Review: E La Carte

E La Carte has signed a deal with Applebee’s Restaurants, the country’s largest casual dining chain. Techcrunch.com says they plan to have100,000 tableside tablets in all US locations by the end of 2014. Some stores already have them. I had the opportunity to check out E La Carte at the Applebee’s in the Fairfield Mall. You can order appetizers, drinks, and desserts from it, as well as pay your tab. We used the tablet to order drinks, which went flawlessly, but were too full for dessert!

While E La Carte might seem at first blush to be threatening to servers, actually it has a great feature for them and math challenged diners…when you pay from the E La Carte tablet, it suggests different tip options based on percentages…like New York taxis. Instead of figuring the percentage on your smartphone in your lap, just select one of the choices, or you can write in your own amount.

To pay, just swipe your card, and sign. Note: this is the one funky part of E La Carte…there’s no stylus, you sign your name with your fingertip…not the most elegant way to leave your signature! In a nod to the past, Applebee’s may add control of the music, like tabletop jukebox controls of yesteryear. I think most people will find E La Carte easy to use, and even fun!

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