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Bar & Restaurant Owners Turn To iPads To Liven Things Up

It’s always a challenge for bar & restaurant owners to “out-do” their competition.  Creating a new happy hour special or appetizer combo platter may increase sales, but to what extent?  Hosting special events at your establishment, such as trivia night or live music also help to bring the crowds in.  The problem though with the previously mentioned is that they are commonplace and can be found at all of your competitors.  You need to be creative and think of new ways to engage customers.

Installing an iPad in your bar or restaurant is one way to break the traditional mold.  It’s quite apparent that people become very engaged when interacting with iPads.  Why not take advantage of this tool by allowing customers to use one while at your business?  Below are a few ways we have heard of restaurants and bars using iPads:

Gaming Center / Arcade – Remember the fun you had visiting the arcade section of a family restaurant as a child?  Why not bring these gaming capabilities to tables or iPad terminals set up throughout your restaurant.  If you tailor to families or younger crowds, how many more customers would you draw in if your restaurant was the only one in town that children could play Angry Birds at while eating their meal?  Also, drinking establishments are famous for having their gaming devices mounted right on the bar (ex. Photo Hunt).  Consider modernizing by mounting iPads on your bar.

Point of Sale (POS) – Using your iPad as a Point of Sale device is not as much of a consumer engagement tool as it is a productivity tool.  Nevertheless, this is the most popular use of the iPad in restaurants and bars to date.  A number of POS apps exist today including POS Lavu.  A major advantage of an iPad powered POS system over the traditional is that they are typically less expensive.

Email & Social Media Capture – Trying to get a customer to use pen and paper to sign up for your email list is no easy task.  iPad apps that collect email addresses and Facebook Likes have been proven to attract more customer signups that the traditional methods.

Internet Browsing / Facebook –  Do you own a coffee shop or cafe where patrons often hangout to read and relax?  Why not give them the capability to surf the internet or check their Facebook account right on an iPad at their table?  To do this, we’d recommend securing the iPad in a security enclosure that restricts access to the home button so the users can not access the iPad settings or other apps.  You will want to install a kiosk app as well that limits the user’s web browsing to appropriate websites.

Juke Box – Transfer your music library to your business’s iPad and let customers pick the tunes.  There are a number of accessories on the market today that let you easily connect your iPad into your bar/restaurant’s sound system.  The Diner Jukebox App is available on iTunes for only 99 cents and even gives your iPad the look of a classic jukebox.

Reviews / Comments – Are you still collecting comments from customers by having them drop a piece of paper into a “comment box”?  Digitize the process by using an iPad app for customers to leave comments and suggestions.  It saves trees!

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