An iPad to replace the traditional menu in restaurants

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The new restaurant "Maison Leblanc" in Liege (Belgium) offers its customers the opportunity to choose their menu not on a traditional menu but on an iPad that provides a wealth of information about the dishes on offer.

In Liège, almost everyone knows the Leblanc butcher's shop located Rue Lulay des Fèbvres in the centre of the fiery city. Indeed, this butcher's shop has existed for almost 140 years and is run by Frédéric Leblanc, the latest of five generations. He also had the idea to open a restaurant in September. The restaurant is located at the back of the butcher shop and offers the opportunity to taste meat from all over the world, offered by the store, through a new taste and fun experience! Indeed, as soon as you sit down at one of the restaurant's tables, the staff of the restaurant does not offer you a traditional menu but rather an iPad to discover all the dishes on offer. Because the aim of the "Maison" in operating in this way is quite simply to make you discover more of the dishes. Which is, it must be admitted, much less user-friendly and attractive with a traditional menu...

"A tool that makes the transition from the past to the future."

"Offering an iPad to restaurant customers was the best way for me to inform customers about what they were going to eat," explains Frédéric Leblanc, owner of the butcher's shop and restaurant. "Indeed, what better tool, simple to use and intuitive, could offer an effective way to provide information. I naturally thought of the iPad," he adds. From there to imagining that the owner of the butcher's shop is a fan of the apple brand, there is only one step to take. In fact, he told us that he has been working with Apple products for a long time, but the choice of the iPad doesn't stop there: "The fact that the system is relatively closed and easily 'securable' naturally led me to choose this model of tablet. In addition to this important element, the aesthetics of the product (its design) is also an asset in my place, which I wanted to be resolutely modern even though we eat in the workshops of a butcher's shop that is still in business. This tool is the transition between the past and the future. ", explains Mr. Leblanc.

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So the boss of the establishment started buying 20 shelves. An important investment (nearly 10.000€) but which is not disproportionate when it comes to differentiate oneself from the competition, estimates Frédéric Leblanc, "I don't think it's a huge investment when it comes to differentiating and bringing a touch of originality to my restaurant with the iPad on top of everything else.he explains. Because in addition to purchasing the 20 shelves, the restaurant owner also had to develop an application specially dedicated to his restaurant and his menu. But ordering directly from the application is out of the question," explains Leblanc. The application was mainly designed to inform customers about what they eat. So customers always use the restaurant staff to place their orders, in addition to asking any questions they may have, "My experience in butchery sales has taught me one very important thing. Whatever the use of new technologies, it is very important not to lose contact with customers. The iPad is therefore first and foremost a restaurant menu and nothing more"....tempers the restorer.

In addition to providing a wealth of information on meats, the application also offers to find out more about wines and champagnes, where customers can be referred directly to the producers' sites.

An app geared towards social networks

As soon as their meal is over, customers have the opportunity to request a tablet again to give an opinion or a criticism on what they have just discovered and even share their impressions directly on FaceBook or Twitter, "It's a double-edged sword, but you have to play the game to the end." says Frédéric Leblanc. Especially since customers can download the restaurant's application free of charge to send their impressions afterwards... That said, the restaurant says it is taking advantage of this feature to gain visibility.

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Note that beyond the restaurant application, customers also have the option of using the shelf while waiting to be served. Applications from major daily newspapers as well as applications dedicated to children have been installed there. Customers can also take pictures of themselves and possibly have a good laugh! "It's also an opportunity for some people to experience using the iPad for the first time."The tablet is a very useful tool," says Leblanc, who already has a well-honed speech explaining quickly how to use the tablet. "Come and try it, you'll see! », he concludes.

Address of the restaurant : Maison Leblanc, Rue Lulay des Fèbvres 5 - 4000 Liège.

(Source : belgium-iphone.lesoir.be - Dec 2012)

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