Photo: E la Carte
When you think about it, the newfangled gadget that tech startup E la Carte released this week has been sort of a long time coming. It's basically a more rugged version of an iPad that allows you to touch-screen your way through a restaurant menu, order and even pay.
The crotchety misanthrope might ask, "How is it that I've been able to scan and bag my own groceries for years, but still I have to make chit-chat with the waiter at Applebee's?"
Right now, reports our our sister site TechCrunch, only about 20 eateries have the device, mostly in San Francisco and Boston. But E la Carte says it has a long waiting list of restaurant owners eager to try the thing. One reason is because restaurants that have tested it have reported a 10 to 12 percent spike in overall revenue, since E la Carte is great at up-selling. ("Would you like a side salad with that for only $3 more?" Here's a lovely picture of the side salad. All you have to do is press this button.)