The new E la Carte tablet brings mobile devices to the restaurant table, giving customers more options and greater convenience for ordering and payment options.
E la Carte is a tablet device specifically designed for restaurant tabletop use. Launched today by a Palo Alto, CA-based startup, E La Carte performs several functions to improve service for the customer and increase revenue for the dining establishment. Guests can view images of dishes and order with the touchscreen device, using an interface that allows for customization - dressing on the side, extra fixings, etc. and encourages upselling with context-sensitive offers - side salad for an extra three dollars, for example. The order is sent wirelessly and printed out in the kitchen immediately, and the device then offers socially-themed games to keep customers busy.
After the meal, E la Carte functions as a payment device - the bill can be split evenly or by item, so customers can pay specifically for what they ordered. They can then individually swipe cards, set the tip, and sign their receipt. This skips a lot of waiting time and multiple credit card confusion that often comes when dining with a group, and translates to better tips for wait staff - customers only need to choose a pre-calculated tip amount, and avoids common shortchanging.
As Rajat Suri explains in E la Carte's noirishly lit intro video, the device can offer a large amount of information to customers. Not only can visitors look at images of dishes, which helps to increase ordering, E la Carte can offer local info, giving restaurants the opportunity to offer partner advertising and coupons, further increasing revenue. Suri also suggests that E la Carte will offer nutritional and allergy information in the future, following the restaurant trend for increased transparency and better service for individuals with specific ingredient-related needs.
E la Carte is designed to complement the role of wait staff, not replace them. Waiters can show customers food on the screen, as well as assist them more quickly with the various tools on the tablet. E la Carte predicts the device increases meal checks by ten percent.