I read over at Applesfera that restaurant Etxanobe in Bilbao, Spain has introduced iPads to along with the traditional paper menus. The customers of the Basque restaurant, which holds one Michelin star, will be able to enjoy the minimalist approach of a multimedia product along with their minimalist meals.
Head chef Fernando Canales explains that initially he wanted to jump on the wagon of the iPad to help foreign visitors offering a multilingual menu, but soon realized that the multimedia capabilities of the device could enhance the dining experience much further. In an interview with Mikel Agirregabiria he explains that he wants to bring the interaction between customer and kitchen to a new level.
"People get disappointed when they order a dish and get something they didn't expect. It happens to me very often. If you want to order squid, you can use the interactive menu to see how big the portion is, how is it going to be presented, how we cook it,… This is awesome!"
He further says that the fact of having one iPad on the table brings people together instead of having everyone immersed in their menus choosing independently. On top of all the PR stunt, chef Canales confesses this might be a good way to receive feedback from customers. "We want to encourage people to share their experience on Twitter or leaving a comment on in. For us there's nothing better than word of mouth" he says.
Student Íñigo Merino has helped to put together an app that includes Twitter, user comments, the menu itself, and picture and videos on how the dish is cooked. Sound very snobbish to me, but I have to give thumbs up to this initiative on how to use the iPad. If a fancy restaurant is doing this, will this format will be popularised? Does this kill all the waiter-customer interaction? Is it just too much?