Tabletop tablet computers in full-service restaurants for information lookup, ordering, payment and entertainment are a radical idea, but they are almost certainly the wave of the future in traditional casual dining now that Applebee’s, Chili’s and Buffalo Wild Wings have all begun to roll out their own versions of the new technology.

Not quite four out of 10 consumers say they’ve heard about this new dining-room tech. Of these, three out of 10 have actually visited a restaurant where tabletop tablets were installed. And of this group, more than eight out of 10 tested out the tablet.

More than half report that they used the tablet to order their meal, and almost half settled their bill on the tablet. In addition, a quarter looked up menu information via the tabletop tablet, and some used it to play games. One-sixth of the diners ignored the tablet.


Three-quarters of those who have used a tabletop ordering and payment tablet in a restaurant appreciated the convenience and speed. Not quite half said they were gratified that they could check to ensure accuracy of their order or their bill, and about four out of 10 said they liked the easy access to information and the security of payment. And four out of 10 simply got a kick out of using the latest technology.
 


 

Enthusiasm for tabletop tablet utilization going forward is widespread but hardly universal. Of those who have used a tablet, more than nine out of 10 say they would be at least somewhat likely to use it again (but only six out of 10 assert that they would be extremely likely to employ the tablet on another visit, implying at least a bit of doubt among the rest). Of consumers who haven’t yet had a chance to try out a tabletop tablet in a restaurant, two-thirds are at least somewhat interested in doing so (but fewer than three out of 10 say they would be extremely likely to use the tablet, again suggesting some ambivalence).