Donnet Bruce

iFuture of Restaurants

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Have you noticed that iPads have taken the place of cash registers or customer management systems in retail stores? Who needs pen and papers, when you have an iPad? Well…De Santos, a high end Italian-American located in Manhattan (in the West Village) fully operates off of iPad 2 tablets. According to, De Santos officially unveiled its new system August 1, thus earning the distinction as the first restaurant in New York completely run on iPads. Servers utilize iPad 2 tablets to take orders and swipe credit cards to finish transactions. Patrons can even use the tablets order from the menu and find out specifics on certain dishes. "The customers love it," says Sebastian Gonella, one of the owners and co-founders of De Santos. "Who doesn't like an iPad? They go nuts."

He also adds, "I can be in L.A. and check—live—exactly how many orders are placed, how many credit cards were used, which ones were mistakes or not," Gonella says. "You really have control over what's happening in the dining room. If [servers] want to give a free drink for a friend, or they made a mistake and don't want to tell the manager so they ring it again, that all costs our business. Now, we can eliminate that."

One of the main reasons for restaurateurs to choose an iPad as the point of sale (POS) system is to save money. Traditional point systems can cost upwards $20,000 however an iPad POS system can costs approximately $1,000. For example, monthly system fees can range from $49 to $129 per month.  In addition to business operations, and patron interactivity, iPads can also lend a hand to marketing efforts., indicates that: restaurants can add consumers name to mailing lists, allow customers to sign onto Facebook and ‘like’ a Fanpage, create a photo album (in real time) and email it to the customers, or connect them with data collection survey sites.