Buffalo Wild Wings Testing On-Table iPad Ordering System


830-store strong restaurant chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, is entering into the second phase of its iPad pilot program in Minneapolis, after completing its initial roll out in a suburban Toronto branch.

Under its pilot program, the restaurant chain plans to equip each table with an iPad to let customers place orders and browse the internet. Buffalo Wild Wing’s director of international business said:

“Ultimately, we are trying to use the technology to enhance the customer experience. People are familiar with iPads, iPhones and Android tablets, so this would enhance that.”

The initial test runs would help the restaurant determine how customers engage with the iPad, depending on which it could develop content for the iPad. For instance, if the device is being used for entertainment, Buffalo Wild Wings could sell advertising, add games and perhaps even feature some video content.

Hubworks Interactive provides the restaurant with an 8GB iPad along with a case, a magnetic card reader and a battery backup for $750. Each unit in the restaurant comes with an RFID chip to avoid devices from being stolen.

Computer World reports:

In the first test, while men in a group typically watched a football or hockey game, women in the group would pick up the iPad and launch Facebook, Murphy said. “We have a very captive audience with good sales volume in our restaurants, so we view this iPad as a way for customers to stay connected socially and not have to use their own device.”

The iPad is enjoying a good growth in the enterprise market, as well as areas like medicine and hospitality. If Buffalo Wild Wing’s test goes through successfully, it would further drive adoption in this industry.

What’s your opinion about an iPad on your dinner table at a restaurant?

[Computer World via MacRumors]

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  • Trut

    Sounds like a bad idea like anyone would want to use a buffalo sauce soked iPad

  • The truth

    Sounds like a bad idea like anyone would want to use a buffalo sauce soked iPad

  • Billy

    Good idea but I can just imagine how dirty they will get.

  • JJ

    This brings “order when you’re ready” to a new level instead of having to wait on the waitress to show up. But this will also be yet another distraction on how we can ignore everyone at the dinner table instead of engaging in great conversation.

  • John

    I saw something like that already at a airport in the US (do not remember where it was). They were fitted in a horizontal way so you can’t spill your coffee over the iPad. Was pretty cool because you could also watch for your departure gate, the internet and so on…. I’m not sure if you also had the possibility to order with that…….. i’m sure we ordered on the waitress, because she was a hot girl 😉

  • CheeseEater

    I my iPad to BWW everytime I go because I can play trivia and poker on it instead of the blue boxes, I would love to be able to order from it as well.

  • fas

    Wont this be too expensive for them?

  • Jason

    This has the potential to be a great idea, but maybe not the way BWW is executing it.

    Yes, people are very familiar with the interface, especially kids. The ipad would need to be fixed into place on the table. The article says many women would use the iPad to look at facebook… and then forget to sign themselves back out after a few drinks. What they need is a locked protective case on the table that keeps a solid power supply and doesn’t allow the home button to be used.

    Or – way better idea. How about they save some money and don’t intimidate customers who would prefer normal interactions with a waitress. Install a sign on each table with a QR code. Scanning the QR code will lead the customer to the app store to download the BWW app. Scanning the same QR code from within the app could sign the user in as location x, table y and bring up the menu. Keeping track of a tab with no surprises at the end, being able to pay with saved payment information or split the tab in flexible ways would be attractive features. Then when the customer leaves they still have the app and now BWW has a new channel to send them offers and get them back in if they opt in for it. Offer a free appetizer or a discount for using it at first.