Restaurant transforms dining tables into interactive tables

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Restaurant transforms dining tables into interactive tables Afkar Abdullah and Amira Agarib / 17 February 2014 Guests can browse through the menu, see pictures of each dish, read the descriptions, place their order directly from their table to the kitchen and then watch it being prepared on ‘Chef Cam’. From choosing your own ‘tablecloth’ designs to watching videos of the ordered food being prepared, Dubai’s first smart restaurant offers it all. As part of Dubai Smart City, this amazing restaurant uses interactive technology to transform dining tables into smart interactive tables that provide innovative ways to make the customer’s experience more interesting. People are flocking Ebony Restaurant — the first of its kind in the UAE and Middle East — not just to satisfy their taste buds, but to also experience ‘smart dining’. The dining tables here are smart touch screens in which guests can see the menu, order their food and connect to the Internet, too. The multi-cuisine restaurant offers African-Mediterranean fusion dishes, Arab, Asian and popular international food. The interiors of Ebony restaurant at the Bay Avenue Mall, Dubai— KT photo by Rahul Gajjar With just a touch, guests can browse through the menu, see pictures of each dish, read the descriptions, place their order directly from their table to the kitchen and then watch it being prepared on ‘Chef Cam’. Customers can also choose the ‘tablecloth’ from a range of images, or watch videos, read current news, check their Facebook timeline, share their photos, send greeting cards to other tables and even order a taxi home. Zeinab El Agib Mahmoud, a Briton of Sudanese origin, owner and general manager of the restaurant, explained that there are two methods to log onto the Ebony table menu. In the first, a customer can scan his/her Facebook profile picture on a small square on top of the menu selections. If the customer doesn’t have a scanner, the system will be activated from the control panel on the Point-of-Sale (POS) computer by the hostess. Once activated, the customer has to choose the language: English or Arabic. The customer can also browse the selection options by pointing to the menu box at the edge of the table, which brings a drop down of the options. They can have their Facebook timeline displayed, or view photos and share them with their companions on their individual seats on the table. The multi-cuisine restaurant has dining tables that are smart touch screens. The media option in the table shows a wide selection of videos and photos where customers can choose their background wallpaper. Default videos or photos can also be set for a number of tables. This is usually done for company events where company logos and presentations can be shown on the table screens for all the guests. The same is done for family occasions, like birthdays, where photos can be displayed on the tables and shared with fellow guests. A selection of cartoons is also available to keep children entertained while waiting for their food. “The idea occurred to us (Zeinab and her husband) because of our IT background,” said Zeinab. “After our sons graduated and got married, we decided to do something beneficial for us and for community. We thought of launching a restaurant and in order to give our customers a unique dining experience we combined it with latest technology, excellent ambience, interesting food, and efficient, friendly service.” “We decided to choose Dubai as it already considers itself a smart city. We moved from the UK to Dubai and started the project in 2013,” she explained. “We not only pride ourselves on our innovative technology, but also on our delicious food. Our menu is a fusion of African, Arabic and Mediterranean cuisines. We combine North and East African flavours to create dishes that are original and very tasty. The food is contemporary, traditional and international,” said Zeinab. “The food meets the highest standards and every customer who leaves our doors is fascinated and excited to come back.” The restaurant is located in Bay Avenue Mall at Business Bay. For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at , and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes Continue reading →

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