June 02, 2011
BOSTON DINERS ARE THE TECHIEST!
Boston is home to some of the latest advances in restaurant tech. Check out what the locals do!
They Text Their Waiters
Charlie's Kitchen in nearby Cambridge (10 Eliot St., 617-492-9646, charlieskitchen.com) was one of the first to use TextMyFood, a customer-to-waiter text-messaging system. When a server is out of sight, diners can text their drink and food orders directly to a touch screen in the kitchen.
They Replaced Bulky Beepers
Used almost exclusively in Boston locations, including Finale Desserterie & Bakery (30 Dunster St., Cambridge, 617-441-9797, finaledesserts.com), the Textaurant service eliminates the need to carry reservation buzzers around. The hostess enters your phone number into a machine that auto-texts you when the table is ready. A new upgrade, due out this year, will allow diners to put their names on the web wait list before they arrive.
They Track Their Orders by Touch Screen
Thanks to a new tablet device called E la Carte (designed by MIT students), customers can view photos and nutritional information for all a restaurant’s dishes, as well as place orders, track the food’s progress from the kitchen and play games while waiting. Uno in Harvard Square (22 JFK St., Cambridge, 617-497-1530, unos.com) is one of the first to test the pilot version.
They Check Themselves Out
A device called the Ziosk lets diners pay their bill and email themselves a receipt through a tableside screen. It originated in Dallas but is gaining popularity faster in Boston than anywhere.