iPads used for menus in restaurants - have you seen this?

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    Jan 26, 2014 3:46 AM GMT
    While in Key West last week we went for an after-dinner dessert to another nearby restaurant that specializes in nothing but desserts. Reservations always required, no party larger than 4, which can be made online through an OpenTable.com site.

    http://www.betterthansexkeywest.com

    And instead of a traditional menu they handed us iPads. You scrolled through to see pics of the items, and tapping on them gave you a text description.

    Have any of you encountered that before? No problem for us, we each have iPads ourselves, so the process was familiar.

    Our orders were still placed verbally with our server, however, not with the iPads. We thought it worked well, because the images were excellent, something a traditional menu doesn't give you.

    BTW, here's an iPhone pic I took of our desserts. That oil candle was the only light we had, the entire place was almost pitch black. Each table had a small LED flashlight, if you needed additional light. A very unique experience, and we'll be going there again our next KW trip in a few months.

    IMG_0656_zps8e487cfa.jpg

    One of their web site images, showing an LED flashlight being used:

    NewestVertDining.jpg
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    Jan 26, 2014 4:06 AM GMT
    Those desserts look huge!
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    Jan 26, 2014 4:14 AM GMT
    Scruffypup saidThose desserts look huge!

    Mine was, on the right. It included a raspberry sorbet, and that chocolate arch thingie, as well as a couple of chocolate cakes. It's not in their online menu, not sure if a special that night.

    Hubby just had some kind of red cheesecake, called Red Velvet. He loved it. I would recommend the place, but reservations are mandatory. Cost was around $30, we had no alcohol, which they offer, just a decaf for him.
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    Jan 26, 2014 4:24 AM GMT
    A lot of restaurants are doing this now.
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    Jan 26, 2014 5:47 AM GMT
    I guess that makes sense for boutique restaurants that have seasonal menus. Saves money on printing I suppose.
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    Jan 26, 2014 6:03 AM GMT
    I generally avoid restaurants where it's so dark, you need a flashlight to see your food.
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    Jan 26, 2014 6:07 AM GMT
    berry8330 saidA lot of restaurants are doing this now.

    I didn't know that, this was my first experience, why I posted it. So where have you seen tablets being used for the menu? What kinds of restaurants?

    I feel like I've been living in the boondocks. icon_redface.gif
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    Jan 26, 2014 6:13 AM GMT
    xrichx saidI generally avoid restaurants where it's so dark, you need a flashlight to see your food.

    Well honestly I thought they were taking it too far. But the desserts were great, why we'll consider it again. It does make it a special experience, and given that Key West is all about tourists, maybe that exotic nature is appealing to visitors.

    It certainly got my attention, and I've been going to Key West since 1973. To quote Stephen Sondheim's lyrics (a sometimes Key West resident) from the musical Gypsy: "Yah gotta havah gimmick".
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    Jan 26, 2014 6:21 AM GMT
    Yep! I've been to two restaurants that had iPad menus. One was in Vegas and the other was in my hometown. We're planning on taking a Celebrity cruise to the Southern Caribbean soon and I know that one of their restaurants called Qsine has an iPad menu.
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    Jan 26, 2014 6:23 AM GMT
    I would never patronize a restaurant that used iPads for menus. Only Android tablets would be acceptable.

    Using an iPad would offend my sensibilities and thereby spoil my appetite.
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    Jan 26, 2014 6:46 AM GMT
    Erik101 saidYep! I've been to two restaurants that had iPad menus. One was in Vegas and the other was in my hometown. We're planning on taking a Celebrity cruise to the Southern Caribbean soon and I know that one of their restaurants called Qsine has an iPad menu.

    I didn't know this! I feel like I've been living in a redneck backwater, had no idea this was the trend. icon_redface.gif

    (Actually Florida IS a redneck backwater, I'm in denial since I live here)
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    Jan 26, 2014 6:52 AM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    Erik101 saidYep! I've been to two restaurants that had iPad menus. One was in Vegas and the other was in my hometown. We're planning on taking a Celebrity cruise to the Southern Caribbean soon and I know that one of their restaurants called Qsine has an iPad menu.

    I didn't know this! I feel like I've been living in a redneck backwater, had no idea this was the trend. icon_redface.gif


    Nah, don't feel that way! Technology is evolving so rapidly that it's hard to keep up! Now that you know about the menus, it'll be an interesting experience for you when you encounter it. icon_smile.gif
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    Jan 26, 2014 7:12 AM GMT
    Erik101 said
    ART_DECO said
    Erik101 saidYep! I've been to two restaurants that had iPad menus. One was in Vegas and the other was in my hometown. We're planning on taking a Celebrity cruise to the Southern Caribbean soon and I know that one of their restaurants called Qsine has an iPad menu.

