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The End of Restaurant Wait Staff?

Applebees has announced plans to install tablets at every table of every restaurant next year so customers can order, play games and more. Is this going to signal the end of restaurant wait staffs in the future?

Chili’s and IHOP have also been rumored to be considering this option.

I know many people, and likely many of them in the ‘younger’ generation, will view this as a positive change. You walk in, sit down, pick up the tablet, place your order and then proceed to Facebook with the person sitting across the table from you. No more waiting for the waitress to get to your table on a busy Friday evening or packed lunch.

But what about all the jobs it will eliminate? I’d be willing to bet that at least 70% of American women have worked in the food and beverage service industry at some point in their lives. Small town girls getting that first job in the town diner at 14. To many friends and family members of mine who continue to do it because they love the social interaction, they’re good at it, and they make good money doing it.

I’m sure the restaurant industry is busy telling their workers the same thing the radio industry was told when computers started rolling into our studios 15-20 years ago. “It’s here to assist you. To make your jobs easier.” Don’t believe it. They’re here to replace you.

And it’s not just those two industries as people in just about every job in the world has seen technology replace humans.

It’s a new world we live in. Evolve or die.

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