Applebee’s Is Testing Out A Radical New System That’ll Have Your Food Waiting At The Table When You Arrive


iStockphoto / MollyNZ

When it comes to dining, there are two basic types of ordering: you order remotely on the phone or from an app, or you order at the table/in the restaurant directly from a waiter. Then, you either eat the food at home (pick-up or delivery) or you eat the food at the restaurant. This is all straightforward, and it’s the way it has been forever. Applebee’s is trying to bridge these two systems with a radical new ordering system.

The idea is that you can order remotely and show up to a packed restaurant and your food is hot, ready, and waiting for you already at the table. For practical purposes, I can see this new method KILLING IT with the business lunch crowd who’s lunch hour is strictly regulated. In this new Applebee’s system, users will be able to order food online via a smartphone app that they’re currently testing and when they arrive at the restaurant food will be waiting at the table.

It’s as if to-go food and the traditional dining experience had a baby, and it’s remarkable that it has taken so long for a restaurant to come up with this idea. Lisa Fickenscher of the New York Post reports:

Dine Brands is developing and testing an app that in theory allows diners to show up at a busy restaurant and be immediately seated in addition to having their food served upon their arrival and their final check delivered via the app, The Post has learned.
What could amount to an HOV lane for tech users would all but eliminate frustrating wait times associated with being seated, having an order taken and a bill delivered and paid.
“It’s like converting casual dining to fast food,” Stephen Joyce, the new CEO of Dine Brands, told The Post.
Like many of its rivals, Dine Brands is cribbing from the fast food industry as rising labor costs and competition from newcomers squeeze already skimpy margins. (via)

I haven’t had Applebee’s in several years but I can see myself ordering from there soon just to test out this new system and see how well it works. I’ll also be shocked if other restaurant chains don’t begin to roll out something like this in the next few years.

For more on this, you can click here to visit the Post.