    I didn't know this! I feel like I've been living in a redneck backwater, had no idea this was the trend. icon_redface.gif

    Nah, don't feel that way! Technology is evolving so rapidly that it's hard to keep up! Now that you know about the menus, it'll be an interesting experience for you when you encounter it. icon_smile.gif

    Well, true. And we both like to know about new things. Always learning, not getting left behind. I just wondered how widespread this was.
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    Jan 26, 2014 10:57 AM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    IMG_0656_zps8e487cfa.jpg


    Yum! They look amazing. I have a sweet tooth. I could happily demolish both of those.
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    Feb 02, 2014 8:33 AM GMT
    I'm guessing $15, including the coffee drink.
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    Feb 02, 2014 7:49 PM GMT
    xrichx saidI guess that makes sense for boutique restaurants that have seasonal menus. Saves money on printing I suppose.

    I don't see this. I've been to restaurants that print the menu daily; it's easy to recognize stuff from a laser printer versus offset print. It wasn't in color but the paper was fancy. Even if you amortize in the cost of the printer (but they'd likely have one already), the page layout software, and the cost of the ink and paper I'd think it's still cheaper to print them yourself versus buying a bunch of tablets.
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    Feb 02, 2014 9:07 PM GMT
    Broseph said
    woodsmen saidNot hygienic.

    I don't think any menus are. It's the perfect way to pass around germs.

    I've only rarely seen a restaurant routinely wipe down a plastic-covered menu between uses. They go right back into the stack, and the next customers get them as-is, maybe all cleaned each business day. So yeah, I could imagine they would carry germs. But so do the door handles as I enter and leave the restaurant.

    It wouldn't be difficult to wipe the iPad screens between uses, with the proper safe cleaner, to provide a clean feel. In the dark I didn't check if they had screen savers installed, but probably wise to do it. And they were in protective portfolios that had an easel feature. In this small place, I doubt they needed to keep more than 6 or 8 in circulation.
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    Feb 02, 2014 9:23 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    So, how much was desert for two at this place?

    As I posted above, around $30 for 2 desserts, we had no alcohol, which they offer, plus a decaf for him, water for me. I also posted their link, here are the menu & drink parts, but if differs a little from what the iPads showed that night:

    http://www.betterthansexkeywest.com/celebrate.html

    http://www.betterthansexkeywest.com/drink.html
    "SIGNATURE RIM JOB DRINKS" They put colored sugar sparkles on the glass rims. How gay!
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    Feb 02, 2014 10:03 PM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    You can get excellent cheap Android 7" tablets for ~$60 each...10" ones for double that (cheaper if you're buying bulk).

    Not sure why they chose iPads, I suppose any tablet would do, since they were handed to you with the menu revealed, you just swiped, you did nothing else with them. And the server would assist you if you were an iPad virgin.

    But I think 10" makes more sense at this place, given that some people will always forget their reading glasses (KW is a tourist town). My husband still had to "pinch" his screen open to read some of the text, but then it acted like a magnifying glass for him, another tablet advantage. And almost life-size pictures might make the desserts more alluring, perhaps a reason they wanted a screen with higher resolution than an entry-level Android might provide.

    But certainly the backlit tablets allowed the place to have a very low light level, too dark to read a conventional menu. And that was part of the sexual theme, carried into their menu item names and decor: like being in an ornate dark bedroom where you're having this "Better Than Sex" experience.
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    Feb 02, 2014 10:35 PM GMT
    I'm still getting used to places having big flat screen TVs for showing continuous advertisements or, in the case of a cafe that I go to every week, what they have available. They have 3 giant Samsung or Toshiba screens up on the wall behind the counter.
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    Feb 02, 2014 11:36 PM GMT
    YourName2000 said
    ART_DECO saidI think 10" makes more sense at this place, given that some people will always forget their reading glasses (KW is a tourist town). My husband still had to "pinch" his screen open to read some of the text, but then it acted like a magnifying glass for him, another tablet advantage. And almost life-size pictures might make the desserts more alluring, perhaps a reason they wanted a screen with higher resolution than an entry-level Android might provide.

    This is a middle of the road 10" Android tablet available from AliExpress.com...

    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/10-inch-Tablet-PC-display-intelligent-eight-core-eight-four-seven-HD-IPS-capacitive-touch-screen/1601759474.html

    At 'middle of the road', you're still getting 1280x800, which is fine on a 10', imo. This is a 8-core processor (I suspect the Ipad is 4). And it starts at ~$150 ea (for the 8GB)...$200 for the 64GB. Free shipping; no taxes. For anyone wanting more resolution, they have 10" tablets with retina displays: 2048x1536, starting around $200.

    I doubt a restaurant tablet need anything but the bare minimum processor & memory.

    This is all I know about my iPad Air:

    http://www.apple.com/ipad-air/specs/
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    Feb 09, 2014 6:37 PM GMT
    Yeah. Silly idea, trying to look 'hip'...without consideration to the waitstaff having to lug 10 or more iPads back to the maitre' d. icon_rolleyes.gif