What is up with the weird restaurants where there is no interaction with the waiters?

I went to this restaurant today and it was relatively empty. Took about 10 minutes to be seated. A lot of the tables had people waiting with no food and I wasn't impressed sadly with how the place has become under new management.

The major problem was that the food needs to be ordered via some tablet. It's like some sort of new fake "make your restaurant look trendy" theme. I mean sure this is a good idea in complement to your normal expected waiter behaviour, but without it, it just seems odd. You really should have a waiter there to order some stuff first and then have the tablet to fall back on so you can buzz them when you need them or add to your order. Duh!

Returning to the interaction issue, ghost fingers for their clientelle may mean they cannot order. Basically the waiters just dump the tablet onto the table and move on. I mean it's very possible this is due to the lack of language skills from the employees but it just seems like a really crazy business model. If multiple tablets were embedded nearby and everyone could order then it wouldn't be such a pain but you have one and the user interface is freaking terrible with a small screen. It's like they paid someone for some template android app and just coded it within an hour without any thought of how people should order. Furthermore, the food is almost always reheated stuff so, it is not like they are making it from scratch once you press the button. I think that's how they fool people into thinking they are getting a superior experience but instead it is inferior.

I've been to some pretty crappy restaurants where the food was obviously reheated and your basic factory made stuff. No need to fool people.

They could really make the model work if they have robots and fire the waiters because really it's kind of pointless having them there, when they clearly do nothing. Now that's something I might actually enjoy, but when you have employees there that aren't being utilised then really it's just the owner's problem in the end anyway.

Not going to name them, but you probably have seen a lot of these around lately.

What do you guys think? Would you go to a place like I have described? It's not cheap. Furthermore, would you tip?

Comments

  • +2 votes

    What do you guys think?

    We as a nation have cultivated a notion that we are somehow superior to labourers of other nations, and our purpose and abilities are better put towards more advanced tasks. Looks like we're aptly removing menial labour.

    Would you go to a place like I have described?

    Yes

    It's not cheap. Furthermore, would you tip?

    No either way.

  • +1 vote

    did you leave the restaurant your feedback?

    •  

      Not sure it would have helped considering how blase the employees are about actually working. Just stand around and carry dishes, good low paid work I guess?

      I suspect it took the manager 10 minutes to come across to get us seated… The person at the counter was more welcoming sadly. I think they got one part of it right, making you feel alright and welcome as you pay and leave…

      I guess that is what should count more. Which makes me suspect they copied parts of another business but are implementing it poorly.

  •  

    have u seen the one that has tablets to order
    food.comes on a train and they have robots with drinks and lollies

    some.hot pot place in sydney

    no waiters needed

  • +1 vote

    Why didnt you get up an leave ? If you arent happy then dont give them your money, if noone eats there they will go out of business in short order. That is how it works.

    •  

      Regrets. I did see at least two families pick up and leave during the time. The tea was already on the table and spending valuable time tapping on the tablet just killed the experience.

      Guys I 100% recommend walking out. I just didn't have the guts to.

  • +2 votes

    Din Tai Fung does this and have no issue with it. You get to see pictures and descriptions of what food you want, add them to basket, assess if it's enough/too much/add more/remove and click order. You can then add more as you desire and can see upfront your total bill cost. I like it.

    •  

      Might try see if they are better, but had been spooked by the possum/rat fiasco.

      Is this a relatively new change or have they always had tablets? I remember visiting one a while ago, but which used pencil and paper. I believe that was overseas though and roughly 5 years ago.

      I also remember them quickly recommending which were common dishes, which sadly don't even appear on the main screen of the restaurant I visited…

      Not that I am a stranger to what the foods are… It could have been a paper list and I would have been fine. I am thinking more about it from the perspective of a person unfamiliar with Chinese food.

  • +4 votes

    Sounds perfect to me, waiters wont make mistakes remembering orders when it’s busy. Where is this?
    Add a poll and tl;dr please.

