Technology, Innovation, Impact. Humor on the side.
I love Austin, TX – the people, the food trucks, the weather [most of the time], the live music…so much happening and the city seems to always be morphing, reshaping, and redefining itself. So when I was recently asked to go back there on business, I was ecstatic. A friend (and Austin resident) took me to a new restaurant he thought I’d enjoy – the Lucky Robot Restaurant on Congress. Biggest understatement of the year. I was floored.
When we first walked in we were greeted by a hostess and quickly shown to a table, where an iPad was propped up and waiting for us. At this restaurant, you apparently can opt for a more-traditional dining experience (reviewing a physical menu and ordering in person with a waiter/waitresses), or kick-it up a notch and order electronically via the iPads on the table (guess which one this tech fanatic chose). Now, I realize that there are now several food places all over America allowing you to order your food via a touchscreen of some sort, but I had always previously experienced this in ‘fast-food’ type places rather than ‘sit-down’ type places. And, never had I seen traditional and technology so effortlessly interwoven.
The Lucky Robot has mastered seamlessly integrating not only the ordering process, but fiddle around with the iPad some more and you quickly realize that you can at the touch of a finger: request refills, order more food/dessert, signal a waiter/waitress you need assistance, and settle your tab on the spot with the Square-inspired card reader on the iPad. The restaurant serving staff still checked up on its iPad-using customers, but the customer no longer was at the mercy of grabbing their attention for proper service.
Gone are the days of waiters/waitresses messing up your food order, feeling bad for complicated food orders, getting annoyed with the lack of refill, or waiting for your bill and credit card to be rung up. This is efficiency meets customer service. This is what I imagine (and hope) the future of dining everywhere will become.