While we were in San Francisco for Macworld | iWorld, I noticed that the wait staff at Mel's Drive-in were using iPads to take orders. I hadn't seen that before, but apparently the folks at Mel's have used iPads for a while. Now an even bigger restaurant chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, is planning to deploy iPads to its nationwide locations, should an initial pilot programs fare well.
Instead of issuing iPads to servers like Mel's has done, Buffalo Wild Wings will embed iPads in tables around the bar. Customers can use them to browse select apps like Facebook and Safari, or place an order. Those behind the initiative hope customers will eventually interact with ads, play in-store games, and find a new source of in-restaurant entertainment in the iPads.
The company is reportedly going with Hubworks for installation, a company that makes rugged iPad cases meant for public use. The restaurant first implemented the system in Toronto, and is now testing the setup in Minneapolis. Perhaps you'll see one at your location soon.