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Communications of the ACM

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Technology, Slow to the Restaurant Scene, Is Now On the Menu


Robot waiters.

Technology is transforming the Canadian restaurant industry.

Credit: Nikkei

The Canadian restaurant industry has been more significantly transformed by technology in the last five years than in the preceding 50, said NPD Group analyst Robert Carter.

The Restaurants Canada nonprofit's Christopher Barry pointed to automated customer-service kiosks in quick-service restaurants that let customers input their own orders instead of standing in line at the counter, which his organization is working to make available to small operators.

Barry also said restaurants are beginning to use interactive technologies, with Graffiti Market in Ontario allowing diners to tap on Internet-connected "smart tables" to order food, watch meal preparation via kitchen webcam, play video games, and settle their bill.

Said Barry, "We're also seeing augmented and virtual reality gaining traction. In the near future, consumers can go to a restaurant, put on an eyepiece to look at the menu, and see what the menu items actually look like."

From The Globe and Mail
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