I have always enjoyed dining at Applebee's. The menu is to my liking and the atmosphere is relaxing, and at the one location that we frequent (perhaps once a month, on average) we really enjoy the waitstaff. They are always exceptionally friendly and our kids love them to death.
So today, my partner, her mother, and my children stopped into Applebee's for lunch and they now have tablets sitting on all of the tables. With these tablets you can order your appetizers, order deserts, view the specials, order refills for your drinks, and view and pay your bill. When my partner came home and told me this, I got kinda upset for all sorts of reasons. When you now go to Applebee's you are being asked to PAY for the privilege of doing work that should be performed by the waitstaff. This no doubt lead to reduced hours (and therefore pay) for waitstaff, if not outright layoffs.
Using the tablet is not mandatory, you can ignore the tablet and carry on as usual, and no doubt some people will do so. What I wonder, is how many people will use the tablet and then reduce the amount of the tip because they are performing the work previously performed by waitstaff? Quite a few I bet. This gives people the excuse they need. I am sort of torn now. On the one hand I want to never go there again, because they attempting to push work off onto customers, and they are in effect screwing their employees. On the other hand I want to just go and not use the thing, and point this dastardly ruse out to other customers.
I make comments about the self checkout aisles at the store too. GRRRRRR.
You can read a little bit about the tablets here: