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Growing Number Of Restaurant Chains Are Turning To 'E-Ordering' Technology

PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A high-tech touch is replacing a more personal one at many restaurants.

A number of chains now have their customers 'e-ordering' food on a tablet at their tables.

Family dining has changed for the Garofalos at Chili's where a Ziosk tablet allows kids to play games and parents to pay the bill.

"You really can just pay when you're ready. You don't have to flag a server down who might be busy with other tables as well," Bob Garofalo told CBS 2's Jericka Duncan.

Right now customers can use the Ziosks to order drinks and desserts, and pay the bill. Meal orders are still taken by a server.

Chili's is one of several restaurants using the Ziosks. Applebees and IHOP are rolling out a similar tablet called Presto in their locations.

At fourteen Panera locations customers will find a kiosk where they can order and pay, food is then delivered to their table. People can also order their meals beforehand with an app and pick it up from an express lane.

Adam Rapoport, Editor-in Chief of Bon Appetit, believes that more casual restaurants will adopt this kind of technology.

"I think the casual dining places do it for two reasons. One, it sort of expedites the whole process and gets more people in and out the door quicker, and two it cuts down on labor costs, and it's more efficient," Rapoport said.

The Garofalos believe that they will soon see more of it.

"I think it's fine, but I think there's still something about having personal service," Jill said.

Ziosk said that its machines are not made to cut down on labor costs, but to enhance the diner's experience, so they're more likely to come back.

The Ziosk company expects to be in more restaurants in the near future, and Panera Bread's new technology should be in about 100 stores by the end of the year.

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