So I recently had lunch at Olive Garden and paid with their Ziosk. For those who don’t know, Ziosk is a tabletop tablet-like machine that is supposed to make service a little easier.

It has games, which you have to pay for, along with other utilities. For example, on the home screen you can push a button to call your server back to your table. This sends them a signal somehow, not sure if they have a receiver or if someone tells them, and they come back to you instead of you hoping to flag them down.

The Ziosk also has information about the allergy related foods and allows you to order more drinks so that the server simply walks by one time to hand you the drink instead of walking once to get the drink refill order and then a second time to bring you the drink.

The most important feature of Ziosk is that you can now pay from your table, instead of waiting for the server to bring you a bill. They claim it is a safer transaction since your card never leaves your hands…but like ATMs I am sure someone will try to add a skimmer to them soon.

Once you click to pay, you swipe your card and then have two options:

  • Pay the total shown
  • Add a tip

If you decide to add a tip you get a screen similar to the one featured.  You see your bill total and there is a slider that changes the tip percentage so you don’t need to pull out your phone or calculator or do any math tricks in your head.

You can also have the receipt emailed to you, or you can print one from the machine.

At the end of the process you are given a chance to rate the service. I don’t know about other establishments, but Olive Garden asked a total of 7 questions so be prepared for that.

I think the Ziosk is a good addition to the dining experience and I wish more restaurants had it.