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Could takeout menus become extinct?

Ordering takeout has never been so mobile, with new apps that let hungry diners browse restaurant menus, place orders and pay for their meals on their smartphone without dialing a single phone number.

business Updated: Nov 21, 2011 16:46 IST

Ordering takeout has never been so mobile, with new apps that let hungry diners browse restaurant menus, place orders and pay for their meals on their smartphone without dialing a single phone number.



While fast-food chains like Domino’s Pizza and Pizza Hut also have apps that allow users to order delivery from their mobile phone, companies like Paperlinks [http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/paperlinks/id391879079?mt=8] are now expanding the service to independent restaurants, driving the trend towards digital menus.



Launched this week, Paperlinks-enabled menus work once users scan a QR code with their phone. The QR codes grant instant access to the restaurant’s interactive mobile menu, where customers can find daily specials, browse menus, make special requests, give delivery instructions and pay for their order without having to speak to anyone on the other end.



Paperlinks clients include small, local eateries in the US as well as multi-national giants like Nestlé.



Menupages

is another app that lists the dishes of some of the most popular restaurants in the US like Mario Batali’sBabbo in New York. The app is available in major cities like New York, Chicao, and Los Angeles.



It’s not just mobile menus that are transforming the way diners order. Tech-heavy restaurants are also replacing traditional menus with iPads and tablets.



From Sydney, Australia's

Mundo Latin Grill & Tapas

, California's

Stacked

and the

Bone's

Restaurant in Atlanta, restaurants are handing diners digital menus that feature high resolution photos and allow customers to build their own dishes and pay for the meals.