The next time you walk into some of Mumbai’s fine-dining restaurants, chances are you will first be served an Apple.
Nudging aside old paper-booklet menu cards, the Apple iPad is making its way into city diners just a month after its launch in India.
Next week, Bandra’s Escobar will launch iPad menus with a customised application that makes visuals of the restaurant’s complete array of Mediterranean cuisine and wines just a touch away.
It will be the third city restaurant to go tech-savvy in the past six months, after Koh at Intercontinental, Marine Drive, and Royal China at Bandra and Fort, who brought in iPads event before their India launch.
“The iPad is a perfect gadget with tools for everything, so the trend is rising,” said Eddie Cruzet, the web and mobile application developer who designed menus for Escobar and Royal China.
He is working on iPad menus for two more restaurants in the city.
“We wanted our menu to be interactive, and the iPad is something you can play with,” said Romil Ratra, general manager of Intercontinental, Marine Drive, who says diners are now able to engage with the restaurant a lot more.
Koh’s menu application includes information about their chef, their Thai ingredients and also a feature to type in feedback.
But iPad menus are primarily about showcasing aesthetic visuals of the food.
“Our guests now order new dishes, beyond their set of favourites, because the iPad encourages them to explore and see what they would be paying for,” said Neville Vazifdar, director of Royal China, which has 20 iPad menus in its two branches and will soon add an ‘order basket’ feature to its application to help guests manage larger orders.
Though footfalls at these restaurants have not increased, the iPad menus have been a pleasant surprise and an added attraction for customers.
“The iPad adds a young touch to the restaurant and shows that they are paying attention to every single detail,” said actor Nauheed Cyrusi, a regular visitor at Royal China.