E la Carte Aims to Bring Tablets to Restaurant Tables

Waiter Tablet

In the restaurant industry, tablets seem like they may not have a place at first glance. However, one company, E la Carte, is hoping to change that. The company announced Tuesday that it has so far raised over $1 million in funding from prominent investors, and will soon be launching tablets in 20 restaurants on the West coast. The company also has a partnership with a large restaurant chain that hasn’t yet been announced, but the fact that Applebee’s execs participated in the funding round might be a pretty strong hint.

The tablets will take orders, entertain guests with social games, and accept bill payments. Theoretically, people are said to buy more food when they can do so without waiting for service. In the six restaurants that the tablet ran in a pilot run, customers at E la Carte tables spent 10% to 12% more than those diners at other tables.

E la Carte tablets would allow customers to browse a restaurant’s menu and put in their orders directly to the kitchen. They will also have a calculator for splitting the check and calculating tips, and allow diners to send themselves an e-mail of the receipt. In higher-end restaurants, the tablets can suggest a wine pairing.

The dedicated device which E la Carte is producing is rumored to install for a price that is “significantly lower” than the $499 iPad. The company’s CEO, Rajat Suri, says, “It’s propelling the restaurant industry into the Internet age.”


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