A Canadian software-development start-up, CustomerIn Systems, has been working on a Near Field Communication (NFC) solution for restaurants and bars. The solution is a mobile application called Connected Restaurant that would allow diners to use their mobile phones to get a table, order a drink or other services all through their NFC-enabled phones.
The app is not yet available to consumers, but is currently going through pilot testing with a restaurant. When a customer arrives with an NFC-enabled phone, they are able to check in by tapping their phone agains a tag on the front desk. Once the phone is tapped, the tag’s ID number is sent to a CustomerIn server and the Connected Restaurant app is downloaded onto the phone. From there, the customer will be able to choose from a variety of prompts such as request a table, order a drink or even order an appetizer, all via their NFC-enabled phone.
When a customer’s table is ready, they will receive a text message, and once seated, another NFC tag at the table can be tapped and a detailed menu, including ingredients and calories, will appear. From there, a waiter or waitress can be prompted and consumers can go about their regular dining experience.
It’s important to note that the app would not replace service staff, only add to the customer experience. In the future, CustomerIn Systems also plans on developing solutions for other industries, such as car dealerships and grocery stores.
While not all smart phones are NFC-enabled, it will only be a matter of time before NFC is widely supported and apps like Connected Restaurant become the norm. Would you want to use your phone to order or get seated at a restaurant? Let us know what you think by commenting here, or our Facebook or twitter pages.