Global Mundo Tapas at Rydges in North Sydney last week became the first restaurant in Australia to replace its paper menus with digital versions on the iPad. Will the idea catch on? The South Australian company, NetStart, that is behind the MenuPad technology that runs the restaurant’s menus sure hopes so.
MenuPad allows restaurants to display a visual menu – though it’s a bit more high-tech than the visual menus you might find in your nearest noodle bar. The system also provides automatic suggestions for matching wines and food pairings, and allows you to personalise your meal simply by touching the iPad’s screen.
Jock Gordon, NetStart’s managing director said that it even includes the ability to choose how you like your steak, “which is sure to reduce the incidence of meals being sent back to the kitchen”.
“MenuPad adds a new dimension to the dining experience,” said Craig Simpson, area general manager of Rydges Hotels. “It is extremely exciting to see it all come to life.”
MenuPad allows restaurants to quickly add or remove an item from the menu, include variations to prices, such as public holiday surcharges or the ‘market price’ of seafood. Restauranteurs can easily manage their menus from a simple web interface, and orders can be faxed, emailed or SMSed directly to the kitchen. MenuPad can even be integrated with point of sale systems, so you can pay for your meal via the iPad.