Usually there are enough incentives that get you going to McDonalds, whether it’s a craving for fast food or just a craving to eat food fast –for residents near Virginia Beach there is more than just fries with your burger. On four of the tables in the Hampton Roads location there are iPads perched in carefully constructed stands that have been made available for use to patrons at no additional charge.
The idea isn’t a new one. For as long as I can remember, restaurants of all types have been providing newspapers and other reading material to those who visit their establishments and using the iPad to deliver content of this type makes sense. No more paper being ruined or stolen, no more recycling every night and with an iPad you can appeal to all ages by allowing for a personalized experience. Visit your FaceBook page while munching on your lunch or surf the web –though some content is blocked, like Youtube, given the possibility of pornographic or inappropriate material being displayed. While that kind of restriction may seem silly, consider the potential for group of careless and carefree teenagers who may be interested in watching humorous videos that may offend a more aged restaurant-goer at the next table.
Having iPads on tables fits the new McDonalds image nicely, making the franchise seem more progressive and relevant in a time when fast food has almost become taboo. At this location, the tablets are leased through an outside company and insured against loss –but the project is being viewed very much as a test; it might be a while before we see iPads in every McDonalds across North America or the world.
Of more use and less expense may actually be the ability to somehow dock your own personal devices as an alternative. Public Wi-Fi is common in these kinds of locations but the ability to charge up your smartphone or tablet while you eat your lunch would be a very attractive concept to many diners.