Everywhere you turn it seems that jobs once reserved for humans are now being taken care of by machines. Some see it as a negative, resulting in a loss of jobs, while others see it as advancement, allowing humans to focus on other jobs while computers automate the tedious tasks that once burdened us. Regardless of how you feel about it, surveys and reports indicate that most restaurant patrons prefer to order their food from a tablet rather than speak it to a waiter or waitress.
An article on Business Insider has even postulated that human servers are becoming obsolete due to the convenience and cost-effectiveness of tablets. While it might take a while before that postulation holds true (many patrons still prefer the human element), it is an unavoidable fact that tablets have human servers beat in the following aspects:
1. Waiters Can Have a Bad Day, Tablets Can’t
We’ve all had at least one upsetting experience with a server who is having a bad day. Through stress, feeling overworked, or having personal problems, they may take your order wrong or speak to you in a way that you deem inappropriate. Whilst this happens to all of us from time to time, and is hardly ever personal, you won’t find these kinds of issues when you order from a tablet. Tablets don’t have bad days, they take orders and send them to the kitchen – there’s less emotion involved and some feel this is a good thing.
2. Tablets Can’t Walk Away and Leave You Hanging
Sitting at a table with an empty drink and watching the wait staff running around trying to take care of everyone can feel a little frustrating. You don’t want to stress them out even more, but if you would like to order another drink, sometimes you have no choice. With a tablet, however, you can simply tap the screen a few times and the kitchen and your server will be notified automatically. Restaurant tablets are usually mounted on stands in front of each patron. You can see examples of the stands used for restaurant tablets on the Imageholders’ website.
3. A Tablet Can’t Mess Up Your Order
A common issue in restaurants is orders being taken wrongly and the food provided being incorrect. This could be due to a number of reasons, such as the waiter mishearing you, or getting confused with the amount of changes to a dish a patron requires. Tablets let you access digital menus and customise orders extensively without having to worry about whether the server remembered “no cheese, extra pickles, no mustard, add extra bacon, no bun, add hot sauce, etc.”. Even great servers make a mistake every once in a while with complex orders; tablets do not.
Advancing Convenience vs Economic Ethics
The flip side of the coin is that tablets may be taking jobs from human servers, which some people see as economically unethical. However, we have to ask ourselves whether we’re willing to withhold advancement and continue using a clearly inferior system when we have access to technology that can drastically improve the dining convenience. What’s your opinion on the matter? Do you prefer to order from a human server or a tablet? Let us know in the comments.