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Applebee's installing 100,000 tablets to take orders and kill boredom

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Do you love going out for jalapeño poppers but hate the human interaction it always requires? Applebee's apparently knows the feeling: the middling restaurant chain is adding tablets to its tables and bar areas to let you order your food and pay the check without having to track down your server. There will even be games for times when you're eating alone, or with someone who makes you wish you were eating alone.

Tools will let you share what you're eating with Facebook buddies

The plan involves the purchase of 100,000 tablets from food service tablet maker Presto, which include a standard credit card reader as well as NFC to link up to mobile wallet apps. These are going out to 1,800 Applebee's locations in the US by the end of 2014. The company also says it plans to add other features like streaming music, video, and even tools that will let you share what you're eating with Facebook buddies.

Applebee's is the latest big food chain to implement tablets for ordering, and picking up the bill. Chili's announced plans to install touchscreen ordering and entertainment devices in the majority of its 1,266 US locations back in September using technology from Presto rival Ziosk. Parent company DineEquity might bring the technology to IHOP locations too.

The move to tablets in some chains has caused friction given the threat it poses to replacing human servers, though Applebee's told Businessweek it plans to keep the same number of people working at those locations — at least for now.

The Verge
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