Skip to main content

3 Ways Tablets Deliver on Experience

At Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Saint Marc Pub-CafÉ, Bakery & Cheese Affinage (, we have a brand mission to give guests the ability to create their own service experience. To deliver on that intention, we have rolled out tabletop digital menus utilizing eTouchMenu ( at our first U.S. location and plan to use the platform throughout our growth process.

What makes Saint Marc so unique is that we have departed from traditional service methods through our customer-dictated approach to service. This means customers can either choose to order through a staff member who walks patrons through the ordering process using an iPad, or customers can order directly through the iPad that sits on each table.

We have found that not only do customers relish this unique dining experience, but they feel better served by our restaurant because they can choose their experience. We have identified three key ways technology in restaurants can deliver better customer service and guest experience:

Frictionless dining
As more people expect and demand the instant convenience afforded by mobile devices, they want to use them in places like restaurants. Tablets allow restaurants to provide seamless, hassle-free buying experiences — from enabling customers to order the moment they are seated to paying at the end of the meal without waiting for a server. Customers also enjoy being able to peruse a restaurant’s menu at their own pace and process their transaction when it’s convenient for them.

This enables restaurants to streamline and enhance the guest’s dining experience as well as operations.

Enhanced interaction and employee engagement
Tableside tablets allow guests to constantly interact with menus and place orders, pay bills and perform a range of other self-serve functions whenever they please. Some restaurants are even exploring the use of promotional content or games that provide entertainment or customer engagement opportunities while guests wait for their food to arrive. These kinds of activities leverage customer experiences and increase brand loyalty. Additionally, utilizing tablets has actually increased employee engagement at Saint Marc. Guests have the ability to “choose their own experience,” with as much or as little human interaction as they want.  

Customization through data insights
In addition to offering new ways in which customers can order and pay bills, tablets can be used by restaurant owners and operators to capture valuable feedback and data insights. A perfect time to capture guest reviews is right before they leave the restaurant, and surveys and other tools delivered on tablet devices encourage guests to share immediate feedback about service, cuisine and other aspects of their experience. Multi-site restaurants can leverage tablet feedback to capture data insights at the local level, helping them tailor the customer experience to the desires and preferences of local consumers.

Tablet technology can help restaurant operators improve the guest experience while providing opportunities to increase revenue and decrease costs. Since opening in late December, Saint Marc continues to deploy digital features and improve menu presentation, all while seeing month-over-month improvements in average check size. Through the use of brand messaging, images, self-ordering and payment transactions, technology is reshaping the way we guide customers through the dining experience. This customer-directed service experience is the latest evolution of restaurant dining and, through the use of integrated technology, is one that guests expect.  

What was your first job?
Volleyball clothing design at Sideout Sport in Pasadena, CA.

Who inspires you?
My kids: Peyton and Logan.

What are your hobbies?
Beverage industry, my dog Sammy, my kids’ sports, going out with my wife, the beach and sports.

What technologies excite you?
Surface computers and simple apps

Sage Advice:
Never judge a book by its cover and titles do matter.

What is one other job that you would like to try?

What is one goal that you would like to achieve in your life?
Be able to retire.

What three people would you invite to lunch?
Jerry Garcia, Drew Barrymore & Monk Dom PÉrignon

Thomas (Mac) McFarland Gregory III is CEO of Saint Marc USA and is charged with the inaugural presence of Saint Marc Pub – CafÉ, Bakery & Cheese Affinage in the United States. A master mixologist, certified advanced sommelier, speaker, educator, columnist, beverage consultant, competition judge and top executive in the international food and beverage community, Gregory is a 25-year industry veteran and has developed, launched and managed hundreds of locations for the luxury hospitality brands.


More Blog Posts in This Series

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds