Electronics Production | September 13, 2006
3M Touch Screens Help Take<br>the Waiting Out of Waiter Service
World's first touch-screen enabled electronic waiters revolutionise the way managers and staff of fast food and drink outlets interact with their customers.
3M Touch Systems has announced that its Capacitive Touch Screen Technology has been deployed in the world's first touch screen-enabled electronic waiters designed by Norwegian technology developer Ewait. The products, currently being delivered to leading fast-food restaurant chains throughout Europe and North America, are anticipated to revolutionise customer relationship management (CRM) in the food and drink retail business for their ability to enhance user interactivity and ensure complete satisfaction of customer needs and desires. To date, relatively little advanced electronic technology has permeated the relationship between restaurant businesses and their customers. Ewait's creators, Erik Hatling and Kristian Mikkelsen, have been quick to respond to this market opportunity with the electronic waiter concept, Ewait Table. Via a friendly and easy to navigate touch screen interface, customers can use the interactive information and ordering unit to surf the internet, listen to music, watch films and play games, in addition to placing food orders and arranging credit card payment. "By providing not only food and drink ordering facilities but also a card payment solution and built-in entertainment and multimedia modules, the product enables restaurant customers to get more of what they want, exactly when they want, without ever leaving the table or talking to any waiters," commented Kristian Mikkelsen, Ewait's CEO. For restaurant managers Ewait Table also offers the possibility to automatically request and record customer comments on aspects of the dining or entertainment experience at any time during the meal, to gather data for continuous improvement and planning purposes. According to Mikkelsen, "A touch screen interface was essential in order for customers and restaurant staff to find the concept of the electronic waiter friendly and usable. It is a high-technology solution, but its users may be in almost any age group, and not necessarily experienced with computers." The MicroTouch ClearTek Capacitive Touch Screen Technology from 3M met all of Ewait's needs in terms of usability, flexibility, quality and price. Of major importance was the touch screens plug-and-play capability, enabling rapid and cost-effective development of the electronic waiter portfolio, including Ewait Table and also Ewait CT, a touch-based interactive information and ordering kiosk. Further benefits of the 3M touch screens include a durable front panel with an easy-glide surface that is not only pleasant to use but also highly resistant to scratching. The result is a resilient touch screen implementation that looks good and operates accurately over an extended lifetime. "We are excited to be part of such an innovative new product targeted at the fast-moving restaurant and hospitality sector," commented Francesco Fasoglio, European Marketing Manager, 3M Touch Systems. "Our technology expertise combined with our high quality, global support and service infrastructure will provide Ewait with the back-up necessary to rapidly roll-out Ewait Table and Ewait CT solutions to customers in numerous locations around the world."