. At the end of your service… if you decide you are all finished, it will directly ask you if you are leaving 20%. Yes, you are put on the spot and it will round it off for you as well, meaning you will probably pay slightly more (as it rounds higher… not lower). As far as convenience goes, it can be quicker getting out of the restaurant… as I’m sure you have all had the experience of trying to flag your waiter down for the check. However, the downside for people that dine together but want separate checks… Not happening here. You can no longer have separate checks using this device; this also ensures a better tip for your waiter, or waitress.

Just like self-checkouts at your local grocers, it will take a little getting used to. When I first asked the waitress “why?” she replied it was all about being convenient to the consumer and it was their way of going paperless, but I know different… as the bottom line is always about money.  As far as enrollments for diners clubs (e-clubs which gain rewards to maximize usage for dining), Ziosk reports a 300% increase. It’s all good for Ziosk, a company worth checking out for your business, they seem to have it going on. For the consumers… prepare yourself for more change and technology, the future is here.

Make Your Week Count.