Why Your Upscale Restaurant Server Still Takes Your Order By Hand, Even Though Technology Abounds

There’s one place where it’s unlikely your order will be taken by a device: fine dining restaurants.

Whenever you eat anyplace more expensive than a fast casual restaurant, waiters and waitresses routinely jot down your order on a piece of paper, or commit it to memory.

They may then enter it at an electronic keypad to send it to the kitchen, but by then, you’re back to conversing with colleagues or looking at your own mobile phone.

The reason for sticking to tradition is simple, says Alex Susskind, an associate professor of food and beverage management at Cornell University. Expensive restaurants see the connection between server and diner as a personal one. Introducing a mobile device into that relationship would break an important bond.

“When you go to an upscale restaurant, you’re used to spending a lot of money. You want people to take care of you. You look forward to being taken care of,” Susskind says. “I say this jokingly: computers and technology haven’t found a way to take care of people at the human level yet.”


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