Ziosk: The Future of Restaurants


Photo Courtesy: ziosk.com

Nikita Kheni, Photojournalist

Technology is evolving and advancing in so many areas of our lives. It is even being brought to restaurants to provide customers with a convenient way to order and make it easier for servers so they are not constantly running back and forth taking orders.


The Ziosk is a seven inch Android tablet that allows customers to order drink refills, desserts, and also play interactive games. When customers can order dessert and coffee and get out of the restaurant quicker, restaurants are likely to make more money. Customers are thirty percent more likely to order desserts when left to their own devices. Ziosk flashes high-definition photos of desserts during the meal, which seems to be far more persuasive than a human waiter telling customers options.


Customers are also thirty percent more likely to provide feedback through the tablet whereas less than one percent of diners will respond to paper or online surveys.


The Ziosk also allows customers to swipe your credit card on a built-in reader, scan in coupons and leave a tip with a green LED light that then notifies the serving staff that a group has paid and can leave. It also allows you to pay separately when you are with a group of people. After the payment is processed, the tablet resets, erasing the history and login credentials of everyone at the table. “I think the way [the Ziosk] works is really interesting and it is definitely really nice to be able to order at your time instead of having to wait long periods of time for the server to come and take your order,” states Ian Dembek (9)


Chili’s was the first chain to introduce the Ziosk and in tests, they found that half of the customers opted to pay through the device and even more during busy work week lunch hours. The company has installed more than 45,000 tablets in 823 Chili’s Grill & Bar locations.


The games in the Ziosk are connected to Android’s app store t\and curates game selections to have kid-friendly and group options, with nothing rated above an “E for everyone” rating. games as a revenue stream that helps restaurants pay for the device.


Austin Mulinder, the President and CEO of Ziosk states that the devices are not there to replace servers. “Because the guest is now managing some part of the process, servers have more time to pay attention to serving that guest.” Servers are still needed to bring food to the table and accommodate requests.

Ziosk is currently  testing with Olive Garden and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc. Red Robin will be introducing the Ziosk to their restaurants this month. Food chains are realizing that if a customer can order food before they get to the counter, the entire experience can become more efficient and much easier on them and the servers.