The other day I stumbled upon this tweet posted by Richard Grochmal;

FINALLY. World, take note. #Localtavern introduces #ipad automated ordering. The #uber of dining. @PHLAirport

The iPad does the job of the bartenders in this Philadelphia airport bar

— Richard Grochmal (@RGrochmal) April 2, 2015

The photo is of the Local Tavern bar, located in Terminal F of the Philadelphia airport (USA), although I assume that they will do the same in other places. Doing some research, I found out that the bar in question has been running for a year and a half and that they have installed an iPad in each of its 104 seats (you can see more photos of what it looks like below). A client, an iPad. In this way, each person who arrives at the bar has a free internet connection, they can see the status of their flight, the weather forecast, etc. But the most curious thing about the matter does not stop there.

Indeed, as Richard tells us, each client uses the iPad to carry out their orders. Both food and drinks are ordered directly from each table by the customers themselves, who receive a message on the fly with the estimated time to receive their order. Each kiosk includes a credit card reader with which you can pay, so it’s also the customers who do the work of getting paid.

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One more interesting step towards automation, which we have already seen in many other sectors (serving gasoline in your car, scanning and paying for your products at Ikea…). The target audience is very specific, obviously. People who usually travel alone on business and who need a place to kill time or where to plug in their laptop or mobile to work for a few hours. For them, a place where they can order coffee without getting up from your seat and losing sight of their valuable pots and pans is excellent.

Many will think that it is a dirty way of eliminating jobs and charging customers with the work that the bar employees could do. History, however, is quite stubborn in this regard and has shown for several centuries that technological investment does not destroy jobs. Quite the contrary, technological advances (and especially those that automate human work and increase productivity) have radically contributed to job creation in the most innovative countries and, also, in the companies that adopted them. The countries that invest the most in technology are those that generate the most (and best) jobs.

Someone tell me how much unemployment the Industrial Revolution caused. Or John Ford’s production line. Or the invention of computers. Or, returning to our case, the iPad.

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That being said, I find Richard’s prediction that he will be the Uber of meals over the top. But it is true that it is a very interesting idea. And if you don’t like it, there are always other bars to go to, right?

The iPad does the job of the bartenders in this Philadelphia airport bar