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Restaurant Replaces Paper-Based Menus with iPads

Will electronic media eventually eradicate paper products? The transition is eventual, however one restaurant in Australia is taking the digital step early by ditching its paper-based menus and wine lists. Instead, it will offer customers an iPad running a special application designed to not only list the establishment's menu, but apparently their ingredients. and other useful information.

"The thirst for knowledge from consumers these days is massive," said Chris Lucas, owner of the Pearl restaurant located in inner-city Richmond. "It doesn't matter whether it's ingredients, origins of produce or wine, and particularly Old World wine, this platform can provide as little, or as much, information as each customer wants. This is not a gimmick. I really reckon this is going to set a precedent."

Lucas provided an example, explaining that the app would list wines and their prices. However the information on a particular brand and year could be expanded to offer tasting notes, suggested food matches, popular recipes associated with the wine, and even links to the actual vineyard and wine producer.

Lucas assured that the new iPad-based menu is not about making waiters redundant--they still serve an important role. "We don't want the consumer placing the order," he said. "There is still a very important role for service staff in a smart restaurant, but the graphics and functionality make this thing a very important resource. I think a lot of traditional restaurant situations can be very intimidating. This is a way to liberate the consumer."

Application development took five months and nearly $40,000 out of his pocket. Currently he has four iPad devices already in use--an additional eleven units are on the way. Lucas added that he'll keep several copies of the paper-based versions on-hand for now for old-school customers who'd rather not use the digital tablet.

  • thejerk
    I know a place in Australia where you can walk out with an iPad...
  • haunted one
    Before people complain that it's Apple related news again: Remember- no one made you click.

    And no, I'm not an appleboy.
  • branson
    Hey that was my idea!
  • Here we go again.

    Another "Someone uses an ipad/iphone to do something completely irrelevant" article
  • aaron686
    And what about security measures? Do they "trust" me with it? Damn that restaurant might be too expensive for me anyways...better just buy an ipad :D
  • chickenhoagie
    wow umm..i'm all for technology but, aren't you wasting more money and being less environmental friendly by using an ipad as a menu? Given its easier to change the menu itself at any time you would like..its not like they waste paper. menu's last quite some time. for these ipads i'd imagine they would get beat up fairly quickly. some little boy perhaps spills his free water on one of these?
  • bandeto
    If I was an owner of a restaurant, spending $40,000 and 5 months of development on the menus would never occur to me
  • brendano257
    BananaPikachuHere we go again.Another "Someone uses an ipad/iphone to do something completely irrelevant" article
    Wrong. More than the fact that this is an iPad, it's about the advancement and proliferation of technology over more traditional standards(paper.) The article isn't really focused on the "wonders of the new shiny Apple product" but more on how tech is playing an increasingly big role in places where it usually doesn't at all. And of the course the opposition from old schoolers.

    +1 for haunted one. The article title let you know EXACTLY what you were clicking on, so why did you if all you planned on doing was complaining?
  • extremepcs
    I want to fly there now just to drop one on the floor, or spill coffee on it.
  • cencsor
    sicpricThat's a pretty kool idea