Back to the Future Part II was set in the year 2015, and while we haven’t quite made it to flying cars, the hubs for our flying machines are moving in a futuristic direction by automating airport restaurants. Thanks to OTG, travel restaurateurs who have upped the ante of the airport dining experience for travelers, customers can now order their meals using tablets secured at tables, bars and terminals – one tablet per seat – lending a new meaning to the concept of “self-serve.”
The iPad menu system allows clients to personalize their orders, make requests, browse the web and social media outlets, and check on real-time flight status using OTG’s custom operating system, Flo. You can even order a magazine or headphones from onsite retail locations to be delivered right to your seat, which conveniently also offers a USB port, a charger and a credit card reader. Your meal order is sent to the kitchen automatically, and waiters are notified on their own devices once it’s ready to be served; the average wait time is 15 minutes. “It keeps a steady flow, so things turn out fast and everyone is happy,” says Rick Blatstein, CEO of OTG.
The tablets are not intended to replace waiters. Blatstein tells us that the restaurants often “double the number of crew at their restaurants to focus on details and hospitality.” The new customized, interactive experience takes the once apt word wait out of wait staff, without removing service from the industry. In this instance, technology doesn’t nullify face time despite the efficiency and expediency of the process.
“OTG brings an iPad experience to empower our customers and crew members to react at the highest level,” says Blatstein. He adds that iPads will change the perception and landscape of airports: It “puts entire control of our customers’ experience in their own hands.”