Already providing an interactive tablet for every table to give Applebee’s diners an alternative way to order, pay for food, and amuse themselves with social games, the electronic restaurant management and gaming hardware and software developer, E la Carte, is now opening up its platform to outside developers.
The company wants to enable any app developer or company to be able to distribute their applications on the E la Carte platform. Ultimately the decision of what apps actually appear on a restaurant’s tablets remains in the hands of the restaurateur, but adoption of some early developers who are using the platform has been positive.
Rockbot, a company which sells a social media jukebox application that lets people select and view songs that are being played over a venue’s PA system, has installed its app on a few E la Carte tablets.
“We’re at this point where the physical experience is changing,” says Rockbot chief executive, Garrett Dodge. “When you come in to a restaurant or any other retail businesses, technology has changed that experience.”
The important thing for retailers is to create a unique customer experience that’s going to have patrons coming back. “When you’re in Ft. Wayne, Ind. and you’re thinking of something to do, now I know that if I go to Applebee’s — or whatever the brand is — I can interact with that E la Carte tablet and interact with the games and have that social experience, which is a big reason why you’re going to those places.”
Rockbot joins a small handful of companies who have put their apps on E La Carte tablets. The company’s jukebox app is also playing at The Melt restaurants across California.