10 Innovative Uses Of The iPad By The Hospitality Industry

10 Innovative Uses Of The iPad By The Hospitality Industry

PSFK investigates ten novel examples of how the iPad is being used by restaurants and hotels.

Yofred Moik
  • 8 july 2010

There is no doubt that Apple’s iPad has the potential to revolutionize the dining and hospitality industry. The functional ambiguity of the iPad can serve various applications in both hotel and restaurant settings.  Even as etiquette for mobile device usage at social places are hotly debated and being constantly redefined, restaurants are embracing new mobile technologies to update the experience for their customers.  These early-adopters are the pioneers that can potentially craft a valuable edge in the industry’s competitive landscape.  We’ve compiled a list of ten restaurants and hotels that are laying the foundation for an emerging generation of hotels and restaurants outfitting their industry’s long-standing traditional services with the iPad.


iPads Replace Menus at Australian Restaurant

An upscale Sydney restaurant, Mundo Global Tapas, is replacing their paper menus with the interactive tablet.  Customers use the restaurant-provided iPads to not only browse menu selections and order food, but access photos of every dish and even notify chefs of how they want their steaks cooked.  The digital medium offers several advantages over the paper medium – these include easy revisions for fluctuations in price and keeping track with inventory so customers don’t order items out of stock.  The restaurant envisions the iPad menu to eventually revolutionize the dynamics of food ordering by utilizing local weather and customer moods to recommend meals.

Mundo Global Tapas


Luxury Hotel Provides Personal iPad For Each Customer

London’s Berkeley Hotel plans to offer hotel guests iPads for the duration of their stay.  The iPad comes with selected apps that help craft the travelers experience in the area – like suggesting the top-five places to visit, and a providing a list of local hidden gems.  The device becomes a travel guide for customers by helping map out their itinerary with restaurant and location recommendations to make it into a better traveling experience.

Berkeley Hotel


Major Hotel Chain Plans To Equip Concierges With iPads

Intercontinental Hotels Group, a multi-national company that manages several hotel brands including Holiday Inn, have conducted tests to research the benefits of hotel staff being equipped with iPads.  Results have shown that concierges with an iPad by their side are more versatile to fulfill services for hotel guests.  By not being stationed at their behind-the-counter desktop computers, concierges are able to roam around the lobby to assist their customers, creating a less static method of customer service.  The company also discovered that by supplying iPads to concierges, it greatly reduces the time of training for new employees, crediting the tablet’s intuitive interface.

Intercontinental Hotels Group


iPads Promote Hotel’s Social Media Presence

San Diego’s Hotel Indigo is incorporating the iPad to act as a virtual guestbook for guests to use.  Visitors can ask questions about the local area to the hotel’s Twitter followers. They are also encouraged to connect and log comments on the hotel’s other social media pages.  The hotel will have a live feed of their Twitter and Facebook pages streaming on a large display in their lobby, albeit under hotel staff supervision.  Although the hotel’s concierges are present to assist guests, it harnesses its social media pages to create a network of online followers to make area-related recommendations.

Hotel Indigo


iPad Recommends Wine At Florida Restaurant

Nationally-recognized Naples Tomato of Naples Florida recently announced their plans to utilize an iPad to recommend wine for customers instead of a sommelier. By accessing an app, wine connoisseurs can browse through the Mediterranean restaurant’s 550 Wine Spectator-recognized wine list. Naples Tomato plans to update a traditional service by adopting the Apple device for regular use starting this August.

Naples Tomato


New Manhattan Restaurant Plans To Innovate Food-Ordering Process With iPads

Manhattan healthy fast food restaurant, 4food, plans to equip their waiters with iPads for assisting the ordering process.  The use of iPads fits the restaurant’s progressive goal to embed contemporary technology into its restaurant infrastructure to serve healthy food.  The restaurant plans to open its doors on August 16.  Interestingly, the interior of the yet to be opened restaurant will also loosely imitate the aesthetics of an Apple store.



Make Restaurant Reservations With RezBook

RezBook is a free iPad app started by the folks at UrbanSpoon that allows iPad users to view table layouts and make reservations on the tablet.  The plan is to integrate the app’s services with the traditional paper reservation process to expand the outlets for connecting with customers.  The app also allows its users to indicate allergy information and propose seating preferences.



New York Hotel Makes iPad A Control Panel For Hotel Preferences

One of New York’s top luxury hotels, The Plaza, is among the early iPad-adopters to help enhance the customer experience.  The hotel plans to do this by giving their customers control of a large assortment of hotel-related activities straight from the iPad – like requesting room service, scheduling wake-up calls, making spa appointments, and printing boarding passes.  The Plaza have adjusted their definition of luxury to how products can promote the holistic experience of staying at the hotel.  The utilitarian iPad fits this premise precisely.

The Plaza


OrderTalk iPad App For Mobile Meal Ordering

An iPad app produced by OrderTalk brings mobile check out for quick service and full service restaurants.  These hand-held terminals allow restaurant employees to collect order info and relay it to the ticket printer in the kitchen.  Restaurants take orders from in-line customers and have the food prepared and ready to go when reaching the counter.  The app from OrderTalk reduces the chances of error and creates a more efficient process of taking customers orders.  Customers at participating restaurants can order food from their personal or restaurant-provided iPads with the installed app.



Luxury Resort Provides iPad In Close Proximity To Water

A luxury hotel located on Greece’s Aegian Peninsula, the Danai Beach Resort, offers guests iPads for the duration of their stay and unusually allows users to have the electronic device accompany them poolside and beachside. Apple should probably contact this beach resort to use them as a testing ground for the device’s resistance towards water damage. Regardless of whether its splash-proof or not, reading online magazines on a touch-screen tablet computer while dipping in pools and sipping margaritas is a strong sign of luxury for even the most lavish lifestyles.

Danai Beach Resort


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