    •  

      Yeah it might be good for some people but there still needs to be a list of the ones that do it well versus ones that do it poorly.

      The quality of the equipment and usability is more important. Thus I mentioned the UI was terrible and the tablet itself felt like using one of those cheap androids where you tap in one place and it keys in the wrong letter.

      I don't believe they are the first to concept, now that someone has mentioned Din Tai Fung, does the same tablet feature, but I can confirm it isn't them because you can see the food being prepared. The thing that worries me is that other businesses are copying good parts that benefit them (lower training costs) and meshing it with bad parts of no transparency and minimum service.

      I know in mainland China they use paper and pencil; it is all in Chinese with a few pictures and you can tick the boxes. I am not against this method, but some just can't order especially if it isn't like an iPad. I don't want to sound like an ad, but if you research ghost fingers, usually apple products have more engineering behind their touch technology. The bad UI makes it worse.

      I guess this also rules out a sushi restaurant being a culprit. Might as well narrow it down…

    • +2 votes

      Where is this?

      I've seen it in quite a few Japanese places in the Sydney CBD. Examples:

      Ramen Kan in Haymarket
      Yebisu Yakitori in Regent Place Shopping Centre near Town Hall
      Sushi Hotaru in The Galeries near Town Hall

  • +6 votes

    Would you go to a place like I have described?

    Yes, and I prefer going to such places. I wish every restaurant had similar tablets.

    1) I can order in my own time without being pressured by the waiter repeatedly coming & asking if I'm ready to order.
    2) Don't need to wait & attract the waiter's attention when I'm ready to order or want the bill.
    3) Removes the possibility of the waiter getting the order wrong or forgetting to pass on my order to the kitchen.

    it's kind of pointless having [the waiters] there, when they clearly do nothing.

    1) They stop the customers from leaving without paying.
    2) They bring you your food.
    3) They sort out problems with the orders.

    •  

      I've grown a bit warmer to this idea with the tablets but they really need a quality tablet, quality UI. Otherwise, really the pencil and paper; paired with good photo album like they do in Mainland China would be better.

      A restaurant needs quality equipment, and photos when tapped on should enlarge because 15-20% of the screen in normal circumstances is just showing the amount of the bill… It was like using a 7" pendo tablet that worked like those poorly constructed alcatel phones. The touchscreen was terrible.

      Believe me, once you have experienced it. You'll be thinking the same I am. Especially when you grow older, more and more people will start to experience the phenomenon of ghost fingers. People are living longer and longer.

      Furthermore businesses should not cut the staff so that you have to wait 10 minutes because someone is in the kitchen waiting for a dish. Bleh. If you do this, you really need a robot or some machine where you can press a ticket and know which table to go to and how many spaces. When that table is finished you clear it out. You can't automate some parts and not automate other parts of the business. It just seems like the experience could be there but it just is lacking some final touches.

      I'm going to go visit some of the suggestions if I have time in the upcoming week. Maybe see how the Japanese restaurants compare.

      1) I can order in my own time without being pressured by the waiter repeatedly coming & asking if I'm ready to order.
      2) Don't need to wait & attract the waiter's attention when I'm ready to order or want the bill.
      3) Removes the possibility of the waiter getting the order wrong or forgetting to pass on my order to the kitchen.

      Agree with your analysis of these pros.

  •  

    "the food needs to be ordered via some tablet"

    Damn, that sounds like heaven! If it were implemented well of course, which it doesn't sound like it was where you went. Either way, love the idea.

    "photos when tapped on should enlarge because 15-20% of the screen in normal circumstances is just showing the amount of the bill"

    Normal menus don't have photos at all, so either way it's an upgrade.

    "Furthermore, would you tip?"

    I don't live in stupid, backwards third-world united states, so why would I do that?

  •  

    Nope, not for me.

  •  

    My only worry would be if the food is good or not.

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