An Asian restaurant where food preparation can be watched via interactive tables
In London, Asian restaurant and bar Inamo has gone interactive to increase business. Every dining table features a touch-screen surface, enabling customers to take a look at the dishes on offer, book a taxi and even take a sneak peek in the kitchen via webcam.
Inamo first opened its doors in 2008, in the heart of Soho. Their goal? To give power back to customers who now have total control over their dining experience thanks to interactive dining tables.
When ordering, the interactive table gives customers a preview of the dishes in their ‘empty’ plate. These appetizing holograms allow diners to check if the meal is really what they want and whether the portion size is correct. In one simple click, their order is created and sent directly to the kitchen for preparation.
The Asian restaurant founder , Noel Hunwick, explained to News 24 that the idea came to him whist dining with a friend in a crowded pizzeria. “We were desperately trying to attract the waiter’s attention, and I remember saying that it would be great if we could just press a button and order our pizza!”. One satisfied columnist wrote on Geek.com that this digital technology also erases another problem: when waiters hurry customers to choose so they can get a quick table turnover…
Customers have the option of watching their meal being prepared: the kitchens are permanently linked via webcams. Otherwise, they can play Battleships on their screens (one of the restaurants’ favourite applications), plan their tube journey home, book a taxi or even take a look at their bill. The table really is at the heart of their dining experience, and what could be more appropriate for a restaurant?
Another advantage of using interactive tables is that they can change the atmosphere of the room in one simple click. On Valentine’s Day, the restaurant provided its customers with a stunning experience: each interactive table featured a romantic background, organised between the restaurant and customers using a USB pen, giving diners the opportunity to declare their love with personalised images.
These tables also have undeniable advantages for the restaurant itself. In addition to offering a unique dining experience, they enable the restaurant to hire fewer waiters whilst simultaneously improving service speed … as well as encouraging customers to order extra drinks and dishes at the click of a button. “In a normal restaurant, just the thought of having to call the waiter is enough to put you off re-ordering another drink. Not at Inamo. Our tables encourage impulse purchasing”, says Noel Hunwick.
The restaurant has almost reached 2000 fans on its Facebook page, and has been so successful that another branch has opened on Regent Street. Let’s hope it’s as successful as the first, which won the prestigious award for best restaurant in the Best of London 2010 competition.