iPad's Momentum in Restaurants Grows with Buffalo Wild Wings Trial

Ever since the iPad was introduced two years ago, its potential to revolutionize the restaurant industry has been widely touted, with some restaurants already moving to replace their traditional point-of-sale devices with iPads and companies such as Square seeking to fill that need.

And while iPads in restaurants have been catching on here and there, the concept could be ripe for major expansion if a pilot program from restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings proves worthwhile. As detailed by Computerworld, Buffalo Wild Wings is expanding an initial pilot program at one of its Toronto area locations to a new location in Minneapolis, stocking each table with an iPad to allow customers to place their own orders and browse the Internet.

"Ultimately, we are trying to use the technology to enhance the customer experience," [Buffalo Wild Wings director of international business Tim Murphy] said in an interview. "People are familiar with iPads, iPhones and Android tablets, so this would enhance that."

The chain hasn't decided whether to combine purchasing from the device with purely entertainment uses, something it hopes to measure in its tests, Murphy said.

The iPad project has seen Buffalo Wild Wings partner with HubWorks Interactive, which offers several different mobile ordering platforms for the iPad along with a case that offers security and protection, a kickstand, a credit card reader, and extended power capabilities including AC power or up to 16 hours of battery life. The company sells basic iPad packages for $750 apiece.


Rather than bolting or tethering the iPads to the tables, Buffalo Wild Wings has opted to equip each device with an RFID chip to serve as a deterrent to theft.

The report notes that social restaurants such as Buffalo Wild Wings are ideal environments for the iPad, with the restaurants typically catering to larger crowds where at least some members have an interest in staying for extended periods of time and watching sports on the numerous televisions mounted around the dining areas.

In the first test, while men in a group typically watched a football or hockey game, women in the group would pick up the iPad and launch Facebook, Murphy said. "We have a very captive audience with good sales volume in our restaurants, so we view this iPad as a way for customers to stay connected socially and not have to use their own device."

Buffalo Wild Wings continues to explore all options for the iPad in its restaurants, considering integration of mobile advertising to help offset costs and discussing the possibility of using camera-equipped iPad models to allow video chatting at tables.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
108 months ago
I can't wait to touch other peoples' wing sauce and saliva from their fingers. I can't think of a worse restaurant for this.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago

There's a walk-up cafe (walk up, order, pick up food, sit where you want) near me that gives the option to order by iPad at the entrance. No way - I'm not touching that thing after everyone else has. I'll order from the human behind the cash register, thank you very much.

And then take the cash they hand you that's just as dirty as the iPad (or dirtier - I bet that iPad gets wiped clean every once in a while, when was the last time you cleaned the cash in your wallet)?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
I will by stock in Windex... Wings + iPads will results in very greasy screens...

Interesting nonetheless
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
As great as the ipad is, I'd much rather interact with a hot waitress when ordering food.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago
Social restaurant = men staring at sports on TV, women getting bored on Facebook...

happy 21st century !
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
108 months ago

OMG -- can you imagine the gunk, food and greasy fingerprints that these things have on them at the end of the day?! I believe there are even those that would deliberately try to break the device (pour soup into the head phone jack, etc) -- there are some ridiculous people out there that just want to destroy stuff.


Do restaurants leave gunk, food, and greasy fingerprints on the table after someone leaves? No, a good restaurant cleans the table before someone else uses it! :confused:
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

Sunday May 24, 2020 9:13 pm PDT by
Over the past few hours, a number of MacRumors readers have reported seeing dozens or even hundreds of pending app updates showing in the App Store on their iOS devices, including for many apps that were already recently updated by the users. In many cases, the dates listed on these new app updates extend back as far as ten days. Apple has not shared any information as to why updates for...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

Sunday May 24, 2020 3:06 pm PDT by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 5.0.0 of its software that claims to have the ability to jailbreak "every signed iOS version on every device" using a zero-day kernel vulnerability by Pwn20wnd, a renowned iOS hacker. The announcement comes just days after it was announced that the tool would soon launch. The unc0ver website highlights how the tool...

Future AirPods to Include 'Ambient Light Sensors' Possibly Related to Rumored Health Features

Monday May 25, 2020 2:53 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly looking to integrate light sensors in a new model of AirPods in the next couple of years, according to a new report today, suggesting their use could be part of rumored upcoming health monitoring features in the true wireless earbuds. In a paywalled article, DigiTimes reports that ASE Technology could be involved in manufacturing the sensors: Apple is expected to...

First App Using Apple and Google's Exposure Notification API Launches in Switzerland

Tuesday May 26, 2020 3:02 pm PDT by
The first app that takes advantage of the Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google has launched in Switzerland, according to a report from the BBC. A team of app developers working on contact tracing app called SwissCovid have rolled out the app in a beta capacity for members of the Swiss army, hospital workers, and civil servants. After the app is tested and approved by MPs,...

'This App is No Longer Shared' iOS Bug Preventing Some Apps From Opening

Friday May 22, 2020 3:58 pm PDT by
An app bug is causing some iOS users to be unable to open their apps, with affected iPhone and iPad users seeing the message "This app is no longer shared with you" when attempting to access an app. There are multiple complaints about the issue on the MacRumors forums and on Twitter from users who are running into problems. A MacRumors reader describes the issue:Is anyone else experiencing...

HBO Max Now Available on Apple TV and iOS Devices

Wednesday May 27, 2020 2:42 am PDT by
HBO Max launched today, and is now available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which replaces HBO Now, combines HBO content with shows and films from Warner Bros and Turner TV. The service is available as a native app on the ‌Apple TV‌ HD and ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, but second and third-generation ‌Apple TV‌ owners will need to AirPlay HBO Max content...

Apple's Pro Display XDR Wins 'Displays of the Year' Award

Tuesday May 26, 2020 7:45 am PDT by
The Society for Information Display today announced its selections for the 26th Annual Display Industry Awards, and Apple has once again taken one of the top spots, this time with its Pro Display XDR that debuted last year alongside the revamped Mac Pro. The Pro Display XDR was one of three display products named "Displays of the Year," alongside Samsung's foldable display and BOE's...