What are people saying about touchscreen menus?
"I like the idea of having a tablet at the table, so that you can take your time and order without feeling stressed by a waiting waiter. But there should be a 'call waiter' button."
- Eva G.
"I would like it very much if the tablet had a photo of the food so I could see what I was ordering. And nutritional info and ingredients. My biggest pet peeve about eating in restaurants is not knowing the ingredients."
- Nancy M.
"A loyalty program would be awesome. I would probably go to restaurants more if they gave some sort of reward for eating there."
- Shawn V.
"So its Friday night, date night maybe, and you show up to your favorite restaurant only to find out there's over a half hour wait."
If you're lucky some places might provide you with a paging device that notifies you when your table is ready. ("Hey, 1995 called, they want their pagers back.") Next, the hostess seats you and you wait patiently until your server arrives to take drink orders. "I'll have the Very Berry Limeade, please." While the server frantically juggles another ten tables, you look over the menu and try to create images in your mind from the "mouth-watering" descriptions of the items that didn't quite make the cut to get their photo taken.
Then, like any normal human being you get distracted while talking to your friends and forget you still have to decide what it is you want to eat tonight. As the underpaid and over worked server comes by for the second time you frantically scan the menu for anything that looks appetizing, but all you see are words. By this time you couldn't care less what you get. It beats looking like a fool in front of your friends as you ask the ever so patient waitress to "please come back."
Now that you've decided what you want you can finally relax and enjoy. Or can you? My problem is I relax too much and for some reason wait until the last possible second to decide to get dessert. Its usually about this time that the server comes by with the dessert menu and then I regret not ordering it 20 minutes ago instead of now, when I'd rather just go home and fall into a food coma.
Things don't need to be this complicated and old fashioned. Take a look at what we came up with to make eating out a lot more efficient, and of course, fun!
Place and pay for orders at any time
Also, don't feel like you have to inconvenience the server when you're ready to leave. Just select your payment method, provide the necessary information and voilà, you're done!
Make real-time reservations & place orders
The world is moving at a much faster pace today and people are busier than ever. With the Touchmenu mobile app you'll be able to cut up to an hour off your wait time by ordering and reserving your table before you even get to the restaurant.
Customizing your meal
Let's be honest, when it comes to what we eat, people are as different as their hairstyles. With Touchmenu you can check the nutrition facts of an item and even personalize it to your preference. Choose to remove cheese, add extra sauce, put the dressing on the side, or cook it medium rare. And its all at your fingertips!
Instead of staring awkwardly at your date or listening to grandpa tell his version of D-day, play some entertaining multi-player games that are sure to make waiting a whole lot more fun!
Watch movie trailers & purchase tickets
While you wait you can watch movie trailers and get showtimes. And if you see one you like you can even purchase tickets!
When you're ready to leave, you can specify who pays for what with simple "drag and drop."
Browse through an extensive list of entertainment ideas in your area.
Much like the Entertainment section, browse upcoming events in your region.
Like other popular "deal-of-the-day" sites, local and national companies can offer discounted services or products to the public.
Create a list of your favorite items and use it to shortcut your ordering process.
Share your visit on Facebook and Twitter
Purchase e-gift cards
Once you've registered for a Touchmenu account you can buy e-gift cards. You can select any amount, and the card never expires.
We've been developing the Touchmenu tablet and interface for a little over a year now and we are extremely excited to show you what we've come up with. So far we have:
- A 3D printed prototype of the outer casing.
- Developed the Virtual Prototype of the mobile application.
- Developed the Virtual Prototype of the tablet interface.
The Touchmenu tablet is based on an "off-the-shelf" design that our manufacturer had. (With some slight component modifications and additional features that cater toward restaurant use.) Since we are using an existing reference design for the tablet we are able to get to market a lot quicker and with little to no complications.
Due to copyrights we are unable to show pictures of the circuit board and the design blueprints.
Functional Software Prototypes
Why do we need your help?
The answer is twofold:
1. We need your help to begin development of the iOS and Android mobile applications, the tablet interface, and start production of the first round of tablets.
2. We need you! ALL OF YOU! In order to share our dream with the world we need help from everyone. That's why we set such a low reward tier of only $12. This way everybody can be a part of Touchmenu's fruition, and get a super fly t-shirt to show off, as well! You're more than welcome to pledge more, and we would be extremely flattered, but our main goal is to create buzz about our awesome plans!
"Our mission is to help innovate an industry that is long overdue for a makeover, and with your help we'll be able to accomplish a whole lot more!"
We have teamed up with a U.S. based manufacturer and are using their reference design tablet as the foundation for the Touchmenu tablet. We are excited about this decision because it gives us the freedom to get to market quicker and have a product that is already tested and reliable!
The first step will be to produce 10 units with the manufacturer to confirm quality and assembly accuracy. Next, we will initiate molding for the outer casing. Once we are pleased with the production quality of both we will start full production.
With any sort of electronics manufacturing there are issues that can arise no matter how prepared. We are fortunate enough to have a manufacturer that we trust and that has an excellent track record with electronics manufacturing, especially with tablet PCs and notebooks.
Application Development Challenges
Developing the app to work on two platforms requires more work and increases the chances of problems in the final applications. However, we have several seasoned app developers on our team that are proficient in both iOS and Android platforms and have successfully launched top selling apps in both environments.
The Last Word
We believe that this modernization is just what the restaurant industry needs to stand out in the fast pace of our world today. Everything around us is modernizing more and more each day. In the last five years we've seen movie rentals go digital, mobile internet become commonplace, life experiences can be shared worldwide through social networking, and touchscreen devices are in the hands of children as young as two. We are an ever changing people. We long for innovation. As our lives get busier we expect things to move faster too.