For more than 30 years, Applebee’s has defined the casual dining experience in America, influencing food trends for more than 1 million guests every day and defining value and service for the industry. Today, Applebee’s steps into the future to redefine and enhance the guest experience through the installation of 100,000 E la Carte Presto tablets, powered by Intel, on every table and multiple bar positions at more than 1,800 Applebee’s restaurants in the United States by the end of next year.
DineEquity (NYSE: DIN), franchisor of Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants, announced the relationship with an aggressive schedule for 2014 installation throughout the Applebee’s system. The tablets, which enable guests to add to their orders, pay and play games from their seats, will also be considered for introduction at IHOP locations.
“Let’s face it, everyone who has ever been to a restaurant has been frustrated by waiting for their check,” said Applebee’s President Mike Archer. “Starting out, our goal was to create a way for guests to control when and how they pay their check. What we learned after nearly two years of testing is we can provide much more. The Presto tablet will deliver our guests a robust slate of offerings for not only transactions, but entertainment, social interaction and more, moving forward.”
In the pilot program, the Presto tablets not only significantly reduced transaction times for guests, but also provided them a better overall experience, based on their feedback. By simplifying the transaction process and allowing guests to control the timing, Team Members were able to provide better service and more attention to guest needs throughout the dining experience, rather than focusing on delivering a check.
“We started developing the Presto tablet concept at MIT. Over five years of field research and customer trials conducted by our Silicon Valley engineers and restaurant experts, we’ve been focused on developing a tool to provide an amazing, modern guest experience,” said Rajat Suri, Founder/CEO at E la Carte. “We are thrilled to be selected for a long-term partnership with the industry leader, Applebee’s, and we are fully aligned in our vision and commitment to bring the dining experience for restaurant guests into the 21st century.”
The Presto tablet, powered by Intel, features an all-day battery, an illuminated credit card reader, and a ruggedized design that withstands spills and bumps in a busy Applebee’s environment that welcomes 1 million guests per day. Importantly, the Presto tablet is equipped with the latest in technology, including Bluetooth, cameras and NFC (near field communication) chips to seamlessly transition to opportunities for mobile wallet and mobile phone interaction and more.
Initially, the tablets will provide guests the ability to pay at their table, add additional drinks, desserts and other menu items to their order and a selection of games. During the next 18 months, enhanced functionality, such as video streaming, music, additional games, social media interaction with Applebee’s active Facebook community and personal pages, sharing, gift card sales and more, will be added.
“E la Carte designed Presto specifically for restaurants, creating both a best-of-breed tablet platform for operators and a fun, easy-to-use experience for guests.” said Arvind Sodhani, President of Intel Capital and Intel Executive Vice President. “Intel Capital is pleased to have played a collaborative role in bringing E la Carte’s innovative technology to the largest casual dining chain in the world, transforming dining experiences nationwide.”
Presto tablets will continue to be available in pilot program markets while installation rolls out nationwide. As dates and markets are finalized, information regarding availability in specific areas will be available at www.applebees.com.